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DEVELOPING A PEOPLE’S SECURITY ECOSYSTEM IN A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT

  1. DEVELOPING A PEOPLES’ SECURITY ECOSYSTEM IN A CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT BY TANKO AHMED, fwc Former NIPSS Snr Fellow (Security & Strategic Studies) CEO, Tsangaya Human Resource and Management Services Dutse, Jigawa State
  2. Being A Paper Presented at The Alumni Association of The National Defence College (AANDEC) Nigeria National Security Seminar THEME: Developing A Functional Participatory National Security Ecosystem NATIONAL DEFENCE COLLEGE – ABUJA, NIGERIA 2-3 March 2021
  3. A Stone Chat
  4. A medical team reviews a patient under the supervision of the Chief Consultant. The patient’s bedhead ticket indicates adequate procedural treatment but still gasping for more oxygen. The medical team cites stabled pulse, temperature, and scanning reports as signs of improvement. The experienced Chief Consultant calmly insists that the patient could have been better.
  5. The Chief Consultant examines the patient’s respiratory function and declares that the lungs are collapsing. There is an urgent need for physical therapy to the lungs requiring the patient to blow balloons. The blowing of balloons expands the patient’s lungs, restores smooth respiration, and fast recovery. Stone charts drive analogical infusions for thinking constructs on complex topics like the people’s security ecosystem in a challenging environment.
  6. An Analogy
  7. A complex issue like the peoples’ security ecosystem in an unpredictable challenging environment is attended to by professionals in specialised agencies like a medical team on a patient with collapsing lungs. The entire hospital system represents the government providing the enabling environment to patients and medical personnel, along with supervisory consultants. Solutions to complex issues or environments may not always lie within procedural approach only, but also innovative measures.
  8. It is like blowing balloons to restore collapsing lungs, or developing a peoples’security ecosystem centrifugal to an existing national security architecture. Thus, the deployment of stone chats as structuralist approach as analogies in scientific study to demonstrate syntagmatic relationships between similar incidences in search of constructive understanding for complex issues like the subject of peoples’security ecosystem.
  9. INTRODUCTION ‘… If the eyes look down calmly it will see the noise …’ A Nigerian (Yoruba) Adage
  10. Background • The idea of a people's security ecosystem does not necessarily require the physical mobilisation, training, and equipping the people as part of the nation's security structure, but rather a process of re-organising the people to participate and contribute to such efforts. • The development of a people's security ecosystem in a challenging environment is therefore centrifugal to the existing national security structure or architecture practiced in many countries including Nigeria. • Similarly, the prospect of developing a functional participatory national security ecosystem is equally suggestive of an expanded tent approach in the national security management process in focus.
  11. Statement of the Problem Security challenges permeate and spread in all forms and directions as the level of security service delivery is directly related to the existence of risk, and impact, of security threats at all levels. A Nigerian (Yoruba) infers that: '… If the eyes look down calmly it will see the noise …’ The existing and centralised 'national security architecture' needs reinforcement with a new people-centered participatory 'national security ecosystem' approach.
  12. Objectives of the Paper The paper looks into ways of developing a people's security ecosystem in a challenging environment within the theme of developing a functional participatory national security ecosystem and discuss the way forward with recommendations and implementation strategies.
  13. CONCEPTUAL CLARIFIATION
  14. The People • The term 'people' is uniquely assigned to human beings in general and considered a collective as citizens of a country, members of a group. • It refers to persons in plural or as a whole, often captured as 'The People' from which governments act on behalf. It identifies an entire body of the citizens of a country (Garder, 2019). • In concept and practice, 'the people' represents the baseline or target for delivery of government services.
  15. Security • The term security drawn from the Latin word 'securus' means 'free from anxiety or 'se = without' and 'curu = care' with wide-ranging references www.etymonline.com • Security is freedom from or resilience against the potential harm of persons, groups, activities, institutions, nations, other entities, phenomena, or vulnerability to environmental forces. • It refers to protection from threats, hostilities, absence of harm, presence of essential goods and services, resilience against potential harm, containment, and a state of mind. Security is also an act, system, or service provision by the government, private companies, third sector concern, or self-help. • Security stands for the focus of security policies, strategies, programmes, or operations (Buzan, Waever, and Wilde, 1998; Gee, 2016)
  16. Ecosystem • The term ecosystem originates from applications for vegetational concepts which consider organisms as the baseline for habitat factors of the environment seen in a wider sense as basic units of nature. • It is the totality of surrounding conditions in which things exist, function, and interact in state of affairs, situation, or geopolitical setup often deployed as ambiance, background, circumstances, context, domain, milieu, scope, setting, or sphere in the analysis. • These applications expand to depict people and systems as ecosystem processes are also seen in computer science where applications and programmes are built into interactive baselines called clouds.
