Opinion: Winning the War Against Nigeria’s Enemies

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A major aspect of any form of governance is security of lives and properties, as it forms the basis upon which economic development and growth can thrive without walls of restrictions. A nation’s topmost priority is expected to be a peaceful coexistence amongst its citizens irrespective of tribe, religion, political party affiliation, wealth range  gauge, education and geo-political region.

The Nigerian experience of security has not been palatable as it has had it’s fair share of challenges. Its aborigines have one way or the other been threatened physically, psychologically, emotionally, or financially. A major safety stumbling block of Nigeria’s security sector  was the emergence of Boko-haram. It is a sect founded on the principles of forceful Sharia laws’ implementation in some African countries.

The havoc they have wrecked within the Nation and beyond is worth been worried of, as it has touched both the wealthy and the unwealthy. The first insurgent attack of the sect was recorded in July 26–29 – 2009 where their uprising nearly killed over 1000 soldiers in various clashes with Nigerian military throughout northern Nigeria. Nigeria has seen fiery darts of the sect in bombings, throat slithering, broad day maiming and other heinous crimes against humanity. 

Recent  offensives from the group claimed the lives of about 30 and over 70 army officers in different occasions during the early days of Covid-19 in Borno State. The question remains, what has weakened the Nigerian Army, to an extent that to withstand enemies of our common patrimony and sovereignty has become a mount hill task? April 9th, 2020 it was reported that  Chadian army killed about 1,000 Boko Haram fighters during an operation. The question is, why is the military in Chad more stronger than that of Nigeria?

Other security troubles faced by our dear country are kidnapping, armed robbery, internet fraud, farm herders crisis and Niger delta crisis.

On Kidnapping, there are a thousand and one cases where unsuspecting victims are taken away from families for days, weeks, Months and even years before their release on certain payment of ransoms, where luck runs out of victims, they end up being killed by their abductors. This is an evil trend of security threat.

The most recent case was that of a medical doctor in Bauchi state, Rilwanu Sadiq, who narrated how his 15-year-old son was killed by kidnappers after collecting N4.5 million ransom. It was reported that immediately after they took hostage of the boy, contact was established with the family and the first demand was 3million, after the payment, another 1.5million was asked for and paid, continually, requests for more came, but when the father to the abducted could not meet up, life was snuffed out of the boy. 

Another was the recent abduction in Olowa, where some persons were kidnapped for weeks before their release on the payment of a huge sum of cash. Where are we heading to as a nation?

There have been cases of Armed Robbery where the entire gadgets in a home are carted away with cash forcefully. On the 21st November, 2019,  two persons lost their lives during a Bank Robbery in Ekiti State as reported by News Agency Of Nigeria (NAN). This is a crime against humanity which must be stopped.

One other security trouble facing us as a nation is online pretence to defraud people of their incomes through manoeuvring of information.

August 23rd, 2019, FBI in the United States of America convicted one Okeke for business email compromise after 13 months of investigation, in billions of dollars, punishable under the laws of USA. We must be reminded that this barbaric act gives us a negative international image as it may affect our relationship with other countries of the world.

Since Nigeria aims at developing towards the implementation of cashless policy operation, we may be at risk of loosing out hard earned incomes to smart fraud stars who are not resting on improving their skills to avoid being noticed for arrest and prosecutions. There must be an end to this degradation of a nation.

It is worthy to note that, in some States in Nigeria in the nearest future, farmers will not have the boldness to leave homes for their places of labour as there is a continuous encroachment of Lands by herders who search for greener pastures for their cattle.

On the 20th of March 2020, it was reported by Premium Times that six(6) villagers were declared missing after an invasion by herdsmen in a Benue state community. There have been series of such cases where villagers are pushed out of their lands by the use of dangerous life taking weapons with attackers. It is a violation of human right which needs attention. 

Niger Delta is a region in Nigeria that produces the highest crude oil upon which the economy of Nigeria blossoms upon. It is an oil rich geo political zone where Nigeria draws it’s weight of wealth from. 

Having seen that the Nigerian Government dwells so much on it for survival, the indigenous people of the locality demanded that a certain percentage from of the money made by FG should be used to develop their land. This agitation led to the establishment a group called Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

A militant group, whose public existence announcement was made in March 2016. They have attacked oil-producing facilities in the region, causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in twenty years. 

Niger Delta Avengers are a threat to National prosperity, as the safety of oil installments and experts who work in the region can not be totally guaranteed. This is because at different occasions in time past, they were kidnap stories of foreign oil workers, their subsequent killings and other gruesome inhumanities which must stop. 

