Edo State security readiness and Nigeria threat level myth or reality?

Posted by Temitope Olodo | 28 September 2016 | 3,274 times

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When Seun Okinbaloye of Channels TV asked the Edo State Commissioner of Police the threat level in the state; he was expecting the senior police officer to be familiar with the recent five thematic under the revamped NACTEST.

However, the response from the Edo State Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, is an issue of concern because it further reveals that Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria security leadership are still stuck in the 19th Century concept of security management, which focuses largely on physical security with occasional sprinkle of popular security phrases of soft security initiative to create an appearance of effective containment strategy that does not exist in reality.

The  National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) lauched the NACTEST a few weeks ago that embed the threat level formula to be adopted across the country.

According to the Coordinator of Counter Terrorism Centre (CTC), Commodore Yem Musa, the “National Terrorism Levels” document will guide MDAs and security agencies on measures to be taken on receipt of information on likely terrorist attacks.

Commodore Musa went further to say that the document outline the alert levels and the actions to be carried out when a terrorism alert level is declared at 5-levels including: 

1. Critical (Red) – Attack is imminent; 

2. Severe (Orange) – Attack is highly likely; 

3. Substantial (Yellow) – Attack is a strong possibility; 

4. Moderate (Blue) – Attack is possible but not likely; and 

5. Low (Green) – Attack is unlikely.

Edo State election was initially cancelled on grounds of likely terrorist threat and anyone within the security circle would assume at least the Edo State Commissioner of Police is familiar with the NACTEST Strategy and the different threat levels.

You can lead a horse to water but you can't force it to drink. 

I recently called on the National Security Adviser to create an implementation unit within the ONSA to ensure the revamped NACTEST Strategy is embedded across Nigeria security infrastructure.

The NSA needs to inject effective Nigeria security consultants within Nigeria security infrastructure if indeed The Presidency is serious about achieving great result on public safety and boosting public confidence on security.

The Edo State Commissioner of Police seems to believe that physical security is the best way to tackle Election Security; a strategy that is completely outdated now when it is not complemented by intelligence and technology.

Election Violence is a concept widely researched with many practical initiatives available to Nigeria security leadership to explore and localise. However, it does appear that enough is done to contain election insecurity, which is the reason I suggested the idea of creating a 'Commissioner of Police for Election Management' to handle election security issues from now so that by 2019, Nigeria would be prepared to improve on the provision of a freer and fairer election.

Mr. Gwandu kept talking on the deployment of 25,000 security personnel, the operational plan and use of chopper. However, he failed to recognise that effective election policing in the 21st  Century needs to focus on strategic relocation of security assets for outstanding results.

Ask anyone residing in Edo State today and across the local government areas; they will point out the political thugs known or associated with political violence.

Such people should have been picked up and a lot of approved search warrant executed across the state to seize illegal weapons etc

There are hotspots known to security agencies based on security mapping in the past that would require more focus, usage of drones for gathering intelligences etc.

Until we adopt a serious approach to risk management and implementation of the NACTEST strategy then the outcome would continue to be insecurity.

•Temitope Olodo, whose photo appears alongside this piece, is a Preventive Terrorism Expert, Author and Chair of Nigeria Diaspora Security Forum based in the UK.

Source: News Express

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