Stakeholders in the academia and Security and intelligence agencies have called for de-politicisation and de-ethnicisation of the fight against bandits and Banditry to get victory over the criminals.
They also called for inter-agency collaboration to collectively fight bandits and triumph in providing safety for lives and properties.
This was the position at an online stakeholders engagement between researchers on a TETFUND project entitled “Armed Bandits and Banditry in Nigeria: History, Character and Panacea” led by Dr Jide Akanji of the Department of Political Science, University of Ibadan as the Principal Investigator (PI) and six other researchers.
The over two hours online discussion featured contributions on the history, causes and solutions to Banditry in Nigeria.
Participants at the stakeholders engagement came from Oyo State Security Network codenamed Amotekun, Airforce, Ministry of Defence Headquarters, Action Aid, The Nigerian Police, The Nigerian Army, Navy, Department of State Services & Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC).
Dr Akanji, the principal investigator stated that the research was interested in understanding the perspectives of Security and intelligence community to the issue of Banditry.
Speaker after Speaker, noted that while there is capacity of the Security community to fight bandits and Banditry, the causes of Banditry which included “poverty, unemployment, ungoverned spaces, poorly motivated workforce, get-rich-quick syndrome and moral bankruptcy among politicians must be tackled”.
Miffed by the rate at which police personnel are killed and logistics destroyed, they called on government to provide social security for those involved in the fight against Banditry and their families of deceased.
The stakeholders asked government to reclaim large vast of forest for gainful use stating that forests spaces are being used as hideouts of criminals in Nigeria.
While thanking participants for providing useful insights from their respective agencies’ perspectives, Dr Akanji said the research aims to touch states experiencing Banditry with a view to providing evidence based solutions to government.
Co-moderator of the event, Dr Adebimpe Adenugba stated that the research will proceed with training of researchers and data collection before entering the field, adding that the security situation in Nigeria is already threatening the peace and unity of the country.