Insecurity and social anomie: Call for decisive action – Part 2
Continued from yesterday
Let the government know that we will not be able to live with the Zamfara situation or more explicitly, the current situation in the North where children are kidnapped and dehumanized. We urge the government to immediately optimize efforts at identifying and bringing to book those involved in the attack on the National Institute of Construction Technology, Uromi. This will enforce deterrence. The government must issue a statement assuring us that our children are safe on their way to school, in school, and on their way from school. Any attempt to take the safety and wellbeing of our children for granted will provoke very decisive mass action from civil society in Edo State.
We implore the state government to strengthen the response capacity of the police. The kidnappers take their victims to our forests. It is laughable that the Nigerian police cannot locate criminals and kidnappers hiding in our community bushes. We call on the government to evolve a more decisive approach in curtailing the security situation in Edo State.
We argue that the corporate existence of Nigeria is in glaring uncertainty unless the security crisis is effectively resolved. In our perspective, the resort to self-protection by individuals and communities has engendered the proliferation of ethnic militias and warheads. In a country where nationhood is still a mirage, the implication this scenario delivers is too dangerous to imagine. As a way forward, we submit as follow:
We call for a genuine solution to the unemployment crises particularly in relation to youth unemployment. To that effect, we request that government present an action plan or a working template that is convincing on minimizing unemployment.
We call for proper funding of our educational system. We call for a fundamental legal approach that delivers deterrence on examination malpractices. Beyond legalistic documentation, we call for the employment of effective monitors not susceptible to corruption, as enforcement operatives during examinations.
We call for a more realistic approach to our anti-corruption crusade. An anti-corruption model that focuses on those holding political offices begs the question. An effective anti-corruption approach must fundamentally deal with mindset reorientation. Therefore, an effective anti-corruption policy in Nigeria must draw from the impartation of the moral will on the mental psyche of all Nigerians.
Deriving therefrom, we call for the strengthening of the National Orientation Agency in resources and ensuring that personnel with the appropriate psychological requisite give direction. We call for the proper funding of the Nigerian military, police, and paramilitary. This requires upgrading the arsenal of our various security institutions. We call for the retraining of our security personnel for better performance and higher delivery. We call on the government to take responsibility and engender the political will to effectively curtail insecurity.
We call for an audit report from the Nigerian police to be publicly presented to the Nigerian people. The said report must provide details on the number of guns that were looted by mobs that attacked the police stations during the ENDSARS protest. How many of the police stations that were burnt have been rehabilitated? How many guns lost during the ENDSARS protest have the police recovered? How many of the criminals that were released in the ENDSARS jailbreaks have been rearrested? These details will guide us on the lapses that our security network is experiencing and lead us to an effective solution-based approach in a certain respect.
We call for the consolidation of community policing immediately everywhere in Edo State and perhaps Nigeria. We demand a sincere and categorical anti-grazing law in Edo State.
We warn the federal government to desist from intimidating the citizenry rather than engage in intellectual debate on issues of contention. Threatening the Nigerian people with state violence in killings and incarceration has become the norm. The maximum of that delivery was the brutal killing that concluded the ENDSARS protest in the Lekki Toll Gate. Let our government know that to intimidate the citizenry and narrow the space for debates or totally submerge the freedom of the people to express their pains opens the door to a nihilistic option. We must preempt the deterioration of the Nigerian situation to the experiences of Liberia from Samuel Doe to Charles Taylor or Yomi Johnson.
Abiola is president of the Conference of Non-Governmental Organisations, CONGOs, a coalition of over 150 NGOs, FBOs, CBOs.
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