By Sunny Idachaba

A professor of Criminology and Deviant Behaviour in the Faculty of Social Sciences Bingham University, Karu in Nasarawa state, Prof Sam Odo Odoma has stated that inter/intra agency feuds especially among the lower cadre of security operatives are responsible for the unending security lapses in the country.
Prof Odoma spoke in the university campus over the weekend while delivering his inaugural lecture on the theme: ‘The Imperative of Securing Nigeria’s Security’.
Drawing essentially from his own experience as a former combatant soldier before he ventured into academics, Prof Odoma said, “It was my practical security experience at this time that influenced my desire to study Sociology and later Criminology which eventually became my field of specialty. As a soldier, I was involved in taming the aftermath of the June 12 election annulment and other internal security duties.”
Going further he said a country may have the best Armed Forces in terms of training and equipment, just like an efficient police force, customs, DSS, etc but remain insecure as a result of problems from within.
According to him, “It is these agencies as vanguards of security that sum up our security architecture. Surprisingly, the experiences in the past few decades in parts of Nigeria have shown how prone-to-hatred, in-fighting these agencies have become thereby exposing the nation and her citizens to the vicissitudes of threat because the security agencies themselves were not secured.
“The operatives who are the arrowheads of our security architecture are often attacked and in many instances killed like common criminals, thereby sending dangerous signals to the citizens that they too are not secured.”
As a result of this, he said investment in the economy nosedive with increased poverty. Also, he said national image dwindles, violent crimes become the order of the day as brain drain syndrome bleeds the nation helplessly.
Giving insight into inter securiry agency crisis in Nigeria, Prof Odoma traced it to 1977 in Port Harcourt.
“Since then, the crisis has repeated itself in several parts of the country with attendant grave implications as loss of lives and property, death of both operatives and civilian population have exacerbated security challenges for the nation.”
He said as long as animosity exists among security agencies, intelligence gathering and sharing coupled with the expected synergy among them become difficult.
Highlighting the major causes of the feud, the learned professor said, “Army/police clashes, for instance, are caused by superiority struggles, economic poverty, involvement in illegal business, lack of regards for other agencies, among others. He disclosed that often times, the feud rarely occurs when on official duties such as joint security taskforce, but when on personal outings to augment their meagre earnings.
He therefore advocated cooperation and collaboration as enshrined in the constitution.
“To this end, the constitution of the nation clearly emphasises the need for collaboration among the agencies such that they can effectively deal with security issues in the interest of the nation.”



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