“While we commend and salute the efforts and sacrifices of security agencies in fighting crimes in the country with low motivation and other inhibitive factors, it is our considered opinion that there is a need to review the security strategies of the government. It is important to call for a national stakeholders conference in order to generate fresh ideas to support the government’s efforts in order to bring to a halt the endless carnage and bloodletting.”
It is a great irony that each time the military, Police, or other para-military forces foil criminal operations, they shout loudest and beat their chests for such exploits. These days, it has become a fag for them to parade arrested criminal suspects to show that they are really working. Of course, nothing is wrong with that, after all, it is customary in public relations to blow your own trumpet after a ‘successful’ operation. But any time the security forces face severe attacks with many casualties, it is the media that usually break the news, not security agencies.
We raise this observation because such orthodox public relations practice does not necessarily mean effectiveness on the part of the security agencies. This is so because security officials have raised the tone of the fact that crime rates are fast on the increase and there are needs for relevant authorities and stakeholders to come together to brainstorm and proffer solutions to the country’s national security challenges. Evidently, COVID-19 has thrown up another critical component of national security: hunger, a fertile breeding ground for socioeconomic crimes and criminal elements.
Impatient hungry citizens, especially youths who have been kept at home as a result of job losses, students who are unable to resume as a result of the inability to raise funds to meet academic demands, family heads, and breadwinners who wake up in the morning without hope of food for the children and defendants, have reportedly been involved in the burglary, invasion of un-policed or under-policed communities. Bad infrastructure such as poor electricity supply throughout the country, bad road networks, arbitrarily disruptive pump price increases, etc, have equally hampered investments in the small and medium scale business, as well as entrepreneurship. Even as the country continues to strategize against the second phase of COVID-19, we must not overlook the emergent crime rates. We are still grappling with endless bloodletting as a result of insurgency in the northeast, criminal invasion of communities in Benue and Plateau States by suspected herders, banditry, and other criminal activities in different parts of the country, and the tolls of humanitarian and economic consequences. All these have further reinforced repeated calls for overhauling the nation’s security architecture.
Beyond self-adulation of regularly parading suspected criminals before newsmen, citizens are falling prey to the criminal elements enjoying the freedom of killing with impunity under the current security arrangement and uninspiring leadership. It is already gloomy enough that for over one decade, Nigeria has been plagued with a myriad of security challenges without any definite solution and the present government that boasted of solving the problem looks self-consumed in self-deception, politicization, and pursuit of strange ambition.
This range from terrorism in the northeast; banditry, kidnapping, and cattle rustling in the North-west; herders-farmer and communal clashes in North-central; cultism, armed robbery, and hostage-taking in the Southwest; militancy in the Niger Delta, as well as secessionist agitation in the Southeast. It is obvious that Nigeria has lost a chunk of its international image on this account, endlessly shrill spin doctors of the present administration notwithstanding. Indeed, the crises and the way our government has been managing the state of insecurity do not portray the country and its people as a people that think well, that is if we think at all. It has been repeatedly underscored by different reports that efforts by the Federal Government to tackle these myriads of security situations have been massive human, financial and material costs. For instance, the anti-insurgency operations in the Northeast have guzzled billions of dollars, claimed thousands of human lives, both military personnel, and innocent civilians, as well as destruction of properties with minimal or no success at all.
While we commend and salute the efforts and sacrifices of security agencies in fighting crimes in the country with low motivation and other inhibitive factors, it is our considered opinion that there is a need to review the security strategies of the government. It is important to call for a national stakeholder’s conference in order to generate fresh ideas to support the government’s efforts in order to bring to a halt the endless carnage and bloodletting.
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