  17. People’s Security Ecosystem • A people's security ecosystem also known as 'national security ecosystem' would be for all, by all, and of all, as consonance to the current democratic dispensation. • A new approach based on individual or group predisposition called habitus views "… thinking and behaviour result of cognitive structure developed historically in endless interactions between human behavior and social structures and given social field …" (Shimoni, 2019:2). • An example of a people's security is the Indonesian Badan Keamanan Rakyat or 'people's security agency' established in 1945 with the task of maintaining security by mobilising the people.
  18. National Security • The modern concepts of national security emerged in the seventeenth century from the thirty-years’ War in Europe, the English civil war, and the Peace of Westphalia (Holmes, 2015). • The idea of nation-state and sovereignty was thus subjected to national security structure and management (Mbachu, 2020). • The nation is the dominant geopolitical format of modern human societies with the principle that people or citizens are better served if the national environment is peaceful. • National security is the aggregate of all other forms of securities ascribed to human, environmental, social, economic, food, and a host of other aspects of human affairs organised into national security structure or architecture.
  19. National Security Architecture • A national security architecture is an umbrella, or designated oversight structure, for the management, decision making, and institutional aspect of national security functions and processes by way of national policies, strategies, and plans (Bearne et al, 2005). • The national security architecture comprises of associated councils, ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) charged with security-related functions and service delivery. • Mbachu (2020) explains that security agencies within a country's national security architecture are formed to organise society to confront the challenges of insecurity. • The Nigerian national security architecture consists of not only designated government MDAs directly concerned with security issues but all other public, private and third sector stakeholders under purview.
  20. Challenging Environment • As security challenges permeate and spread in all forms and directions premise is set as the level of security service delivery is directly related to the existence of risk, and impact, of security threats at all levels. • A people's security ecosystem is sourced, built, and sustained entirely on the human terrain of population, habitat, identity, beliefs, culture, socio-economic factors, political affairs, and national psyche. • The challenges encountered in the security management of these complex factors is what will constitute 'a challenging environment' for 'developing a people's security ecosystem'
  21. UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE’S SECURITY ECOSYSTEM
  22. People as Basis of Society • The famous opening lines of Section 14 (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal unequivocally state that "The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government". In theory, all nations or states claim to govern in the name or on behalf of the people. • In planning, policy formulation, strategy making, programmes, and projects, the claim is always 'for the people’. • Political scientists bestow real sovereignty to the people identified as the entire body of the citizens of jurisdiction with pollical power (Black, 1981). • In a systematic approach to the management of public affairs, group dynamics serve as a lens for understanding processes like a people's security ecosystem.
  23. The Adhocracy Formula • A people's security ecosystem is a form of group dynamics involving how people, activities, institutions or agencies, and other components of an environment interact in a system approach in the management of security issues. • Adhocracy cuts across stagnated bureaucracy to utilise opportunities solves problems and gets results in a chaotic and accelerated change with the ability to adjust and adapt (Waterman, Jnr.;1990). • The adhocracy formula is inclusive with emphasis on individual initiative, community-based, and task-focused in contrast to the existing bureaucratic 'national security architecture' based on defined rules, set hierarchy, and often too exclusive.
  24. Understanding the People's Security Ecosystem An ideal people-oriented security system or a people's security ecosystem is described as follows: “… the point where, the rural policing system, the over 7,000 formation units, and the entire Police formation will become one web of information gathering for DSS, national defence, and even the National Bureau of Statistics on a range of needed information even beyond crime … The civil-police relationship should be built on mutual allegiance to community security and safety which will create an ambient working relationship that will make the street unlivable for criminals any longer." (Medaner, 2021:1)
  25. Available Structure on the Ground • With over 7000 police formations working with community policing outfits across Nigeria there is adequate structures, policies, strategies programmes, and processes already on the ground (Medaner, 2021). • However, there are equally neglected ministries, departments, agencies at various levels of responsibilities. • Issues of corruption and mismanagement, incompetence, interagency rivalries, and undue political interference are among the key impediments to government service delivery in general. • An assessment of the challenges hindering the development of a people's security ecosystem covers the nature of the people, human mind, national psyche, value system, the environment, and organisation of security service delivery.
  26. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT
  27. Nature of 'The People' • The People consists of natural individual persons as male, female, young and old called citizens organised in groups of families, communities, local areas, states, provinces, zones, regions nations and global contents of humanity as a whole. • People are culturally categorised into creeds of beliefs, colours of skin, areas of homes, ethnicities of tribes, loyalties of nations, advantages of groups, and political ideologies all for control. • People are competitively formed into professional bodies, associations, CSOs, NGOs, FBOs, and CBOs for the sake of interventions in the affairs of the larger human society.
