Single police force for Nigeria unreasonable, says former NSA

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Former national security adviser (NSA), Major Gen Aliyu Gusau (retd) says it is a “very tall order” to expect a single police force to effectively manage a nation like Nigeria.

Gusau spoke on Wednesday during the graduation ceremony of the Zamfara state community protection guards in Gusau.

In October 2023, Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara, inaugurated the steering committee for the establishment of the community protection guards.

The committee was tasked to develop ways for the establishment of the community protection guards and recommend how to recruit personnel into the outfit.

The graduation ceremony was attended by governors of states in the north-west zone and other government officials in Zamfara.

Gusau said the time has come for a rethinking of the security strategy of the country.

“With an estimated population of 223.8 million, and a diverse terrain covering 923,768 square kilometres, Nigeria is a difficult country to secure,” he said.

“Therefore, expecting a single police force to patrol and control such a large and complex nation effectively is a very tall order indeed. Time has come for us to rethink this strategy in the best interest of our country.

“Currently, innocent lives are lost daily as terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, organized crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and cultism become the order of the day in theatres across Nigeria.”

The former NSA commended the Zamfara government for establishing the outfit to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police Force.

He added that security is a “community effort” noting that everybody must work together to achieve the goal of a secure environment.

“I would also like to call on the conventional security organisations to provide the best of their support and cooperation for the success of this initiative,” Gusau said.

“The guards are meant to support you in achieving your primary responsibility of protecting lives and property.

“You are, therefore, implored to make use of this organization and engage them in your various security operations, such as intelligence gathering and response to attacks, among others.”

Before he retired from the service, Gusau served in different capacities in the Nigerian Army.

He once served as the chief of army staff, minister of defense, and also national security adviser under the administrations of Ibrahim Babangida, Olusegun Obasanjo, and Goodluck Jonathan.