Redefining the nation’s security architecture
By Niran Abitogun
“It was a day when Ala Rivers in Akure faced a potent competition.
Every face was in total distrust and agony.
Women held their hands across their chest hoping for a new dawn
Men hanged their heads looking into the unseen destiny
Some were cursing, some were praising Lord.
Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, 58, the daughter of Pa Reuben Fasoranti was lonely; nobody can interpret her state of mind any longer.
She was taken to her last place of rest amidst torrent of tears”
No father has ever prayed that his children should be buried before him. In Yoruba land such occurrence is seen as a taboo and bad omen.
On this note I want to sympathise with Pa Fasoranti on the gruesome killing of his daughter by gunmen on Ore-Lagos road.
In one language, the action further exposes the lapses on the part of the Federal government to provide security for the citizens as stated in section 14 of the Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Nigeria Police that have the constitutional mandate to ensure peaceful environment failed to discharge its duty accordingly in this regard.
The incessant security breaches in Nigeria have become a serious concern to well meaning individual across the length and breadth of the country. No part of the nation has not been touched or experienced these spiral insecurities. At first, armed robbers took the centre stage. Then we talk of dangerous robbers such as Oyenusi, Anini, Osubor, Folorunsho, Shina Rambo among others. Nigerians were daily appealing to God to deliver them from the hands of these men of the underworld. The summative aspect of it is that their activities constituted a bitter agony unto many families. Later, the car snatchers came into focus to compliment the armed robbers. People were rushing to churches to anoint their vehicle as another form of immunity because the law enforcement agents are not responsive to their aspirations. Some analysts blame the surge on the civil war which created an army of unemployed youths in the country.
As the country develop, so also its socio-political structures. The crime rate took another escalating dimension. Crime becomes an institution with different characters. We now have ethnicity related crime, religious crime, institutional crime, political, economic and many others.
Hence, the nation’s security architecture became bedridden and near collapse into coma with the coming of Boko Haram and herdsmen into the scene. The ability to checkmate the nefarious activities of these elements by the government and its agents dwindles greatly. They take interest in killing and maiming fellow citizens with abandoned reckless.
Aptly put by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo ”that Boko Haram was by no means the only security challenge that we inherited when we took office in 2015. Cattle rustling pronounced especially in the Northwest of Nigeria, clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the North central region, militant activities in the south-south and part of south west, ethnic agitation in the south East region, there was also the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in northern Nigeria, increasingly emboldened to challenge the authority of the State”.
The government is yet to record any appreciable achievement to curb these challenges instead the escalation continues embarrassingly.
In my last interview with Pa Fasoranti about four weeks ago; while responding to the issue of insecurity in the nation, he said that President Muhammed Buhari must speak out and talk to his kinsmen pointing out that they would surely listen to him and probably this nonsense would stop. Not knowing that he was going to share from the despicable security situation in the country.
On security we all must be proactive. The law enforcement agents are grossly incapacitated to do the job alone.
”the nature of our security challenges are complex and known. Securing Nigeria’s over 900,000sq. km and its 180million people requires for more men and materials that we have at the moment. It also requires a continuous re engineering of our security architecture and strategy. This has to be a dynamic process. For a country of our size to meet the ”one policeman to 400 persons prescribed by the United Nations would require triple our current police force; for more funding of the police force and for more funding of our military and other security agencies”. The above scenario painted by prof. Osinbajo shows the level of frustration being faced by the government to secure the lives and property of the citizen and also the expected effects on Nigerians.
Well meaning Nigerians have called for the establishment of State Police to argument the activity of the Nigeria Police to fight crimes in the country. That apart, some people have appealed to the Federal government and the States to put in place Community police as well. They argued that in every community, the level of recognizing one another is very high, the police can therefore leverage on this advantage to curtail the criminals. In Nigeria if the security is well grounded, we can beat our chest that things are moving in the right direction.
Recently, the Uso community in Owo local government launched a community based security initiative to combat criminal activities in the environment. The sons and daughters of the town based in the United Stated donated a Ford SUV van to the Vigilante group for the purpose of patrol. In a well attended ceremony during the presentation of the SUV to the vigilante the State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu maintained that the state government would not relent in its efforts to rid the state of criminal activities.
This is a model that can be followed by other communities in the state. Security begins with the individual and later translates to a bigger operation and participation. Coupled with an effective intelligent gathering mechanism, the nation ought to be ahead when it comes to the issue of security.
The nation cannot stand akimbo and allowed her citizens to wallow in the valley of death because of the passive stance of the government.
If the Nigeria police with bigger roles in the maintenance of peace and security find it absolutely difficult to perform that role then some other proactive strategies should be designed to give a bite to the security architecture of the country.
To secure the country, the FG and the State governments must acquire adequate equipment and invest in the training and motivation of the security personnel.
The herdsmen and those who are masquerading as herdsmen have stretched to the limit the power and policy of the government on security issues in the country. It’s high time these people are handled with iron hand. The judiciary must play a good partner to see to the immediate trial of those brought before the court. Justice must be served accordingly.
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