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Insecurity: Senator wants adequate funding for security agencies

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

With the increased security challenges Nigeria is currently facing, the Senator representing Cross River South senatorial district, Senator Gershom Bassey, has opined that Nigeria could only overcame the challenge and move forward if the country’s security agencies are adequately funded.

In an interaction with journalists in Calabar, weekend, Bassey said “I think there is one area that we must address if we want to go forward in securing our nation, whether it is external security from external aggression or criminality within our nation. I think that is the issue of funding and budgeting.

“Recently I have interacted with lots of security agencies because of the happenings in my state and it has become very clear to me that a lot of our security agencies are not adequately funded.

“This is an area that we as National Assembly can look into. I know that we have the police trust fund and others but it still appears that we do not have enough funding particularly for our security agencies. I do not want to go into details.”

On how to handle the issue of inadequate funding, he said: “I think one thing we have to put together may be a committee or a standing committee to look into the adequate funding of these agencies so that they can meet up with the pressure we put on them.

“The second issue is the issue of recruitment of sufficient personnel. We know that there is a problem at the moment with police recruitment but we need to have adequate funding in order to meet up with the pressure.

“We are under policed and under secured and it is very clear if we do not have enough security agents to secure the population, then you do not have security and you will have security issues, if you do not have enough equipment to secure our population then you will have security issues”.

Bassey charged the National Assembly to look into the issue of funding of the security agencies particularly the internal security agencies.

On the second EndSARS protest at Lekki toll gate in Lagos, he cautioned that it should be within the ambits of the law, noting “the EndSARS, when they started at the beginning, it was welcomed because we believed that it was their constitutional right to voice their opinion.

“However, what is happening is that the EndSARS protest has somehow lost control of the peaceful dimension of that movement, and I think that is what is creating the so-called scepticism about the protest”.

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