The Forum of Former Federal Lawmakers (FFFL) has called on the federal government to set a timeline with a view to contain and wipe out the menace of Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, secession agitators and other criminals holding the country to ransom.
In an 18-point recommendations signed by its leader, Hon. Usman Mohammed Balkore, the forum called for an immediate end to the bloody campaign of secessionists who through blackmail, violence, incitements and assassinations are razing down public and private assets which is unacceptable.
“We must criminalise ethnic profiling of crimes, borrowing from the Ruwandan example. We cannot afford to be qualifying criminals along ethnic identities which crystalises into hate and revulsion against the groups. Criminals are criminals without distinction and we must fight them in unison,” it said.
The forum stated that all government’s actions on criminals must be firm, decisive and appropriate to deter all criminals, hostage takings and kidnappings for ransom must be made unattractive and the death penalty prescribed on all offenders. It therefore called on government at all levels to brace up to avert a humanitarian catastrophy due to increased migration of people from rural to urban centres to escape the theatres of war and violence. The ex-lawmakers advocated an urgent job creation at all tiers of government.
The forum endorsed and advocated community participation and mobilisation to support the current war on terrorism, banditry and insurgency so as to rid the society of this threatening danger.
“Our grassroots community policing and intelligence gathering should be strengthened to protect our society. We should individually and collectively contribute logistics, vehicles and equipment to our armed personnel to boost their morale and capacities,” the forum said.
The ex-lawmakers urged government to consider recalling its security and military reserves back to service to strengthen the existing personnel.
“The numerical strength of the Armed Forces should be urgently increased to correspond to the country’s size and population while the involvement of the military should be seen as an internal security matter,” they said.
As part of their recommendations, the lawmakers want government to vigorously pursue the ranching policy to encourage sedentary pastoralism as a solution to the persistent farmers/herders conflicts.
“All stakeholders must embrace and adopt necessary engagement, education and cooperation to design peaceful transition and exit strategies for nomadic pastoralism to achieve a permanent solution,” the lawmakers said.
In addition to the above, the former lawmakers posited that there was the urgent need to establish special courts for the quick dispensation of justice to tackle the growing menace of kidnappings, banditry, cybercrimes, Insurgency and other new forms of crimes and also called for a state of emergency on insecurity and make sufficient appropriations to fund and modernise the security sector for efficient performance and service delivery.
It urged the National Assembly to remain a relentless partner in this campaign by revisiting all resolutions and reports on security meetings and retreats with a view to ensure their diligent implementation.
They also called on the legislators to engage NEMA and other government agencies whose mandate is to ameliorate the disequilibrium caused by the prevailing security situation in the country.