Social security for the youth will reduce their involvement in criminality and enhance their participation in nation building.
Mr Adebayo Akinade, Director-General, Institute of Security, Nigeria, University of Lagos campus, made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday.
According to him, the level of criminality among the youth has become worrisome and must be looked into to ensure national peace, stability and development.
”Nigeria has been witnessing increasing security challenges that have constituted a threat to the maintenance and survival of its democratic, political, social and economic systems.
”The question is what do we do to tackle the ugly trend or, at least, bring it down to the barest minimum?
”If you go through the objectives of this institute, you will discover that we concern ourselves mostly with security education and dissemination of security information, and we have been doing that for the past 30 years.
”We are currently planning to hold our 13th International Security Conference,” he said.
The official said that the conference would have the theme: “Community Policing and Neighbourhood Protection: Balancing Social Security and Peace Education for Sustainable Development”.
Looking closely at this year’s theme, you will see that we are concerned about what is happening,” he added.
The director-general said that the institute was focusing on tackling gangsterism and cultism into which some young people were being recruited.
”In fact, that is the nursery of the criminals.
“The upcoming conference will be addressing the major issues of youngsters going into criminality.
”That is what we are trying to check. If social programmes could be designed by governments, non-governmental organisations and others to go into solving youngsters’ social problems, that will be a check.
”When the #EndSars protest was on, you could see that hoodlums, miscreants took over the protest and started vandalism and attacks on innocent and law-abiding citizens,” he said.
The director-general noted that some youths were not properly placed, some jobless and some poverty-ridden.
“What do we do to engage them meaningfully and take them away from vices so they will be useful to the society.
“That is our area of concentration,” he said.
According to him, the way forward is to concentrate on the redirecting youths who go into criminality early in life.
”There should also be social security in place so that recruiting our youths into that class (criminality) can be effectively checked.
”That is the way forward.
“Law enforcement agencies in charge of our community policing must also be encouraged.
”Their conditions of service are not good enough.”
He added that there should be networks between the police or law enforcement agencies and communities.
”There should be a way of designing mutual relationship.
“Residents should be the ears and the eyes of law enforcement agents.
“If they can form a collaboration in this respect, we will get there,” Akinade said.
He said that the institute’s 13th International Conference had been slated for Nov. 27 and Nov. 28 with the objective of recognising potential for capacity building through sharing of ideas and experiences among security and protection professionals and scholars.
According to the official, the conference will also examine how security and policing architecture would help in responding to evolving security threats.
The conference will also promote best practices in community policing and neighbourhood protection for effectiveness and efficiency.
Edited By: the Ijeoma Popoola