By Emmanuel Udom
Stakeholders and members of the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have identified key areas where urgent attention is needed to stem the tide against emerging security challenges in the Southwest region of the country.
According to the stakeholders and CSOs, top on the challenging areas are: increasing rate of unemployment, farmers-herders conflicts, cultism, control and ownership of markets and motor parks.
The challenging areas were identified Monday during the Emerging Security Challenges meeting in the Southwest organised by Centre for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN) Foundation.
Bukola Idowu one of the speakers at the event said communal clashes, impunity by cyber criminals as well as religious intolerance are also factors responsible to threat of security in the region.
Also, Okechukwu Nwanguma, the Executive Director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), said the use of state violence and repressive law enforcement approaches and clamping down on citizens exercising their constitution rights to freedom of expression constitutes part of the security challenges facing the region.
Nwanguma, however suggests that “there is need for government to address the socio-economic root cause and other risk factors of crime while ensuring social justice and equity as well as the monitoring of corruption especially in the security sector and the creation of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive,” this he said would help reduce crime rate in the region.
Tosin Osasuna suggested that improved conflict resolution mechanism, active promotion of community engagements and effective policing of communities as well as massive investment in socio-economic development are some of the steps that should be taken by state governments in the region to reduce crime.
Mrs Rita Ilevbare added that governors should allow unrestricted access to information on their day-to-day dealings in view of the Freedom of Information (FOI) and broaden their social security schemes to include the youths who constitute a larger percentage of unemployed persons in the region.
At the federal level, Bukola Idowu called on the government to address the issue of resource control, urgent reform of the police as well as the judicial system with the view of restructuring both agencies for an effective service delivery.