By Emmanuel Onotevure, Abuja
With the official hand over of the mantle of leadership at the Interior Affairs Ministry on 26th August, 2019, to the Honourable Minister, security agencies under the supervision of the Ministry have been tasked to brace up in the fight against insecurity. This was the assertion of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in his address to personnel of the Interior Affairs Ministry which he says, is in line with the policy direction of the Federal Government aimed at improving security, revitalizing the economy and entrenching transparency in the conduct of government business.
The Honourable Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola made this known as he officially took over from Barr. Georgina Ekeoma Ehuriah, MON, the Permanent Secretary in charge of the Ministry, in Abuja. Aregbesola, in his speech titled; “WE MUST SET FORTH NOW”, revealed that “there is no denying the fact that we have internal insecurity. But, it is not peculiar to us as a nation as it is like that all over the world”. “Each nation with its own peculiarities; what is important is how we respond to the security challenges confronting us. From antiquity and political philosophy, the primal responsibility of government is the welfare of the people, protection of lives and property and maintenance of peace. It is the foundational responsibility on which other responsibilities are built. This is the basis on which we campaigned and Nigerians voted for us. It is a sacred mandate we are fully determined to deliver on”, the Minister stressed.
While Calling on the Services, officers and staff of the Ministry to join hands with the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in protecting lives and property of the citizens, in line with the Ministry’s mandate with a view to moving the country to the next levelof socio-economic development, Aregbesola said; “we must set forth now, for an improved internal security”. “Ours is to prevent crimes, as the basis of protecting lives and property, it will become so difficult to commit crime, once people know they cannot get away with it, so brace up for the task”.
He pointed out that the Correctional Services should ensure that all the correctional centres across the country are habitable, comfortable and clean for inmates, while adding that inmates should be well fed and given proper health care so as to make transition to a new life very easy for them, in line with the new laws of the Service. “The primary role of our correctional services should be, to make those who have the opportunity of returning to the society, become reformed, rather than turning them to becoming terrors to the society by abusing and brutalizing them”, he opined.
He further charged the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure proper security of the nation’s borders, while calling on the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) to improve on their intelligence gathering in the various communities. “Insecurity transcends kidnapping, banditry and other social vices but also includes food insecurity, natural disasters such as fire” and therefore, called on the Federal Fire Service (FFS) to ensure prompt response and prevention of all forms of fire disaster in the country.
Barrister Ekeoma Ehuriah, MON, while presenting the handing over document to the new Minister earlier, said: “This handing over note, highlights the major policies, programmes and activities of the Ministry of Interior, which has immediate bearing on your statutory role as the chief policy formulator and adviser to the administration on internal security and public safety matters”.
She added that, “all the major accomplishments that were recorded by the Ministry, under the former Honourable Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen (rtd) Abdulrahman Dambazau, and those few ones that took place during the brief period that I was in charge of the administration of the Ministry are contained herein”. Ehuriah stated that the mandate of the Ministry is to foster and ensure the maintenance of internal security and citizenship integrity for the promotion of good governance in the country.