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Harvest of Ideas at 2023 UNILAG Sociology Annual Lecture

The insecurity challenge confronting Nigeria and its multidimensional nature were the focus of discussion at the 2023 Sociology Annual Lecture and Master of Criminology Maiden Interactive Session.

Held on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at the Faculty of Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, the event featured the crème de la crème of security management practice in Nigeria, all of who made very incisive contributions.

Dr. Davidson Akhimen

First on the chart was Dr. Davidson Akhimen, CEO of King David Group, a security services company. He diagnosed the security architecture of many African countries, including Nigeria, as deficient with their armed forces more political than professional.

“The centralization of Nigeria’s security architecture is what has turned the country into a giant with feet of clay. This needs to be urgently addressed”, he said.

He called for a review of the country’s unitary structure, an insistence on competence in security appointments, and a shift from a military-centric orientation to one focused on Human Security.

A Background Screening expert and celebrated columnist, Chief Kola Olugbodi, was next in line. He also called for a review of the current top-to-bottom approach to security that relegates the grassroots to irrelevance. 

“Security is the work of everyone”, he charged the audience. “We must be security-conscious. While the government is doing its own, make sure that in your life, home, and place of work, you keep taking care of your own security architecture”.

Mrs Tanwa Shittu of Bulwark Intelligence, a private security and risk management company, highlighted the role of technology in 21st Century security management. She referenced the globalized nature of insecurity and how inefficient the kinetic approach to security management has become.

“The Nigerian State must rethink its approach to security. Efficient intelligence gathering, combined with sufficient investment in technology, will flip the page for the country’ security-wise. The authorities must prioritize partnerships and collaborations with multiple stakeholders, all the way to the grassroots”, she submitted.

Chief Kola Olugbodi, CEO of Background Check International
Mrs Tanwa Shittu

Celebrated journalist and public affairs analyst, Babajide Otitoju, did not go too far from Chief Kola Olugbodi. He also amplified the role of the individual citizen as a component of the overall security architecture and charged members of the audience to be alive to their responsibility to their country.

“President Tinubu already has his job cut out for him. He has already been welcomed with some kidnappings around the country. But while he works hard with his team of security professionals, every citizen must be vigilant, patriotic, and cooperative with the law enforcement agencies”.

A former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, introduced the subject of good governance to the discourse.

For him, “Good governance and security are opposite sides of the same coin. Absence of good governance in this country will continue to perpetuate insecurity”.

Mr. Babajide Otitoju
Mr. Fatai Owoseni
Mr. Femi Falana, SAN

He described the police of any country as a reflection of the society, canvassed for an integrated security architecture that recognizes the role of non-state actors, and called for the “evolution of a national culture that supports security”.

Renowned silk, Mr Femi Falana, SAN took off from the point of social and human security and arrived at the damaging role of corruption in the perennial state of insecurity in Nigeria.

“If you do not address social security, you can’t be talking of physical or national security”, he said. “Corruption, that is manifest in fund diversion and under-remuneration, is making a big dent on our national security and it must be tackled head on”.

He challenged the academia to take back its place in the affairs of the country. 

Representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bola Oboh

“The university must rise up and take back its place. The Nigerian society looks up to you to lead the charge for the country’s liberty from its myriad challenges”.

The well-attended event had in attendance the representative of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Bola Oboh, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics & Research).

She congratulated the Department of Sociology for a successful outing and expressed hopes that submissions from the event would proffer practical solutions to the country’s challenges.

The Dean of Social Sciences, Professor Olufunlayo Bammeke, described the Master of Criminology programme, run by Sociology Department as “a new dawn in the interrogation and management of security challenges in Nigeria”. She charged them staff and students running the programme to surpass the expectations of a country that is eagerly looking forward to the Ivory Towers for solutions.

Head of Sociology Department, Professor Franca Attoh, expressed her gratitude to everyone present at the event. She harped on the determination of the department to make a lasting difference with its new Master of Criminology programme. She invited security professionals and all players in the security management industry of Nigeria to take advantage of it. 

Dean of Social Sciences, Prof. Olufunlayo Bammeke
Head of Sociology Department, Prof. Franca Attoh

Below are photo reels of the event:

Cross Section of Audience
Aerial View
Cross Section of Audience
Prof. Derin Ologbenla of Political Science Department
Professor Omololu Soyombo of Sociology Department
Professor Abraham Osinubi of the Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Lagos.
Group Photograph
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