(By Kingsley Nnajiaka)
“Now, let us remove politics and focus on how to tackle the problem of insecurity that pervades the minds of Nigerians, which has made everyone to live in palpable fear. Security of lives and property are the main cardinal function of any government. If our elected leaders can truly uphold the constitution they often profess to uphold, the general insecurity will be reduced if not eradicated. To this end, both the government and citizens have a lot to do.“
The popular aphorism of Hubert H. Humphrey that “to err is human, but to blame some else is politics,” seem to be playing itself in the gathering momentum of our current security situation.. From the escalating insurgency and terrorist activities in the North East geopolitical zone, down to the entire northern part of the country, hardly had any terrorist attack happened without any group apportioning blame to another group without proffering solutions on how to end this evil re-occurrence that occurred with impunity. The highlight of this politics in security was the deadly bomb attack at Nyanya, Abuja where the People Democratic Party (PDP) openly accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) of being responsible for the bomb attack.
But wait a minute! How did we get to this situation? What actually went wrong? Previously, it was usually in the news that we heard this kind of stories of suicide bombers, or car bomb attacks in some countries like, Iraq, Sudan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan etc. It is no longer news that terrorists live among us in this country.
Apart from insurgency and terrorism, our country is faced with challenges pose by kidnappers in the Southern part of the country. Where some criminals kidnapped innocent citizens and held them hostage until huge amount of money is paid as ransom. Added to this are the activities of ritual killers who lure their victims and get them killed. A recent incident in one of the South West States is fresh in our memory where scores of fresh human parts and dead bodies were recovered and some of the victims rescued alive. There again, there was politics of blame game, after the successful rescued operation by security agencies, some politicians were busy blaming the State government for that dastard act, alleging that the government was aware of the activities going on, in that evil forest.
Surprisingly, these culprits of evil act are not spirits. They are not from the moon, they live with us. But, what will make one to engage into this dangerous, evil, dastard, barbaric and satanic act? One school of thought posited that the problem posed by “Almajiris” in the Northern part of the country contributes immensely to the increasing activities of terrorism in the north. This school maintained that the most wanted leader of Boko Haram was a product of almajiri school dropout, who was brain washed into this evil act. Had this wanted leader of BH attended good school, he will not have taken this dangerous part.
Similarly, some of the criminals that are into kidnapping activities often confessed to the police whenever they were caught that they were graduates and only engaged into this illicit way of making money due to unemployment. Though this may partly be the reason, it does not stand sufficient an excuse to kidnap an innocent person.
Now, let us remove politics and focus on how to tackle the problem of insecurity that pervades the minds of Nigerians, which has made everyone to live in palpable fear. Security of lives and property are the main cardinal function of any government. If our elected leaders can truly uphold the constitution they often profess to uphold, the general insecurity will be reduced if not eradicated. To this end, both the government and citizens have a lot to do.
Firstly, government should ensure that it provide basic needs of the citizens, especially quality education. The Almajiri system seem to be doing very little to remedy the situation of lingering almajeri who still roam the northern streets; begging and eating leftovers. These are the most vulnerable children to be enlisted by terrorist. A workable structure must and should be provided to accommodate these children into Islamic school which currently is in short supply. In the course of establishing these Islamic School, the private sectors as well as philanthropists with all their wealth should see it as their religious duty to support the course of investing and providing this form of education for the northern children; since western education seem to attract frowns to some. Also there is need to periodically review the curriculum and teacher of these schools, if not a significant effort would have been made to gather the puppies to be trained by wolves. Considering the extreme poverty in the region, the government should consider such educational setting to be run on scholarship, funded by pulled funds from SURE-P, TETFUND, and private contributions for the time been.
Also, government should provide conducive environment for private sectors to invest so as to attract more investors who will employ our youths thereby reducing unemployment. A diversified economy is most vital at this point in time, without the lip services of the past; agriculture needs to be revamped as well the manufacturing plants across the country. Effort need to be synergised to improve the road and transport conditions especially those leading to agricultural communities to encourage agricultural prices, supply and practice.
Citizens on their part should assist government by obeying the laws and provide information to our security agencies always. As well as reporting any suspicious movement or activities to the appropriate quarters.
Security agencies on their part, should review their strategies in tackling this insecurity. Their recruitment process should be reviewed so as to allow people that have zeal to serve this country in the security circle to be recruited. This will include recruiting all the “civilian JTF” into the army and police. And this will make the fight against insurgency more effective. There is also need for our security agencies to review their training pattern. Based on the situation on ground as our security agencies did not contemplate how to counter suicide bombers during their training days.
Finally, our political leaders should separate politics from security issues and join hands together to fight this general insecurity in our country. When this is done, the problem post by general insecurity will be a thing of the past because there is strength in unity.
Legal officer, Centre for Social justice, Abuja
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”