Experts blame poor intelligence gathering

THE PUNCH Newspaper- Sesan Olufowobi

PRIVATE security experts, on Sunday, urged President Goodluck Jonathan to hold security agencies in the country accountable for the two blasts that killed about 12 people and injured many in Abuja on Independence Day.

The experts also decried what they described as the dearth of intelligence in the nation’s security system. They agreed that poor intelligence gathering and information on the part of the nation’s agencies made the job easier for the perpetrators.

Chief Executive Officer of Transword Security, Dr. Ona Ekhomu, said the ‘Jubilee bombing’ showed that security arrangements at the event were shoddy.

“While I will not say that criminal elements are taking over, because we still have law and order in this country; I will however say that the security arrangement was flat.

“In a high profile event such as the celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, at least a 10-kilometre cordon should have been instituted around Eagle Square. There should have been an enormous police and military presence. It is an embarrassment,” he said.

The founder of Closewatch Services Ltd., Mr Jibola Awoseyi who said the bombings caught the government and the security agencies unaware, wondered why the security apparatus in the country did not nip the act in the bud.

“It showed lack of intelligence, it could have been the President himself,” he said.

Another Lagos-based security expert, Mr. Richard Amuwa, however wondered if the criminals were not having upper hand.

Amuwa who runs Mega Guards Sevices Ltd said, “I just can’t imagine how such thing could have happened in Abuja. It shows that our security apparatus are not in control. Look at the spate of kidnapping in the country. I can tell you that most people only know the high profile cases because it is an everyday thing in Abia State.”

Amuwa urged Jonathan to make security agencies in the country to be more scientific. “We should start planning to stop these acts of insecurity. The President should not be content with appointing the police IG and other service chiefs; he must make our security scientific in nature. He could do this by employing a scientific technologist who will create an intelligence database and also use science to solve many crimes. There should also be a change in our approach to investigation; and by the way what happened to police informants? These are some of the ways the law enforcement used to prevent and solve crime in the past,” he said.

However, Awoseyi believed that Jonathan was already doing something about security in the country. “He has made some appointments and I believe he will still go down the ladder. Security is a gradual thing, he should not rush into taking decision, buy there is a need for overhaul and making intelligence part of security instrument in this country,” he said.


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