By Abdullahi Ahmad Bamalli
Nigeria has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity in recent times, making national security a major issue for the government, with a huge allocation of resources to security in the annual budget.
The concept of insecurity has received diverse definitions from scholars from different fields of study. According to Igbuzor (2011), insecurity is the state of being exposed to risk or anxiety. It is an unpleasant emotion that is experienced in anticipation of some misfortune.
Berland (2005) defines insecurity as the state of fear or anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection. It refers to lack or inadequate freedom from danger. This definition reflects physical insecurity, which is the most visible form of insecurity, and it feeds into many other forms of insecurity such as economic and social insecurity. There are many sources and causes of insecurity in Nigeria.
Andrew and Kennedy (2003) pointed out that it is necessary to distinguish between different causes of insecurity as each may require different remedies. In Nigeria, the challenge is not so much about insecurity of external sources but rather that of internal sources. The internal causes of insecurity in Nigeria are lack of institutional capacity, resulting in government failure.
Sequel to that, the state of insecurity in Nigeria is greatly a function of government failure or can be linked to injustice. A situation where the country earns a great deal of revenue through oil sales but fails to use these earnings to meet the needs of its people and to develop infrastructures as well as the economy. It must be pointed out that material inequality and unfairness have increased the level of insecurity in Nigeria.
Accordingly, unemployment/poverty among Nigerians, especially the youths, is a major cause of insecurity and violent crimes in Nigeria. Youth unemployment has contributed to rising cases of violent crimes in Nigeria. It must be stressed that the failure of successive administrations to address the problems of poverty, unemployment, and inequitable distribution of wealth among ethnic nationalities have increased the level of insecurity in Nigeria.
Likewise, a large number of Nigeria’s population are frustrated and have lost hope, especially the youths due to the poor governance and this is one of the reasons that some youth engage themselves in criminal activities that led to the rampant insecurity in the country.
The main point here is that, the outgoing administration of President Muhammad Buhari experienced serious challenge on insecurity and a lot of improvement, progress and hope were expected from the Buhari’s administration in curtailing insecurity and corruption. Regions that were safer than the bedevilled northeast were in fear of the menace caused by insecurity as it’s fast spreading nationwide. Thus, one of the main reasons the Jonathan administration was sacked.
Unfortunately, the Buhari administration did its best but didn’t not meet the expectations of Nigerians as many forms of insecurity were born, especially in regards to the high number of kidnapping, which has turned out to be a lucrative business for criminals.
In this regard, without security, nothing can work properly for Nigerians. So, the expectations from the newly elected president would definitely be much higher than the outgoing administration. The reason being the current state of the nation has deeply dive into the pool of insecurity crippling many forms of nation-building and growth.
Moreover, it’s obvious and believed that the new administration would work better than the outgoing administration because that’s what Nigerians are fully anticipating from the president-elect Ahmad Bola Tinubu. His incoming government has shown a will to do better and promised to renew the hope of Nigerians and again the campaign promises they did, about insecurity Nigerians expect a better situation than the former.
By mere observation and in an analytical manner, the first 100 days of the Tinubu-Kashim administration can be predictable in the sense that they will curtail insecurity without hesitation. Politicians can’t be trusted to fulfil the promises they make. Expecting them to fulfil all promises is folly, but keeping the hope they would do better than their predecessors is a sign of progress, little be it or more.
Tinubu is a man who believes that leadership is not a one person job, so there are strong indications he will employ experts or professionals for the job and by making proper consultation from the experts in order to curtail insecurity.
It was clear during the campaign period in 2022 lot of groups and oppositions challenged Ahmad Bola Tinubu on how to curtail insecurity when he emerge as the president, one of them is a pro-democracy group, the Katsina Youths Enlightenment Crusade on Peace and Development, the group in press release challenged the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to present his blueprint on how he intends to tackle insecurity in Katsina, Zamfara, Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi and Niger states, because the residents of the six states had been decimated by the menace of banditry and terrorism.
The latter shows that Nigerians put so much expectation from the president-elect regarding insecurity and with that Nigerians are expecting him to work tirelessly in order to curtail insecurity.
Likewise, in most of Tinubu’s speeches, he usually made emphasis on every inch of Nigeria’s national territory being secured and defended and will be committed to mobilising all assets within his power in securing the country.
Tinubu always acknowledges the primacy of security as the number one function of government and now he has the mandate, and his administration will give all the necessary attention and consolidate to put so much effort and investments in Nigeria’s security agencies and in order to succeed in curtailing insecurity in Nigeria.
