The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj. Gen Babagana Monguno, has advised state governments to adopt strategies toward strengthening the security apparatus in their states.
Mungono, in a speech at the third quarterly meeting of Secretaries of State Governments (SSGs) held on Thursday in Abuja, said that the states could improve their security situations through better training and funding.
He emphasised the need to engage community leaders to enhance intelligence gathering.
“If you disengage community leaders, you will not have the type of intelligence you need.
“Right now, security agencies do not work together as closely as expected. We have been trying to ensure unity of purpose, unity of operation,” he said.
Monguno stated that the situation was traceable to the Dasuki report of 1976.
“Whether we like it or not, in Nigeria, we fundamentally rely on traditional institutions. They are essential to security and if they do not carry the kind of authority they ought to, we cannot recalibrate the entire political structure.
“Leave out our traditional rulers, you will begin to see all kinds of leaders of various sects filling the vacuum because their traditional rulers have been taken away from what they are supposed to do and coordinate.”
The NSA, however, urged the SSGs to go back to their states and deliberate with their principals to make them understand the importance of traditional rulers.
“It is not to give people traditional titles alone. Traditional rulers must be fully engaged to support our efforts,” he added.
In his speech, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, urged the SSGs to go back to their states and calibrate political structures.
He emphasised the need to fashion out structures that would work for the nation.
The SGF said that there was need for the states to revisit the 1976 Dasuki Local Government reform, adding that it would be a good solution to the many security challenges and many other problems in their states.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, in his remarks, said that community participation in crime prevention and control had become necessary and should not be left in the hands of the security agencies alone.
Adamu said that it was imperative to involve community members like the traditional rulers and faith-based organisations who understand the environment and know each other, in order to curb security challenges.
“People drive development initiatives, so popular participation has become the order of the day.
“Community participation will ensure that security issues become everybody’s business.”
The meeting, which was virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic, took short presentations from Niger, Taraba, Oyo, Plateau, Imo and Akwa-Ibom SSGs who shared experiences from their states.
The theme of the meeting was “The Role of Secretaries to the State Governments in Strengthening Sub-National Level Security Architecture”.