Nigeria’s unending insecurity

THE gruesome killing of Brigadier General Dzarma Zirkusu and three members of his troop in Askira, Borno State, has brought to the fore the unending and unaddressed issues of insecurity bedeviling Nigeria. The Army General and three others were travelling to Asia-Uba from Chibok when they ran into an ambush laid by some insurgents of the Islamic States of West African Province (ISWAP) suspected to be on a vengeance mission. This and more previous attacks were launched in recent years by bandits who are growing in leaps and bounds and have become so cruel with notable security breaches such that they have extended their hostility to the Nigerian military.
WE recall about three months ago, the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Afaka, Kaduna State was attacked by gunmen who killed two of its officers and abducted a senior officer. Barely a month ago, suspected bandits destroyed a portion of the Abuja-Kaduna rail track with explosives, forcing a disruption of train services on the route. Also, on July 18, the pilot of one of the Air Force’s Alpha Jet Aircraft, escaped death by the whiskers, when the aircraft was shot down while returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna States. The Hope notes that these attacks are direct affronts on the military, a sign of worsening security situation in the country and national embarrassment.
INSECURITY in Nigeria encompasses banditry, kidnappings, armed robbery, ritual killings among others. Several illegal armed groups, ethnic militia groups and religious fundamentalists are evidence of insecurity in Nigeria. And these are negatively affecting Nigeria politically, economically, religiously and culturally. No doubt, people have started to lose confidence on the capabilities of the law enforcement agencies in handling the security challenges.
THE history of insurgency in Nigeria dates back to the first major religious conflict in Kano State in 1980. Aside the civil war, the Kano massacre blazed the trail of insecurity in Nigeria with the killings and maimings of scores of residents by the Islamic sect led by Maitatsine, a Cameroonian. There have been several minor attacks by these insurgents before they grew into monsters. It is now so glaring that the country is under a serious terrorists’ siege.
IT is sadder that the past and present administrations have been complacent and unperturbed. In spite of last week’s judgment by a federal high court sitting in Abuja ordering the federal government to declare bandits as terrorists, government is yet to do so, which we believe is like postponing the evil days. Perhaps, the federal government is afraid based on the warning by the renowned Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, that “foreign jihadists would overrun the country should bandits be declared terrorists.”
THE HOPE commends the Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum, for taking the bull by the horn to raise the alarm that Nigerians are living in fear over the unending insecurity across the country, calling on the federal government to do something urgently to address the situation and restore hope to the minds of the people.
WE therefore charge the federal government to use pragmatic approach in combating insecurity. It should provide the relevant weapons and technologies that can help build a more secured Nigeria. These include CCTV cameras, drones, biometrics and cybersecurity technologies. Even where bandits use thuraya phones and walkie talkies, there are other superior gadgets that can be used to monitor their mechanisms and trace them, so as to bring them to book.
THE federal government should also exploit a political solution and exercise political will in the interest of the people. The purpose of the NIN-SIM registration validity is for security reasons, hence it should be deployed to arrest criminals and terrorists.
WITH the NDA attack, one could deduce from the series of attacks executed by the bandits that the security setup in Nigeria’s intelligence information system is inadequate. If 24-hour monitoring was maintained, superior forces, including Air Force backup, could easily disrupt and subdue terrorists before they strike. The military which is saddled with the responsibility of defending the nation and her citizenry against attacks from external forces should restrategise.
The Hope urges them to be proactive and look inward to finding a way around the technology the bandits use. We advise the armed forces not to wait and be retroactive. No doubt, there are bad eggs in the military and para-military formations in the country as in every institution there will always be a mole. So, the military should be more sensitive and ensure transparency in the recruitment exercises as carelessness could lead to more grievous attacks anytime.
IT is more important for Nigerians to unite and support our gallant troops by boosting their morale and not give advantage for criminal elements within our domains. We insist that people should report any suspicious movement to the security operatives early.

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