Civil Society Organizations (CSO) have expressed concern over the spate of unemployment, farmers-herders conflicts, cultism, control and ownership of markets and motor parks saying they are sources of security threat across the country .
The CSOs noted this at a stakeholders engagement on Emerging Security Challenges in the Southwest organised by Centre for Law Enforcement Education (CLEEN) Foundation at a webinar.
The executive-director, Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC), Mr Okechukwu Nwanguma, said there is need for government to address the socio-economic root cause and other risk factors of crime while ensuring social justice and equity as well as the monitoring of corruption especially in the security sector and the creation of an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
He said it would help reduce crime rate, adding that the use of state violence and repressive law enforcement approaches and clamping down on citizens exercising their constitution rights to freedom of expression constitutes part of the security challenges facing the region.
Also, a stakeholder at the event Mr Bukola Idowu, said communal clashes, impunity by cyber criminals as well as religious intolerance are factors responsible to threat of security in the region.
At the federal level, Mr Bukola Idowu called on the government to address the issue of resource control, urgent reform of the police as well as the judicial system with the view of restructuring both agencies for an effective service delivery.
Another speaker, Mr Tosin Osasuna suggested that improved conflict resolution mechanism, active promotion of community engagements and effective policing of communities as well as massive investment in socio-economic development are some of the steps that should be taken by state governments in the region to reduce crime.
In a paper presentation on Emerging Security and Governance Challenges in Ekiti state by Mrs Rita Ilevbare said that governors should allow unrestricted access to information on their day-to-day dealings in view of the Freedom of Information (FOI) and broaden their social security schemes to include the youths who constitute a larger percentage of unemployed persons in the region.
She sighted an example that Ekiti holds the record of home to the highest number of professors in Nigeria (www.legit) but despite being homogenous, Ekiti state still has its share of insecurity and governance challenges.
She said though it is the duty of Government to tackle insecurity and lead good governance, however, citizens must compliment the effort of government by collaborating and supporting government to attain peace and good governance.