Insecurity in Nigeria: What is the way out?

Due to the poor security response of the Nigerian government, insurgency has begun to pose a serious threat not only to the North-East border communities but the whole nation. Nigeria is no doubt under siege and the citizens are caught in it as it undermines the quality of life.

Insecurity has been a long problem and is becoming traumatizing as news reports filled with stories of killings, kidnappings, herders on killing spree, abductions and banditry are allover the place. Therefore, it is pertinent for both the State and Federal Government, individually and collectively, to confront the monster threatening Nigeria’s Peace and existence.

Reports show that in the first quarter of 2021, 393 and 926 persons were killed and kidnapped respectively by marauding bandits in Kaduna State. Despite the involvement of the military in internal security operations, 741 Nigerians were killed and over 1,000 others kidnapped in Q1 2021.

Although governors in the South have held meeting to discuss about security, nothing has been forthcoming. All they do is make pronouncements without action being put in place or they push security matters to the Federal Government claiming they have no role to play in national security but celebrate the purchase of vehicles for federal security agencies operating in their states.

Few years back, a former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, stood out during his eight year tenure. Fashola beefed-up security in the state by using the federal security agents; he equipped and motivated them in a hands-on approach for the huge task of securing the state. Though after his tenure, insecurity moved north again. Also, in 2020, governors in the South-West established Operation Amotekun, in response to the citizen out cry. In Benue State, Governor Ortom responded with an anti-grazing law against the killings by Fulani herders.

These days, every state in the country is under the siege of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, ritual killings and the government is failing in its primary assignment of protecting lives and property. during the final week of Ramadan, Boko Haram insurgents invaded parts of Maiduguri ,the Borno State capital. A video trending on the social media in which criminals openly attacked motorists in gridlock in the Mile 12 area shows that insecurity is going out of control in Lagos.

The Nigerian federal and state government should address the root cause and drivers of insecurity such as drug abuse, absence of rule of law, lack of economic opportunities for the youths. It must also address corruption in public office, illegal practice of electoral processes and environmental pollution. Furthermore, legal options should be deployed at the state level. Each state must review its law to quicken prosecution of criminal suspects rather than sending them to their state of origin.

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