Insurgency: Lawmaker advocates more training, equipment for security agencies

Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

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A House of Representatives Member has advocated for more proper training, modern equipment and increase funding to all the security agencies, to effectively deal with the security challenges facing Nigeria.

Mr. Abdul Razak Namdas, a member from Adamawa State, who is also the Chairman House Committee on Army, in an Interview, attributed the recent increase in insurgency and other insecurity to lack of proper training, equipment and good intelligence gathering.

While some cited lack of synergy between the security agencies as responsible for the recent attacks, Mr. Namdas explained that all the security agencies are working hand-in-hand to restore security in all nook and crannies of Nigeria soon.

He said that “These days we are having issues of attacks not as a result of lack of synergy between the armed forces and other security agencies is that these guys we have to do more in terms of intelligence gathering.

It is not about whether you gathered police have refused to help talk to soldiers or whether the Civil Defence has refused to cooperate with the Nigerian Army, is not like that.

Whoever is charged with the responsibility of providing intelligence, more intelligence is required as far as I am concern, because if we have had this required intelligence all these attacks would have nipped in the bud.

The mere fact that the attacks are still there it is the failure of good intelligence gathering that is my understanding of the whole thing.

In the past the lack of synergy manifested in people killing another or seeing other security agencies exchanging words, this has subsided. What is obvious is that attacks have increased, what is the reasons for the attacks?”

Commenting on the need for more attention to be given to police, the lawmaker explained that the Nigerian Army and Air Force are not responsible for internal security, except if it is beyond the police capacity, therefore stressing that the police should be properly prepared to take over as the armed forces succeed in the war.

According to Mr. Namdas, the armed forces may be in a difficult situation in case of any external aggression, given the overstretching the forces on internal security operation, despite the inadequate manpower in the services.

“The Nigerian army is not charged with the responsibility to take over internal security issues. The Armed Forces Act, Cap A20, specifically say that the Nigerian Armed Forces are to take care of Land, Sea and Air Operations protecting the territorial integrity of the country, but Section 217 of the Constitution also add that the President has the power to invite the Nigerian army to come and assist in Internal Crisis Management, this is what the President has done and it’s constitutional.

But our point is that the Army is not going to be managing internal security for ever. It is the job of the police. So when you pay attention to the Army, pay so much attention to the police, train them, equip them because if the army succeeded and leave, it is expected that the police take over.

When I was growing up in my place, Gwoza which is the training home for the Mobile Police Men, anybody who goes to Gwoza and comes back we believed he is a different person because he must have been well trained. But the insurgents have taken over the Gwoza Training Camp, dispersed the police. It is the army that has recovered the Training Camp right now in Gwoza.

So what we are saying is that if insurgents can take over a training ground of mobile policemen, it clearly shows that equipment and more training were not given to the police. Train them well, because the armed forces cannot remain, in fact God forbid, I asked this question, if in the face of this insecurity or security challenges, we have an external crisis between Nigeria and other countries which one will the Nigerian army faces, the external one or the internal one? So we should pray that nothing happens at the moment.”Mr. Namdas argued.

On the recent call by some House members for the resignation of the Service Chiefs, Mr. Namdas explained that the call was just a demonstration of the lawmakers concern to the increase in insecurity in the country.

Though all the security agencies’ mandates provide explicit roles they should play in securing the lives and property of the citizen, Mr. Namdas stressed the need for proper adherence to their constitutional roles to achieve secure and crime free Nigeria.

He said “But the truth is that we need to do more. I must clearly add that even in terms of lawmaking, there is Nigerian Civil Defence Corps as you see, go and check Civil defence act 2003, it shows that they are also supposed to make an arrest and forestall any terrorist acts, that means they are also supposed to fight terrorism.  Go to police act, P19 check they are supposed to protect and defend Nigerian citizens. So all these security agencies need to come to gather and fight, but again we must provide them with necessary funding so that they can do their job.

I think the NASS has demonstrated that we care for our people. We are from various constituencies and the rate of insecurity is heightening, attacks on people are getting more in recent days, that’s why we expressed our worry, of course any decision made by the NASS in regards to appointments is only advisory it is left for the President to decide to take it or not because that is only advisory position.”