African Security Blog

Nigeria Insecurity Challenges - The ABC of Security Management

Posted by Temitope Olodo on January 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

It is interesting to watch and read that Nigeria legislatures are getting worried about insecurity in the country especially when it is becoming clearer that Boko Haram and other copycat violent extremists could overrun their premises anytime.


For security analysts and people with the security know-how, it is clear that any government structure could be penetrated with little effort and security operatives easily frustrated through applications of simple things but I will not go into that now


I just want to ask some few security questions to buttress my point:


- Have legislators participated in security drills in their so-called legislative building?


- Are they aware of security measures to take during serious security breach?


- How often in the security plan of the legislative building updated?


- Are legislators aware of first and second assembly points including what to do in the likelihood of a terrorist attack that includes chemical attack?


- Does the legislative building have a business continuity plan and standby building to operate from if their current building is destroyed in an attack?


Every government infrastructure should have a risk register which is reviewed and updated regularly. Security in government establishments should be tighten based on intelligent gathering and tension monitoring system also called early warning system collated by security analyst and transmitted regularly (do we have one in Nigeria - laughing)


So, if the legislatures do their security oversight job properly and invite security experts to brief them on what to look out for or how to view Nigeria security infrastructure then they will be able manage it well


The current approach to security oversight and questioning by legislators is not good enough. The legislators invite security operatives for closed door meetings (understandable) and nothing is changing and I get frustrated when I have to lecture grown ups on how to do things properly.


Two examples of best practices for our legislators -


- On the issue of Boko Haram, the USA legislators held a session and invited people from Nigeria. Why can't Nigeria legislators invite experts from abroad and Nigeria diaspora experts to give them fresh outlook


- On the issue of gun and knife crime in the UK, the British Parliament invited New York Police Chief to share with them how he addressed the problem. Why can't Nigeria legislators invite US, Israel or UK Police Chief to share with them some methodologies


The 'we are on top of it' statement is not working...


Maybe, the 'security cost' allocated to legislatures can help shield them from insecurity.....history will tell!


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