By Akanimo Sampson
Current security approach to the worsening insecurity in Nigeria is not likely to bring an enduring solution to the nightmare.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, is seriously worried about the situation, and for him, the spate of insecurity has not only disrupted lives but has also threatened the continued existence of Nigeria.
Amongst so many causes, experts have been saying that causes of insecurity in Nigeria include fundamentally illiteracy, unemployment/joblessness, poor leadership, porous nature of the country’s borders, proliferation of arms, and non-compliance with the rule of law.
Disturbingly, the effects are worrisome underdevelopment, zooming poverty, hunger, insurgency, militancy, youth restiveness, kidnapping, armed robbery, fear, drugs abuse, political thuggery, among others.
The Military Writers Society of Nigeria (MWSN) has been very loud of recent, calling for a shift in the country’s education system.
According to the Society, ‘’the COVID-19 crisis has thrown up a lot of shocks in Nigeria. It’s high time our education began to de-emphasize paper qualification and opt for technical education.’’
Advocacy for the restoration of civics as a subject in the primary school curriculum has been strong just as the agitation for the restructuring by most of the populace.
Beyond the security approach to the country’s multi-faceted challenges, citizens say the government should support community policing as introduced by the federating blocs; firmly establish rule of law and quality leadership; and enshrine the spirit of nationalism in the minds of the citizenry.
As insecurity appears to be the most glaring thing in Nigeria today, Gbajabiamila has said the Federal Government must take all necessary actions to tackle the security challenges facing the country.
He was speaking while declaring open a two-day workshop on promoting effective legislation and oversight of the security sector in Nigeria, where he pointed out that the spate of insecurity has not only disrupted lives but also threatened the continued existence of Nigeria.
His Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, in a statement said his principal warned against the dire consequences of allowing the security crises to persist.
“We are at this moment experiencing in many parts of our country, significant internal security challenges that have disrupted the lives of many of our citizens and led to a loss of lives and property at a scale that cannot easily be quantified”, Gbajabiamila says.
Continuing, he said national security is generally understood to be the preserve of the executive arm of government. adding “the general public and the political class often do not know what the legislative role in national security is or ought to be.
‘’This knowledge gap presents an ongoing limitation on the policy-making and oversight role of the legislature as it pertains specifically to the challenges we face in the national security sector. Workshops such as the one we have gathered here for today are an essential tool in reversing this gap.
“The realities of the moment require that we be willing to speak honest truths about the things we haven’t gotten right so that we can then focus our energies on making sure that we do better for the future”.
The two-day workshop was organised by the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation.
Before now, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) on behalf of its 500 member organisations spread across the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) expressed concern and apprehension at the growing insecurity in Nigeria that is heightened by the activities of Boko Haram and bandits.
WANEP is however, a leading regional peace-building organisation founded in 1998 in response to civil wars that plagued West Africa in the 1990s. Over the years, it succeeded in establishing strong national networks in every member state of ECOWAS with over 500 member organisations across the area.
The group is expressing deep concern on the growing insecurity spreading across Nigeria which not only portends grave danger to the peaceful coexistence of the Nigerian people and the stability of the country but also to the entire ECOWAS sub region.
‘’Our concerns are on the basis of the shift towards soft targets of attacks by the Boko Haram sect especially innocent Christians, is reinforcing the deepening divide between Muslims and Christians and also creating the perception as well as raising a potential threat of a Christian/Muslim Conflict of a national scale.
‘’The Federal Government should be firm and have the courage/political will to prosecute any political office holder indicted as a supporter or accomplice to Boko Haram. Within the context of the Responsibility to Protect, the Nigerian government must take the necessary steps in a rapid improvement in the coordination of security for the protection of civilians including seeking international support for such protection to be effected in a timely manner.
‘’The Institutions of the Federal Republic with a mandate to promote peace should take the leadership in the design of dialogue and joint problem solving approaches that should engage various levels of ethnic leaderships and groups in the country.
‘’Nigerian government should create platforms for effective government-civil society collaborations to address the root and proximate causes of insecurity in Nigeria. A comprehensive program on arms control with a view to managing proliferation of arms and production of locally made arms in Nigeria.
‘’WANEP recommends a strong sense of solidarity and support of the governments and peoples of ECOWAS to the government and people of Nigeria to give meaning to the ECOWAS vision, principles and values of a West Africa sub-region and ECOWAS of the people’’, the group said.