Gov Yahaya Implores Security Chiefs to Stop 'Afghanistan' Situation in Nigeria – THISDAY Newspapers
Segun Awofadeji in Gombe
The Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, has said that the unfolding events in Afghanistan and other countries demand that authorities in Nigeria take proactive measures to stem any grave repercussions.
The governor stated this yesterday while speaking as the Special Guest of Honour, at a roundtable discussion on the Security Situation in Afghanistan: Implications for Nigeria and Africa, organised by Alumni Association of the National Defence College in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Yahaya who described the event as apt and timely, noted that Nigeria and Afghanistan share a lot of characteristics, hence what affected the South Asian country had consequences in Nigeria and Africa in general.
He said the implications of the development in Afghanistan and other countries across the world were worrisome and disturbing, especially with the insecurity that was challenging the fabric of Nigeria.
The governor observed that presentation of papers and holding of roundtable discussions are not enough but implementing the outcomes of the deliberations was what matters the most.
“We are good at organising seminars and roundtable discussions but at the end of the day nobody implements the outcome of the deliberations so held, I therefore urge the organisers of this roundtable to see to it that the communique that will be issued at the end of the engagement is implemented to the later,” he said.
The governor who shared with participants the Gombe State experience, advocated for a strong synergy among the federal, state, local governments and other relevant stakeholders so that issues of security are nipped in the bud before they snowball and get out of hand.
“I think it is expedient to share the experience of Gombe State so that together we can cross fertilise ideas; for sure being in the North-east and in the centre of the region sharing boundaries with all the remaining five states, Gombe is very vulnerable and it equally has the experience of the attendant consequences of the displacement of people within the sub-region.”
Yahaya however said that before taking over as governor, he set up a security transition committee that was saddled with the responsibility of analysing the security situation with a view to providing a roadmap on how to manage the security architecture in the state.
He explained that on coming into office, he established a ministry to take charge of internal security and ethical orientation being the first of its kind since the creation of the state.
He said the ministry coordinates between the state and security agencies as well as with traditional institutions and cultural organisations with a view to imbibing and maintaining the excellent traditions embedded in the people’s culture.
“So far I can say we are doing well even though Gombe is not in the frontline but being in the middle, it is a transit route for weapons, strategic planning and even for distribution of illicit drugs as well as other materials needed by the insurgents for them to operate and we are making frantic efforts at closing these gaps and making sure that we curtail such nefarious activities and maintain the relative peace.”
The governor said these challenges arose as a result of the peaceful nature of the state which has seen the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), stressing that the situation could have been worse but for the proactiveness of Gombe State Government under his leadership.
He said providing security and infrastructure in the state irrespective of who finds Gombe as home is very paramount to his administration.
“On top of that there is a lot of stress being put on our resources but yet we are not a frontline state; we find it difficult to cope considering the fact that Gombe is not an economically buoyant state, we have series of difficulties which we are joining hands with the federal government and relevant partners to solve.”
The governor observed that governments at all levels risk exacerbating the situation if social amenities are not provided and jobs for the youths who are usually the foot soldiers for any civil unrest are not taken care of, stressing that the forum needed to take a proper look at these issues.
He equally advised that repentant Boko Haram insurgents who are undergoing de-radicalisation should be properly reintegrated into the society with proper vocational training that could sustain them and take their minds off the possibility of picking arms again.
The Minister of Defence, General Salihi Magashi, represented by Major General AT Jibrin (rtd), commended the organisers of the roundtable and assured of the federal government’s readiness to consider recommendations that will come out of the meeting.
On his part, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, called for sustained synergy and interplay amongst the security agencies and all relevant stakeholders to be able to deliver on the mandate of ensuring the security of lives of the people.
The National Security Adviser and the Commandant of the National Defence College both agreed that the nation was indeed in need of solutions and collective efforts in dealing with the contemporary challenges, ence the desirability of this discussion.
Earlier, the President of the Alumni Association of the National Defence College, Air Commodore DE Abdullahi, said “We feel highly concerned about the situation in Afghanistan and its attendant consequences, that is why we convened this discussion with a view to drawing lessons for Nigeria and Africa.”
“In drawing the lessons, governance is key, that is why we have the governor of Gombe State, who, despite the situation in the North-east, has succeeded in maintaining relative peace in his state; this is highly commendable.”