Olalekan Jackson-Ojo is a security expert, and certified golden member of international security association Switzerland, a fellow of the International Institute of Professional Security in Nigeria, member of International Profession Officers Florida USA, and an award winner, outstanding security personality of the year 2016, 2017 and 2018 and many others.
In this interview with DAILY POST, he analysed the major issues undermining the security in Nigeria and the solution. EXCERPTS:
Being a security expert, how can you describe the present level insecurity in the country?
The deaf can hear, the blind can see, the lame can run a speed now because of the security situation in Nigeria. The security situation in Nigeria is what has collapsed already. Just on Wednesday, it was on the news that a school was raided by some gunmen in Niger State. Children were kidnapped on several taxes.
It has been happening like that. When the lives of Nigerians of tomorrow are no longer safe in a school, that is to say, that we are trying to collapse the future of this country. When there is nobody to take the part of leadership tomorrow, because of lack of security affecting the mentality of the children, that is traumatizing them against education, so what are they talking about?
In the last two years, about 200 persons have been killed in Delta State, they have kidnapped more than 2000 persons that their destination is unknown now.
This has been happening in Zamfara State, Sokoto State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Benue State and has been happening in some Yoruba land. So, when it started from the northeast, it carried its ugly head to the northwest and the north-central, from the north-central to the south of the east, south of the south and now south of the west, which has been the most peaceful, secured, convenient and comfortable place to stay in Nigeria before, but it is not like that again.
How can the Federal Government go about solving the insecurity issues?
People like us have suggested that there must be security submit that will consist of security experts, traditional rulers, retired and serving police and military officers, retired directors of the SSS, NIA, but nobody is listening to this. And when the security of a nation collapses, the social-political, social-economic, religious part of that country will collapse. Without security, nothing works. Nigeria today is in danger, with the level of things, there are still a lot of signals, but nobody is thinking of a way out.
In my security training, both at home and abroad – my security exposures, the issue of security is not done in the pages of the newspaper, it is not done on the radio, it is not done on TV. The enemies are in the line of monitoring the news, So by the time you are providing solutions, it is like you are releasing your secrets into the hands of your enemies. Then they will destabilize you and demobilize you.
Why do you think some of the suggestions in the dailies by the experts will not work?
For me, the best way is for a clandestine security summit, that even the government will not be able to announce it to the public. They will just get the contact of those people they want to invite for the summit and they would be meeting clandestinely. At the end of the day, they would submit their paper to the government, then the National security adviser and the security chiefs, what I meant by security chiefs is the director of SSS, director-general of PIA, NIA.
They will do a serious study and advise the President. And you know by the time you announce it to the public, the political class will hijack it and will sponsor their eavesdroppers to join. Before the holistic study, when recommendations are made to the President, these other people are already using it to deflate the tire of the vehicle of security progress.
What is your view on the recent comment of the governor of Bauchi state Alhaji Mohammed saying Fulani herdsmen to defend themselves by carrying AK47?
Mohammed opened his mouth and I see it as a cancerous mouth, to say that the Fulani herdsmen have the right to carry AK47. That means this man does not know the custom of Nigeria. AK47 is permitted to be carried by government security forces only; it is not registered that any individual, no matter who you are in Nigeria, to carry AK47. It is not a soft weapon, but a sophisticated one. It is against the law and as a matter of fact, anyone carrying AK47 when he is not a government security official should be arrested and prosecuted immediately, because he or she is a criminal.
It is not something you can just go to the market and buy, it is not what Inspector General of Police can register for you. All these guns are not for personal protection. Even a military general cannot carry an AK47 when he is not on official duty, the chief of army staff cannot parade an AK47.
If Mohammed is trying to enact a new law that permits Fulani herdsmen to carry AK47, then the farmers in Imesi Ile, in Osun State should also carry AK47 for self-defence against the Fulani herdsmen and Okada Riders have the same right to parade with AK47 against armed robbers, every school teacher against the hoodlums that are coming to kidnap their students. That is going to affect national security further because it is an encouragement now for the Fulani herdsmen to even do worse.
What’s your response to eviction notice by the Sunday Igboho and Governor Rotimi Akeredolu?
When the people stop having confidence in the state, they will take to self-defence because the law becomes lame, inactive.
When herdsmen continue to rape, kill, kidnap and collect the ransom and still kill, and no government is showing a high level of no concern. To me, many other Sunday Igboho will still come up if this attitude of these people continues. So the government should show responsibility.
In this government, every good thing in government is designed for a section of a country, it is as good as nepotism. Let us take EFCC as a case study, when Obasanjo appointed Nuru Ribadu, it was purely based on merit and then Obasanjo is a Yoruba man.
What is your general message to Nigerians on security?
Security, they used to say, is a business of everybody, with the level of insecurity we are facing in the country today, if we allow it to control our emotions then we will act wrongly. But at this stage, it is very manageable, I want to urge all Nigerian to be law-abiding in peace, they should not take the law into their hands, that is the only way that can help us.
Let us be brothers and sisters, let us live together in peace and unity. If the government fails us, we must not fail ourselves, that is my good advice for everybody across the country.
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