Reps Tells FG – Hire Mercenaries To Fight Insurgency

The House of Representatives has asked the federal government to hire mercenaries to fight Boko Haram insurgents.

The House made the resolution following a motion moved by Abdulkadir Rahis on Wednesday. Mr. Rahis’ motion called on the federal government to re-strategize in the fight against insurgents.

The creation of local security committees in all 774 local government areas to be managed by the Nigerian Police Force as part of its community policing mandate. 

According to the House, the panel should include traditional rulers, religious institutions, and local opinion leaders.

The lawmakers also recommended the use and development of grazing reserves and ranching be pursued in lower population areas, saying that pilot schemes should commence immediately in all states positively disposed to it.

The document containing the recommendations read: “Instruct the immediate enhanced training for the Police Mobile Unit to improve their capacity to deal with insecurity.

“A special team of 40,000 Police Mobile Unit officers should undergo this special training. 1,000 should then be deployed to every state for immediate operations. North East, South West, South East can receive the officers remaining out of the 40,000.

“Create a new team under the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, to train and work with the guards of Nigeria’s forests. This unit will collaborate with the current Forest Guards who will remain under the control of states

“Encourage the intelligence agencies (working with the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Defence Staff) to initiate a screening and vetting program of all frontline officers of the military to fish out moles and double-agents who have so far compromised most efforts at combating insecurity and win the war against insurgents and terrorists

“Strategically, the Executive should initiate a Presidential Police Reform initiative that will be resident in one central place within the Presidency. Also, an operational specialised unit should be established within the NPF to champion and drive all the change initiatives (based on a Presidential Policing Reform Roadmap) from within the institution.

“Direct the use of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund to procure some of the immediate equipment need by the rank-and-file police officers in Nigeria. This intervention will include the procurement of modern critical equipment for the Nigeria Police Force as specified by the leadership of the NPF.

“Give immediate consideration to the use of private defense contractors for targeted security operations to combat insurgency and terrorism especially.

“Urge the Executive to use all means at its disposal (while legislation is pending) to create a protocol that will compel intelligence (as a matter of necessity) sharing among all security agencies.

Deploy early warning systems

“Deploy Early Warning Systems nationwide, including installation of CCTV cameras and other surveillance, satellite and electronic equipment along major highways, public places, and major cities and our borders;

“Establish and strengthen a National Crisis Centre, NCC, within the Nigerian Police. The NCC will be the national coordinating center for all civil security response actions and monitoring of resolutions of such with monthly reporting on all incidents. It will also be the central place for any Nigerian to report major security incidents;

“Through an Executive Order, initiate a civilianisation program in all our security agencies. This should compel the agencies to use civilian staff to perform most back-office and non-tactical duties. This initiative will free up thousands of security personnel for frontline duties immediately;

Information ministry, NOA, to campaign

“Encourage and resource the National Orientation Agency and the Federal Ministry of Information to begin a structured strategic communication and orientation campaign, using all available media channels and platforms to promote peaceful coexistence and national unity;

“Support for the creation of local security committees in all 774 local government areas. This panel should include traditional rulers, religious institutions, and local opinion leaders.  This should be managed by the NPF as part of its community policing mandate;

“The use and development of grazing reserves and ranching should be pursued in lower population areas. Pilot schemes should commence immediately in all states that are positively disposed to it.

“Strengthen the judicial and law enforcement administration through a Digitisation initiative for the judiciary. This will speed up the administration of justice and reduce corruption. Swift administration of justice will help reduce causes of disaffection which feeds into insecurity.

“Strengthen and instruct widespread use of the centralized national criminal database by the NPF and mandate access for other security agencies, providing resources to ensure this can be done. This should also include the modernization of the national fingerprint database.

“The NSA in collaboration with civil security agencies should identify, map, and arrest cult group leaders, violent agitators, and networks of criminal groups at tertiary education level as well as society at large.

The House of Representatives yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently consider the use of private defense contractors for targeted security operations against insurgency and terrorism in the country.

This was one of the 19 recommendations made by the Special Committee on National Security whose report was submitted to the President on the day.

Following the escalation of insecurity in the country, it will be recalled that the House convoked a summit last month to help find lasting solutions to the menace.

The report of the committee laid before the House on July 8, 2021, was considered in the Committee of the Whole yesterday.

Moving the motion for its consideration, the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, said a large number of Nigerians from different backgrounds and experiences were consulted on the matter to make inputs.

‘Use private defence contractors’

“Give immediate consideration to the use of private defence contractors for targeted security operations to combat insurgency and terrorism especially,” the House recommended in the report submitted to the President last night.

The House also recommended that a special team of 40,000 Police Mobile Unit officers undergo special training to improve their capacity in dealing with insecurity issues.

It also recommended that 1,000 of the officers be deployed to every state for immediate operations, stressing that the North-East, South-West and South-East could receive the officers remaining out of the 40,000 men.

The Green Chamber also urged the Federal Government to deploy early warning systems nationwide, including installation of CCTV cameras and other surveillance, satellite and electronic equipment along major highways, public places, and major cities and the borders.

‘Set up local security c’ttees in all LGs’

It  called for the creation of local security committees in all 774 local government areas to be managed by the Nigerian Police Force as part of its community policing mandate. 

According to the House, the panel should include traditional rulers, religious institutions, and local opinion leaders.

The law-makers also recommended that use and development of grazing reserves and ranching be pursued in lower population areas, saying that pilot schemes should commence immediately in all states positively disposed to it.

The document containing the recommendations read: “Instruct the immediate enhanced training for the Police Mobile Unit to improve their capacity to deal with insecurity.

“A special team of 40,000 Police Mobile Unit officers should undergo this special training. 1,000 should then be deployed to every state for immediate operations. North East, South West, South East can receive the officers remaining out of the 40,000.

“Create a new team under the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, to train and work with the guards of Nigeria’s forests. This unit will collaborate with the current Forest Guards who will remain under the control of states

“Encourage the intelligence agencies (working with the National Security Adviser and the Chief of Defence Staff) to initiate a screening and vetting program of all frontline officers of the military to fish out moles and double-agents who have so far compromised most efforts at combating insecurity and win the war against insurgents and terrorists

“Strategically, the Executive should initiate a Presidential Police Reform initiative that will be resident in one central place within the Presidency. Also, an operational specialised unit should be established within the NPF to champion and drive all the change initiatives (based on a Presidential Policing Reform Roadmap) from within the institution.

“Direct the use of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund to procure some of the immediate equipment need by the rank-and-file police officers in Nigeria. This intervention will include the procurement of modern critical equipment for the Nigeria Police Force as specified by the leadership of the NPF.

“Give immediate consideration to the use of private defence contractors for targeted security operations to combat insurgency and terrorism especially.

“Urge the Executive to use all means at its disposal (while legislation is pending) to create a protocol that will compel intelligence (as a matter of necessity) sharing among all security agencies.

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