Arecent marching order to the nation’s security chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari regarding the rising insecurity in Nigeria is considered belated.
Urging the security chiefs to do more to ensure that Nigerians go to bed and wake up feeling safe and secure less than six weeks to the end of the first term of his administration is seen by many Nigerians as laughable. This is because many citizens have been tormented by criminals while the security agencies seem helpless.
Only the president understands why it chose to retain the current crop of security chiefs despite their apparent inability to wade off bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers, and the bloodthirsty Boko Haram. The chiefs have not earned the trust and respect of Nigerians – largely, they appear bereft of ingenious ideas to effectively tackle insecurity or that they have become overwhelmed by the enormity of the dare-devil criminals confronting them.
Buhari must re-appraise his statement in January when addressing the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, other traditional and religious rulers at the palace of the monarch in Anambra State, that he appointed heads of security agencies in his government purely on competence and merit.
While the military and other security agencies must be commended for their gallantry in combating criminal elements in the country, more needed to be done to stop the wanton killings, especially in the northern region.
In picking a job, applicants are usually subjected to rigorous tests that allow the employer to assess their capabilities. In the same manner, the country’s leadership should evaluate the workable frameworks and the timeframe presented by potential security chiefs to determine who leads Nigeria in the war against insecurity. Stories of killings of innocent Nigerians, mass kidnapping, herdsmen attacks, the Boko Haram insurgency, robberies, banditry, rapes and all sorts of criminalities are part of Nigeria’s daily life and it is more as if these security chiefs were bereft of ideas in bringing the situation under control.
From Kajuru in Kaduna State to communities in Zamfara and then Gombe, the story is the same all over the country.
The words of a former US Ambassador to Kenya, Zimbabwe and Uganda and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2009 to 2013, who is currently the Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Institute for Peace, Johnnie Carson, is very instructive regarding the precarious security situation in Nigeria.
He said, “Nigeria’s deteriorating security the situation is likely to worsen unless the government changes its deeply flawed strategy against Boko Haram extremists.
“Support from the United States, western Europe and Nigeria’s West African neighbours can help, but only Nigeria can solve the problem – by addressing the root causes of the crisis in Boko Haram’s northern stronghold. Otherwise, Nigeria will be faced with a prolonged and spreading the insurgency of potentially disastrous consequences.”