Causes and solutions to rising insecurity in Nigeria, By Meduoye Adeyinka

Posted by News Express | 14 December 2020 | 1,224 times

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•Meduoye Adeyinka

 

With or without environmental scanning challenges, what becomes the fate of a man whose absence is felt in his presence?

Of course, while we might want to have a sharp rethink by employing the character of rationality and the relevance of logic in potentially giving a constructive feedback to such, the bloody stain of our national identity during peaceful demonstrations, and the recent killings of tens of innocent farmers in a corner of Borno State denotes the inadequacies at the corridors of affairs, showing the flurries of cracks deposited without batting an eyelid. What a nation!

It is clearer that the nation is speedily marching and navigating its way into filthy and precarious waters. From the recurrent Oodua People’s Congress turmoil, the Niger Delta militancy chaos, the Islamic State of West Africa Province/Boko Haram bedlam to the bandits and Fulani militias’ raging battle, our national peace sinks like a pebble thrown into the river. The ripple effects are trophies of deaths, murders, abductions and destroyed properties being displayed on national screen, without recourse to discourse. 

Even in dire situations, those who are consistent in feigning ignorance of the present realities by playing the game of neutrality are part and parcel of the wrongs, negativities and abnormalities hitting the core of the society today. We are all on the run, no one is left behind, including the traditional rulers who should project and promote cultural beliefs and guides among the people. They, too, are being given a slight chase, with the most recent axing to death of a monarch in a South-western state. 

Fellow Nigerians, the failure of the nation’s security measures is inextricably connected to the breakdown of governance – the trademark of which is mass unemployment and widespread poverty – in a country which prides herself as the “Giant of Africa”, and the top exporter of crude oil in West Africa. Aside mass unemployment and pervasive poverty, social services and other infrastructural facilities that enhance job creation are grossly inadequate. Here we are!

The daily struggle for people to accomplish needs for survival attunes to our inclinations for peace; rather, we got entrapped at the security front. Without feigning ignorance on the disturbing report index released by the IMF, projecting Nigeria to become the World Poverty Capital by 2030, with an exponential increase in her population rate, calls for concern. No truer words – poverty troubles the mind; epidemic of crime leads to fear; and insecurity leads to despair

The absence of transparency and good governance permits unethical actions and inhibits accountability. How? The misuse or theft of state assets, whether locally generated or from foreign aid, denies citizens basic services. This increases infant mortality, illiteracy, malnutrition and poor health as evident during the coronavirus pandemic. It decreases investment and economic opportunity and perpetuates poverty. Such misconduct is often linked to other forms of crime: trafficking in arms, wildlife and drugs. In extreme cases, it threatens political stability and even fuels conflict as demonstrated during the #EndSARS protest.

And when people see their leaders amassing wealth at their expense, they get angry and may look to violent actors for remedies. This threatens national security. And money intended to defend terrorism has also been misappropriated by those who use it for their personal gain under the guise of designing security think tank.

The unethical control of state power and resource allocation, have in recent times generated conflicts that have become intense. And disintegration continues to be contemplated by aggrieved factions of society as one of the feasible means of resolving the national question. The recent rhetoric has translated to real world implications. Beyond political lines, security is a matter of concern for all. The world is watching, the truth is hidden to make informed decisions. There is a need to uphold the first amendment to its fullest extent.

Those at the helm of affairs continue to stand by as extremists disseminate various forms of hateful ideology across board, encouraging violence and discrimination against one another. Some even see to the actualisation of these heinous acts with a dubious target at inflating their security votes.

There is a need for reorientation exercise, since some youths have been brainwashed to join insurgency and/or other forms of criminal groups, which denotes that illiteracy and ignorance are other contributing factors to this turmoil.

The Constitution of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) has designed conventional security agencies in the army, navy and air force, including the police and other paramilitary organissations. Yet, there are strong security lapses at every corner. Of course, the government is to see to the safety and security of life and property; and when this is not in line with the people’s expectation, it then becomes imperative to revisit the conventional security architecture, since it has moved from its overlooked phase of round-table discussion to a nomenclature of realities.

The last hope of the man – judiciary – is clothed and folded with prolonged corrupt practices where human dealings are viewed under the microscope of unending sentiments and parochialism. The pursuance of collective agenda suffers serious setbacks, especially when laws are twisted in favoritism due to inequitable discharge of the gavel.

Convictions and sanctions are designed as deterrent measures to keep the populace at bay, but the misapplications of lawful penalties has conversely increased crimes in our societies with stark realities on the state of insecurity in Nigeria.

A careful review of the subject matter, deduce that the rising insecurity in Nigeria can possibly be solved as suggested below:

* Declaration of National Emergency and Sovereign National Conference – this way, it becomes a national problem and not the challenge of the ruling class.

* Employing the power of public enlightenment.

* Promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development; provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.

* Overhaul of the media space to curb the spread of fake news which, in turn, causes tensions between persons.

* Establishing Empowerment and Credit Facility Programmes

* Complete overhaul of the security agencies to pre-empt these security breaches

* Legislative and Constitutional review should be initiated to assess the nation’s constitution and amend or expunge all necessary areas that have been found to give rise to crises and security challenges.

* Determined efforts should be made to reform the various agencies involved in creating employment and alleviating poverty. From the National Directorate of Employment, the Bank of Industry, to the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency; these should step up their game and generate sustainable employment.

* Above all, good governance is the key.

The fact is, efforts have been reactive rather than proactive. This should be directed at curbing the causes, and not insecurity itself.

Here’s an illustration: If a tree litters the ground with its leaves, you don’t unendingly expend money packing the garbage – you cut the tree. If the government is serious about curbing this, it should create jobs and tackle mass unemployment, and reduce the nation’s budget on security. Pumping more funds into security won’t give the desired result, but understanding the root-cause gives an edge in finding lasting solution. We need a serious and desirous government.

God bless Nigeria.

•Meduoye Adeyinka can be reached via yinkopet@gmail.com


Source: News Express

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