ABUJA/Nigeria: The Federal Government is considering the establishment of a National Guard to address emerging security threats and emergencies in the country.
The Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau, disclosed this in Abuja when the Adjutant- General of the California National Guard, U.S, paid him a courtesy visit.
The minister however stressed that a lot of consultations would be done before any decision is taken in that regard.
He recalled that several years ago, the government had planned the establishment of a National Guard, but the idea did not come to fruition due to a number of challenges.
General Dambazzau explained that the National Guard would help to fill the gap between the operations of the Military and the Nigerian Police in tackling security challenges and emergencies.
He said the military was becoming increasingly involved in dealing with security threats in the country which is outside their constitutional mandate while the police might be overstretched in dealing with such issues.
He said Nigeria would continue to collaborate with the international community, including sharing experiences with the U.S Army in the training of Nigeria’s security personnel.
He added that the visit of U.S military officials would help strengthen the cordial relationship between both countries, especially as regards security. Earlier, the adjutant general, Maj.-Gen David Baldwin,said he and his team were in Nigeria to foster partnership between both countries.
He said that California as one of the biggest states in the U.S had its own National Guard like other states which is responsible for security and emergencies.
He said the California National Guard will be involved in the training of Nigeria’s security agencies under the Ministry of Interior such as the Nigeria Immigration Service, Federal Fire Service, NSCDC and Prisons to deal with security challenges/emergencies. Mr. Baldwin said the training was designed for two to three years to equip the security personnel with modern trend in security and emergency operations.
On the establishment of a National Guard in Nigeria, he said that it was up to the Nigerian government to decide the modalities for the establishment of any security outfit.
He, however, said the National Guard is a very strategic and cost effective outfit that has helped the U.S in tackling security challenges and emergencies such as flood, fire and other natural disasters.