Lighthouse Pathfinders Group Proffers Solutions to Insecurity in the Country
Bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, curtailing spread of illicit drugs as well as cultural rebirth have been identified as solutions to the current security threat in the country.
Participants at a Webinar organised entitled Curbing Security Threat Migration in Nigeria: Mitigation Strategy organised by the Lighthouse Pathfinders Group highlighted some of the causes of insecurity in the country.
The Guest Speaker and Security Expert, Victor Okpiri, identified a strong connection between culture and the nature of security threat.
‘Culture has an influence on crime and the security system. A culture that celebrates prosperity is likely to be a fertile ground for financial crimes and threats with economic motivations. A culture with strong religious sentiments is likely to be fertile for religious extremism and religious violence. Cultural background accounts to a great extent the form of threat prevalent in parts of the country’, he declared while advocating cultural reset.
‘Security is the state of being free from danger, otherwise the absence of threat. A security threat is anything with the potential of violating or endangering security or hindering freedom from danger. This could emanate from natural or manmade sources. While natural refers to acts of nature; safety issues and unintentional acts, man-made are malicious and intentional, aimed at particular targets’, he added.
Bringing to the fore, the territorial war component of security threat, Okpiri said perpetrators of organized crimes are often involved in clashes with groups they perceive to be competitors. “When this happens, the vanquished is likely to surrender the territory to superior power and migrate to dominate a new territory. The current rivalry between insurgent groups in the Northern Nigeria has helped to deplete numerical strength of groups and at this same time disperse these criminal elements to other territories. Some are now operating as bandits in the North-Central zone of the country” , he concluded.
On security threat migration, he said Security threats do not move from one location to another or transform without a prompting. These prompting or indicators, according to him, are what security practitioners and authorities should look out for to proactively plan and prevent manifestation in other forms or locations.
He explained that threat actors are likely to move from areas of intensive engagement with government security agencies (GSA) to areas with less presence of GSA.
“When this happens, there is the likelihood that these agents will regroup/recruit new members to continue the activities or join the existing form of criminal trade in the new location. The level of sophistication of the operations of bandits in recent times for instance is an indication of the infiltration by Boko haram, ISWAP and IS actors’ he said while advising that Nigerian security and intelligent agents should up their game whenever our neighbours record success against bandits and other insurgents.
He therefore commended governors of states in the western part of the country for their proactive action in forming Amotekun corps which has largely helped to mitigate the problem in the region.
Giving a historical perspective to the evolution of insecurity in Nigeria, as created by the non-state actors who are succeeding in driving fear into the hearts of the citizenry; the Chairman of the program, Brig. Gen. Muraina Lola (rtd) traced history of insurgency in Nigeria to the immediate post-Ghadaffi Libya.
According to him, after the overthrow of Ghaddaffi, most of the armed groups that participated in that historic revolution began disposing of their weapons; and that was one of the situations that fuelled armed trafficking; that eventually blossomed into the insurgency and consequently the insecurity calamity that is currently consuming the country.
In his welcome remark, President of the Group, Tunde Madehin, spoke of how insecurity has taken up most of the daily discussions on its WhatsApp platform as a sign of the unpleasant times that have befallen the country.
The Lighthouse Pathfinders group is an NGO, which began as a WhatsApp group.
The zoom meeting is the second organised by the group which organized its maiden Virtual seminar less than three months ago.
Anchored by a former Channel’s Television Daily Sunrise Presenter, Sulaiman Aledeh, the program was well attended by Li-PAC members and invited Guests from across the country and in the Diaspora. In his introductory remark, Aledeh, who is currently a Program Presenter on Classic FM, affirmed that the issue of insecurity has been over beaten. According to him, what is needed urgently, today, are solutions; and not mere talks and postulations.
After the presentations the comments and questions were invited from the audience.
Chris Otaigbe spoke on the need to use the church’s structure, logistics and finance to protect their neighbourhoods of worship.
A Li-PAC member, Shina Ishola, called for protection of whistle blowers as Nigerians do not trust the police any longer to volunteer intelligence.
A Pharmacist, Keneth Star explained that the unceasing poverty crisis in the country coupled with the deepening gulf between the poor and the rich make the incidents of insecurity virtually intractable. Since most of the crimes are committed in the neighbourhoods, Star recommends a know your neighbour policy by the people in their various neighbourhoods or residence.
For Salvador Ifedolapo Taoheed, one of the solutions to the problem is the divisive nature of the country which is further deepened by the agents of disunity in the country. According to him, a major road to curbing threats of insecurity in the country is for the citizens to unite in the fight against non-state actors destabilizing the nation.
Gafar Lanre Madehin said the relationship between substance abuse, illicit drug use and crime gets stronger by the day and consequently lubricating the wheel of insecurity across the federation.