The recent damning report that not less than 11,000 men were killed by bandits in Zamfara State in the last eight months is an indication that the nation’s insecurity is fast deteriorating. According to the report by Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), the deceased left behind over 22, 000 widows and 44,000 orphans. The AYF also disclosed that some of the 44,000 orphans might have been recruited by the bandits terrorising some states in the North West and North Central regions of the country.
The other day, gunmen attacked some officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in Nasarawa State, killed two and abducted 10. The despicable incident came on the heels of the kidnap of 20 residents of the Federal Capital Territory.
“Nigeria is sitting on a volcano of humanitarian and security challenges brewing and about to erupt with looming consequences,” the National President of AYF, Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, warned. Also, the Bishop of Anglican Communion, Diocese of Kaduna, Timothy Yahaya recently decried the increasing rate of insecurity across the country, especially in Kaduna State where killings and kidnappings are reportedly on the rise. The cleric, who spoke at the 21st Synod of the Anglican Church in Kaduna observed that “insecurity in Nigeria has reached an alarming dimension that not only needs an emergency stakeholders approach but also a total overhaul of our security architecture.”
In a related development, the Ghanaian President, Nana Akuffo-Addo, who visited Nigeria recently, has bemoaned the worsening security in the North East, Lake Chad Basin, Mali and the Greater Sahel. He surmised that the crisis was fueled by the increasing poverty ravaging these areas, which provided breeding ground for Boko Haram and al-Qaeda to recruit members. The Ghanaian leader observed that endemic poverty and widespread disillusionment among youths were exacerbating the security situation.
It is no longer news that the general insecurity in the country is frightening as no part can be said to be free from the monster. The government should therefore pay attention to the scary security situation in the North East, the North West and the North Central where insurgency and banditry are on the rise. At the same time, it must ensure adequate security of life and property in other geo-political zones as well.
It is believed that the ugly security situation might have informed the recent calls on the government to rise to the occasion by some prominent Nigerians. With the worsening insecurity, the country may likely slide into a failed state if the government does not arrest the situation forthwith.
Therefore, we call on the government to seamlessly overhaul the nation’s security system and strengthen the ongoing war against insurgency and banditry. There is urgent need for the security agencies to come up with new strategies to combat rising insurgency and banditry. Nigeria has the human and material resources to defeat the insurgents and overcome the extant security challenges.
Let more people be recruited into the police and other security agencies as a way of boosting their numerical strength. The ongoing bloodbath and abductions of Nigerians in some parts of the country is heinous and unacceptable. The government must muster enough resources to defeat the insurgency and other forms of criminality in the country.
The worsening insecurity underscores the need to review the present centralised policing system in view of its inherent inadequacies. We, therefore, urge the Federal Government to consider the calls for state police. In a federal system of government, there ought to be three levels of policing – federal, state and council. Some institutions and organisations can also be allowed to have their own policing system as obtains in the United States.
Since a decentralised policing system has worked in countries where it operates, we believe that it can work in Nigeria and will help to tame the nation’s degenerating insecurity. Having three levels of policing system will, to a large extent, boost intelligence gathering and sharing as well as enhance general security.
Since the primary function of government is to ensure the security of life and property of the citizens, the Federal Government must not abdicate such responsibility clearly enshrined in the extant 1999 Nigerian constitution. Above all, let government address the ravaging poverty, disillusionment and unemployment among the youths.