The deployment of drones in the southwest to track down kidnappers and killers may fail, if there is no Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) to boost the intelligence gathering of the security agencies.
Mr. Sam Omatseye, the chairman of the editorial board of The Nation Newspaper, said the emasculation of the Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast by the military was made possible by the civilian JTF constituted by former Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima.
According to him, bombings and killings in the Northeast, particularly in Borno State could have persisted , but for fearlessness of the locals constituted into the JTF for robust intelligence gathering.
Omatseye, made the remarks yesterday while delivering a lecture entitled : ‘To Secure, First We Have. To Love: Herdsmen, Kidnappers, Boko Haram and the Climate of Fear’ , at the maiden edition of a public lecture organized by the Faculty of Arts, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti.
The ceremony also conferred honourary awards on Senator representing Ekiti South, Mr. Adedayo Adeyeye, a House of Representatives member, Mr Yemi Adaramodu, Alhaji Wale Sanusi, an ICT guru, Dr. Tope Agbeyo, Barr. Tope Adebayo and the guest lecturer, Mr. Sam Omoseye.
Omatseye, represented by the Obanla of Ijesa Isu Ekiti, Oba Gabriel Oso Adeniyi, charged all Nigerians to see the issue of security as everybody’s business and not the sole responsibility of the government and security agencies.
“With each afraid of the other, we can’t stop banditry, or herdsmen crisis, or even Boko Haram . We need a leadership of fairness and fearlessness.
“What did the former Borno governor, Kashim Shettima did to drive out Boko Haram among the people? they were civilian JTF . We need drones as intelligence when the military had failed us.
“We need to create civilian equivalents of the JTF in the southwest and other part of the country. The JTF can gather intelligence about the whereabouts of these killers, the drones can then monitor where exactly they are and the air Force can go to work.”
He added further: “On the military level , why are they not using drones to target and isolate and knock out hoodlums? Are they not human beings? Are they not living among us? Are they spirit?”, he asked.
On why the Herdsmen clashes and kidnapping might be difficult to resolve or get a permanent solution, Omatseye said : “Do we have the political will that will give us permanent peace to these crises? If we have the political will, then there will be peace, but otherwise, there won’t”, he stated.
Omatseye disagreed with the call by Prof Ango Abdullahi’s powered Northern Elders Forum (NEF) that all herders in the south should return to the Northern part of the country for safety.
“Sending herders away from the southwest or any other part of the south is not the solution. If they go, where would they be settled ? Where would the South getcow meat from?
“I believe we must learn how to coexist, but we must also build atmosphere of mutual trust for us to be able to benefit from each other”.
Earlier, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olubunmi Ajayi, said no society that puts value on human lives will underrate the menace of insecurity causing tension in the nation at present.
“This is an issue that bothers all the citizens of the nation regardless of race and tribes. So, it is the right issue to discuss”, she said.
She said the university education is a capital intensive venture that requires public-priave partnership for it to be able to pose as a real citadel of learning.
Prof Ajayi, assured that the management will continually gives support to faculties to expand the frontiers of social and academic interactions that would solve many societal problems and boost the intellectual capacities of the students and lecturers.