The Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, Wednesday, berated the nation’s security agencies and the political class for not doing enough to curb worsening state of insecurity in the country.
Prof. Na’Allah, who made the remarks, while speaking at the formal launch of the University’s Centre for Security and Legal Studies and Symposium on Tuesday in Abuja, blamed the current near state of anomie in the country on inability to mobilise or gather security intelligence by the state actors.
The theme of Symposium is “Kinetic and non kinetic application in the fight against insecurity in Nigeria.”
He said, the lapses on the parts of key players to avert abductions or destruction of lives and properties by criminal elements, was a total disgrace to the country and the academia.
Prof Na’Allah, however, stressed that the university was not left out, given its failure to explore research and collaboration with security agencies to proffer workable solutions to bring the insurgency, banditry, kidnappings and other crimes to an end.
He therefore, challenged both military and civilian institutions to critically explore the potentials of research to help Nigeria survive what he described as “unprecedented threats and crisis of insecurity,” through the use digital technology and intelligence.
Making reference to the United States of America he maintained that with the level of synchronization, data gathering and sharing between all security apparatus after the twin bombing of the world trade centre, it was almost impossible for such a coordinated attack to happen on U.S soil again
He said: “We have a lot of lessons to learn, we have a lot of work to do. We must sit down in our laboratories to think through the current challenges we have in our nation how figure out how Nigerians can go about their businesses without fear. We can’t mobilise intelligence to know what is going to happen the next hour, its a total failure.
“How can we have a nation where today its bomb, tomorrow its crisis, in front of our military is bomb, innocent people going about their businesses are kidnapped, ransom paid, its a total disgrace to us as a nation, to our political leaders and the university. We have not been able to work together to communicate a solution that will assist this nation enjoy the peace that it deserves.
“The birth of this Centre is a challenge this university is throwing to all our military institutions and civilian institutions that we must come together to get through this war of the 21st century which cannot be understood like the wars of yesterday. We must begin to look at our environment, our culture, daily habits and religion because they are so important what we should do.
“The centre is focused on bringing in research to address the issues of security and the strategies to deploy. There are so many questions to be asked before we can win this war and so we need to sit together and proffer a solution. We can’t survive this insecurity without bringing everyone on board.
“Any nation that surmounts its problem is because of the university and its time Nigeria realises that so we need to set aside enough funds for research. Universities are ready and we must work together.”
In his remarks, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello who maintained that the emerging trend of insecurity in the country shows there was need to deploy both kinetic and non kinetic approach in achieving the desired results in overcoming security challenges.
Gov. Bello, who is the Chairman of the occasion, noted that, technical intelligence must be deployed to help Nigeria end insurgency quickly.
According to him, “My approach to insecurity in Nigeria is different; first people must be carried along in all strategies, the leaders body language must clearly reflect a fighting spirit to assist the military succeed in their fight, identify the geography, topography and understand the people.”
Represented by his Security Adviser on Security Matters, Navy Commander Jerry Omodara, (Rtd), the Governor advised the Federal and state governments to critically analyze the recent attacks on correctional facilities which led to the breakout of inmates, warning that more attacks were likely to happen soon of nothing was done.
He said, “The nation must watch the trend of criminal activities especially the attack and release of inmates at correctional centres. The patterns were all the same; what has our security and government leant? Another attack will come up in another state if we do not watch our backs.”
Director of the Centre, Dr. Arinze Abuah, disclosed that the available programmes including Human Rights and Social Justice, Security Studies, Criminology and Security Studies and Legal Studies, were carefully designed to cover significant fields of legal and security concerns critical for working class professionals aspiring to further their understanding on law.