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Centralising Security Not Working For Nigeria, State And Community Policing Should Be Introduced, Says Stan-Labo

The retired Colonel said Buhari’s administration fed terrorism and insecurity in Nigeria rather than curbing it.

Security Consultant and Defence Strategist, Colonel Hassan Stan-Labo (rtd), has said that in order to address the problem of insecurity in Nigeria, the government should decentralise the security agencies and introduce state and community policing to make for a seamless security operation.

The veteran and retired combatant made this statement in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, where he also said that former President Muhammadu Buhari enhanced terrorism in the country rather than contributing to the fight against insecurity.

The retired Colonel said that Nigeria’s security architecture should be reviewed, saying, “I’m afraid that what we have on ground isn’t working, and what do we have on ground? I think it’s all about the over centralization of the security architecture. Looking at our police for instance which is supposed to be the lead agency when we talk about security agencies now. Considering the role that the military is playing all over the country now, it’s actually the role of the police. If we decentralise to the point where we have state police introduced into our system and community police in itself gaining ground adequately, I think to a greater extent, so much pressure will be taken off and there will be a level of seamlessness in the way we forge ahead.”

He said that the matter of state policing should have been worked on in the first year of Buhari’s administration and went on to urge President Tinubu to look into the setting up of state policing seriously, that the state of Nigeria’s security calls for drastic actions as there is a lack in the independence of latitude of action.

He then mentioned that there was a severe case of lack of manpower in the military, and as such, the government should enhance and spread the recruitment process of the military so that there can be an increase in new recruits, therefore, increasing the number of people who will be available to serve the country.

However, in the aspect of the political will to curb insecurity, he said, “We seem to be lacking in it, and that’s why gradually, I’m beginning to see a great deal of semblance in the way we are addressing security under this present administration and the last administration. The political will in this administration towards this thing is so weak.”

Speaking of the past administration’s fight against insecurity, Stan-Labo said, “I agree with the opinion that General Buhari in the last 8 years or thereabout did virtually nothing, and I mean virtually nothing in our fight against terrorism. If anything, he promoted and enhanced our hardship as far as the fight against terrorism was concerned.”

He referred to Buhari’s tenure as a period where “Nigeria had no political leader.”

He claimed that there were ministers and governors in the past administration, especially in the north who had some sort of “romance” and an “unholy relationship” with terrorism, but these individuals were still allowed to keep their posts in government.

He said that the offer of amnesty to soldiers who were allegedly repentant came as a shock to him. He said, “We are soldiers, our duty is not to come here and grant repentance, our duty is to hasten your appointment with God, to heaven or hell, where he will grant you penance.”

He continued by saying, “Now we have a new administration in place. In the last six or seven months, I have not seen a change, so to speak, from what has been happening in the last eight years. We hope that the president now is not listening to some ill advice coming in from some elements or people who have sympathy with the last administration to him as to how to fight terrorism. We have an ample opportunity now to change the guard in how we fight terrorism.”

He then addressed the members of the Nigerian military saying, “I understand very much what the rules of international law of war says concerning PWs and so on. I must tell you gentlemen, if we’ve got to fight this war and come out of it unscathed, and make sure that we don’t eventually leave this war for our grandchildren to fight continually because of our attitude, then we’ve got to face this war and face it with all the brute it calls for.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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