When one recognises a problem or acknowledges its existence, then one is on the path of solution. This time worn aphorism can be applied to the situation of Nigeria where its President, Muhammadu Buhari, said for 12 years now, the country had been under the siege of massive security threats.
Buhari stated this at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Jaji Kaduna State on Friday. That was while speaking as the Special Guest of Honour during the graduation ceremony of Senior Course 43, which had 226 officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and those of eight other African countries as participants. He was, according to a report by TNG, represented by the Minister of Defence, Maj-General Bashir Magashi,
Buhari named the threats as: Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, militancy, kidnapping as well as activities of separatists and armed militias.
According to the President, “bear in mind that, most security challenges facing the world today are both asymmetric and trans-border in nature, involving mainly non-state actors in different sub-regions and regions. The West African sub-region and indeed our beloved continent of Africa are not immune to these threats.
“Combating these prevalent security threats effectively demands that African countries continue to work together at all levels; be it tactical, operational and strategic. Take for instance the collaboration of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, Cameroun, Niger Republic and Chad in a multinational operation to combat the Boko Haram Insurgency in the Lake Chad region. The synergy achieved in operating together must have no doubt been enhanced by an understanding of the doctrines of the cooperating forces,” he said.
What to Be Done
* Let the Buhari government approve the state police as being clamoured for in Nigeria. With that, state governors who are said to be chief security officers of their states will no longer be impotent in the face of banditry and kidnappings.
*Some regional security outfits must be allowed to carry guns. It smacks of double standards when Fulani herdsmen who invade villages with AK47s are not haunted, the Police authorities refused that Amotekun should not be armed.
*Let the Federal Government take a cue from the Kano State government which established an effective surveillance/intelligence system, with base in Police headquarters, Bompai. With financial investments, government can monitor what goes on in the entire country from a single screen.
* The Federal Government should purchase helicopters to patrol the major highways of Nigeria. At these critical times when kidnappers abduct people who are traveling, a particular time could be sent for vehicles to move in convoys while helicopters clatter above them, telling desperadoes to keep off.
*Like in those days when soldiers were posted to schools, this could be replicated in all Nigerian schools. Local security outfits can complement Police efforts.
*Government should generate employment by working hard on the revival of the real sector that can lap up the army of the unemployed. An idle hand is the devil’s workshop.