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Insecurity: When truth hurts – Part 2

By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa
12 January 2022   |   3:45 am
According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as at June 2021, Boko Haram terrorists killed about 350,000 people in the North-East alone, 90 per cent of whom were children.

Nigerian Army PHOTO: AFP/Getty Images)

According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as at June 2021, Boko Haram terrorists killed about 350,000 people in the North-East alone, 90 per cent of whom were children. The crisis is compounded in the South-East, where officers who sacrifice themselves to protect others have become targets of brutal attacks by so-called unknown gunmen, whom we now understand are being sponsored by politicians to settle scores. In the final analysis, it all boils down to the will power of the government to tackle the issues headlong, or else there is a failure of government. The President along with the governors of the states all pride themselves as chief security officers over the people and huge sums of money go to service this nomenclature without accountability, annually, in the name of security votes. This then leads us to the issue of conspiracy of corruption by the leaders. Given all that we now know from Dasukigate, it is actually possible for leaders in power to collude with terrorists, bandits, unknown gunmen, pipeline vandals, kidnappers and armed robbers, to fuel insecurity in order to loot the common purse. That is the way it would seem to us, if this particular government cannot rein in this monster.

Unfortunately, the situation seems to be slipping out of the hands of the government, given the scenario of greed, corruption, collusion and religious affiliations that have been unveiled to us by those who should know. Nigerians did not elect bandits, terrorists and criminals as their leaders. People with known identities canvassed for votes from us upon certain promises. Let them brace up to the challenges of their offices and secure the country.

The government should be bold to adopt the concept of state police nationally as a first step towards tackling this menace. Since those who are colluding are all known to the government, they should be relieved of their positions in order to cleanse the system. Going by the declarations of the Katsina State Governor, the situation is already deteriorating. That is from the home State of the President himself, so it cannot be said that leaders are immuned from the crisis. Right Honourable Aminu Bello Masari once presided over the House of Representatives before he was elected governor in 2015 and he is currently serving his second tenure in office. If such an influential leader should confess to helplessness in begging the people to buy guns to defend themselves, then the government has failed.

“It’s Islamically allowed for one to defend himself against attack. One must rise to defend himself, his family and assets. If you die while trying to defend yourself, you’ll be considered a martyr. It’s surprising how a bandit would own a gun while a good man trying to defend himself and his family doesn’t have one.

“We’ll support those who come with the initiative to procure arms because residents need to also complement the efforts of security agencies. These people (security agencies) don’t have the number to protect the people … Count it yourself, how many policemen do we have in this country? How many soldiers do we have? Even if we say every policeman should go back to his home state, it’ll still not be enough. So, if we fold arms and decide to do nothing, we’ll be the ones to suffer the most.”

In a way, the governor is right, to the extent that the concept of a federal military might is insufficient to combat the gravity of the issues surrounding insecurity in our land. This then takes us to the issue of restructuring, in amending the Constitution to take away the exclusivity of security as a federal agenda. The National Assembly has the golden opportunity through the pending constitutional amendment to balance the forces on the side of state police. In the same vein, it is anachronistic to have the governor of a State as Chief Security Officer when he is really not in charge of security.

He has no control over the operations of the security within his state, legally speaking, since the Constitution puts the operations and command of all security agencies in federal officers. In the meantime, Nigerians will be delighted to see an active Commander-in-Chief that will rise up to tinker with the security architecture to end insecurity in the new year.

Happy new year all.

Concluded.

Adegboruwa is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).