Nigeria’s former National Security Adviser, General Aliyu Gusau (rtd), has called for a review of the country’s security strategy, saying that the current centralized policing system is ineffective and unsustainable.
Gusau, who also served as the Minister of Defence, made the remark at the launch of the Askarawa security outfit in Zamfara State on Wednesday. The outfit, which consists of local vigilantes and hunters, is aimed at complementing the efforts of the security agencies in tackling the menace of banditry and other crimes in the state.
He said Nigeria is difficult to secure because of its large population of 223.8 million and a diverse terrain covering 923,768 square kilometers.
“Expecting a single police force to patrol and control such a large and complex nation effectively is a very tall order indeed,” he said.
Gusau lamented the security crisis in the country, “as innocent lives are lost daily to terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and cultism and other vices.”
He added that the perpetrators act with impunity, while the additional deployment of the military to hotspots has not achieved the desired results.
He commended the Zamfara State Government for initiating the Askarawa security outfit, saying that it would enhance the security of the state and its people. He urged other states to emulate the example and create their own security outfits to address their specific security challenges.
Gusau stressed the need for greater inter-agency collaboration, as well as cooperation between the government, the private sector and the citizens, in order to achieve a lasting solution to the security problem.
“The time has come for Nigerians to rethink the security strategy in the best way possible and in the interest of the country,” he noted.