As everyone is aware, security is a function of resources. Tinubu is expected to be committed to mobilising all assets within the national power to secure Nigeria. When he was a governor, he did this in Lagos through many initiatives, especially the Security Trust Fund, through which he addressed many needs of security forces, which helped to sanitise Lagos State. So, the latter method or more than that is highly expected from him to be applied when he assumes office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
If it might be recalled, when he assumed office as governor in 1999, the situation he met was a case of banditry where urban gangs ruled the streets. He returned law and order, tamed what could have been a huge ethnic war, and made Lagos one of the safest states in Nigeria, and there is no doubt he will replicate that across the country.
There is no doubt that Tinubu’s administration will emphasise the welfare and training needs of the security personnel to deal decisively with all elements threatening peace, security, and unity in the country.
He has the intention to address the welfare and training needs of national security personnel and strengthen security institutions with modern technology and other equipment to better position them to respond to modern challenges that we face in a fast-changing world.
He will also deal decisively with all elements, threatening Nigeria’s peace, security, and unity. He will strongly put an end to kidnapping and banditry not only through increasing the capacity of the Nigerian Police Force but also through another soft approach that would promote inclusion and boost the economy of local communities.
During his campaign in 2022, there were clear indications in his speeches, manifestos, and blueprints that he has zeal to restore peace and order in states that have ample issues of insecurity in Nigeria
Tinubu is the right man for the job because he aims to achieve a lot by reviewing and repositioning Nigeria’s armed forces, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies in tandem with the 21st-century requirement.
Also, he has intention for sourcing and deploying modern tools that will help adequately in tackling the threats of terrorism, kidnapping, separatism, banditry, cyber crimes, and economic sabotage.
In addition, by securing the borders, curtailing inflows of illegal arms and effectively dominating forests, sustaining and expanding regional and international security corporations, and building local and national peace and reconciliation mechanisms for non-kinetic and long-lasting solutions.
Tinubu always criticised the idea to allow citizens to bear arms in self-defence, because it is obvious he does not subscribe to the idea of the liberalisation of citizens bearing arms, to him it’s a dangerous shortcut to solving problems. It is also obvious that under his leadership, he will put in extra effort to cut the circulation of all weapons and curtail the resort to self-help by citizens.
Conclusively, To check how to curtail insecurity in Nigeria particularly when Bola Ahmad Tinubu assumed office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the federal and the state government must put in place measures that will solve the problems of insecurity in Nigeria. Community policing by indigenous people of local communities should be encouraged. It is believed that community policing will go a long way to address the rising security in Nigeria. It would enable the natives to control the forests and prevent their being used as hostage detention centres and ransome redemption sites.
The federal government should also support the investigation of locations and the ban on open grazing. In addition, the most successful police unit, for instance, the security task force units, should be multiplied to run kidnappers out of Nigeria.
The government both at the state and the federal level should embrace good governance. Good governance is the solution for the security challenges in Nigeria, good governance is a function of effective, visionary, transparent, trustworthy and credible political leadership whose driving force is an improvement in the collective well being of the citizens through well conceived, effectively implemented economic policies and human development.
Likewise, governments should accelerate the pace of development in this context by creating an economy with relevant social, economic, and physical infrastructures for business development, high-level education facilities, and medical care for the people. Through deliberate policies to create employment. It is important to address the socio-economic problems of the country that could be capitalised on by extremists. The government should be extremely committed to addressing the negative effect of extremism that can lead to terrorism.
The government should create an enabling environment that can boost employment and reduce the idleness of youths and graduates. Poverty is unacceptably high in Nigeria with an alarming level at the northern part. Poverty must be combated.
The federal government should engage the traditional rulers in the peace process and mobilise a handful of the army to the violent ridden areas with definite instructions. Equip the army and the police very well with sophisticated weapons if effectiveness was the result expected. The indigent in our streets should be provided with the opportunity to learn trade. The government should establish skill acquisition centres to keep them busy.
Strong border control is also another issue to be addressed. It is believed that some of the agents or operatives of Boko Haram are not Nigerians. How do they come into the country? The immigration, customs, police and naval checks at Nigerian borders should be reinforced to prevent dissidents, aliens, drugs, and small arms and weapons entry into the account.
The government should address electoral transparency. The electioneering process in Nigeria is always bedevilled with a lack of transparency and due process in the election of our leaders. This fraudulent process does not protect justice hence, does not go down well with contestants and the masses. This scenario can build up hatred, depression or frustration among contestants that have been short-changed and the masses whose votes have been undermined.
Our leaders should set a good standard for leaders to emerge. There should be a healthy debate process for contestants before the selection or election of candidates and flag bearers. Also, the elimination of corruption and the entrenchment of social justice will no doubt reduce the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria. There is a need for intelligence gathering and surveillance so that law enforcement agents could be proactive and reasonably predict potential crime with near perfect accuracy.
Accumulatively, the government should adopt the use of computer based closed circuit television cameras in public places, especially in Abuja, to monitor and record events that take place in a particular location. If the president-elect Ahmad Bola Tinubu put these measures into action, there is high optimism and possibilities to curtail insecurity in Nigeria.