  28. Nature of the Human Mind • One of the most neglected aspects of human behaviour and people's control is the human mind. • It is routinely utilised in the design, branding, production, launching, promotion, and massive distribution of products through advertisement and marketing strategies. • The human mind is cajoled to vote for political leadership through election campaigns, it is constantly harassed with threats for submission, divided to be conquered and ruled, and even terrorized by violent crimes.
  29. A Weakened National Psyche • The 'collective mind' of a nation or 'national psyche' represents the psychological platform from which social, economic, and political activities are mobilised for the management of national affairs, including the outcomes and consequences of doing so. • The Nigerian national psyche portends weakened integration as individuals, cultural groups, sections, and creeds are set against each other for social, economic, and political control and manipulation in gullible exposition. • Gullibility here is the failure of social intelligence in which a person or group is easily tricked or manipulated into rash thinking or course of action.
  30. Nature of the Land • Imagine taking a day trip to Abuja from Jos going to the left at the forest through Akwanga to Keffi and Abuja, and you return through Bede to Gidan Waya to the forest. • Have you ever thought of what lies in the middle of the large circle of roads you took just on a one-day trip? • There are trees, forests, rivers, hills, mountains, and people doing their things. • This is a 'hard-to-reach' or ungoverned space like most of the Nigeria we know and deal with is not too far from the roads we drive through. • Will the activities of these people and places impact us especially in terms of the security challenges we are now facing?
  31. A Challenging Security Environment of the Past A challenging security environment of the past was captured in a report of more than 100 years ago in 1910, and it is still the same in 2021: "… The Kwolla District is in Muri Province, in the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, the position of its centre being roughly lat. 9° 15' N., long. 10° 34' W … The whole countryside is dotted with compounds, each isolated, with a small patch of farm around it … There does not appear to be any tradition of authority or any appreciation of the meaning thereof amongst these people. Each man does as seem best to himself and is responsible only to such of his neighbours as may be stronger than he. All crimes and torts are personal, and the aggrieved party gets satisfaction for himself from the evildoer, if he can. There does not appear to be any communal action in respect to crime …" (Fitzpatrick, 1910:16-52)
  32. Ignorant of Geography, History, and the People • We are drifting backward fast in time to more than 100 years in terms of People's Security as the Government has since lost the sense of organisation in terms of security service delivery. • Criminals freely roaming the land murdering, raping, and pillaging the nation. • They are called terrorists, bandits, insurgents, rustlers, fundamentalists, militants, herders, Fulanis, name it. • Fundamentally, we are unable to properly define our common enemies, and their operation mode, in the first place.
  33. A Challenging Security Environment of the Present • As various security agencies operate under a highly bureaucratic national security architecture, competition for attention, resources, and professional relevance become the order of the day. • The populace is primed to self-divide in fragmented loyalty thus gullible for manipulation. • The Nigerian security situation is collapsing into its lungs and gasping for revitalization.
  34. THE WAY FORWARD
  35. Institutional and Policy Instruments • The 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 72) has its theme on 'Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet' http://sdg.iisd.org/ . • The NIPSS National Security Threat Perception Report 2018 also concludes that "… the management of security threats should be handled by governments at all levels, security and law enforcement agencies, corporate groups such as CSOs, NGOs, FBOs, and CBOs, as well as individuals …" (National Institute, 2018:193). • The focus on people is the fundamental aspect in the management of security service delivery involving people's contribution as well as participation in support of efforts by relevant MDAs as spelled out by Nigeria's national security strategy.
  36. Nigeria's National Security Strategy 2019 • Nigeria's National Security Strategy (NSS) 2019 aims "to guide, organise, and harmonise national security policies and efforts as it identifies key security issues and assigned approach, roles and responsibilities to government, civil society, private agencies and individuals in addressing them. • It has the vision "to make Nigeria a secure, safe, just, peaceful, prosperous and strong nation" and the mission "to apply all elements of national power to ensure physical and human security. • It emphasises a just society, peaceful co-existence, national unity, prosperity, and sustainable development while promoting Nigeria's influence in regional, continental, and global affairs (Onuoha and Ogbonanya, 2020).
  37. Issues Arising • The development of a people's security ecosystem in Nigeria's challenging environment must consider the re-organisation of the national security architecture for expansion and accommodation of the citizens as part of a systemic approach to the national security management process. • The NSS-19 will require effective synergy among relevant MDAs directly charged with security service delivery as well as collaboration, cooperation, and coordination with the ever-expanding stakeholder realm, including the people in general. • Additionally, MDAs in the field of information management, communication control, education, re-orientation, socio-economic activities, community development, and cultural groups must be reawakened and reabsorb in the mainstream activities directly associated with national security management. • The intensity, level, and spread of violent crimes including the scale at which lives, properties, sufferings, losses, and trauma to the victims require the Laws of the Land to redefine such pandemic as a crime against the State with its corresponding capital sanctions.
