Gov. Bello lauds Uni Abuja for establishing centre for security studies

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Why we established Centre for Security and Legal Studies — Uni Abuja VC

Kogi state governor Yahaya Bello, has commended the University of Abuja for establishing a Centre for Security and Legal Studies, as part of efforts to finding lasting solutions to the lingering problem of insecurity in Nigeria.

Bello gave the commendation on Tuesday, in Abuja, at the launch of the centre and maiden symposium under the theme, “Kinetic and non-kinetic application in the fight against insurgency.”

The governor, who was the chairman of the occasion, further applauded the choice of the symposium’s theme as the fight against insurgency and other forms of insecurity required a holistic approach.

According to him, the emerging trend in criminality requires both a kinetic approach, which is the use of hardware by the Armed Forces and other security agencies, as well as the non-kinetic approach which involves research, intelligence gathering, among others.

Bello, who was represented by his adviser on State Security Matters, Duro Jerry Omodara, pledged his support to the centre.

“I am happy because this centre is on security studies.

“We must continue to engage a kinetic approach in dealing with emergency security challenges in the country, while also exploring the non-kinetic approach. This is because one approach is not sufficient to win this battle.

“While we adopt the kinetic approach, we must also support it with non-kinetic approach.

“The level of terrorist activities in the country has indicated that the kinetic approach must be fully deployed because it is the clear language they detest.

“However, the non kinetic approach is equally important because it can help identify sponsors of terrorist activities, suppliers among others,” he said.

He called on government at all levels to show commitment to tackling insecurity, including carrying the people along.

While further stating that intelligence gathering must be taken seriously, Bello advised states to identify their geographical locations and topography, saying that those were some of the strategies adopted by Kogi state in tackling insecurity.

He commended the Federal Government, the military and other security agencies for being in the forefront of the effort to tackle insecurity in the country.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Mohammed Bello also commended the University for the initiative, especially in the light of the security challenges in the country.

Bello, who was represented Dr Bello Abdullateef, Director of Security Services, Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), said the centre would go a long way in finding lasting solutions to the problem.

“I congratulate the Vice Chancellor for the foresight in establishing the centre.

“The establishment of the centre has now accorded working class residents of FCT the opportunity to improve their capacity in acquiring additional qualification in the field of legal and security studies.

“It is our intention to work closely with the school for the overall development of the FCT,” he said.

The minster noted that the theme of the symposium was timely in view of the need to find lasting solutions to the issue of insecurity in Nigeria.

He pledged commitment to the safety of FCT residents, enjoining residents to always help with intelligence reports that could assist security agencies in carrying out their duties.

The symposium was attended by many security agencies, ranging from the military to paramilitary.

In their goodwill messages, they pledged support to the centre and continued commitment to protecting the territorial integrity of the nation, as well as lives and property.

The Centre for Security and Legal Studies, which will be focused on academic research, innovation and development, would be running seven post graduate courses.

Some of the courses include Masters and Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Human Rights and Social Justice, Masters in Legal Studies and Masters in Criminology and Security Studies.

Meanwhile, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Pro. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, says the gap in use of non-kinetic approach to tackling insecurity in Nigeria prompted establishment of the Centre for Security and Legal Studies.

The Vice Chancellor stressed that the centre would offer courses that would be directly beneficial to the country in terms of security.

He said while the use of kinetic approach by the military has played a big role in tackling insecurity, much more would be achieved if credence was given to non-kinetic approach, which involved research and development.

He pointed out that “the university is central to the development of any nation and today one of the major challenges we are faced with is security.

“No doubt the military is putting in its best in this regard but the academia needs to be up and doing in contributing its quota to this fight through research and development.

“This is because the 21st century security challenges cannot be tackled only the barrels of the gun.

“Gadgets of war may play a little part but high level intelligence is needed.

“So, what this centre is trying to do is bring research into focus with regards to security,” he said.

Na’Allah called on other tertiary institutions to think in the same direction as the University of Abuja,  to collectively  tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

“It is time our nation realises that the solution to many of our challenges lies with the tertiary institutions, particularly the universities.

“Even the ministries that ought to complement the effort if the universities in terms of research are no where to be found.

“It is so disheartening that the various ministries both at the state and federal levels do not set money aside for research and development.

“Any economy that wants meaningful development ought to set money aside for research institutions to compete in finding solutions to problems,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor assured that the University of Abuja was ready to lead and work with relevant organisations in finding solution to the country’s problems, particularly insecurity.

The Keynote Speaker at the event, Abubakar Suleiman said Nigeria was facing serious threat to its peace and security.

While commending  efforts of all stakeholders in  finding solution to the problem, Suleiman said research and development was  critical.

“Security is not military force, though it may involve it, security is not traditional military activity, though it encompasses it, security is not military hardware, though it may include it. Security is development and without development, there can be no security.

“It has been realised that raw military power alone cannot defeat the insurgents and other criminal elements.

“Today, stakeholders and  government itself are beginning to appreciate the value of the non-kinetic approach to the fight against terrorism and insurgency and has taken several steps to deploy more aspects of this strategy.

“It is expected that in view of the many successes being achieved, government will intensify  effort in furthering the benefits of the non-kinetic approach in this fight against insecurity in the country,” he said.

The Director, Centre for Security and Legal Studies, Dr Arinze Abuah, said the centre was established to provide cutting edge degree and non degree programmes for aspiring candidates.

He said programmes were carefully designed to cover the fields of legal and security concerns  suitable for working class professionals.

According to him, the programmes are also designed for candidates to obtain higher degree without disrupting their existing job functions.

“The centre has two academic units, security studies and legal studies.

“Our mission is to provide high impact programmes of studies, discussion and research that will birth implementable, sustainable and replicable solutions and ideas to address existing and emerging security and legal issues within appropriate legal frameworks.

“For a start, we are rolling out six academic programmes which are mix of Masters and post graduate diplomas that include Criminology and Security Sudies, Legal Studies as well as Human Rights and Social Justice,” he said.

The occasion was attended by representatives from the military and paramilitary agencies as well as other stakeholders.