Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has tasked the Nigerian media to promote inclusion rather than sectarian inclusion for the country to overcome security challenges facing it.
As the country battles insecurity, Dr. Fayemi advocated the establishment of effective and accountable security agencies in pursuit of individual and community security in tandem with state security.
He suggested that issues of poverty, demography, food security, energy security and social security must be factored in when formulating security policy and they must be considered as risk factors in the generation of threat assessment matrix.
The Governor gave the recommendations on Monday, 29 November, 2021, while speaking as the guest lecturer at the 6th Convocation Ceremony of the Nigeria Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos which also doubled as the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of the premier media training institution in the country.
Dr. Fayemi whose lecture was entitled: “The Media, National Security and Nation Building,” stressed that the narrow and one-dimensional militaristic orientation of the nation’s security establishment is inadequate to address the threats faced by the citizens.
At the lecture which was chairman by the Vice Chairman, Governing Coucil of the NIJ, Mr Ray Ekpu; Provost of the Institute, Mr Gbenga Adefaye; former NUJ President, Lanre Ogundipe; and prominent media practitioners, Dr Fayemi also reinstated the inevitability of multi-level policing in the country, citing the establishment of the Amotekun Security Outfit in the South west states as one of the reasons the security situation in the geo-political zone had not degenerated.
Governor Fayemi who said the state governors are united in their clamour for multi-level policing, said the much taunted excuse that state governors would abuse state police or multi-level policing is not tenable, as the process can be regulated like other public institutions.
He pointed out that no effort should be spared in securing lives and properties lecture in the country, adding however, that the current security architecture needed to be improved on through multi-level policing.
The Ekiti Governor was of the view that for the media to understand the nature of the security challenges confronting the country and proffer solutions to them, an assessment of the political environment was crucial hence some questions have to be answered.
These include to what extent has the national question been settled? What do the Constitution and other laws say about the control of security forces and its interplay with the larger society and what is the role of the non-state security actors and how effectively do key oversight agencies function in general?
The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) opined that for the media to adequately perform its roles in promoting national security and nation building, it must be aware of the fact that the nation’s security sector now has a broader view than it used to be and a better understanding of its complexities.
He said: “Nowhere is this more crucial than in the media’s understanding of the security challenges that Nigeria confronts. As the nation confronts insecurity on a rising scale, the key challenges to the polity remain that of establishing effective and accountable security agencies in pursuit of individual and community security in tandem with state security and on the other, that of establishing effective governance of the security sector through the empowerment of civilian oversight mechanisms. In other words, any given national security policy and architecture to have meaning and purpose must address these two broad challenges.
“To do this however, the media must understand the complexities of the treacherous threat environment because more often than not, the orientation governing the operation of our security agencies, having been tailored to address perceived dangers of yesteryears, is now out of sync with reality.
“For example, the media must be better informed that the new security environment has occasioned a broader definition of security, drawing an inextricable linkage between security and development, underscoring the security of people rather than territories and individuals rather than states.
“This became known in academic and policy circles as human security and popularized by Kofi Annan as encompassing “human rights, good governance, access to education and healthcare, and ensuring that each individual has opportunities and choices to fulfill his or her potential.”
“And as if taking a cue from this concept of human security, Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution states in Section 14 (2b) that ‘the security and welfare of citizens shall be the primary purpose of government’, in other words placing governance at the epicenter of security and development complex in Nigeria.”
To assist Nigeria in overcoming its security challenges, Fayemi advised the media to be more circumspect in reporting security issues, avoid exaggeration and be more responsible in the discharge of its constitutional duties to the populace.
He added: “Despite the challenges that we have faced as a nation, which we sometimes, unfairly exaggerate, it is important to constantly bear in mind that nation building is a slow and dynamic process.
“The awareness that nothing in nation building is finalized should give us hope and challenge us to do better and constantly look for ways and means to build a better country, by experimentation and learning, trial and errors, setting and resetting.
“And this is why the operative framework of any nation is never intended as a divinely inspired scripture. Most of the challenges we face today could not have been envisaged in 1999. But we must see these challenges as opportunities to test our governance system and its responsive capacity to issues of national co-existence.”
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Mr Ray Ekpu had raised some posers brothering on security, rule of law, economy and economic distribution as well as equality, injustice and nepotism, which he felt government must address if the country must move forward.
He challenged media practitioners to strive to discharge their professional responsibility ethically without fear or favour. “It is a sacred responsibility which we owe to posterity.” He said.