Offa robbery attack: Saraki calls for improved security architecture
SENATE President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has called for improvement in the security architecture and infrastructure in the country to ensure adequate response to raging security challenges in parts of the country.
Speaking when he paid a condolence visit to the Olofa of Offa, Oba Mohammed Mufutau Gbadamosi, in Offa, Offa local government area of Kwara state on the recent robbery incident in the town, Senator Saraki said that the issue of security in the country requires a very radical and serious-minded approach.
It is recalled that daredevil armed robbers on Thursday last week raided five banks and police station in the community, killing over 20 people and looting undisclosed sum of money in the attack.
“All the issue had to do with how we improve our
security infrastructure. It is clear that we are not responding adequately to this. That is why we organized a security summit sometimes ago to address the issue and to work closely with the executive and see how can find a solution to the security problems in the country.
“We on the legislative arm are ready to come up with the real design to improve on the security challenges, whether it is the human resources, equipment, whether it has to do with funding and legislation. There is also the issue of the actual structure of the police.
“This issue requires a very radical and serious-minded approach. Unless we address this we will continue to have this kind of scenario where a bunch of criminals will hold a town for two hours and carry out this mayhem. There is no society that will really allow this kind of thing to happen.
“We condole with the families of both the civilians and the policemen that died during the incident. In a place like Offa that is very vibrant in commerce, we must address security challenge so that people
can continue to carry out their normal activities.
“The police must see this as an institutional issue. It is not personal. On our part as legislators, we are ready to do anything that will empower them.”
Speaking on the question of inviting the military to assist police in crime fighting, the Senate President said “there is no society that delegates the responsibilities of the police to that of the military. Because it also has its own fallbacks; the number of the military is very thin.
They are in most of the states of the federation. This makes it difficult for them to protect the territorial integrity of the country.”
Also speaking, Oba Gbadamosi expressed the need for the establishment of state police.
“It will be better for the Federal Government to establish state police. With that, they will be closer to the people and to the state government. This is the fourth time that we will experience in the last 10 years.
“One of the major problems of the police force is inadequate manpower. We discover that in Offa local government area where the number of policemen is not up to 50. Anytime we have something like this there will be no reinforcement anywhere. So what we need is manpower. The state government can afford to buy us armoured personnel carrier (APC), it can afford to build more police station but if the manpower is not there it is not enough.
“What the Federal Government needs to do is to employ as many graduates as police looking for jobs into the police force, Army, Air Force and the Navy. There is a lot of unemployed graduates that are ready to join these military and para-military forces. There is no security at all in the country. If you were here on that fateful day you will know what I am saying.
“I don’t want to believe that it is a question of sophisticated weapons; it is the question of ‘we cannot go there because we are not enough.’ What they have the military and the police have, but when
they are more than the police in number, what can the police do.
“We have always been involving local security, but you know these criminals when they come they always catch people unawares. There is risk attached to the use of local hunters because, by the time we get them involved because of a day like this, the police will arrest them and say they are carrying dane guns.”