Insecurity: Reflecting on the times


Looking at Nigeria today, analysts say it’s a precarious moment. CHUKS NWEZE takes a look at the views of many voices on insecurity and way forward for the country.
As it is presently in Nigeria, things are no longer at ease as the country is infested with insecurity. Consequently, many people are no longer comfortable with the way things are going on especially as it concerns the security of lives and property.

Things fall apart

Recently in Borno state, President Buhari was booed when he went to commiserate with the residents over massive deaths caused by Boko Haram insurgents who went on a killing spree unhindered.Also, not too long ago, passengers enroute Lagos state were stranded for hours because killers who were allegedly herdsmen hiding in Edo forest were killing people, thereby forcing all vehicles to a halt for hours.In April, 2016, a community in Enugu state, Ukpabi-Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state, was almost wiped out by armed herdsmen. The state government got wind of the impending danger and alerted the police and other security agencies to probably forestall it, but all to no avail as the bandits eventually struck and killed human beings in their hundreds. This raised a lot of dusts and the world cried at such callous carnage; however, the damage had been done.Similar occurrences akin to  Ukpabi-Nimbo have been taking place in various parts of the country yet the government seems to have no answer to curb the menace. Instead, when the perpetrators are caught by security agencies, instead of being prosecuted, they are often left off the hook.

Killings by Fulani herdsmen in particular came to a peak in Benue state at a point such that Governor Samuel Ortom had to cry out for help. So also in various communities and towns in Plateau state to date.Threat by B/HaramIn Nigeria, killing is no longer new, at least not with Borno state that has become the epicentre of Boko Haram activities. The situation in Borno is so bad that it has become a waterloo for Nigerian soldiers who are often ambushed and killed by the insurgents whereas the government gives the impression that it has whittled down the influence of the insurgents. More worrisome is their threat that President Buhari should not  set his foot on Borno soil again to avoid facing the consequences.Law makers’ outburstsFaced with this kind of hopeless insecurity situation, the Senate minority leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe  moved a motion that urging the president to resign on the ground that he has failed to live up to the billing of his office. Although Abaribe was later vilified by presidential aides, he did not bulge in his resolve that the president should step aside. 

According to him, the Commander-in-Chief has failed to solve the security challenges in the country  years after his party (APC) rode to power on the propaganda of effecting change.A member of the National Assembly, Hon Kingsley Chinda, who represents Obio/Akpo Federal Constituency of Rivers state, while speaking with newsmen recently said asking President Buhari to resign is tantamount to begging the question.  According to him, it was high time the National Assembly commenced Buhari’s impeachment process without further delay because of the security situation in the country.The law maker posited that asking the president and the security chiefs to resign is not ideal because they will not willingly resign unless they are forced to leave.  Chinda did not hide his emotion that the president should be impeached in order to make way for a capable leader that can contain the rampaging and unbridled insecurity in Nigeria today.

According to him, the call for impeachment proceedings against the number one citizen became imperative due to growing concerns about insecurity and lack of basic amenities under the President Buhari-led government. adding that the powers of the National Assembly was not to call for the president’s resignation, but to immediately commence proceedings for his impeachment.

“I am not mincing words. I said the powers of the National Assembly is not to call for resignation, but to commence impeachment process. So, I support the move for commencement of impeachment of the president.“I have said this years back. I didn’t say it today and that is why I keep quiet and watch when people are talking about resignation because I know that like former Senator Shehu Sani used to say, what they are doing now is to use perfume, deodorant in an attempt to perhaps kill insects. It doesn’t work,” he said.“The president will not resign. Service Chiefs will not resign. National Assembly should commence impeachment,” he stated, urging the federal government to redeem its image by stepping up its efforts at improving security and assure Nigerians of their safety.Many Nigerians feel like Hon. Chinda but lack the power like Abaribe to speak up to redeem the nation from unfathomable impending danger lurking around the corner. Those who are not vocal like Abaribe and Chinda have in different ways adduced that state police should be established to complement the federal force so that proper security of lives and property would be assured.  The former deputy Senate president, Chief Ike Ekweremadu is one of the people pushing for the establishment of state police which is now becoming community policing.  Recently, Ekweremadu and members of his constitution review-led committee came up with a bill which when passed by the National Assembly, state police would become a reality.

Regional agitations

As a result of all these security-related problems, people are now gradually gravitating towards self-help since the federal government cannot guarantee their safety. This is why in the South-west, governors of the region decided to float their own security outfit code-named, Amotekun, while some northern youths followed suit with a clamour for the establishment of operation ‘Shege Ka Fasa’. Leaders of the South-east are tinkering with the idea of forming their own security outfit also. Already, some states in the South-east have established Forest Guards which would patrol the forests to check criminals that could be lurking in the bush. All these and similar steps are what the people are taking to provide security for their people since the federal government appears incapable of providing same.Before the idea of Amotekun was mutted in the South-west, the region had witnessed precarious security situation thereby prompting them to take proactive measure to ensure the security of their people. For instance, they were stung when former presidential candidate, Chief Olu Falae was kidnapped by Fulani herdsmen and not too long ago, the daughter of a Yoruba leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, Mrs Funke Olakurin was murdered in cold blood by bandits.  Those incidents and similar incidents informed their decision to establish a regional security outfit. When viewed critically, ‘Amotekun’, ‘Shege Ka Fasa’, Forest Guards, Neighbourhood Watches and whatever appelations may be given to any security outfit tomorrow are proverbial child of neccesity since the federal government appears handicapped in that regard. 

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