The Gombe State Peace and Security Summit Local Organising Committee have said that good governance remains an important precondition for security and stability.
According to a communiqué issued and signed by the Co-convener and Chairman LOC, AIG Zubairu H. Muazu, mni (rtd), Ubandoman Gombe at the end of the 1st Gombe State Peace and Security Summit held in the new banquet hall, Government House, Gombe, he said that promoting accountability, transparency, and effective public administration will go a long way in enhancing the relative peace and security of the state.
An excerpt is the full text of the communiqué.
We, the representatives of various organizations, community leaders, strategic stakeholders, and resource persons who participated in the 1st Gombe State Peace and Security Summit, which was held in Gombe between 9 and 11 August 2022, extensively discussed all security issues affecting Gombe State during the past three days. We also thoroughly pondered over the measures being taken to address the challenges. The Summit also offered us an opportunity to interact and converse with some of the leading experts and stakeholders in internal security management in the country to chart new directions for better and effective management of internal security in the state and country.
After exhaustive discussions of the current situation, the issues and challenges as well as the strategies being employed to address them, the Summit has arrived at the following resolutions:
1. The Summit strongly commends the Government of Gombe State under the leadership of His Excellency, Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya for convening this important summit at this crucial moment of our nation’s history.
2. The Summit resolves that the various initiatives of the Gombe State Government such as the establishment of the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre, Boltongo, and the creation of GOSTEC are timely and commendable steps that could help further strengthen the current security arrangements in the state.
3. In particular, the summit applauds the government’s zero-tolerance approach to the issue of political thuggery and other social vices (perpetrated by the dreaded Yan Kalare thugs) which culminated in the launching on Tuesday of the security initiative code-named “Operation Hattara”. The summit wishes to call on the operation to take advantage of the findings and resolutions of the summit, especially in terms of compliance with law and order.
4. The Summit applauds the functional cooperation and collaboration between the State Government and all Federal Security Agencies in the State while recommending that this cordial relationship needs to be maintained, deepened, and strengthened.
5. The summit commends the governors of Bauchi, Adamawa, and the Yobe States who despite the short notice sent their special advisers to participate in and contribute to the successful conduct of the summit.
6. The Summit observed that national and global challenges such as climate change, economic recession, and the Covid-19 pandemic contribute to insecurity and instability. There is, therefore, the need for governments and security agencies to develop a proactive security strategy for predicting and mitigating the security consequences of such events.
7. The Summit notes that while the present security situation in the state is relatively stable and calm, there are sporadic events of real security concern which need to be nipped in the bud before they escalate to constitute significant security threats. These challenges include cattle rustling, kidnapping for ransom, political thuggery and gang violence, communal disputes, and conflicts.
8. Good governance remains an important precondition for security and stability. Thus, promoting accountability, transparency, and effective public administration will go a long way in enhancing the relative peace and security of the state.
9. Under the present democratic system, the police, and other law enforcement agencies are not the sole protectors of law and order. All members of the community are active partners in the collective efforts to prevent and control crime.
10. Accordingly, forging meaningful partnerships (built on trust and confidence) between law enforcement agencies and communities, as well as within members of the community to ensure that crimes are prevented and/or controlled is necessary to any effective security management.
11. This can be fostered through the establishment of local security advisory committees across the state to support security agencies in mitigating security challenges.
12. The complex nature of current security problems poses a serious challenge to the effective management of internal security. This calls for constant evaluation and re-evaluation of security operational strategies.
13. Drugs and substance abuse, particularly among the youth, is a major drivers of violent crimes in the country. While commending the renewed efforts of NDLEA and the Gombe State Government to combat this problem, the Summit believes that it is vital to do more in terms of cutting the sources of drug supply and increase in funding for drug prevention and control initiatives/operations.
14. The Gombe State Government is encouraged to organize a town hall meeting to discuss the dual issue of drugs and political thuggery to find a common ground among stakeholders on what needs to be done to prevent violence ahead of the 2023 general elections.
15. The Summit noted that lack of sports and recreational facilities is contributing to drugs and substance abuse, youth restiveness, and gang violence. Providing such facilities, especially in urban centers will help engage the youth and enable them to harness their God-given potential.
16. The Summit recognizes that Gombe State is one of the most tolerant and socially cohesive states in the country. However, given some unfortunate incidences of ethnoreligious disharmony and conflicts recently, we call on the government and people to attach great value to deliberate efforts that aim to promote understanding, unity, and harmony among diverse ethnic and religious groups in the state.
17. The Summit commends that the present efforts of the state government and security agencies to prevent farmer-herders clashes and to peacefully resolve all disputes over farmlands and grazing lands should be maintained, funded, and strengthened.
18. The Summit observes that activities of land speculators distort the Gombe Masterplan thereby contributing to unnecessary disputes and violations of land rights. The summit holds that decisions regarding allocation and ownership of land are exclusively within the purview of statutory government agencies and traditional rulers.
19. Religious leaders can play an important role in proactively resolving disagreements that have the potential to degenerate into crises. Thus, giving them a security advisory role in the state will help in mitigating threats and fostering religious tolerance.
20. The Summit condemns the deliberate ethnicization of politics and politicization of ethnicity which it observes is gradually becoming a general trend in the political process thereby not only deepening our fault lines but also threatening the survival of our democratic system.
21. Accordingly, the Summit calls on our religious and political leadership to eschew all forms of divisive politics in the build-up to the 2023 general elections. The Summit believes that our revered traditional rulers and religious leaders can play an important role in promoting the philosophy of politics without bitterness.
22. The summit strongly recommends that, without further delay, a sub-regional security summit of this nature should be convened under the auspices of the North-East Governors Forum to consolidate on the gains and achievements of this summit.