…seeks integration of military veterans in securing Abuja
Residents in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the aegis of Neighbourhoods, Estates, and Residents Association of Abuja Forum (NERAAF) have decried the prevailing security threats in the nation’s capital, and have resolved to take action to tackle insecurity.
This concern was raised at the 1st Abuja Residents Town hall & Security Summit with the theme: ‘The Cost of Inaction, Bridging the Gaps’, which is designed to enable Abuja residents, businesses, and stakeholders to identify, discuss and resolve issues as it affects their daily lives. The meeting which held on Monday was organised by NERAAF.
Speaking at the Forum, the Chief Imam, National Assembly Legislative quarters’ mosque , Sheikh Muhammed Nuru Khalid, noted that Abuja is the capital city of the most populous black nation, and hence must be peaceful. He, however said the security personnel ate inadequate in the country and urged residents to take responsibility.
“Abuja is very important. If we create a united capital, by extension we are creating a united nation. This is because all governors come to Abuja and every Nigeria have desire of coming to Abuja and as such we need security. Security forces needs our help, security of Abuja is our own business, our own duty.
The Islamic cleric also advised estates and neighbourhoods to create a social media platform for effective communication and quick response to emergencies. To ensure social cohesion , he urged residents to tolerate one another and live in love.
In her remarks, Brigadier-general Christy Thomas, vice president, Games village estate association listed drug abuse, and weak security architecture as some of the challenges in estates and Abuja neighbourhood. They urged residents to be vigilant, take out time to know their neighbours in order to spot any security threat.
She advised estates and neighbourhoods to organise social events such as sports festivals to build social cohesion and unity, as part of efforts to curb insecurity.
On his part, Air Vice Marshall Gbolahan Adekunle (rtd), former Chief of Training and Operations , Nigeria Air Force (NAF) pointed out that the lack of social cohesion is part of the reasons that gave rise to boko haram terrorism in Nigeria. “It is more of a social problem that was allowed to go haywire,” he said.
According to the retired military personnel , “Residents have a responsibility to play routine sensitization of residents on security measures. But most people don’t know their neighbours, even in the estate, no contact whatsoever, for a country dealing with insurgency. If we looked after each other’s interest we may have presented Boko haram insurgency.”
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, Retired Members of Nigerian Armed Forces Commander Abiodun Durowaiye-Herberts (rtd) called for the engagement of military veterans in communities. He said military veterans can bring their wealth of experience on intelligence gathering, among others in tackling security issues in the nation’s capital.
“We don’t take advantage of retired veterans. We must not take this segment of the society for granted. It is very important that we identify, and get them engaged. For instance, if you live in an estate or community, it is important that we locate them, recognise them and give them responsibility. That way, we would be able to curb the menace of insecurity within our environment. Unfortunately, we are not talking about that,” he said.