To win the war against terrorism posed by these sects, first, the Federal Government  needs to be intentional and proactive towards fighting for peace. The defence budget of the nation should be buoyant enough to cater for the needs of soldiers in truthful, sincere procurement of Weapons needed for battle fronts.

For instance, on the 3rd January 2020, a United States drone strike near Baghdad International Airport targeted and killed Iranian major general, Qasem Soleimani of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) while he was planned to meet Iraqi PM Adil Abdul-Mahdi in Baghdad.

Nine others were killed alongside Soleimani during the airstrike. The attack was launched with an unmanned MQ9 reaper precision drone, the Nigerian Government can hire the services of ICT Experts in the US defence department to train and retrain our indigenous air and land forces personnel on ways to utilise these high-tech weapons and also work towards purchasing them by increasing defence budget.

This can only be achieved where they are no corrupt officers. Instead of renovating the National Assembly complex with #37billion, such money should be designated to our internal and external defence so we can defeat the enemies of our common patrimony and peace.

Officers of the Forces should be remunerated in interesting terms, they keep their lives on the row for our safety, their allowances and emoluments should be paid promptly and timely. The Chief of Army staff must take his workers seriously, it is expected of him to act inline with his oath of office to protect the right to life of the people in Nigeria. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should take matters of territorial defence with all sense of responsibilities. Adjustments ought to come to places there are needs.

To be recruited into Nigerian military need not to be premised on tribe, religion, region, who you know or wealth gauge. Merit should be the base, they are requirements that must be met before recruitment if anyone is worthy, such persons are entitled to their employments without prejudice.

There is need for a presidential committee, independent of the Chief of Army Staff whose responsibility is to evaluate the welfare of military personnel, in proper salaries payment and allowances. The committee serves as an audit team to the military and no high ranking officer should be allowed in as a member.

The Nigerian Police should be more proactive, tactical and strategic in curbing societal crimes through proper intelligence gathering, tough investigations and prosecution. The citizens of Nigeria must be ready to divulge information about culprits, their activities so they can be arrested and subjected to the rule of law.

There’s a slang that says “Police is Your Friend”, reveal secret evil doers for your freedom.

Nigerian politicians who doll out guns and dangerous like taking weapons to vulnerable youths during elections ought to know they are adding to the reign of insecurity. This is because when the 5000 given along with the weapons is exhausted, the Guns become their source of livelihood as they intimidate innocent people and dispossess them of their belongings by force.

For kidnapping to come to a halt, there’s need for Nigerian security forces to step up in their responsibilities because most of their victims usually communicate with family members on a ransom dialogue, high-definition tracking devices are needed for proper investigations and a fight for release. It’s all about ICT, this is why FG needs to invest more in the sector. 

An average Nigerian on the street with requisite qualifications should be gainfully employed as that can also put an end to kidnapping because an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. Citizens without qualifications need to engage in businesses or any chosen trades for survival.

The Nigerian cyber space needs more investment in line with ICT standards before we can curb internet fraud, also known as yahoo yahoo. Online security softwares are needed for identification, conviction and prosecution of fraud stars who are into the business of reaping off the hard earned wealth of harmless citizens. 

Cattle rearing by forceful take over of another man’s land is a crime against human right, as such, FG needs to place a ban on it to avoid further crisis between herdsmen and communities in Nigeria. Farm lands have been destroyed along with planted products in many villages in the Nation as a result of this crisis which in most cases end up with loss of lives. There must be a stop! 

Government is expected to give back to where it sucks survival wealth from, communities in the Niger Delta need proper attention. In some instances, drinkable water is hard to find there because the oil wells dug spill off to even their rivers and other water surfaces. Corporate Social Responsibility has to be implemented in the region by appointment of their sons and daughters into juicy portfolios, building of schools, provision of basic necessities like borehole water, packed relief items to affected communities with other palliatives.

The Nigeria Civil Defence Corps should be empowered with guns so that they can join the Police, SARS and Soldiers in the fight against criminals in our land. Also, President Muhammed Buhari has to as a matter of urgency pass the Nigeria Peace Corps Bill into law as more hands are needed for successful war against our internal and external hostile forces.

Every special squad created to meet the security need of the Nation at any point in time must be given the needed support and requirements for full operations. Through all these, we can achieve a peaceful, strong and one united Nigeria whose strength can’t be abated by external and internal aggressors.

– Chigboja Gideon writes from Lokoja.

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