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April 23, 2024
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Bandits as illustration for insecurity

Insecurity: A surmountable challenge through united front

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By Shera Ahmed, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

For years now, insecurity has plagued Nigeria. What started as a sect morphed into a monster called Boko Haram that terrorised the north-eastern part of the country for years.

Although its activities have minimised, they still pose a major threat in their enclave. As Boko Haram insurgents ravaged the northeast, several thousands were killed and millions and sent to Internally Displaced Persons camps others fled broad.

Infrastructure in the region took a heavy blow. Many school girls kidnapped in the wake of its murderous misadventure are still in captivity.

As the onslaught by Boko Haram eased, kidnappers and bandits emerged. To say that their actions are traumatic to victims is an understatement.

Another form of security challenge that has left sour test among Nigerians is the farmers and herders clashes. Security experts say the clashes are a major factor in the food insufficiency the country is grappling with.

Many factors have been advanced as the reasons behind insecurity in the country including illiteracy and poverty, unemployment, climate change, religious extremism and political motivation.

Several questions keep agitating the mind among them are: For how long will the state of insecurity last? Do our security personnel have answers to the changing tactics of the criminals? How can the risks they pose be permanently put to rest?

The military say they have carried to battle to the enemies and recorded huge successes.

During his biweekly news briefing on February 8, the Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, said that thousands of terrorists and their leaders have been fatally injured or badly wounded in recent battles.

For instance, he said, troops neutralised 266 terrorists, arrested 463, and rescued 116 kidnapped hostages in January alone.

He advised terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers to surrender or be killed, warning that there is no third option.

The efforts of the military and other security personnel have received the backing of the political class.

The Minister of Defense, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru in March praised the military saying they recently killed seven top insurgency commanders.

He also said the President Bola Tinubu was committed to annihilation of insurgents and defeat of any form of security challenge.

But many Nigerians want both the security institutions and politicians to do more in protecting them, with some of them expressing dissatisfaction with the process of recruitment into security agencies.

Mr Osas Afegbai, a public servant, urged a review of the process saying a more thorough process would minimise the recruitment of bad eggs and enhance efficiency in the security system.

Afegbai said more vetting of potential police officers and military and paramilitary personnel was essential in the success of the fight against terrorism and insurgency as well as other security breaches.

Other Nigerians think that the security agencies are not properly equipped hence the need to give them modern terrorism fighting equipment and skills.

One important aspect of the fight against insecurity is equipment and the Federal Government is not relenting in that regard.

For instance recently, President Bola Tinubu inducted two T129 Attack Combat Helicopters and one King Air Beechcraft 360ER mobility aircraft for the Air Force.

But many Nigerians think that these efforts are welcome but not good enough.

Mr Micheal Agboola, a civil servant, suggests that the government should provide adequate, functional, modern and sophisticated equipment for the security personnel.

Agboola said such equipment should include drones, cameras, and trackers.

Dr Kingsley Odafe, a banker, advised the implementation of toll-free emergency numbers for citizens to call in times of emergency.

Mrs Sikira Ahmed, a civil servant, also called on the federal government to deploy more military personnel to help protect Nigerians.

Over the years many Nigerians have advocated a review of the nation’s security structure to pave the way for state police.

The argument was that centralising policing business makes it difficult for governors, as the Chief Security Officers of their states to mobilise policemen in the face of emergency.

Some state governments and regions have adopted the proposal with modifications that make them not to be called police forces, at least in technical terms.

Consequently the Ebube Agu operates in the Southeat, the Ametekun in the Southwest and the Forest Guards of Benue, a kind of special force that polices the state’s forests and forest resources.

Already there are positive results as recently Amatekun was reported to have arrested no fewer than 149 suspected criminals in Ondo State.

The state commander of the corps, Mr Akogun Adeleye, said the suspects were apprehended at three Local Government Areas of the State.

“Whether you like it or not we need community police. It will be very good and effective. The likes of Amatekun and the hunters know the terrain very well.

“They also get information intelligence reports from members of the community on strange movements, people, and happenings within the community.

“So we need them to assist the security agencies in carrying out their duties”, said Mr Jibola Agboola “, a resident of the area

Similarly, Ms Sandra Igwe, an entrepreneur, threw her weight behind state police saying reports indicate that special corps such as Ebube Agu are doing well in complementing the efforts of security agencies.

“So I am an advocate of community policing as a way of ending insecurity in the country”, Igwe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

These are the few suggestions given by the masses of Nigeria and we are all hoping the government takes active steps to look into how these suggestions can be implemented to ensure the safety of Nigerians.

Tibubu and the state governors at an emergency meeting at Council Chamber, Presidential Villa in February bought into state police as part of the solution to the security challenges.

Therefore, Tinubu approved the establishment of a committee comprising state governors and representatives of the Federal Government to, among other things, explore modalities for establishing state police.

Security experts advise synergy for Nigeria to come out insecurity quagmire.

“For you to have security you have to have the structure; you have to have the manpower.

For that to happen you have to have the motivation and the men; you have to have collaboration between the people and the security agencies vis-a-vis people and the government’’, the media recently quoted retired Brig.- Gen. Ikponmwen as saying.

Given its implications for food security, general well-being, education, health among others, relevant authorities should take appropriate measures to reduce insecurity in the country to the barest minimum. (NANFeatures)(www.nannews.ng)

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