It is no longer news that the Nigerian nation has since acquired the culture of violence. Violence pervades everywhere in our land today though with varying degrees but concentrating more in the north. What may be news is that Nigeria is stemming the rate of violence in the land but unfortunately the reverse is the case. Bloodletting is an ill-wind that blows no good.
If the stability of a state is an index to measure the rate of performance of any government, there is no mincing words our leaders have failed us completely. One of the primary responsibilities of any government is to ensure the safety of lives and property in the land. How well the various governments have discharged this essential task remains anybody’s guess.
Security challenge is one of the intractable issues confronting the government which war it does not appear to be winning despite the humongous resources committed into it. The sincerity of the government in tackling the security issues have been put to question drawing from some discordant tunes orchestrated by some government actions.
The attitude of the federal government in granting Boko Harams arrested suspects’ amnesty and generous rehabilitation conditions does not go down well with many Nigerians some of whom even suspect the authorities of complicity. Again, recruiting them back into the military have been roundly condemned as a possible factor that has sabotaged and dragged all efforts at winning the war.
Besides, the refusal of the president to overhaul the security chiefs despite the strident and persistent calls for same by virtually all sections of the country leaves the mind guessing. The security chiefs it has been argued may have run out of ideas and need fresh minds to tinker around the security challenges for possible resolution. Again, drawing them from a particular religion and the northern ethnic group against the federal character principle leaves gap for suspicion.
Need we still recount the importance of security in a fragile economy like Nigeria? We cannot sincerely be talking about attracting foreign investors yet at the same time fail to create the enabling environment for business to thrive. Here security is key. What really can work in an environment of insecurity where people are not sure of the next moment?
The northern part of the country for some time now has become a renowned theatre of war where bandits, cattle rustlers, religious extremists, kidnappers, armed robbers, herdsmen etc have been running rings round our security operatives. The most disturbing risk from our inability to contain the situation is the revelation of the weaknesses of our security apparatchik to grapple with any foreign aggression.
In the last one week gun men have killed one abducted another along a Kaduna train station, bandits killed PDP chairman, bandits killed 5 worshippers, abduct Imam, 40 others during Juma’at prayers at Zamfara, gunmen storm federal legislator’s residence in Katsina, abduct two, Nasarawa APC chairman kidnapped and killed. There are many other unreported incidents. Clearly north is under siege. The attack flows and ebbs going by records as it sometimes takes on communities with huge death tolls running into scores as in the Southern Kaduna killings which has been a recurring decimal.
It is quite disturbing that the frequent massacres of dozens of people no longer secure the attention of those in authorities which probably may have emboldened the perpetrators even as we slide to anarchy. The gravity of the situation was captured in a recent BBC report indicating that 12 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP) deployed from Borno to Zamfara were captured by the kidnappers last Tuesday.
It is easy to appreciate the security challenges of the ordinary folks in the communities if senior security operatives with their weapons and experience could be so overwhelmed. A reported account states that the huge ransom collected by the bandits has encouraged them to procure more sophisticated arms on which they have leveraged to assume dominance in the north.
Farm work is under huge threat as farmers are violated and picked at will. It is indisputable that the north is the food basket of the nation and environmental factors such as this has grave implications for food supplies in the country. It is easy to understand why the cost of living is hitting the sky.
News Echo wishes to state that the inaction of the government to go beyond mere lip service to nip the situation in the bud is heart rending and condemnable. Those in authorities who feel immune from the pangs of the experience may not be wise after all. Injury to one is injury to all. Humanity is one. Power they should realize is ephemeral.
If those in power are bereft of ideas, they can stick out their neck and seek foreign support or intervention. We wish to warn that if the situation persists the authorities run the risk of having the helpless folks turn the battle against them. There are enough lessons to be picked from the EndSARS protest and the consequent destruction. Enough of these killings please.