Opinion

2023: Challenging face of insecurity

From the distant past into the recent and of course the present, insecurity has not just become a national monster threatening virtually every community, local government, state and spreading like wildfire to the very ‘heart’ of the nation, (seat of federal power) where, according to noises typical of federalism, is considered more powerful than other components, thereby traumatizing the country at large.

 

With recent developments, most especially the gruesome attacks of Christians at a Catholic Church, in Owo, Ondo State, on June 4, perpetrated by a group of invaders suspected to be terrorists; from which we are yet to recover; to the very recent – I mean, the fate suffered by some of the inmates serving various jail terms at one of the most fortified correctional facilities in the country – the popular Kuje Correctional Centre in the FCT, from similar terrorist groups, during which some of the inmates were killed and many still at large, barely a month from the Owo saga which occurred in early June, from which the entire nation particularly the state concerned is yet to or might not recover in a very long time.

Like it still baffles me, how such a federal facility most fortified of all, according to the immediate past executive governor of Osun State as well as the serving Minister of the Interior Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in a very recent post on Facebook, that, with the deluge of security apparatus available at the facility, including platoon soldiers, others, it is almost impossible for any jailbreak!

Although he later declined in yet another post through the same platform, stating that such facilities are rather meant for correcting ill societal behaviours. Even we are still counting loses from the fatal Abuja-Kaduna rail attack which occurred early in the year resulting into several casualties, with many as victims of abduction, some of whom are still being held by their captors, due to the inability of their various families to meet the huge ransom even though some had regained their freedom.

Up till now, nobody has answers for the various questions raised by concerned Nigerians as to why one of the most versatile and prestigious securityoriented citadels – the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), was attacked by terrorists a while ago.

 

How can a political system like ours with very high concentration of her security entities in just specified locations of a particular region, which, over the years, has bred some feelings of superiority of the presumed advantaged region to the other, has come under incessant attacks from those believed to be associated with it?

And with the imminence of the muchanticipated general elections scheduled for next year, it is absolutely crucial and as a matter of urgency, to thoroughly review or re-overhaul, where necessary, our entire security system so as to accommodate differences, most especially in these perplexing times we are in.

I am just yet to fathom the very rationale behind some or most of the attacks which have been carried out (which are largely religious or politically motivated) since the very inception of this administration on May 29, 2015.

Unarguably, one would expect the north to have wielded the federal might, from which it has benefited tremendously, to its advantage, by safeguarding its territory from incessant onslaught by enemies from within and outside its borders, most of which it may have authorized for, most likely, religious and political reasons. Hmm, it has always been the reverse!

 

More perturbing, at this time, of course is the safety of prospective voters during the forthcoming elections as we look forward to yet another massive turnout of voters who will be carrying out their civic responsibilities as the constitution empowers them.

Then, let me ask: How can a country with the total area 923,768km, with a coastline of 853km (530.0mi); covering land area of approximately 133% of the area of the US’ State of Texas; ranked the largest country in West Africa and one of the largest in Africa and indeed the 32nd biggest in the world, with the capacity of about 200 million citizens, (excluding those in the diaspora), with military astuteness ranked among the best globally, guarantee the safety of her teaming electorates, which is just probably over an average of the her total population, when, in actual fact, cannot capably secure most of her security apparatuses from invasions unleashed by miscreants far less than a quarter of her entire population?

By far, our propensity to becoming one of the countries in the world whose citizens enjoy all the best of the fundamentals of democracy, could have surpassed those of Ghana, Sierra- Leone, The Gambia, even Liberia as the renowned ‘Giant of Africa’, by all standards – being fellows of the British Commonwealth but on the contrary, we seem to lack the capacity to manage our internal problems, which had always political instability, religious bigotry, corruption and nepotism, ethnic tribalism, and the biggest of it all – insecurity of lives and property, which is fast getting us on our toes as we wake up to the realities of what we need to do politically, otherwise, as a matter of necessity.

 

Maybe we need more than just paying lip-service to such an issue as crucial as security, to forestall recurrence of horrendous attacks we have witnessed from the past till now.

What about the cash stockpile which was meant for purchasing arms and ammunition to combat insecurity recently traced by one of Nigeria’s anti-graft agencies – the ICPC, traced to the lodge of the retired General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, a one-time Chief of Army Staff ?

 

How quick has this been swept under the carpet, just like similar cases we have witnessed! lOguntoye, a public analyst, writes from Otta, Ogun State

 

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