Any government that failed to protect the lives and properties of its citizens is an irresponsible one. The primary role of government in a democratic society is to protect the lives, properties and liberty of the citizens and nothing more. Any government that fails to achieve this, no matter gigantic contributions made in other sectors, is a failed one.
The current security challenges facing the country need urgent attention before it goes out of hand. Kidnapping, abduction and ransom are the daily headlines of our newspapers. Boko Haram has already taken over the Northeast region. The farmers and herdsmen crisis is nowhere to write about in the Southern part of the country. What will one tell about banditry in the Northwest region?
Curbing this, required combative decisions by the commander in chief of all armed forces in the country. Likewise, the role of the National Assembly can never be exempted. Lack of true federalism is one of the major contributors to the country’s insecurity. The need to decentralize the country policing system is very essential in this crucial period. The fact that security is under the Exclusive legislative list is a major test to the challenges.
The chief security officer of the state who oversees his state affairs lacks the needed power over the police officers in their respective states. If a governor gives an order and the commissioner of police gives a counter one, the officers will rather follow the commissioner’s order rather than that of the governor. This contributes a lot to insecurity as it’s the government that knows the potential hot zones in his states.
In the famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi’s: “there are enough resources to meet human needs but not enough to meet human greed was never more true.”
Nigerian politicians’ greediness had left the country in a bizarre condition. Sheikh Gumi recently went into the forests to discuss with bandits and these bandits openly acknowledge that they get aid from politicians directly and indirectly.
Indirectly in the sense that they were used and dumped by politicians during elections and since these politicians have refused to empower them, they chose to empower themselves with the sophisticated weapons given to them during elections. They were directly supported by politicians in the sense that these greedy politicians that lost elections are paying them to launch attacks and make the government of the day look incompetent.
The recent fall of the strong man of Chad, President Idriss Deby will most likely lead to the same situation because he has been a very important factor in neutralizing terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin. The Nigerian troops are not well equipped with enough weapons to face the battle with the terrorists. They can’t be expected to wrestle with them. The arms are insufficient for them.
But, unfortunately, corruption has eaten deep into our system that the politicians have the guts to embezzle funds meant to purchase ammunition for our troops to tackle the terrorists right to their doors. It’s never too late as there are still possible solutions. A national security convention should be called where every concerned stakeholder should join heads together and speak their minds and provide solutions to our various security challenges.
A decentralized policing system should be accommodated. Therefore our constitution needs to be amended in such a way that the state government will be solely responsible for the security of their states. A comprehensive national database is needed for all Nigerians as this will go a long way in tackling the phenomenon. Deployment of manpower to tighten the security of our borders should not be left out as that will do a lot in curbing the situation.