Insecurity: Kwara North stakeholders urge FG to further involve traditional leaders in security architecture
Faced with the security challenges prevalent in parts of the country, the federal government has been advised to adopt a traditional knowledge-based intervention to effectively tackle the situation.
Speaking as the keynote speaker at the first Lafiagi Emirate Security Summit, organized by the Lafiagi Descendants Development Union, titled âInsecurity in Nigeria: Securing Kwara Northâ, Professor Mahmud Sakah Saidu of the Department of Science America’s Politics and International Studies – The University of Nigeria, Yola, Adamawa State, said that “governments in Nigeria always take a lofty approach without considering local and traditional solutions.”
âAs stewards of their people and their culture, traditional rulers (if given a chance and a role) can apply their traditional wisdom in many cases to stem insecurity in the nation. Thus, there should be constant dialogue between the state government and traditional rulers.
âMost people think that insecurity can only be resolved by the national government. But traditional political systems are still well regarded and respected by citizens.
âIn terms of security, therefore, traditional institutions must be supported by the government. There are no rulers who understand their people better than traditional rulers. The government must listen to them and the state must see them as partners rather than subordinates in the fight against insecurity, âhe said.
Limiting it to Kwara North, Prof Mahmud said poverty is a major cause of insecurity in the region.
âMost areas of Kwara North are rural in nature and suffer from rural poverty as in many similar situations. Poverty is accompanied by a high rate of unemployment. Kwara North has no industry and lives off agriculture. Most young people cannot have paid employment in the agricultural sector and yet there are no paid jobs. Thus, they are easily potential agents of insecurity.
âWhat sets Kwara North apart from the rest of the state is the prevalence of poverty in the region. There are hardly any higher education institutions in Kwara North, even after about fifty years as a member of the state. We must therefore congratulate the founders of Ahman Pategi University, Pategi. Before the establishment of the university, there is only the College of (Technical) Education here in Lafiagi. Yet Kwara North represents half of the landmass of Kwara State. The education sector must improve for young people to have paid employment.
âAnother distinctive feature of Kwara Nord is the international border it shares with the Republic of Benin. Those who engage in border studies know that border communities are the poorest of the poor. It is a fact that nations often neglect border areas when they are important for sovereignty. This neglect has encouraged underdevelopment and led many young people to engage in the illegal drug trade and arms trafficking. It is a serious security threat.
Explaining what the police are doing to prevent the infiltration of bandits from the neighboring state of Niger, the state police commissioner, Mr. Tuesday Assayomo, who was represented by DPO Lafiagi, Mr. Mathew Fabiyi, spoke declared that âthe commissioner has approved the stop and search operation in the border areas and we have obtained the support of community actors to carry out this operation.
The police chief, however, urged the government and management of Lafiagi (Technical) Education College to complete the school’s fencing perimeter, saying it would make the school safer.
Another speaker, Dr Barakat Ibrahim, Senior Lecturer at the College of Education, Lafiagi called the attention of security agencies to agricultural product theft, describing it as another critical issue facing farmers in Lafiagi and surroundings.
âOur people are mostly farmers and the theft of agricultural products is another serious issue that we have urged our security agencies to help us address. The increasing rate of theft of agricultural products is becoming unbearable for our farmers.
Giving his remarks and solution to the insecurity and unrest among young people, Emir of Lafiagi, Alhaji Mohammed Kudu Kawu suggested the idea of âââtrust fundsâ by private organizations and wealthy individuals.
âInsecurity is everyone’s business and unemployment is one of the main causes of insecurity,â he said, noting that the government alone cannot create jobs and tackle insecurity. .
âThis is where private organizations and high net worth individuals must step in by creating a ‘trust fund’ to be managed by high profile private individuals. “
The emir also called on parents to always give appropriate parenting training to their wards and urged young people to make a habit of deploying dialogue by lobbying their demands from the government.
The monarch also said that violence can never do anything right, instead it will add to the many problems facing the country.
The traditional leader therefore promised to examine the documents presented by various resource persons and security agencies and to see anyone who can be implemented at the community level and in collaboration with the government to further strengthen peace and stability in Lafiagi. , North Kwara and the whole state.
Some of the security agencies that graced the summit include the DSS, Civil Defense, NDLEA, and local self-defense.
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