Security: Minister to present recommendations of town hall meeting to NEC

 The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says he will on Thursday present the recommendations of the Kaduna town hall meeting on national security to the National Economic Council (NEC)

Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja while fielding questions at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) flagship interview programme, NANForum.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Information convened the town hall meeting on national security on April 8.

The town hall meeting, which drew participants from the academia, private sector and civil society, was to address the nation’s security challenges and the effect on national unity and cohesion.

The town hall meeting was themed: “Setting Benchmarks for Enhanced Security and National Unity in Nigeria.”

Speaking on the outcome of the town hall meeting, the minister said he would ensure that the resolutions were implemented.

According to him, the meeting came up with 10 resolutions to address insecurity as well as strengthen national unity and cohesion.

Mohammed also disclosed that there was consensus on the primacy of law and order in governing society.

He said all participants at the meeting agreed that people could agitate for political restructuring but not to accept the call for separation or secession.

The minister further quoted Prof. Ade Ajayi as saying that “It will take more energy to break up Nigeria than to fix Nigeria and that if properly exploited, our diversity is actually a source of strength.”

According to the minister, participants further recommended for the decentralisation and reformation of the judiciary through constitutional amendment.

He stated that it was also resolved that every level of government must ensure that every child of school age has compulsory and free primary education.

The minister further said that creation of state police was recommended and should be supported by the National Assembly and House of Assembly in states in order to assist governors in handling security challenges within their domains.

The minister added that traditional rulers were recommended to be given their age-long roles in governance.

He said traditional rulers in the past played key roles to maintain peace and security within their domains.

The minister also said one of the resolutions was to grant autonomy to local governments so they could have the means to secure and govern their areas.

“Another interesting thing that was agreed upon was that under Nigeria’s constitution, Article 15, 3C has provision encouraging Nigerians to inter marry.

“Christians are encouraged to marry Muslims, Itsekiri should marry Hausa, Yoruba should marry Igbo, when you have that kind of inter marriage, it becomes more difficult to break the country.

“It was also agreed that the way we practise our animal husbandry is not sustainable and that we must establish ranches, grazing reserves with modern amenities like schools, veterinary clinics and watering holes,” he said.

Mohammed pledged to share the resolutions of the town hall meeting with all stakeholders as well as present a memo on them to the Federal Executive Council. (NAN)