Governor of Borno State, Prof Babagana Zulum

State governors in Nigeria across ethnic and political party lines have condemned the worsening insecurity in the country, characterised by farmers- herders clashes, armed robbery, activities of the Boko Haram sect and other forms of banditry, especially within the northern region of the country, which has led to the death of many citizens including women and children.

The Governors, who spoke during a virtual meeting organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership CVL in collaboration with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum NGF with the theme: Insecurity and Governance Challenges in Nigeria’, an agenda of Transparency and Accountability Project 2020, expressed frustrations over the worsening insecurity in the country, which is taking its toll on every aspects of national life.

Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who traced the root causes of insecurity in the country, especially in the northern part of the country to poverty, noted that the menace has created a humanitarian problem not only in the North but also across the country.

He blamed the menace of insecurity, especially militancy on two major factors; extreme poverty, which creates a fertile ground for the insurgents to recruit new members and population explosion, noted that while the military is acquiring sophisticated weapons, the Federal Government should also address the twin issues of poverty and population growth.

According to him, another major cause of insecurity is the rising unemployment in the country, noting that this challenge could be juxtaposed with the problem of shortage of manpower in the nation’s military.

He made a strong case for the involvement of the Police in the fight against insurgency in the north, arguing that community policing has proved potent in fighting most forms of criminality across the world.

The Prof also made a case for the resettlement of displaced persons to their ancestral homes to enable them resume normal social and economic lives, arguing that living in Internally Displaced Persons’ IDP camps makes them vulnerable and therefore constitutes a form on insecurity.

On the efforts being made by the Borno State Government to curtail farmers-herders’ clashes, he disclosed that the government deployed the Civilian Joint Taskforce CJTF and local hunters, who patrol the forests in the state to forestall scheduled attacks, which he argued, conforms to the concept of community policing.

He also suggested the recruitment of more Police personnel to boost manpower and also check unemployment, especially among the youths.

Meanwhile, Governor of Kebbi State, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who also spoke during the meeting, called for a proper calibration of the operations of herdsmen and farmers, argued that the country needs the services of both segments of farming and therefore none should be sacrificed to promote the business of the other.

He noted that both crop farming and animal husbandry are crucial to the survival of any nation and that where the rights of one stop, the rights of the other begin.

Other Governors, who spoke at the one-day event, include Willie Obiano of Anambra State, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Sam Ortom of Benue State and Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

Security expert and CEO, Transworld Security Systems Limited, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, while speaking at the event, charged the various security apparatuses in the country, including the military on the need for intelligence gathering as well as building data.

He also called for the building of adequate structure, which should be systematic and not adhoc, arguing that the traditional rules should be carried along in this model of security structure, since they have firsthand information on who entries the community through the grassroot people, which might be available to the security agencies.

The moderator of the event and founder of the CVL, Prof Pat Utomi, in his several interventions, called for community policing, which has proven potent in several climes across the world.