The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday disagreed with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on how to maintain law and order in the polity.
While APC spokesman, Malam Lanre Issa -Onilu maintained that the strategies put in place by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to keep the peace would surely achieve the desired result, his PDP counterpart, Mr. Osita Chidoka insisted that the entre security apparatus of the country needed to be redesigned to effectively tackle the security challenges in the country.
The duo spoke in Abuja during the inaugural session of the Nigerian Political Parties Discussion Series (NPPDS) organized by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in conjunction with OSIFA.
Issa-Onilu, who warned the opposition against politicisation of security matters, argued that the APC-led administration has made tremendous inroads into tackling the Boko Haram insurgency, activities of militants in the Niger Delta region, the farmers-herders clashes and other violent crimes in the polity since 2015.
The APC spokesman, who advised the media to exercise restraint in the reportage of security issues, cited the clean up in Ogoni land and the exploratory activities of oil companies in the Niger Delta region, leading to a boost in foreign exchange, as evidence of the gains recorded during the period under review.
He alleged that PDP inflicted poverty on Nigerians during its 16 years of administration and also blamed the opposition for the activities of bandits and kidnappers in the north west political zone. He said Buhari’s resolve to reequip and retrain security personnel were aimed at tackling insecurity in the country.
Issa-Onilu listed ongoing police recruitment and increase in their salaries as well as various social intervention programmes like trader money, N-Power and U -win collect as other strategies aimed at empowering indigent Nigerians who may be tempted to take to crime.
But Chidoka argued that the issue of security goes beyond enforcement, insisting that much more needed to be done in the aspect of intelligence gathering, adjudication, enforcement and putting in place corrective measures for culprits.
He assured that under the Atiku Abubakar-led administration, the country’s security apparatus would be restructured in such a manner that there would be community policing where the states would play active role in the funding of the security outfits in the country.
The PDP spokesman assured Nigerians of strict adherence to the principle of federal character in the recruitment process of security personnel, saying merit and competence would not be sacrificed on the alter of nepotism and parochial interests which has dampened morale of officers and men of the armed forces.
Chidoka who lamented poor budgetary provisions to security outfits over the years promised improved funding and deployment of modern gadgets to security outfits if Atiku, the PDP presidential candidate, is voted into power in the 2019 poll.