How to urgently fix insecurity in Northern Nigeria
SIR: Since the recent exacerbation of terrorism in northern Nigeria, there have not been serious legal actions to punish the culprits. There should be an emergency court for trying the criminals and immediately convict them.
There should be a special law that dictates the kinds of punishment for every kind of complicity in banditry and kidnapping. The punishment should be severe and in the public view. It will serve as a deterrent to others who might be tempted to be involved in any kind of terrorism.
The government cannot fix this level of insecurity in a short while, that is why the citizens have to come in. For northern Nigeria, there should be an independent body or forum that will unite the expertise and resources of all active and retired professionals and elite from the region.
The forum will be independent of the government and should have a structure down to the local government levels. It will be managed by highly respected and experienced people in the region. The forum might be named “Arewa Development Forum.”
The forum will feed the various state governments individually and as a group with ideas and strategies and help harmonise their approaches toward combating the insecurity.
The body will establish “The Arewa Development Trust Fund,” where every working and capable northerner will be contributing a willing amount of money monthly. The funds will be used for compulsory education for all and some basic infrastructural development in the northern rural areas.
The extent of the abject poverty in the north is unimaginable. There are still villages where they don’t have schools and no access to electricity. These villages have no road and potable water and their population is growing.
The Arewa Funds will be used to build infrastructure in these kinds of villages. It will be used to build schools and sponsor every child’s education, especially in remote areas. It will be used for free education for every northerner. New teachers will be trained and recruited and paid well from the funds.
The Funds should be used to address street children begging and hawking. The Forum will conduct a census of the “Almajiri Child” for a database of their locations and their homes of origin, with a plan to send every child back to their parents.
The parents should be incentivised for keeping and supporting their children’s education. The Funds can also be used to support modern and mechanised farming, including animal rearing and ranches. It can also be used for capital seed for women’s entrepreneurship and businesses.
Finally, the APC administration must fix insecurity before the 2023 elections, because the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari were voted mostly to fix insecurity. The next administration should not inherit another insecurity challenge.
Dorcas Adams wrote from the Department of Mass Communication, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic, Bauchi.