*claims security personnel not receiving timely salaries
*urges Buhari, NASS to intervene
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
A group, Coalition of Civil Society for Peace and National Security, (COCIPENAS) has attributed the growing insecurity in the country majorly to poor funding of security agencies and delay in payment of operational allowances to security personnel.
The coalition also claimed that the inconsistent payment of salaries to security agencies was adding in no small measure to the worsening insecurity, saying some elements in government’s actions were weakening the morale of security personnel especially troops in standing up to fight adversaries. In a statement it issued after an emergency meeting it held to deliberate and proffer solutions to the worsening insecurity in the country, the group urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to immediately look into the issues.
The coalition in the statement signed by its National Coordinator, Dr Mohammed Maigoro and National Secretary, Barr. Tunde Funsho, respectively, accused authorities of playing with the welfare of security personnel.
“We are here today,being Wednesday, the 9th of December, 2020, on an emergency meeting to deliberate and proffer workable solutions to the state of the nation ,particularly national security and the current threat posed by the delay in payment of salaries, operational allowances and funding for our security agencies, particularly the troops in the front lines and Operational theatres across the country,” the statement read.
It added:” We observe with utmost displeasure and concern, the deliberate lack of payment of salaries to some security agencies, half salaries to some and total non payment of operational allowances, meant for troops wellbeing, welfare,hazard allowances,feeding and logistics to prosecute the war against terrorism, banditry, Kidnaping and other forms of criminality across the country for over three months now.
“This, we strongly believe, is the root cause of the heightened insecurity across the country, and we are calling on Mr President, Senate President and the Speaker,House of Representatives, to urgently intervene and save our country from this imminent total collapse of the security.
According to the coalition,”We cannot be so insensitive to the extent of playing with the welfare of those that are staking their lives for us on a daily basis.”
In the statement, the group noted that,”While we sleep in our homes, they (security personnel) are outside in the cold, rain and sun trying to keep us safe. “
“Our investigation across the country revealed that it has gone so bad that our security agencies cannot respond to threat for lack of fuel and other essentials,” it said.
It claimed that:”Their vehicles are grounded without maintenance, ammunition are out of stock,”adding:”This is too dangerous for a country that is battling with insecurity of this magnitude.”
“We appeal to the president to urgently address this without further delay,”it said.
The coalition exonerated the president and the service chiefs from the development, saying:”Our investigation also revealed that President Muhammad Buhari and the service chiefs have done everything possible within their powers to effect the full welfare of all our security agencies, but some few greedy elements in the federal government accounting community who don’t have the interest of this country at heart are sabotaging the good efforts of the president.”
“These people must be investigated and shown the way out,” it charged.
The coalition claimed that:”Our soldiers and policemen now borrow money from the community, and beg for food to eat while serving our country”,asking:” How can you fight Boko Haram and kidnappers with empty stomach? “
Noting that:”No country will do this and expect good results”,the coalition said:” We expect our security agencies, medical doctors, and teachers’ welfare to be on the first line charge because of the nature of the work they do.”
“While not trying to justify crime, we strongly believe that the insecurity we see in the country today is majorly as a result of low morale, lack of adequate logistics and welfare for our security agencies,” the coalition noted.
The coalition insisted that “President Muhammad Buhari and the National Assembly must as a matter of urgency,resolve these issues and sanction those concerned to avoid future occurrence.”