BY ERNEST PIUS
National Orientation Agency (NOA), engaged stakeholders in the security sector on fight against political thuggery, kidnapping, drug addiction and violent extremism as part of his efforts to promote peaceful co-existence, violence and crime free society.
The sensitization forum which has its theme “Building a secure and safer Nigeria for All; Take Responsibility” is in cognizance of alarming waves of security challenges, vandalism and drug abuse/addiction in some parts of the country.
In a communiqué issued by Chairman of the committee, Dr. Davidson Aminu and Secretariat, Saminu Dogo, observes that the incidence of political thuggery, Kidnapping and other violent acts in Nigeria has its roots in drug abuse/addiction. Drug addiction is a catalyst that propels individual to engage in violent acts, crimes and other social vices.
According to a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting: “Abuse of drug in Nigeria is a s result of decline in family value systems, that is, parents not playing their proper role in bringing up the child, social media influence, poverty and unemployment. Drug abuse has been known to lead to health challenges, social problems, morbidity, injuries, violence, death and road accidents.
“Federal government spends a whooping sum of N60 billion yearly to repair and maintain vandalized oil pipelines across the country. Vandalism is as a result of poor policing/protection of critical infrastructure, political sabotage, weak criminal justice system and culture of criminal impunity.
“Values are necessary for National Development. Nigerian polity is still very much characterized by moral decadence due to erosion of values. There is a strong relationship between values and National Security. The current state of insecurity in Nigeria is an indication of the need for value re-orientation.
“Youth Restiveness and violent extremism is attributed to unemployment, unengaged population growth, poverty and economic hardship, illiteracy, incitement, exclusion and sense of injustice, corruption as well as bad governance and failure of institutions. Push factors for youth restiveness include lack of socio-economic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance, violation of human Rights and rule of law, prolonged and unresolved conflicts and radicalization.
“Value re-orientation can be achieved through effective parenting, socialization, reform of the educational system, media control, civic education, sound moral and religious teachings, public enlightenment, social mobilization, exemplary or value based leadership, strengthening of democratic principles and good governance among others,” he said.
The Communiqué also explained that the sensitization would mobilize and sensitize on the need to identify with the Nigerian Nation and reject acts that could threaten the identity, image, reputation, integrity and corporate- existence of our country.
“To encourage, mobilize and galvanize support for relevant government Agencies network organizations and critical stakeholders in respect of the ongoing campaign against drug abuse/addiction. To effectively engage and educate critical stakeholders and participants to cooperate and support the Federal government effort in promoting enduring peace and security and to mobilize against any act capable of bringing about violence and insecurity in the country.
“To reduce Socio-Economic loss as a result of vandalism, to elicit the support of relevant stakeholders on the war against crime and criminality and associated social vices,” he said.
The Communiqué commended agencies like NOA, NAFDAC, UNODC, NDLEA and Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria for creating awareness on the War Against Drug Abuse is important for a meaningful impact, especially the host communities and security agencies is important to ensure adequate policing and protection of all critical infrastructure throughout the country.
He call on federal governments to strategic communication platform to encourage constructive engagements through dialogue, mediation and negotiation as well as effective sensitization using media tools to ensure peace.
For the National Orientation Agency to be able to effectively and efficiently carry out its goal and mandate, there was call for adequate funding from Government, Donors and Critical Stakeholders. It added that government should also ensure that regulatory framework is put in place to enable it deal with issues of violent acts in the country.
“Government should continue to address poverty, unemployment, insecurity, injustice and marginalization in addition to ensuring inclusive governance at all levels. Social institutions like family, educational, religious, traditional institutions and civil society must work assiduously, individually and collectively to restore our cherished values.
“The use of social media, collaboration with traditional rulers, religious leaders and critical stakeholders to effectively sensitize Nigerians against drug abuse, vandalization and violent acts was solicited for meaningful impact”.