The unmitigated wave of insecurity in our country Nigeria has become a malignant and smelly leprous sore begging for urgent national diagnosis and treatment. The menace has unfortunately reached its crescendo in recent days. Do we still have a government which swore to protect the lives and property of its citizens is the question on the lips of many? The lives of average Nigerians no longer matter and are not even worth the value of a mere farthing.
Again and again, people have been and are slaughtered in their numbers with reckless abandon by Boko haram insurgents, marauding kidnappers, cattle herders and armed bandits. There is hardly any community and family in Nigeria which has not had its own fair share of this painful but recurring decimal of unwanted bloodletting.
Communities can no longer sleep with their two eyes closed. They have resorted to communal self-help by forming vigilante groups ironically armed with ordinary sticks in the face of a killing monster wielding AK47 and automatic rifles. Within the spate of a decade, these group of combined heartless murderers have killed more than thirty thousand Nigerians in their cold blood and the number still counting.
The government of Buhari has refused to designate all including the Fulani herdsmen reported by the world terror index as the fourth most dreaded group in the world as a terrorist organisation. By so doing, exerting the full weight of the military on these groups is denied while Nigerians continue to groan and die as a result.
The situation has become embarrassingly terrible to the point that the security architecture of the country has woefully shown no desired strategy or tact in confronting the menace. The call to relieve the service chiefs of their positions for the above reason has also fallen on deaf ears. There is this growing suspicion in the public sphere that some top-notch military personnel and politicians are behind these mayhems to further their economic and political interests. Therefore, their complicit involvement is the bane of the success against winning the war against this criminality.
In the face of this reckless killings, looting and decimation of people and communities, government at both the federal and state levels have exhibited obvious lack of the strength, might and will power to deal with the disturbing situation decisively. This government has simply run out of ideas in terms of keeping citizens alive.
Section 14 (1) (c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended states that; ”the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.” The Constitution further said in 17 (2) (b) that; ”the sanctity of the human person shall be recognised and human dignity shall be maintained and enhanced.” The events of the past years and days have vividly shown that the government has failed woefully as the menace has defiled and defeated efforts of both federal and state governments to tame it.
In Katsina state the President’s home, for example, the viral pictures and videos of bandits were captured in their numbers freely roaming the streets on motorbikes with their AK 47 in a functional show of strength and might while the security operatives are nowhere to be found. The governor of Katsina state Bello Masari has confessed and apologised for his inability to secure the lives of the people he governs. The governor admitted to the failure while speaking with journalists in the state capital recently. He said, “I don’t know what to tell them. I cannot look at them in the face because we have failed to protect them, contrary to our pledge to ensure the security of lives and property throughout the state.”
One had thought that the uniqueness of insecurity ravaging virtually every community in the north would serve as a good reason to compel the northern state governors to enact security laws in the interest of their states. Unfortunately and surprisingly too, no state has found it expedient to do so in the containment of the dangers posed thereof.
Last week, the chicken finally came home to roost. A coalition of Northern Youths protested again in Katsina state over the wave of banditry which has rendered many homeless, destroyed assets and sent hundreds to their early graves.
The protesters demanded the immediate resignation of the president over the deteriorating security situation facing the North-west region and Katsina State in particular. Their demand came on the hills of the President and Masari’s administrations’ inability to curtail the growing trend of banditry, kidnapping and other heinous activities in the area.
The North-west Vice Chairman of Coalition of Northern Groups, Mr. Jamailu Aliyu Charanchi, who led the youths on the protest, called for a complete overhaul of the country’s security architecture and that of Katsina State security committees.
Charanchi said, the review of the security architecture offers the nation the opportunity for competence, integrity and accountability in handling the overall security challenges.
Having failed in its core duty and responsibility of securing the lives of its citizens, a government which ought to have resigned has sued for patience. In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media, Garba Shehu said the surveillance would be improved upon with more night vision aircraft already deployed under “Operation Accord’’ which he said was launched three weeks ago. “Nigeria’s military has displayed its capabilities in the past and will show it again by dealing with the current challenges,” the president said. According to the statement, the president appealed to the people of Katsina State to be patient and support the ongoing military operations in their state, sympathising with those who are bereaved, injured and lost property. Buhari urged the people of Katsina to avoid taking to the streets to protest, saying it could distract the military operations.
It also added that the president urged “Katsina indigenes not to give up on the military who over the years have a strong track record of quelling crises once given enough time.
The selling point of this administration of President Buhari was anchored chiefly on the security of lives and property. He promised in the course of his campaign to end the prevalence of insecurity in three months. The tone has completely changed today.
In fact, the current security challenges confronting the nation calls for an urgent review of the security laws and architecture of the nation. The review will enable states to take charge of their security arrangement in line with their peculiarities. The formation of Amotekun as the regional security outfit by the south-west governors was a good security initiative greeted by unnecessary opposition from the federal government which has already failed in its constitutional duty of securing lives.
Nigerians are tired of presidential excuses on the deteriorating security situation in the country. The citizens demand actionable steps and implementable road map to deal with this menace. We have had enough monotonous press releases from the presidency on this matter. The President’s media team should direct its PR crisis management effort on something else. This is precarious security and life-threatening situation which the application of superior military firepower could only remedy to a reasonable extent.
State governments still waiting for the federal government to remedy the security situation in their domain should henceforth put on their thinking caps. It is within their purview to enact state security laws and form organisations backed by-laws to protect the lives of their people. The security situation has offered governors the golden opportunity to leave marks in the sand of time as those who stood firmly in defence of humanity. The earlier governments does the needful the better for all of us.
Sunday Onyemaechi Eze, a Media and Communication Specialist is the publisher: thenewinsightng.blogspot.com. He wrote via sunnyeze02 @yahoo.com and could be reached on 08060901201