Security experts on Monday called for the reformation of various policies on security to address the current challenges facing Nigeria, especially cases of kidnapping.
The experts in separate interviews with our correspondent on Monday, called for more collaboration among security agencies, to tackle security challenges in the country.
An expert in criminology and security studies in Lagos, Mr Ademola Adeoye, said that kidnapping for ransom had become Nigeria’s latest security problem.
Adeoye said kidnapping had taken different dimension from taking people for ransoms, to holding people against their will, among others.
He attributed kidnap cases to rising poverty in the country, adding that this had grown to form a major threat to Nigeria’s national security.
He added that kidnapping had remained the most deadly form of banditry in Nigeria as It had become the most pervasive and intractable violent crime.
He emphasised the need for urgent reform of the nation’s security, noting that criminals who indulged in the crime were now taking it as a career in the country.
”Reformation of the security sector in Nigeria will enable security officials to perform their roles as protectors of all Nigerians, and not for selected few.
”We also need to contextualise Nigerian content in our policies, bearing three principles in mind – government, institution and people – as it will address human, national and local security,” he said.
The expert urged government and military leaders to ”boost security forces in identifying hotspots and also prioritising civilian harm reduction, improve accountability of the security sector and rebuilding trust”.
Similarly, a retired Commander of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Abubakar Ahmed, said kidnapping had become alarming and embarrassing.
Ahmed noted that kidnapping had given negative picture of the country and sent danger sign to foreigners so they would begin to move around with security escorts.
He advised that the existing policies should be re-organised to give the country what it needed due to the various dimensions of insecurity in the nation.
According to him, kidnapping tarnishes the image of a country and makes it less attractive for investors.
”Also, as a human security problem, it traumatises citizens and above all, exposes gaps in Nigeria’s security system.
”So if we are going to actually address this issue, I think we have to start from the context of security sector reforms; that is how many security institutions should play roles in managing these problems.
”Also, what specific roles would they be playing, and how effectively do we want them to play the roles? I think these have to be decided and implemented immediately.”
He urged the government to instill the habit of metting out grave punishment to persons who engaged in kidnapping to serve as deterrent to others.
In the same vain, a lecturer in the Department of Conflict resolution, Abuja, Mrs Hassanat Abdulahi, said government needed to equip the security agencies to curb the menace of kidnapping and other criminal acts in Nigeria.
Abdulahi said the current wave of kidnapping was different as it was nation-wide, rather than confined to a specific region, noting that reform of all security agencies appeared to be a pressing need.
”I believe the foreign friends of Nigeria can help, perhaps through forensic assistance, provision of training, facilitating exchanges and equipping our security agencies,” she said.