Federal Government on Wednesday said the amount of information that members of the public were willing to make available to security agencies would determine how far the government could go in tackling insecurity in parts of the country occasioned by the activities of Islamic sect, Boko Haram.
Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade (retd.), said this while briefing State House correspondents of the outcome on the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Olubolade and the Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals Development, Muhammad Sada, had earlier taken turns to present the achievements and challenges of their respective ministries in 2012 to the council.
They were joined at the briefing by the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku; and the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemenen.
Asked whether he was convinced that the nation could win the war against terrorists, Olubolade said no security agent could work in the blind.
He said although security agencies had intelligence apparatus that they make use of, he said, “They do not have eyes everywhere, hence the need for Nigerians to assist them with information.”
He said, “The amount of information security agencies get from the public will determine how far we can go in tackling Boko Haram. No security agent can operate in blind, though they have intelligence apparatuses, they do not have eyes everywhere.
“All hands must be on the deck to put an end to the insecurity in parts of the country. We need the public to give information that will prevent crimes for happening and track criminals when they have occurred.”
Olubolade said all issues relating to security of the country could not be handled overnight even if the government had the means. He said with the emphasis laid by his ministry on training and retraining of policemen last year, a total of over 22, 000 policemen were trained both within and outside the country.
This year, he said premium would be placed on forensic and DNA capacity of the Nigeria Police Force.
He said the police forensic laboratory at Alagbon in Lagos was no longer capable of going the force the desired result.
Arguing that the needed thing was to build a completely new forensic laboratory, Olubolade said mere rehabilitation of the existing one would only lead to the incarceration of innocent people.
“Security agencies collectively need the support of the masses. As they are training within and without, we should give information. All issues of security cannot be handled over night even if we have the means,” he said.
Sada said he briefed the council on the ongoing reforms in the solid mineral sector, saying his ministry was done with regulatory issues and institutional arrangement.
He said he was currently working with the Ministry of Finance and relevant agencies to ensure that the sector contributes adequately to the federation account.
Meanwhile, the United Progressive Party on Wednesday in Abuja expressed fears over the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram Islamic sect, and recommended the invitation of foreign powers by the Federal Government to check the trend.
According to the party, the foreign nations must have proven records of acquisition of relevant technology to assist Nigetia with the provision of modern technology and expertise to combat violent crimes and terrorism.
The party, which insisted that with the level of youth restiveness and social vices “the Nigerian state is showing visible signs of failure”, however, said, “The use of brute force” would not solve the threat posed by the sect.”
He also called for “a legislative action to empower INEC to commence the application of the electronic voting system in subsequent elections.”