By EDEM DARLINGTON, Calabar
For Nigeria to move forward and make progress as a nation, there is need for adequate funding of security agencies in the country. Gershom Bassey, Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial district made the assertion in Calabar during an interaction with some journalists.
“I think there is one area that we must address as a nation if we want to go forward in securing our nation whether it is external security from external aggression or criminality within our nation. I think that is the issue of funding and budgeting.
“Recently I have interacted with lots of security agencies because of the happenings in my state and it has become very clear to me that a lot of our security agencies are not adequately funded. This is an area that we as senate and National Assembly can look into. I know that we have the police trust fund and others but it still appears that we do not have enough funding particularly for our security agencies I do not want to go into details”.
He said, “I think one thing we have to put together may be a committee or a standing committees to look into the adequate funding of these agencies so that they can meet up with the pressure we put on them.
“The second issue is the issue of recruitment of sufficient personnel. We know that there is a problem at the moment with police recruitment but we need to have adequate funding in order to meet up with the pressure we put on our agencies. we are under policed and under secured and it is very clear if we do not have enough security agents to secure the population then you do not have security and you will have security issues , if you do not have enough equipment to secure our population then you will have security issues”.
Bassey charged the National Assembly to look into the issue of funding of the security agencies particularly the internal security agencies.
On the second EndSARS protest, he cautioned that whatever they do they should operate within the ambits of the law.
He said, “the EndSARS when they started at the beginning, it was welcomed because we believed that it was their constitutional right of Nigerians to voice their opinion but what is happening is that the EndSARS some how lost control of the peaceful dimension of that movement and I think that is what is creating the so called scepticism about the protest
“We saw it in Lagos, Benin, Calabar and I even saw it in my house. It was hijacked by criminals and they came to my house and cleaned me out even toothbrush they did not leave. So having experienced the hijack of EndSARS personally, my question to them is can they guarantee that their protest at anytime will not be hijacked by criminals or hoodlums?”
On the 2023 elections, the Senator called on Cross Riverians with political ambitions to allow the Ben Ayade’s administration concentrate on delivering democracy devidens to the people. Maintaining that it was too early to talk about it.
“Anybody talking about governorship, councilorship or Senatorial or any election at this time is not being far to our state, our governor ,not being fair to our citizens”.
He said, “let our governor do his work and let us all support him to do his work until the end of his tenure then towards the end of his tenure people that are interested in anything can now start to come out but for now please everybody that has ambition should relax and allow the man to do his work