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Insecurity: Agora Policy recommends private security contractors, border patrol, arms mop up

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A Nigerian suppose thank group, Agora Policy, says that Nigeria should undertake a extra holistic method with the intention to stand a preventing likelihood in overcoming widespread and rising insecurity inside its borders.

The method that concurrently combines combatting security threats extra successfully with addressing the basis causes of conflicts and agitations within the nation, Agora Policy, a Nigeria suppose tank, has suggested.

This disclosure is contained in Agora Policy’s newest report titled, ‘Understanding and Tackling Insecurity in Nigeria’, which was launched on Monday, November 7, 2022, and finished with the help of MacArthur Foundation.

The suppose tank group that stated that the present army engagements ought to be sustained, nevertheless, famous that the character, sample, and pattern of security challenges confronting Nigeria can’t be handled effectively utilizing army energy alone.

What Agora Policy is saying

  • The suppose tank group stated, “Addressing solely the manifestations of insecurity with out tackling its drivers is akin to merely slicing off the tail of a harmful snake whereas conserving intact its head and the remainder of its physique.
  • ‘’With all its six geo-political zones contending with one kind or a number of types of insecurity, Nigeria is at the moment battling generalised insecurity” the place hardly any zone of the nation is spared, the report claims.’’

The report identifies the dominant security challenges as terrorism within the North East, banditry and terrorism within the North West, herder-farmer clashes and terrorism within the North Central, militancy within the South South, insurgency and separatist agitations within the South East, farmer-herder/communal clashes and even a sprinkle of terrorism within the South West.

  • It states, “Africa’s most populous country and erstwhile bulwark of stability in West Africa is practically under the gun on all fronts,” the report states. It warns that “allowing the prevailing security challenges to fester will hasten Nigeria’s slide to the league of failed states similar to the circumstances in Iraq and Syria. The preponderance of groups with territorial ambitions means increased threat to the territorial integrity of the country.”  

The report which was put collectively by a crew of security specialists, together with these with service expertise inside and outdoors the nation, analyzed the kinds in addition to the drivers and manifestations of insecurity in Nigeria.

Drivers of insecurity in Nigeria and proposals on the right way to deal with them

Medium and long-term suggestions had been made by the report on the right way to deal with the rising scourge which, it says, negatively impacts not simply the security of life and property within the nation but in addition nationwide cohesion, the capability and the credibility of the state, financial progress, commerce, meals manufacturing, and schooling.

  • It states, “Insecurity in Nigeria is multi-dimensional. As such, for any attempt at addressing the growing menace to be effective and sustainable, it needs to be holistic, deftly combining ‘hard’, military solutions with ‘soft’ approaches aimed at tackling the socio-economic underpinnings of conflict and crime. Insecurity does not thrive in a vacuum. Some factors are precursory to it. [These are] the environmental conditions that both kindle and nurture insecurity.” 

The report recognized 11 drivers of insecurity in Nigeria together with

  • Ineffective and insufficient security structure
  • The ineffective and inadequate legal justice system
  • Easy entry to small arms
  • Light weapons in addition to the existence of porous borders.
  • Easy to entry illicit medicine,
  • Prevalence of poverty and unemployment,
  • Impact of local weather change,
  • Multiplication of unaddressed socio-political and financial grievances,
  • Poor land use insurance policies,
  • Agitations over useful resource management,
  • Failure to handle structural and constitutional deficiencies.

To deal with the socio-economic underpinnings of conflicts and crimes, the report recommends a number of interventions. These embody:

  • Reviewing the Land Use Act and different extant legal guidelines
  • Providing focused schooling and abilities coaching to youths in battle areas,
  • Prioritizing dialogue and various battle decision mechanisms
  • Strengthening legislative and judicial responses to make sure fast dispensation of justice
  • Embracing the usage of strategic communications to win the hearts and minds of the populace
  • Addressing abuses by the security forces
  • Controlling entry to arms and medicines
  • Embracing a nationwide therapeutic course of and making certain reparations for victims of conflicts and abuses.

The report contends that these measures ought to be applied alongside interventions that may improve the capability of the security forces to defeat and deter the terrorists, bandits and others who pose security threats to the nation. In this clever, the report recommends a root-and-branch reform of the nation’s security structure to make sure that its security forces are fit-for-purpose and might adequately rise up to present and future challenges.

Reforms of the security structure

  • The report added, “The current security architecture of Nigeria may have once been effective in tackling the challenges at their time of institution,” the report states. “However, the challenges across the country have evolved significantly. There are new domains of security threats, while smaller and largely benign groups have evolved into well-armed transnational insurgent groups. This means the security and defence structures that worked in prior dispensations are currently struggling to keep up with the evolved challenges. The need for a defence and security sector reform is imperative.” 
  • According to the report, such reform ought to begin with a complete and consultative audit of the missions, doctrines, coaching, and staffing of all of the army, paramilitary, and different security forces and companies within the nation to make sure an alignment with present and future security threats. The results of the audit, the report provides, ought to present a information to the right way to higher streamline, useful resource, workers, and coordinate security companies within the nation.

The end result of the great reform ought to incorporate mechanisms for a major enhance within the variety of security personnel, elevated give attention to accountability, extra respect for guidelines of engagement and monitoring and analysis, and better coordination of intelligence gathering and utilization.

  • The report additionally recommends the mop up and management of the move of small arms and light-weight weapons, recruitment of extra ladies within the security forces and introduction of extra gender-sensitive insurance policies, regulation of irregular security outfits throughout the nation, and the introduction of a devoted border patrol power to include the unchecked move of arms and terrorists/bandits throughout the nation’s intensive borders.
  • The suppose tank group stated, “We recommend the creation of a border guard force focused on providing border security, as the current role is being performed by the Nigerian Customs Service which considers border security a secondary priority to its primary focus of revenue generation,” the report states. “Nigeria can look at examples such as the Border Security Force and the Frontier Force in India, the Pakistan Rangers in Pakistan, and the Border Security Agency in Malaysia, among others.” 

The report additionally recommends the usage of private security contractors, however in a specified and managed method.

  • The report states that: “It is a recognized indisputable fact that Nigeria’s security personnel are overstretched because of the persistent and widespread nature of present security challenges. This deficiency has allowed insecurity to fester. To relieve the security forces and to allow important efforts to be utilized to degrade the threats, the federal government ought to contemplate inviting private security contractors because it was finished shortly earlier than the overall election in 2015 [and use them] to confront armed banditry within the North-West and North-Central areas.
  • “The engagement should be handled through the security forces to assuage concerns in some quarters that the private military contractors are an indication of the non-appreciation by the political class of the security forces’ contribution and sacrifice. Clear objectives and measurement parameters should be set and monitored closely.” 

Download the report right here Agora Security Paper Full Report

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