By Myke Uzendu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has pushed for the deployment of technology to curb the activities of bandits having field days in different party’s of the country.
The party further said that going by the heightened insecurity in the country, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Sheik Isa Pantami should have been relieved of his duties as his teaching may have led to the radicalization of several Nigerian youths.
The National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus made the demand on Monday in Abuja during a World Press Conference to mark the World Press Freedom day at the party’s National Headquarters in Abuja.
Secondus challenges the Federal government to live up to it’s responsibility by tracking and dealing with the criminals squarely. He said that since Seik Gumi was able to engage the bandits at different occasions, the federal government through its security agencies should be able to smoke them out and bring them to Justice.
He said, ”We call for the deployment of technology in the fight against terror, banditry, and other crimes. The PDP demands that all culprits should be brought to book. The apparent failure of intelligence to track attacks by bandits and follow up on them is a clear failure of the intelligence community. The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited NIGCOMSAT, established many years ago by a PDP administration, is designed for this purpose”.
The party said that to successfully curtail the escalating Insecurity in the country, the establishment of State Police is a sine qua none.
“We call on all citizens to support the quest for state police as is the tradition in other federations. Mindful of the current plethora of vigilante in various parts of the country, which have not been enabled to carry out all the elements of effective policing, we call on the governors of the 36 states, the leadership and members of the National Assembly, the Speakers of the State Assemblies, relevant agencies of government, to occasion a summit for a one-stop shop regarding the creation, structure, and management of state police.
“In spite of the concerns over state police, it is doubtful that 36 state police services can be easily overwhelmed, as is the case now with the unitary police. Besides, any challenges can be addressed through legislative framework to make abuse extremely difficult, if not impossible”.
The party boss reiterated that there must be synergy and cooperation among the armed services, strategically and operationally.
“There is no reason a theatre Commander should not have within his control the deployment of the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy in his operational area” he said.
He suggested that states where matters of national security challenges originate or exist should be invited to the National Security Council Meeting for deliberation and problem-solving interactions.
“We call for the creation of National Boarders Protection Force to secure our borders. This will include an integrated border protection system that will draw personnel and equipment from existing armed service and Immigration
“We cannot continue to watch while terrorist and bandits continue to levy war on our nation, through our porous borders. This borders force should be equipped with reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, prevention, and enforcement. It should therefore have air, sea, and land capability”.
While restating the willingness of the opposition party to work with the present administration to curb banditry, Secondus added, “All culprits, who have levied war on Nigeria, should be brought to book.
“It is unfathomable that several mass kidnappings have been successfully staged with the culprits not being held to account. It is a shameful irony that a few bandit leaders that have been taken out were killed by rival gangs and not our security agencies”.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari should begin to engage the citizens directly, address the nation on the escalating tension in the land that is pushing the nation farther to the tips of precipice.
“It is serious political malpractice, for Mr. President to stand aloof, say nothing, do nothing and simply wish that the problems will somehow go away. It is a great disservice to the Nigerian people for Mr. President to abandon his presidential duties to two media handlers who resort to issuing meaningless and annoying Press Statements.
“Enough of trivialising governance and trifling with the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of the Nigerian people” Secondus warned.
The conference was attended by members of the National Working Committee including Taraba State governor, Arc. Darius Ishaku, former Senate Presidents Adolphus Wabara and Bukola Saraki, former Minister of External Affairs, Tom Ikimi.
Others are Senate Minority leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, House Minority leader Ndudi Elumelu, House Deputy Minority leader Hon. Tobi Okechukwu and other stake holders.