How To End Boko Haram Attacks – ACF

Boko Haram The North’s premier socio-political organisation, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), has listed ways out of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Boko Haram (western education is a sin), whose attacks have led to the death of thousands of people and paralysed economic activities in Borno and Yobe states, last month offered to talk with the government.

As the government weighs the option presented by the group to facilitate the talks, the ACF has raised a 10-point solution to the insurgency.

The Forum demanded that all those arrested on suspicion of committing any offence relating to security challenges in the region should be investigated and prosecuted “without undue delay”.

It asked Federal and state governments that had raised committees and panels on security challenges in the North to implement the recommendations of such committees without immediately.

Besides, the ACF is seeking the adoption of the United Nations (UN) ratio of one policeman to 400 citizens in the country.

The ACF called for the removal of immunity clause in the 1999 Constitution to make the President and governors more transparent and efficient.

The suggestions are contained in a 19-page “Roadmap for peace, unity and development of Nigeria.”.

The roadmap, exclusively obtained by The Nation, was submitted to the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, by ACF Chairman Alhaji Aliko M. Mohammed.

The ACF said: “Operatives of intelligence and security agencies must be given adequate training and retraining on a continuous basis. They must be well-equipped and motivated.

“There should be a complete and purposeful reorganisation and reorientation of the Police to make (a) the beat constable more efficient and effective;(b) the investigator to exercise independence, professionalism and efficiency in order to achieve good results(c) members of the Police Force themselves to respect the human rights of citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.

“Ensure proper screening of the background of all prospective police recruits using police apparatus and traditional institutions i.e. ward, village and district heads, Emirate Council and similar outfits in other parts of the country.

“Continuously screen the existing manpower of security agencies, weed out the unfit and train and continuously retrain.

“The procedure laid down for military take-over from the police during civil unrest or disorder should be revised and strictly adhered to. The current practice of deploying the military too frequently on police duties should be discouraged. All such deployments should be given adequate legal cover.

“Those arrested on suspicion of committing an offence should be investigated properly and prosecuted without undue delay.

“Government should undertake total reform of the criminal justice system in order to achieve speedy dispensation of justice.

“There is continuing debate about the desirability of “State Police” but this should be avoided as we are still not politically mature enough to ensure that it is not abused.

“In the wake of rising wave of rising security challenges across the country, the Federal and state governments raised various committees and panels to investigate and recommend ways of addressing the problems. Governments are urged to as much as possible implement the recommendations of these panels without further delay to sustain the public confidence in such committees.

“The Police Council, in conjunction with the Inspector-General of Police, should work out an establishment for the Force, based on the United Nations ratio one policeman to 400 citizens The distribution of the agreed figure should be made on pro-rata basis.

“Thereafter, other factors, such as industrialization, crime wave, sophistication and so on should be taken into consideration to determine deployment to the states.

“Statistics should show the manpower contribution by each state to the Federal Police and, if any state exhausts its quota, no recruitment should be made from that state until vacancy occurs.

“This will enhance the sense of belonging and provide opportunity for employment of qualified citizens in the North. It will also check the dominance of the police by a section of the country.

“State governors should therefore closely monitor the recruitment of their citizens in the Police.”

Besides security challenges, the ACF called for the removal of the immunity clause from the 1999 Constitution to enable the president and governors be more transparent and efficient.

The roadmap said: “Political leaders must show greater openness and accountability. The most serious impediment to the realization of the goals of peace, security and development is corruption, which fosters bad governance. Bad governance leads to all sorts of evil; treasury looting, misplacement of priorities, nepotism, injustice and distortion of national ideals and moral values.

“There is noticeable disconnect in the country between the citizens and governments at all levels. As a result of rampant corruption, there is also noticeable dwindling of resources available to governments. More positive impact will be made by governments in people’s welfare, if leaders take concrete steps to eliminate corruption at all levels.

“The immunity clause in the constitution, which is intended to allow governors and the President to do their work unhindered, has become a cover behind which some hide to drain the treasury with impunity. This clause should be expunged from the Constitution.

“No group is so pampered by the corrupt Nigerian environment, is so protected from the consequences of their actions and so compensated for their inadequacies than political office holders. As a result, politics seems to be the only thriving in the North. Good governance needs to be enthroned to reverse this ugly trend.”

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