Maj.- Gen. India Garba (rtd), Chairman, Board of Directors, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), has challenged state governors to devote part of their monthly security votes to the gathering of information by locals that will aid the work of security agencies.
Garba, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said he was worried by the growing internal security challenges across the country, especially in the north central states.
According to him, the most effective means of getting on top the recurring security challenges in the states is through intelligence.
He said that it was the information provided by the people on ground that would be processed into actionable intelligence which the security forces would use to nip the crisis in the bud.
Garba commended the security forces especially the military for their unwavering commitment in tackling internal security challenges that assail different parts of the country.
He said that security was everybody’s business and therefore the people must play their own part in arresting the unfortunate situation by providing accurate and timely information to the security agents.
“The military and security agents cannot be everywhere and will not be able to know when things are going wrong, and in some cases, security agents have limitations due to terrain or cultural barriers and as such require the full cooperation and support of the people to be on top of the situation.
“The governors receive statutory allocation and set aside a large chunk as security vote; what do they do with the money?
“Are they not supposed to deploy such monies into intelligence gathering, and in so doing assisting the security operatives in their domains to be on top of the evolving security breaches?
“Unfortunately, some of these governors divert these monies to other self-serving ventures and some do not even relate with the people in such a way as to generate information from the people, only to heap blames on the Federal government each time there is crisis.
“So, it is not enough to make a show of the unfortunate situation in order to curry sympathy when you ignored the basic preventive measures or steps that will nip the crisis in the bud”.
The elder statesman who is a key stakeholder in Benue State said that in spite of the machinations of a few ill-intention politicians in Benue State, majority of Benue people were solidly behind President Muhammad Buhari.
He said that many Benue people were more than ever determined to queue behind him and support him in consolidating his landmark achievements.
Garba said that it was regrettable that some leaders in Benue were capitalising on the unfortunate killings in the state to play politics.
“The political desperadoes who are orchestrating divisiveness and bitterness in the state should understand that what the people are interested in is peace and security.
“Peace is possible only when elites join hands with Federal Government to build bridges of understanding in the state and collapse the wall of mutual distrust and suspicion.
“ They should also understand that the masses are solidly behind the president and will still vote for him in the next election to perfect the good job he has started.
“The will of the people must triumph over the machinations of hypocrites who are now running from pillar to post and defecting from one party to the other,’’ he said.