Thursday, 3 January 2013

2012 GAA Security Policy Awareness Program Report



Tackling Kidnapping, Hijack and Terror
 (University of Ibadan Conference Center, Ibadan, 20 December 2012)

COMMUNIQUE


At the Symposium on Tackling Kidnapping, Hijacking and Terror, the participants directed the Nigerian government to intensify efforts at reducing poverty, eradicating corruption and create job opportunity, in order to combat organized criminal activity and terrorism posing an ever-greater threat to the individual and collective security of our citizens.

With the increased international movement of organized criminal groups and their use of new global communications technologies, the protection of our citizens’ safety, traditionally a domestic concern, requires unprecedented levels of international cooperation.  The responsibility of the government is not only to react to the activities of organized criminal/terror groups, but also to anticipate and prevent their growth.

According to the Gallop report, the year 2013 may be difficult in term of economy. Therefore, the economic downturn may lead to an increase in crime of opportunity such as: Kidnapping, armed robbery and high tech crimes.

The experts at the symposium identified the four topmost threats in 2013 as high profile kidnappings, extortion, sophisticated armed robbery and High-tech crimes. The political insurgency is possible but not with the magnitude of the event of January 2012 with the Terrorist attacks not posing much threat to the Nigeria national security in 2013.

Poverty, unemployment, bad policy, corruption and poor leadership will be largely responsible for the upsurge.   Therefore, how rapidly and effectively  our government reacts in a crisis period is critical. It can make the difference between recovering well, or not at all.


Hence, The participants analyzed the state of insecurity in Nigeria and agreed upon a program of specific actions designed to accomplish four critical tasks:  increasing public awareness on security; commit government to reduce poverty and corruption in the system; encourage government to motivate, trained and equipped security personnel; and also work with government by mobilizing the public in the sharing of intelligence to ensure that no criminal/terrorist receives safe haven anywhere in Nigeria.

The GAA declares the Inspector General of Nigeria police, Mr. Mohammed Dikko Abubakar as the person of the year 2012 in the area of public safety leadership.
Mr. Edmund Obilo, a producer and broadcaster were selected as the media person of the year.


Emerging Threat

With regard to social media, we must start by recognizing that the new information system offers unprecedented opportunities for global communication.  As nations become increasingly reliant upon these technologies, including wireless communications, their exploitation by high-tech criminals poses an ever-greater threat to public safety.  This threat takes at least two forms.  First, sophisticated criminals are targeting computer and telecommunications systems to obtain or alter valuable information without authority and may attempt to disrupt critical commercial and public systems.  Second, criminals, including members of organized crime groups and terrorists, are using these new technologies to facilitate traditional offenses like kidnapping and fraud. (Example is a case of Cynthia Osokogu who was lured to Lagos and murdered by her Facebook friends)  Clearly, the misuse of information systems in these ways poses a serious threat to public safety.

National laws apply to the Internet and other global networks.  But while the enactment and enforcement of criminal laws have been, and remain, a national responsibility, the nature of modern communications networks makes it impossible for any country acting alone to address this emerging high-tech crime problem. Therefore, we call on the the Nigerian government to  take the issue of cybersecurity as important as terrorism.


PRINCIPLES AND ACTION PLAN TO COMBAT KIDNAPPING AND TERROR

Statement of Principles
We hereby endorse the following PRINCIPLES, which should be supported by the Nigerian government:

I. There must be no safe havens for those who use terror and violence to score political goals, promote religion and social issues in the African society.
II. The government must mop-up weapons and ensure that the border are protected against the inflow of arms from the crisis ridden area of Africa
III. Investigation and prosecution of terrorists and kidnappers must be coordinated among all concerned agencies.
IV. Law enforcement personnel must be trained, motivated and equipped to address terrorism, kidnapping and high-tech crimes.
V. Cooperation among African States to control the flow of illegal arms within African must be reinforced.



Action Plan

In support of these PRINCIPLES, we are directing our officials to:

1. To work with government and relevant agencies in term of mobilization, awareness and policy monitoring to ensure a timely, effective response to crime and terrorism by the government.
2. To continue advocating for community policing and the need for government to set up warning system.
3. Take appropriate steps through public advocacy to ensure that government trained and equipped law enforcement personnel
4. Work jointly with academic community, industries and other non-profit organizations to ensure that education and new technologies facilitate our efforts to combat crime in the society
5. Encourage the institutions of higher learning to assist in enhancing the quality of law enforcement personnel by developing curriculum that respond to our security and emergency management challenges.
6. To work with charity and faith based organizations in Nigeria to support the work of law enforcement in the area of community policing, peace building, mutual understanding and assistance.


Signed

Oludare Ogunlana
Host & Project Executive
On behalf of GAA and participants

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