Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) was host to academics, practitioners, security agencies, etc. at the conference on 'Gaps in security sector reform & governance: Possible contributions of CSOs & non-traditional security actors'. The conference was held in Abuja between the 28th and 29th of July, 2021. Some of the participants are:
*Dr. Daniel Mann - FES Resident Representative
*Brig-Gen Saleh Bala - White Ink Institute for Strategy, Education & Research (WISER)
*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adamawa University of Technology, Yola
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Conflict Transformation Strategist, Abuja
*Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo - CEO, NextierSPD, Abuja
*Dr. Iro Aghedo - Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan
*Dr. Wilson Ijide - Institute of Security Studies, University of Ibadan
*Dr. (Col) Ademola Lawal - Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD)
*Dr. Julie Sanda - National Defense College (NDC), Abuja
*Prof. E.R. Aiyede - University of Ibadan
*Dr. Freedom Onuoha - University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN)
*Mrs. Bukola Adelehin - UN Women
The major sub-themes were:
*Nigeria's security architecture for the future
*Non-state security sector in Nigeria: Trends & challenges
*Inclusive participation in Nigeria's security sector: trends & opportunities
*Institutional capacity of Nigeria's security sector
*Policing, police & the feasibility of their reform in Nigeria
*Towards an accountable security sector in Nigeria
My major intervention was during the session on 'Institutional capacity & capability of Nigeria's security sector'. I agreed with the author, Dr. Wilson Ijide that:
*Ability predicts performance
*Under-performance leads to systemic failure
*Comprehensive reform requires capacity/capacity building, good governance, etc.
*Capacity & capability are affected by insufficient funding, workforce challenges, obsolete equipment, corruption, poor security sector governance, over-centralisation of the security sector, over-lapping agency functions, etc
As a result, I suggested that we need a broad-based SSR that embraces professionalism, effective and efficient legislative oversight, synergistic relationship between state police-LG police-community police-traditional security actors-NGOs, etc. Such a beneficial relationship would propel the gathering of credible local intelligence, which would form the basis of Early Warning and possibly Early Response (EWER). There should also be some affiliation between specific groups like Amotekun (SW Nigeria) and Ebubeagu (SE Nigeria) and Community Police.
I also advised that there should be the strategic deployment of relevant Artificial Intelligence (AI), beyond drones, for effective Community Policing. Besides, the various types of security challenges like kidnapping, terrorism, rural banditry, etc. need to be unpacked for thorough analysis. There should be less talk and more action by the security agencies. For example, it is unnecessary to announce the types of equipment newly acquired to fight terrorists. Let the results tell us how effective the security agencies have been at decimating the ranks of the terrorists...
There should be adequate training in conflict reporting so that such reportage does not fuel more conflict. While looking into the gaps in the security sector in Nigeria, we need to pay close attention to what's happening in the Lake Chad region where the other three countries - Niger, Chad & Cameroun are neck deep in similar security challenges...