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Buratai explains why a coup should be seen as organised criminality

Jul 20, 2023 | International | 0 comments

To preserve democracy in Africa, retired Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, former Chief of Army Staff, has called coups organised crimes.

On Tuesday in Abuja, Buratai spoke at a One-Day International Conference on Organised Crimes organised by the Tukur Buratai Institute for Modern Security Issues, Igbenedion University Okada.

“Organised Crimes Network as Emerging Risks to National Security” is the conference topic.

Former Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Buratai stated specialists, policymakers, and players from many sectors must work together to fight organised crime.

Buratai added that current problems showed that the military must continue to perform its constitutional duty without governance, while democratic administrations should rule properly.

Due to attrition, the military had been on the receiving end, yet democracy now expected the military to serve its constitutional function rather than actively rule.

“They may have numerous methods to influence the government to ensure that security function is performed adequately and enable the democrats, the citizens, to do their jobs properly.

The military should stay within the constitution and support the civil government to tackle our country’s governance and development issues.

“By doing so, everyone plays their role—democrats, politicians, military, and population.

“Politicians and the military should resist being persuaded abroad to disturb the democratic process in the country,” he stressed.

The former army commander claimed complex reasons for organised crime in the Sahel, notably in Nigeria, including open borders.

He also attributed the increase in organised crime to the easy movement of criminals and illicit products across borders and the protracted crises in Somalia, DR Congo, Libya, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Sudan.

Nigeria’s socio-economic and political difficulties have shaped organised crime.

“The 1980s Maitatsine rebellion, led by a fundamentalist faction seeking strict Islamic authority, resulted in bloodshed and deaths.

In the 1980s, Lawrence Anini commanded a gang that committed high-profile thefts and killings.

Moreover, ransom kidnapping syndicates have increased security risks.

In the northern area, armed gangs rustle livestock, loot banks, and commit other crimes, making banditry a big issue.

He stated that drug cartels have helped organised crime grow, increasing drug trafficking, money laundering, and corruption.

Buratai said Nigeria’s organised crime was large and varied, needing a diversified response from law enforcement and administration to attack and safeguard individuals.

He placed Nigeria 5th out of 193 nations with a crime score of 7.15 out of 10.

The World Organized Crime Index ranks it 2nd of 54 African nations and 1st of 15 West African countries.

He stated that warring or fragile nations have the highest crime rates.

Buratai warned that persistent criminal operations, such as the daily theft of 500 barrels of crude oil and the premeditated relocation of people for mineral mining, must not be disregarded.

These multidimensional crimes damage stability and well-being in afflicted countries and prolong violence and exploitation.

“These illicit organisations undermine our economy of genuine growth and progress and wreak incalculable damage on persons and communities,” he added.

Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, Vice Chancellor of Igbenedion University, said organised criminal activities, including banditry, terrorism, human and drug trafficking, and abduction, were increasing insecurity in Nigeria.

Ezemonye said the threat has strained the nation’s security architecture.

He said the university, under the Buratai Institute for Modern Security Issues, will convene security experts and top-notch operators to investigate the concerns.

He said the centre’s ultimate purpose is to strengthen the nation’s ability to cope with growing and unique security concerns via cutting-edge expertise.

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