Though rising insecurity is a global scourge, Nigeria’s is attaining ridiculous proportions. From Boko Haram insurgency, ISWAP Fighters, Killer herdsmen, Farmer-Herder clashes, Banditry, Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Cattle Rustling, intra and inter ethnic/ethnoreligious crisis and unknown gunmen abductions/killings- Peace, Security and Stability continues to be on the decline.
Mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity, coupled with biting poverty- an indicator of bad governance and development deficits, porous borders, insufficient top-notch fighting equipments and corruption are to be chiefly held responsible for these woes. How?
Bad governance induced Poverty: lack of good governance that will create jobs and increase both GDP and standard of living has deepened poverty in Nigeria. Boko Haram was in part, populated by local poor who were brain washed of a new state that is not only theologically legitimate, but also seeks out their forgotten welfare. Jobless poverty ridden rural poor are uptiill date the major surrogates who are available and bought over to drive the Tiv-Jukun crisis in Taraba State or any other ethno-religious based violence in the country. More so, most ‘have nots’ who lack and can’t access opportunities to better their lives and those oppressed by the rich have been the ones and will continue to be the ones that condescend to the cruelty of Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Rituals and other known criminalities- as is (though unjustifiable) presently the case in Nigeria.
Porous borders: several insurgents, bandits and armed herdsmen have been fingered to be foreigners from neighboring Republic of Niger, Chad and Benin. At a time, President Muhammadu Buhari had attributed herdsmen attacks in Benue State to Libyans. Moreso, the firearms, ammunitions, weapons, drugs and other supplies been used by these criminal elements pass through borders and check points, without confiscation. If the Nigerian boarders hadn’t been too porous either as a result of shortage of man/firepower or compromise, armed actors and unknown gunmen wouldn’t be having a field day terrorizing Nigeria.
Corruption: Groundbreaking corruption in Nigeria at all quarters is giving oxygen to Insecurity in Nigeria. From corrupt security personnels that will rather collect money and allow illegal passage of firearms and light weapons at strategic check points pass with out scrutiny, to a known case of an Army official who will open fire on Men of the IGP’s intelligence Response Team to release a kidnap kingpin captured by the team; corruption and greed is endemic in and compromises Nigeria’s security system, thereby jeopardizing the Nation’s security.
From these and other known causes of rising insecurity in Nigeria, solutions to jettisoning this untoward trend will need a comprehensive software and hardware approach in addition to the ones been presently pursued.
The hardware component to abating the skyrocketing insecurity in Nigeria will involve deployment of technology- from creating a central information fusion system that facilitates sharing of intelligence and synergy within security agencies to enhanced use of GPS triangulation in tracking Kidnappings, insurgents, bandits and criminals even as our borders and immigration policies are been tightened.
Additionally, it’s time State Policing is experimented in Nigeria with the National Assembly enacting a critical establishment act/stringent legal & operational framework that creates and makes State Policing difficult to be abused or not to succeed- this will not only compliment the present central and overstretched Nigerian Police Force, create jobs for teeming persons who are given to criminality because of joblessness but also because it’s the most inclusive approach of policing. More so, procurement and upscaling of state-of-the-art combat equipments for the Nigerian security architecture is very sacrosanct in rolling back insecurity. While the Mi-17 helicopter, three JF-17 thunder multi-role fighter aircrafts and 12 Super Tucano attack aircrafts been procured for the Nigerian Air force is a welcomed development, the Nigerian Government should in addition to procuring other superior armory for both military and paramilitary, explore all diplomatic avenues to procuring the hunter-killer, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)/drone know as MQ-9 Reaper or Predator B which is designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance (and was easily used by the American Government to kill Qasem Soleiman) to extinguish the ISWAP, Bokoharam terrorists, Bandits and Kidnappers hiding in various forests in Northern Nigeria once and for all.
In realisation that it’s the mind and not guns that kill, that killing the violent does not necessarily bring peace except the peace of the grave, and that peace settles only in the mind before it is expressed- so the battle to build a peaceful and secured Nigeria must equally be a battle for the minds of Nigerians- which brings us to the software approach- which requires Government at all levels attending to development deficits; improving welfare of security personnels to both motivate and conscientise them to shun graft; strengthening of anti-corruption agencies to enforce anti-corruption laws, as well as vigorously educating the younger generation virtues of patriotism and anti-corruption, so as to recalibrate the minds of the future security Chiefs/personnels from the infestation of corruption; strengthening the judiciary to convict criminals plunging Nigeria into insecurity; creation of well empowered by law, state Peace building structures across board including upgrading the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) to a National Peace Commission-for both structures to coordinate inter-ethnoreligious harmony and reconciliation, peace education, conflict prevention and resolution, post conflict Rs and dialogue.
Additionally, critical electoral reforms that will enable only responsive and credible leaders elected by the people to enlist into Nigeria’s leadership at all levels is a sine-qua-non to not only a peaceful, united, just, equitable and patriotic Nation void of rancour, but also to entrenching good governance that will jettison poverty and unemployment into even Development and wealth creation.
The pursuit of all these reforms is the onerous responsibility of all as everyone- Government, the Private sector, Civil Societies, Media, Academia, Traditional and Faith Institutions, Youth and Women Leaders are all stakeholders in the Nigerian Project.
Tony Horsfall, a peace and security expert/ Sir Kashim Ibrahim Fellows- I- wanna- be wrote in from Kaduna.
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