Kano state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Usaini Gumel has identified Inter-agency collaboration, intelligence gathering, intelligence sharing and surveillance as key factors that guarantee operational effectiveness for sustainable internal security. The Kano police boss stated this in a paper he presented at Africa House, Government House, to the participants of Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC) Course 46, who are on a study tour in Kano, on November 30, 2023. Our Correspondent, MADUABUCHI NMERIBEH recorded his voice.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with a population of over 223 million people. With such a large number of people, security challenges are inevitable. More so, there is the citizens much expectations on the capacity and proper response mechanisms from the law enforcement and defense personnels ensuring the welfare and security of lives and properties of the people. This is statutorily the duty imposed on all the personnel who are working together at the same time and to guarantee the citizens’ rights and freedom. As the country is moving forward since 1960 independence, the sophistication of the security challenges keeps growing.
Course Participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, please note that the contemporary internal security challenges faced by Nigeria, and is similar to many regions globally and are characterized by their complexity and evolving nature. These challenges include issues such as terrorism, transnational and organized crime, cybercrime, communal clashes, and other socio-economic factors that contribute to the overall complex nature of the current security landscape.
In recent times, the global landscape has witnessed a shift towards addressing these contemporary internal security challenges through the use of hi-tech induced and comprehensive “Whole-of-government society approach”. This approach recognizes the interconnectedness of various sectors within the nation and emphasizes collaboration, coordination, and cooperation at all levels to effectively combat the contemporary forms of internal security threats. Integrating these efforts by combined government agencies, institutions, and the wider society is to enhance operational effectiveness and ensure a safer and more secure environment for all the citizens. Therefore, this presentation is aimed at addressing the multifaceted nature of internal security challenges and highlighting the importance of collaborative and holistic approach to counter them effectively.
Concepts Understanding of the theme: “Whole-of-Government/Society Approach”: This approach entails the collective and synchronized efforts undertaken by various government entities, including intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, defense forces, civilians administration, non-governmental organizations, private sector entities, and the general public toward tackling the emerging security challenges. This approach acknowledges that security challenges often transcend the capabilities of individual sectors or agencies, necessitating a unified response to effectively counter them. This emphasized my position as I always used to say: “no stand alone agency can claim the monopoly of effective security”.
Furthermore, this approach recognizes the significance of engaging the society as key partner in achieving operational effectiveness. It emphasizes the need for police-public collaboration, community policing initiatives, the involvement of non-governmental organizations, community leaders, religious institutions, and schools. This strong way of reinforcing the forging partnerships among Defense, Law Enforcement Agencies and the identified stakeholders, provide the needed valuable local knowledge, intelligence, and the grassroots support and this result in better prevention, detection, and better way of resolving security challenges.
On my assumption of duty to Kano State as the 45th Commissioner of Police, the State was faced with so many security challenges especially the alarming rise in cases of daylight and night mobile phone armed robbery, supremacy conflict popularly known in the community as Fadan Yan-Daba and other social vices within the eight LGAs of Kano Metropolis. Other heinous crimes include the threat of kidnapping and infiltration of bandits at borders LGAs of the State. These crimes have not only posed significant threats to public safety, also hindered socio-economic development in the State. Consequently, the Kano Police Command went far by adopting the whole-of-Government/Society Approach in tackling these security challenges which successfully pushed these crimes to the wall.
Elements of the Approach: The following are some elements of the approach:
- Interagency Collaboration: The heart of the whole-of-government/society approach lies in fostering close cooperation and information sharing among diverse agencies involved in internal security. This collaboration helps facilitate a comprehensive understanding of the threats, efficient resource allocation, and joint planning and execution of operations. In addition, recognizing that contemporary security challenges are often transnational in nature, fostering international collaboration is crucial also.
- Intelligence gathering and surveillance: They are some of the sophisticated methods that law enforcement authorities use to tackle security challenges. These help them in gathering information sufficient to prevent crime that is yet to be committed, intervene in the ones that is being committed or under investigation.
iii. Stakeholder Engagement: In addition to government agencies, engaging various stakeholders from the diverse civil society, academia, private sector, and communities is crucial. Their involvement brings diverse perspectives, knowledge, and resources to the table, enabling a more holistic and effective response to security challenges.
- Information Sharing and Intelligence Fusion: Timely and accurate information sharing and intelligence fusion are vital components of this approach. A unified information-sharing network among agencies helps connect the dots, identify the patterns, and respond proactively to the emerging threats.
- Capacity building and training: Ensuring that law enforcement personnel receive adequate training and resources to handle various security challenges effectively. This includes not only technical training but also developing skills in community engagement, conflict resolution, and understanding the socio-cultural dynamics of the region.
- Society Participation: Mobilizing public support and participation is a key aspect of the whole-of-government/society approach. Citizens’ cooperation, vigilance, and awareness contribute significantly to deterring and reporting potential security risks, thereby strengthening the overall security fabric.
vii. Socio-economic empowerment: Recognizing the link between sustainable development and security, the approach should emphasize initiatives that address socio-economic factors and root causes of crime and insurgency. This may involve creating job opportunities, improving education, healthcare, and infrastructure, and promoting social cohesion.
The Benefits of the Approach: There are several benefits driverble from the use of this approach. Few are as follows:
- Enhancing Operational Effectiveness: By breaking down traditional silos, the whole-of-government/society approach enables agencies to pool their expertise and resources, leading to a coordinated response. This reduces duplication of efforts, promotes information sharing, and maximizes operational effectiveness.
- Enhancing Situational Awareness: Integration across sectors and agencies enhances situational awareness by facilitating a holistic understanding of internal security challenges. A comprehensive picture enables strategic planning, risk assessment, and the execution of targeted interventions.
iii. Flexibility and Adaptability: The approach empowers governments to be more flexible and adaptable in responding to evolving security threats. Coordination across various agencies helps to rapidly assess emerging risks, develop effective countermeasures, and adjust strategies as needed.
- Stronger Resilience: The whole-of-government/society approach is being driven towards strengthening societal resilience by fostering a sense of shared responsibility. Public participation, engagement, and education initiatives that create a cohesive and resilient society better equipped to prevent, mitigate, and recover from internal security challenges.
- Improving Trust and Legitimacy: increased citizens’ participation in security initiatives fosters trust, strengthens the legitimacy of security forces, and promotes a sense of collective responsibility for security within our society.
Conclusion: The whole-of-government/society approach represents a paradigm shift in combating contemporary internal security challenges. By capitalizing on interagency collaboration, stakeholders engagement, intelligence gathering, surveillance, information sharing and public participation. This comprehensive approach optimizes the needed operational effectiveness and enhances the overall security of a Nation. It acknowledges the need for a holistic and collective effort to address diverse threats and promotes resilience in the face of evolving security risks. Therefore, effective implementation of this approach is crucial for ensuring a safer and more secure future for all societies worldwide.