Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
The Transparency International has said militias offer bribes to corrupt officials at seaports, land borders and airports to bring weapons into Nigeria, urging for more accountability and transparency to strengthen security in the country.
The Head of Transparency International Nigeria, Musa Rafsanjani, who stated this in Abuja on Tuesday at a policy dialogue on the state of the nation, added that the Federal Government must adequately fund the police and provide them with “the requisite skills and modern equipment to effectively tackle the insecurity challenges in the country.”
Rafsanjani spoke at the dialogue organised by the Say No Campaign Nigeria and supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
He noted that Nigeria was not yet mature for state police, as most state governments would use such to promote political violence and oppression.
The TI chair said, “What we need to do is to strengthen our security architecture and eliminate corruption in the security agencies. Why the militias get weapons is that they pay bribes at seaports, at the airports and at the land borders to be able to come in. They give the officials money to bring in the weapons.
“They offer bribes and this also applies to political thugs. Some reckless politicians also encourage the bringing in of weapons and sharing them to thugs. We advocate more transparency and accountability in the security sector. We also advocate for more oversight from the National Assembly on the security sector. If we do not do this, we will be back to the same story even if we have the state police.”
The TI chair argued that the challenges of establishing state police would include the use of such to suppress the opposition and to achieve selfish political ends.
He said, “I think that the question of state police has been on for some time. Some people have discussed this as a solution, given the collapse of the security infrastructure in the country. But some also want to use the state police to carry out their political agenda, such as dealing with their political opponents.”
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