Two days after brainstorming on issues bordering on the security challenges that have bedeviled the country, Stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to limit the role of the Military to only defending the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
The Forum said the Military’s involvement in internal crisis has failed to yield any positive result.
The resolution was contained in a Communique after a two-day roundtable forum organized by General Abdulsalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development Studies to discuss “issues of critical concern to the stability of Nigeria”.
In the communique, which was issued on Tuesday at the end of the forum, signed by the Director of the Institute, Dr. Diamond Preye Nebechukwu, and read by former Military Governor of old Rivers State, General Anthony Ukpo (retd), advised that the military should not do the jobs of the Police as witnessed all over the country.
To achieve this objective, the Forum suggested that the police and other related paramilitary organizations should be trained and equipped to play their traditional roles, adding: “Nigeria needs to accelerate the process of recruitment of additional security personnel, especially the police, in which the numbers are inadequate for even normal policing work.”
The forum agreed that the over reliance on the Military in the conflict management often ignored the importance of dialogue and other non-coercive approach to conflict management, arguing: “This in itself contributes to the escalation of conflicts across the country.”
The communique observed with dismay that every part of the country is today bedeviled with by one form of extremist violence or the other, with these conflicts increasingly having corrosive effects on the Nigeria State and therefore suggested the need for political leaderships at all levels to engage citizens including traditional rulers while addressing the root causes of insecurity.
The Forum also believed that a complex, multi-faceted crisis such as the one currently confronting Nigeria “necessarily requires carefully thought out solutions, predicated on action plan, which is to address issues on short, medium and long term basis”.
As a way of resolving farmers/herders clash in the country, the Forum recommended that “all actors engaged in crop farming and livestock production should continually be enlightened to migrate from traditional to modern systems of agriculture to boost profits”.
While appealing to all tiers of government to create enabling environment for job creation to engage the teeming youths population, the Forum pointed out that the causes of the insecurity include poverty, arising from the economic crisis in the country, and bellicose political activities and environmental issues in the North.
The Forum stated that the context for convening the meeting is the escalating tension and insecurity across the country bordering on mutual intergroup suspension, gangsterism, cultism, armed robbery and kidnapping among others.
It said: “These have added to the existing threats associated with the Boko Haram crisis in the north east, potent acts of militancy in the Niger Delta, the recurrent herder/farmers conflicts which has assumed alarming dimensions and the resurgence of separatist agitations in some parts of the country.”