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EDITORIAL

Technology Against Insecurity

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Terrorism and other forms of criminality pose a direct threat to the security of the citizens of the country, and to international stability and prosperity. It is a persistent global threat that knows no border, nationality or religion and a challenge that the international community must tackle together.

Since the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorist group in 2009 in Nigeria, the country has been tackling the menace with the help of the countries bordering the Lake Chad Basin. While we  give credit to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for significantly degrading the Boko Haram terrorists in the North East,new centres of violence have emerged where banditry, kidnapping and cattle rustling have taken centre stage and spreading all over the country. It is, therefore, time to apply new strategies to deal with this emerging and growing security challenge. It is important that we put soldiers on the ground as the country has been doing in the past 10 years to confront these bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and cattle rustlers who are killing people.  However we need to change strategy and apply technology to arrest the situation more effectively and efficiently.

This has become even more essential in intelligence gathering and analysis. The world as a whole has gone digital to the extent that information on virtually any subject can be obtained at the snap of a finger. Ground forces are crucial in the war against insecurity. But it is our opinion that they will be more effective if bolstered by real time information on the activities of the enemies of the state.

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) recently called on all security agencies to work in synergy towards curbing the current security challenges facing the country by using Data Management systems.  The commission urged security agencies and other parastatals that play key roles in securing the country to execute their responsibilities in a way that will benefit and strengthen the security of the country.

There is no gain saying it that NIMC is key to the use of technology to combat crime in Nigeria. However, most Nigerians have not been captured by NIMC, thereby making it difficult to identify those troubling Nigeria by security agents.

Many Nigerians marvel at how fast security agents in other climes identify and arrest culprits of terrorism or other crimes within hours of committing the crime. This is possible because most people in those advanced countries have been documented and once anyone commits a crime, information about him or her will emerge at the press of a button by security agents, which they readily share with the media.

It is the view of this newspaper that for us to have such effectiveness from our security agents, the government should also ensure that all the state capitals and major towns and cities in the country as well as major highways have Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) like the type earmarked for Abuja and Lagos.

Technologies like the National Public Security Communication System is essential for the gathering of information that would help in curbing crime and more importantly in identifying those who carry out crimes within the areas where it is put in operation.

We urge the federal government to revive the system in Abuja and Lagos, while efforts must be put in place to ensure that the technology covers all over the country to act as a mechanism to deter criminals and reduce criminality in general.

The security challenges Nigeria is facing as a nation need fresh ideas, new thinking and new approaches to address them and one of the most important approach is the application of technology in tracking and apprehending criminals. It is important to note that the war on terror have given the adoption of more sophisticated technology the urgency that cannot be ignored. Boko Haram, a terrorist group have seen this need and is using drones, unmanned aircraft, in the propagation of its horrendous agenda.

It is critical to observe that what makes the State of Israel, a small country by geographical size and population, one of the strongest fighting force in the world is her deployment of sophisticated technology. There are other examples also across the world that can be emulated in the use of hi-tech in combating insecurity. The time for Nigeria to join that league is now.   

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