Saturday, May 11, 2013

Current insecurity worse than civil war period – Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar says the insecurity in Nigeria today is worse than the Nigeria Civil War, which lasted for three years.

Atiku said on Friday that the situation was made worse because of the lack of attention to security of lives and property by the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration.
The former vice-president, in an interview with the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored in Kaduna on Friday, noted that when he was in government, much attention was given to security unlike now when the security agents were not provided with the necessary equipment to work.
According to Atiku, based on his suggestion while in government, they were able to recruit 50,000 policemen on a monthly basis to meet with the best international standard.
He noted with regrets that today, security agents were neither trained nor equipped with the right materials to work with.
He said, “All you see today are security men with guns, which should not be the case.”
He said the kind of sophistication emerging today in respect to the security challenges would be hard to tackle because the money meant for the purpose had been allegedly stolen.
Atiku said, “To tell the truth, all through my lifetime in Nigeria, I have never witnessed such a deteriorating state of security like what is happening now, it has surpassed even what happened when we fought the civil war.
“But there are reasons for that; first, our governments could not pay attention to the issue of security; secondly, issues of security now are different from what obtained in the past.
“Before, we had different categories of security agents; we had those at the federal level, at the state level and those at the local government level. But within the past few years, you know, this arrangement has been collapsed into one.
“But with the kind of sophistication that is emerging, unless those who understand it are engaged, it will be difficult to resolve all these problems about insecurity.”
“They are unable to pay attention, especially in releasing money for security and training of security agents and buying of security gadgets for the agents to use in the protection of lives and property.
“This money is stolen; in fact, they steal this money….if not, why are we not seeing improvements? We don’t see the security agents today with the gadgets that are necessary for them to work with, we don’t see that.
“In Nigeria, the only thing you see security agents holding is a gun. A gun is not the only thing a security agent should have, there are many other gadgets.
“There is a difference between what obtains now and what obtained when we were in power. I remember when we were in power; I told the President that the number of policemen in the country was not commensurate with the population.
“The President at that time allowed me to be recruiting about 50,000 policemen every month. We started recruiting them for about two years, and I bought working equipment for the police. But after two years, it was stopped. So, you shouldn’t accuse us. During our tenure, the situation had not deteriorated the way it is now.”

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