Abuja — In the wake of the prevailing bloodletting in the country, Vice President Kashim Shettima has reminded Nigerians that ending insecurity in the nation remained the cardinal agenda of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Shettima spoke at the opening of a two-day roundtable on insecurity in northern Nigeria, with the theme “Multi-dimensional Approach to Tackling Insecurity in Northern Nigeria” organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, in Abuja yesterday.
His declaration got the buy-in of the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Sa’ad Abubakar 111, who expressed confidence that the battle against insecurity could be won.
Shettima, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Senator Ibrahim Hassan, assured Nigerians that the federal government was not relenting in tackling insecurity in the nation and called for collaborative efforts in taming the menace.
He said: “I believe the informed gathering here is a way of President Bola Tinubu’s promise to the nation in his inaugural speech that ending insecurity is the cardinal agenda of the government.
“As such, we have not downplayed the foundational role of security in governance matters. This is the rationale that led to the largest budgetary allocation to the security sector. I want to call on all relevant partners and stakeholders to join in this work.”
Battle can be won, says Sultan of Sokoto
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, who noted that the fight against insecurity could be won, urged Nigerians not to lose hope, insisting that the nation must embrace implementation of its plans and policies.
The Sultan said: “So much have been said about insecurity in the north and Nigeria as a whole but we must not lose hope. This is not a place to talk too much because as we are talking, these bandits are also listening but they should know that we are more concerned about the people under our leadership than them.
“We must find peace for the north. We have been fighting for the peace but now we must find the way forward, and focus on the solutions we can bring to these issues.”
Army, Police must play clear roles – Ogbeh
Speaking in the same vein, former Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Audu Ogbeh, warned against the mix up of the roles of the Army and the Police.
He said: “Soldiers are not policemen and policemen are not soldiers, we are mixing the two up, that’s another danger we have to deal with if we can.”
Absence of public involvement worsening insecurity — CNG
On its part, the Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, noted that the absence of public involvement and inter-agency cooperation had continued to fuel insecurity in Nigeria.
The Coalition’s National Coordinator, Comrade Jamilu Aliyu Charanchi, said: “For the past two decades, Northern Nigeria has been plagued by various security challenges. The escalating threats posed by insurgent groups, banditry, kidnapping, and other criminal activities have had a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of our people.
“We are convinced that the absence of public involvement and enhanced interagency coordination have worsened a situation that requires a unified and comprehensive response, one that goes beyond a purely military approach and addresses the root causes of insecurity.
“Consequently, CNG assembled a committee of security experts led by Alhaji Bashir Yusuf Ibrahim. This committee has spent the past three months examining the security crisis and identifying areas for improvement. They have conducted research, held engagements with national security chiefs, traditional rulers and state governors, and gathered useful insight and input.
NEF lauds CNG’s roundtable initiative
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) commended the efforts of the CNG in organizing a roundtable discussion at finding practical solutions to the persistent insecurity in northern Nigeria.
NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy/Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, who emphasized the significance of bringing together critical stakeholders to address the security challenges that had plagued the region, acknowledged that the roundtable was the first of its kind, as it gathered influential and knowledgeable individuals from the north to discuss the dire security situation that had been causing immense suffering not only in the region but also across the entire nation.