Nigeria Police

Security of the lives and properties of its citizenry is no doubt the fundamental function of government in contemporary society. Without adequate security, there can be no social order. Also, economic growth and development would be impossible to achieve as people can only engage in productive economic activities when their safety is guaranteed. It is rather unfortunate that insecurity is increasingly becoming rampant in several parts of Nigeria.

It is gradually becoming a norm to read in the headlines of newspapers figures of people who have been killed or kidnapped by armed criminals such as bandits and terrorists. The recent spate in banditry and Boko-haram insurgency in the northern region of Nigeria, ethnic violence in south-western Nigeria and farmers-herders clashes in several parts of the country is a clear indication that insecurity is a real threat to unity, peace, and progress in Nigeria today and requires urgent intervention from government and security agencies.

Insecurity is not a new challenge in Nigeria today as many of the security issues that we are now faced with have been in existence for quite a long time, some even for decades. However, due to neglect, lack of political will, the ineptitude of security agencies, poor policy implementation among others, these issues have been left to take root and mature into what we now see today. When over 200 schoolgirls were kidnapped in Chibok by Boko haram in 2014, very little was done by the government to provide adequate security in schools, especially those located in conflict-prone regions. In 2018, a report from UNICEF revealed that more than 1000 children have been kidnapped in north-eastern Nigeria between 2013 and 2018.

Furthermore, in December 2020 more than 500 schoolboys were kidnapped in Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State (Northwest Nigeria) of which about 344 were released after the government negotiated with the bandits. In February 2021, there were at least two mass kidnappings in northern Nigeria. The most recent being the kidnapping of more than 300 schoolgirls on February 25, 2021, from Zamfara State (Northwest Nigeria). It is therefore evident that the abduction of schoolchildren by bandits and terrorists have not only exacerbated over the years but is also leaning towards becoming a trend in Nigerian society.

On the other hand, the farmer-herder conflict is another major security challenge that has been allowed to fester for too long. The inability of the government to develop a comprehensive framework that will ensure that farmers and herders are able to go about their economic activities without violence has resulted in the escalation of the conflict over time. The conflict is now beginning to take ethnic dimensions. Thus, creating further ethnic tensions in several communities.

Addressing insecurity in Nigeria should be at the forefront of governance. Intellectual debates on security challenges need more attention from policymakers. Now is the best time to consider alternative security measures and policy frameworks such as state police, which have dominated public debates for the past decades. The legislative arm of government needs to re-examine the security arrangement created by the 1999 constitution and make the necessary amendment that will better strengthen the security apparatus of the nation. The bulk of the responsibility of providing security seems to lie with the executive arm of government, headed by Mr President. While the appointment of new service chiefs appears to be a welcomed development, conscious efforts should be made to ensure that all security agencies have the necessary resources such as funding, equipment, training etc. needed to combat the growing spate of insecurity in Nigeria.

In conclusion, the challenge of insecurity in Nigeria today is a plague that is spreading like wildfire and if nothing is done to checkmate this challenge, then we should brace up for a complete breakdown of law and order. We sincerely hope that Nigeria does not get to the point in which it is officially recognised as a failed state.

©Fatherland Gazette

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