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EDITORIAL

shooing out destabilising foreign security agencies from Nigeria

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THE federal government, last Tuesday, showed the exit door to all private security agencies and their owners operating in the country.

THE move came as a result of their alleged involvement in aiding insurgency and militancy across the country. Before making the decision, which sources say is aimed at reducing the rate of security breaches in the country, government claimed that several reports at its disposal showed that some of the private security agencies  encourage and equip some of the militia groups across country. This has made control of the activities of the radical armed groups very difficult.

ACCORDING to the Commandant General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, who made the revelation in Kaduna during the Managing Directors/Chief Executive Officers Parley, organised by the Kaduna Chapter of Association of Licenced Private Security Practitoners of Nigeria (ALPSN), the action was necessary to curb the growing instances of   arms proliferation in the country, especially during the election period.

THE NSCDC helmsman, who was represented by the Assistant Commander General, Helen Amakiri, said that a new regulations document was being designed to address  the lacuna in the 1986 Private Guard Companies (PGC) Act which he said had become obsolete.

ALHAJI Muhammadu said: “Luckily, Section 35 of that Act empowers the Minister of Interior to make regulations. So, as the regulator of the industry; we asked the permission of the minister, which is the chief regulator to formulate regulations that will address all the lacuna in the Act, that has become obsolete, and that we have done.

“SO WE now have an up-to-date document called, Private Security Regulation 2018 that can be used to regulate the industry and upgrade it to where we want it to be. It has been gazetted by the Federal Government Press.

“THE regulation will stamp out illegal operators including and even foreign operators. The PGC Act says, no foreign operator should be allowed to own a Security Company in Nigeria. Not only that, the new regulation has gone further to say that no foreigner should own, be a director or operative a Private Security Company in Nigeria.

HE WENT  further to say: “We don’t want foreigners in private security industry in Nigeria. The reason is that, we have been receiving intelligence reports that these foreign operators and their directors aid and abate terrorism and insurgency, as well as militancy, especially in the Niger Delta and North East of Nigeria”.

HE HOWEVER challenged Nigerian Private Security Operators to make use of the new regulation to upgrade in their practices and follow the guidelines to be able to fill the vacuum created by the exit of their foreign counterparts

WE SUPPORT  the government’s direction because of its goal  of security in Nigeria. We also agree with the NSCDC boss. The step strike as overtly good and should be applauded by all Nigerians. The general elections is around the corner and the country needs to control the activities of the foreign private security operators and their Nigerian counterparts to reduce the rate at which weapons are being imported into the country.

THERE has been allegations and counter allegations by some political parties especially the two biggest ones, APC and PDP of stock-pilling of weapons to undo each other in the extreme quest to win the approaching elections.

ALTHOUGH the allegations have always been vehemently denied by the fingered actors, the fact that there is no rumour without an element of truth makes us call for more keenness on internal security. Showing the foreign private security agencies the exit door is just not enough. The Police and security agencies must be alert to their responsibilities to ensure that such allegations are thoroughly investigated and the actors brought to book notwithstanding whose ox is gored.

NO SERIOUS country leaves her borders open and gives all manner of foreign private security operatives chance to have a field day. A lot more must be done to checkmate their activities especially now that they have been asked to leave. The possibility that they may connive with their local counterparts with the active backing of some unscrupulous politicians to cause security breaches in the country, before, during and after the elections can not be ruled out.

WE NOTE that the issue goes beyond making good laws or policies to curb the issue of proliferation of arms and ammunition. The ability to implement them is where the problem lies. Security agencies must purge themselves of the tendency to collect bribes and allow security breaches to go unabated.

FINALLY, it is the firm belief of National Light that for the new policy to work effectively and achieve the set goal, its implementation and compliance of relevant agencies and authority must be total.

FOR insurgency and militancy to be reduced to their lowest ebb, the  Police and military must be on top of their job. Although they have performed creditably well so far, a lot is being expected from them to protect the lives and properties of Nigerians which is their primary assignment. The federal government, on their side must do the needful by providing the military with adequate equipment and for them to win the war against insurgency and militancy, else banning foreign security operatives will achieve nothing. The system whereby the insurgents and militants operate with more sophisticated weapons than the military after all the huge allocations for defense is unacceptable.

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