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Friday, February 3, 2023

Curbing the climate of insecurity –

A major feature that defines Nigeria today is insecurity. Every Nigerian can attest that the country is vulnerable because nowhere is safe, not even home. Pervasive insecurity has become the order of the day in Nigeria. It will be recalled that last year the country experienced one of the most grotesque horrors in its history of insecurity. The Kaduna-Abuja tragedy where dozens of travelers were kidnapped is a horror that lingers in our minds. Likewise, Nigerians are unlikely to easily forget the brutal brutality suffered by an innocent citizen, Mrs. Bolanle Raheem, a lawyer who was four months pregnant at the time of her murder. On Christmas Day, she was shot dead by a policeman, Vandi Brambi, as she was returning home with her family from church services in Lagos. Likewise, the explosion in Kogi State was another sore point minutes before President Muhammadu Buhari visited the state to inaugurate a project carried out by Governor Mr. Yahaya Bello. Then there was the Birnin-Gwani Local Government’s ambush of security personnel, members of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), at the Kuriga Mine in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

We saw yet another security breach in the recent Edo train kidnapping orchestrated by robbers. It is ironic that rail transport in Nigeria, which could have been considered the safest in the country so far, has become unsafe, just like other modes of transport where we have seen horrible acts of terror, violence and terrorism take place Same. This state of insecurity has resulted in citizens in a permanent state of fear because the government is not prioritizing the safety of their lives and those of their loved ones. It has become an endless cycle of bandits killing innocent and defenseless citizens. It is very abnormal to see people living in constant fear of banditry and other terrorist activities emerging across the country. Nigerian states from the north to the southeast have been engulfed in fires sparked by the activities of so-called “unknown gunmen”, and the situation is likely to get worse as the 2023 general election approaches.

Unfortunately, in a country like Nigeria, it is clear that the government’s claim that it controls the security situation is not true. We continue to see kidnappings and banditry happening without any security personnel arresting terrorists. We live in a country where corruption is the order of the day, and insecurity goes hand in hand with corruption. Bandits terrorize with impunity: we see well-respected people in society fall victim to these bandits. Some states have tried to create a decentralized policing system, such as Amotekun in Oyo state and other states in the south west. But that has proven to be ineffective in addressing the situation facing many Nigerians, who must take conscious steps to protect themselves.

Normally, the state is responsible for the safety and security of its citizens, but citizens appear to be having to take hasty action to protect themselves after official government reluctance to make protection and safety a priority. It is not right for a sane person to live in a state of recurring danger. Nigeria has now become a country where, regardless of the mode of transportation and whoever you meet, you must exercise caution, tact and conscious vigilance at all times, or you cannot leave your home. Nigerians must constantly pray for themselves and their loved ones as they go about their daily activities. They must also take security measures at night to protect themselves from armed robbery and other forms of attack. Some hire local security guards in their area. Lucy Tapnag, a brave citizen who rescued herself and other victims from captors in the Plateau State, had to take risky self-rescue measures to save herself and others.

Sadly, the Nigerian government is irresponsible and has no viable plan. Shockingly, while the federal government has failed to put in place concrete measures and policies to protect Nigerians from harm, it continues to borrow huge sums of money to deal with insecurity. Borrowing without any reason. We haven’t seen any results yet. Bandits continue to relentlessly torment the lives of Nigerians and add to the already difficult and depressing situation of living in the country. Clearly, this insecurity will continue to occur if the utmost care is not given. The government has to wake up from its slumber and fight against bandits, terrorists and kidnappers. These gangsters need to feel the kind of pain they inflict on innocent citizens. They should not be allowed to act with impunity. It is important for citizens to feel safe and protected in the country they live in and call home. It shouldn’t be a place to add to their pain. The government should alleviate the suffering of Nigerians while making their lives comfortable and easy. In my opinion, this is not excessive.

The federal government needs to put in place effective security systems to address this insecurity. Effective security defense should be implemented nationwide. Rail systems should have built-in security systems to deter attacks. The safety of Nigerians’ lives is paramount while using this mode of transport. If Nigerians feel safe about traveling by rail, the rail sector will witness tremendous growth. This should also extend to roads. Both bandits and criminally inclined cops should be apprehended quickly, making their adventures unprofitable and ending insecurity forever. By implementing these measures, Nigeria will become a safe place for citizens. The immediate priority is for citizens to feel safe in their homes and in their own countries. The country should not be a slaughterhouse with no sanctuary in sight.

  • Afolabi is a mass communication student at Federal University of Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) via [email protected]

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