Insecurity is a problem that is very conspicuous in Nigeria. It manifests in diverse ways. The Nigerian police have been highly criticized for its inability to stem the rising tide of crimes in Nigeria because of series of endemic problems in recruitment, training, discipline and lack expertise in specialized fields.
In the same descriptions, security has been identified as freedom from or resilience against potential harm caused by others. In its political connotation, security means stability and continually of livelihood, predictability of relationships, feeling safe and belonging to a social group. Internal security, or IS, which is related to security can be seen as the act of keeping peace within the borders of a sovereign state or other self-governing territories. Insecurity on the other hand has been ascribed as state of uncertainty or anxiety about oneself; lack of confidence or the state of being open to danger or threat or lack of protection.
From the aforementioned one can posit that Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. Since the turn of the new millennium, terrorism has taken a rather frightening dimension in the country. Research shows that in the past twenty years or so, Nigeria has become theatre of violence: inter-ethnic clashes, religion crisis, bombings, kidnaping, assassination, murder, robbery, ritual killing, rape, cultism, child trafficking etc. In the recent past, some concerned Nigerians including the former President Olusegun Obasanjo attributed the current security challenges confronting the country largely to ignorance, which causes mistrust among the people. Perturbed by the varied security challenges bedeviling Nigeria, experts converged on Lagos to proffer short and long-term solutions to the problem. To this end, our security landscape needed to be to forestall vulnerability to various risks generated by our peculiarities as a nation, in which Lagos is an integral and critical part.
In efforts to conquer its challenges, the administration of President Muhammadu has recently outlined some of the steps his administration is taking to address Nigeria’s security challenges. Some of the steps the president outlined include increasing the number of security personnel and installing “CCTVs on highways and other strategic locations so that activities in some of those hidden places can be exposed.”
Nevertheless, the crisis is not yet over, and it would be a grave mistake for the president to disregard the continued importance of the conflict. Suicide attacks and kidnappings have been carried out by many Nigerians. At this time, the government should not just focus on security but invest in peace-building, reconstruction and rehabilitation and socio-economic development. The unparalleled spate of terrorism, kidnaping and other violent crimes is to say the least, alarming. There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is at a cross-road and gradually drifting towards a failed state if this insecurity trend continues.
But, very recently, there appears to be a light at the end of the dark tunnel of security sector in Nigeria with the berthing of the Amotekun initiative – a novel idea from the six Governors of the Southwest geopolitical zone. Though, it met with some opposition at the Federal level but the operation has been given legal teeth by respective Houses of Assembly and has come to stay. If this is reciprocated in all parts of the nation then we must have made a giant leap towards ensuring the safety of lives and property of Nigeria citizens.
– Published in Nigeria by THE ISSUES MAGAZINE Vol 6 No 39