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Mike Ejiofor: Nigeria Cannot Develop Meaningfully Under ‘Chaotic’ Security Situations

“People can hardly feed, and that’s responsible for why some of the people can go into criminality.”

The former Director of the State Security Service, Mike Ejiofor, has said that the Nigerian government should make sure that it resolves the security challenges so that it can, in turn, ensure economic development in the country.

This was said in an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, where Ejiofor, agreeing with the directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said that the withdrawal of police details to VIP individuals must be enforced.

Ejiofor addressed the message that the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, gave to Nigerians, telling them to be patient with the government, as the barely six-month in power government was still attempting to work together, especially as they just finished a series of litigation which cut back the work that would have been done.

Reacting to this statement, Ejiofor said, “Appealing to Nigerians to be patient is what is expected from him. But you know, there is a limit to which Nigerians can also be patient because we are not talking of only the security challenges. First of all, there will not be any meaningful development under such chaotic situations.

“So, government should be able to look into other areas in terms of hardship. There is generally hard economic situation in the country. People can hardly feed, and that’s responsible for why some of the people can go into criminality. You can see what is going on in Abuja. So, I think it’s right for the National Security Adviser to appeal to Nigerians, not only to be patient, we should also get involved. Everybody should get involved, we should not leave these agencies.”

When the former SSS Director was questioned about the decision of the President to remove police detail from VIPs, he said, “Each IG comes with a position that all the details posted to VIPs should be dropped, and at the end of it, you see that it is just used to audit the people outside, and within the next week, they are sent back. Now, this is a presidential directive made by the minister on behalf of the president, and I believe that we must enforce this withdrawal of policemen to details for many reasons.

“As far back as 2015, the police was less than 400,000, and then chairman of the police service commission, Mike Okiro, noted that over 120,000 were posted to individuals, VIPs. So, how many do you want to have left? Compare with what you have with the United Nations ratio of 1 policeman to 450 people, we have over 200 million. So where do you have people to work? People are retiring. When President Muhammadu Buhari came in, he also assured that he was going to be recruiting 10,000 policemen each year for four years, making it 40,000. Now we are talking about recruiting 190,000 to increase the number of policemen. That is commendable, but have they been budgeted for? How are you going to achieve, if you get all these people, how are you going to get them paid?

“Now they are recruiting and I’m equally happy that there is this synergy and cordial relationship between the police service commission and the management of the police, the Inspector General and his management. They are presently recruiting and that is commendable that they have this synergy, because initially, when president Buhari talked about recruitment, you know the squabble between the police service commission and the police management which led to these people not being recruited. But as they are working together both with the minister of police affairs, the police service commission, I think where we have sufficient men to tackle security challenges the problem will be better solved.”

Ejiofor then spoke on the state of security in the country, saying that the security challenges are multi-dimensional- with some of them being political issues, while some of them are being caused by economic hardships.

He said, “From the record, I think there has been some progress, but we need to consolidate on what we have achieved so far.”

He went on to say, “We should intensify on the graphics, letting people know the achievements, not on the papers without having the facts to back them.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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