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Nigeria is over-deploying soldiers, ex-IG Arase warns

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A former Inspector General, Solomon Arase, has warned that Nigeria is over-deploying its military personnel to maintain law and order in different parts of the country and thereby making areas where security is most-needed vulnerable.

Arase, who spoke in Zaria yesterday while presenting a lead paper at the 50th anniversary and International Conference of Department of Political Science and International Studies, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, said such action should be a source of serious concern to the nation.

The ABU alumnus, who graduated 38 years ago from the department, said the country’s soldiers were deployed to 28 states, warning that such a situation would keep undermining the country’s civil police.

The former IG said the country should as a matter of urgent national importance strengthen its civil police to allow the military face its primary traditional assignment of defending the country from external aggression.

He expressed concern that most state governments hardly convene regular security meeting, except when there was a serious security breach.

According to him, governors must accord genuine attention to community-policing to confront head on the security challenges facing the nation.

Arase also canvassed for the development of a comprehensive national policy framework for effective security network with much emphasis on community policing, where traditional institutions would be deeply involved in security handling.

The former IG said no society could get its security system right without, first and foremost, the consent of its people since security matters were the concerns of everybody.

He said the Federal Government should take the advantage of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to improve on its security system, saying that when he was IG he once requested the then President to send an executive bill to the National Assembly to make it mandatory, the installation of CCTV cameras in all shopping malls in Abuja and other cities across the nation.

Emir of Birnin Gwari in Kaduna State Malam Zubairu Jibrin concurred with the position of the former IG on security measures, saying community policing was inevitable, if the country was serious in the search for effective security system.

“Community policing is not new to us (traditional rulers); it has been with us since time immemorial; and it is still relevant to our present situation. In fact, the complete picture of the former IG’s lecture is that security issue is also part of the responsibility of the traditional institutions,” he said.

The emir, who attended the occasion in his capacity as an alumnus of Department of Political Science and International Studies, urged leaders to make the welfare of soldiers and police personnel.

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