SIR: The primary responsibility of the government is the security of life and property of the people. Part of these attributes is the welfare of the people. When this is not provided, a nation is at the risk of collapse. Like millions of Nigerians across the globe who hear and watch their kith and kin being slaughtered daily, one experiences a sense of anger and frustration.
We should not pretend not to know how we got to this level. How we underfunded our security sector for decades. How we refused to recruit able-bodied men and women in all the security outfits. How we created hundreds of thousands of ghost security personnel to which salaries allowances and other bonuses are received by the few senior officers.
Have we forgotten how we created artificial poverty; how we deliberately refused to educate and enrol poor children in the modern educational system in the name of culture and religion? How we deliberately created ethno-religious politics whose consequence we are suffering?
With the various outfits, Nigeria should have had a sophisticated security architecture which should have the potential to defeat the insurgency but the reverse is the case because of internal and external divisions among the security agencies. They never work as a team. Ego, grand corruption, and lack of proper supervision by the Presidency and the National Assembly have created a serious setback in their functioning.
In the month of July alone, hundreds of innocent Nigerians lost their lives. About 1,165 persons were killed from January to August (NDOM report, 2020). While the killers and their accomplices within the security agencies walk freely, victims die without justice. Villages, communities, and local government areas are taken over by bandits who rob, kill and maim without being checked. Reconciling the number of security agencies with the current level insecurity is a difficult task.
The neighbourhood security groups are overpowered with no hope for reinforcement from any quarters. Children become orphans, wives become widows and husbands become widowers. Villages become deserted with no hope of ever seeing the inhabitants so soon.
We should begin to ask ourselves: what can we do to stop the series of killings in our dear country Nigeria. This is our land we must make it better and secure for our kith and kin and unborn generation. No economy develops when the country is in the midst of war. While there is no future for a country that is at war against itself, the psychological impacts of insecurity are devastating.
There is no doubt that the current security situation is borne out of the mistake of the past made by both the leaders and the followers by not uniting against a common enemy. History will tell and the current efforts will determine how safe we would be tomorrow.
While celebrating 60 years of independence, we should ask ourselves, what we have done, what we are doing, what we will be doing to avert the current security crises bedevilling Nigeria. We should also ask what can we do as individuals. Can we get the government to do more? How do we create an enabling environment for our people? How do we make the security policy framework preventive as against being reactionary as we currently operate?
As Nigerians, we must do our part in whatever forms because only Nigerians know where it pinches, and we must take the responsibility of finding a lasting solution to the killings and other predicaments we face today.
Lastly, the government must improve her security strategy because culprits will not stop trying to take advantage of loopholes in our security system.
Kareem Abdulrasaq, Ilorin, Kwara State.
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