  38. The Human Terrain Potentials • The natural potentials of the human terrain mostly neglected and abandoned could be the salvation in search of ways to rebuild society in the face of mounting threats to safety, security, peace, and national development. • Community service supported by a virile community governance in an inclusive community development process will be able to project existing institutional and policy instruments • Such programmes as community service across age and gender, civic duties and reorganisation, compulsory military and paramilitary service, and value re-orientation are critical on the way forward.
  39. Self-Help and Security Entrepreneurship • As communities are left in their near and remote, the first-line response to security threats revolves around self-help efforts ranging from tactical retreat away from danger to any necessary response for survival. • Available security professionals that out of service on retirement also bear the natural responsibility to create and offer services to individuals, groups, communities, and the government. • If security agencies could engage civilian task force and vigilantes at the tactical level to combat the enemy and seek the services of experts for strategic advice, there is no reason not to deploy volunteer or private efforts in fighting all forms of crime including insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping or cybercrime.
  40. The Community Policing Programme • Community policing promotes organizational modeling and strategies in support of the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety and insecurity at the grassroots. • The recently launched community policing programme (CPP) provides the required base or platform for a people's security ecosystem in Nigeria by its inclusive grassroots application and universal engagement. • The CPP is based on proactive rather than reactive measures principled on partnership and decentralization of powers for effective crime- fighting involving the community in crime-fighting (Kpae and Eric, 2017). • Thus, the CPP in Nigeria assembles and delivers the aspects of a people's security ecosystem.
  41. CONCLUSION
  42. Summary • The paper discusses the topic of developing an adhocratic people's security ecosystem in a challenging environment as centrifugal to the existing bureaucratic national security architecture. • A system approach to the management process provides the theoretical framework on which conceptual clarifications, understanding, and assessment of developing a people's security ecosystem in Nigeria's challenging environment produce a way forward.
  43. Conclusion • The paper concludes that the idea of a people's security ecosystem does not necessarily require a full-scale physical mobilisation, training, and equipping the people as part of the nation's security structure, but rather a process of re-organising the people to participate and contribute to such efforts. • Similarly, the prospect of developing a functional participatory national security ecosystem is equally suggestive of a people-oriented approach to security service delivery seen in the principles of the community policing programme in Nigeria. • These two aspects are compatible with the principle of constructive engagement with the larger society aiming at problem-solving associated with the Alumni Association of the National Defence College (AANDEC), Nigeria. • A people-based participatory model of 'national security ecosystem' would be an adhocratic enhancement to the bureaucratically blitzed national security architecture model of security service delivery in Nigeria..
  44. Recommendations and Implementation Strategies Given the foregone conclusions, the paper submits the following five recommendations and their respective implementation strategies:
  45. Recommendation 1: The reorganisation of the existing national security architecture to expand and transform into a people-centered national security ecosystem Implementation Strategies: i. All security-based agencies to focus on their specific areas of responsibilities and specialisation, in a symbiotic relationship with one another ii. All other supporting MDAs of government, private and corporate stakeholders to work hand-in-hand with each other for national common goals. iii.The Office of the National Security Adviser considers and sustains this transformation as its key schedule.
  46. Recommendation 2: The reorganisation of the entire government structure and processes of public service delivery to be people-centered at the grassroots Implementation Strategies: i. All government MDAs to charged and monitored on strictly productive service delivery to the community levels. ii. All communities in Nigeria to be catalogued, reorganised, and be empowered to benefit from government service delivery. iii.Community-level governance to be encouraged in aid of a people's direct participation in government activities.
  47. Recommendation 3: The organised private and third sector efforts be attracted into security service delivery at tactical, operational, and strategic levels Implementation Strategies: i. Security entrepreneurship to be given special considerations in security operations at all levels. ii. Retired security professionals to be encouraged to take up private security service beyond the general practice of running security guard outfits. iii.Government to approve the formation of private and self-help detective firms, cybersecurity squads, private armies, bounty hunters, possesses, crime busters, vigilantes, and traditional rulers in fighting crimes and insecurity.
  48. Recommendation 4: Remodeling of existing communities to fit into the new dispensation for effective participation in security service delivery and social services Implementation Strategies: i. Compulsory community service and participatory activities for all categories of citizens ii. Compulsory military and para-military service for selected age and education categories. iii.Compulsory training, social skills, local area knowledge, explorer clubs, and community projects for all.
  49. Recommendation 5: Institutional and legal reforms in aid of security sector reorganisation at all levels of government activities including people's participation in the new national security ecosystem. Implementation Strategies: i. Pandemic and systemic crimes to be categorised as serious crimes against the State for maximum allocation of resources, speedy justice process, and severe sanctions. ii. Security agencies and associated service to be expanded into an adequate network coverage across the country iii.The recently launched community policing programme to be expanded, equipped, and managed as the key platform for security reform and service delivery to the people.
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