BY OUR EDITORS
For most Nigerians, the situation in the country as it relates to security, gives more than enough reasons for the people to be apprehensive about what the future holds. Many are beginning to ask questions as to what happened to the Nigeria envisioned by the founding fathers. Even more nerve-racking is the concern that if the situation is not rectified soon enough, this emerging faulty system may be what will be bequeathed to posterity.
For years, this country has been ensnared in a firebox of insecurity. Both civilians and security personnel are killed gruesomely by terrorists who, by their devil may care attitude dare the state to do its worse. Because of the scope of the challenge, the ruling political class seem to have lost focus and direction and in that benumbed state, watch askance as the rigmarole of security rituals without tangible and reassuring results persist.
Invariably, helplessness and despondency have taken centre stage as Nigerians dissolve in fear and self-pity while terrorists, bandits and Boko Haram, lay claim to, rightly or wrongly, 50 communities in Niger State, two local governments in Nasarawa State, several communities in Gaidam local government area of Yobe State and some communities in Borno State.
Today, insecurity is the dread of everyone and the word on the lips of every Nigerian. Every day, Nigerians are maimed and killed and life goes on as though nothing had happened. Human life now has little or no value in this part of the world, or so the times we are in have painted it. How many deaths will it take before the authorities know that people have died enough to take action that will assuage the anguish that well up within the unfortunate ones they left behind?
Security of lives and property is the primary responsibility of every government even in a dictatorship let alone a democracy. The federal government recently asked Nigerians to take up arms to defend themselves against marauding bandits in their communities. The minister of Defence himself a retired army General recommended this as a part solution to a festering problem. By that it has become a grim reality that Nigeria has a serious internal security challenge and the government is overwhelmed.
The country has suffered devastating attacks from armed bandits and kidnappers for over two years now. What started in Zamfara in the North West has today spread to all parts of the country. Today it is foolhardy to travel by road as these bandits can strike anywhere at any time.
The other day, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi said it was Boko Haram terrorists that kidnapped the students of Greenfield University, Kaduna and not bandits. No one can clearly rule that out. The terrorist have threatened to kill the remaining Greenfield students if N100million ransom was not paid. Already, five of the kidnapped students have been killed. And as it is, the students are living at the mercy of the bandits. We should all be worried.
In the opinion of this newspaper, the development of a country usually suffers when it is saddled with the challenge of insecurity. The situation, obviously, derails her political and economic development plans. This is why we are appealing that everything must be done to find permanent solutions to the nation’s insecurity. Even if it requires seeking external help to solve the problem, the government should just do it.
As matters stand now, it is pertinent to remind the federal government of the urgency of now which implies that partisanship ought to have expired. What is required at this moment is for the authorities to embrace all options and offers for help. Nigeria is bleeding profusely and may not be able to hang on for too long if nothing concrete is done to address the situation. The government should also explore the use of technology in surveillance and intelligence gathering. Desperate situations demand desperate measures. Sophisticated methods are what the country needs as the law enforcement agencies tackle omnibus security challenges.
Furthermore, President Muhammadu Buhari must accept that the security situation in the country has assumed an international dimension with the presence of foreign troops especially from France just across the nation’s borders. They are not there on a picnic neither are they taking a mere furtive glance at what is going on in Nigeria. Those troops are aiding and abetting enemies of the country because it serves them well so to do. To them, an unstable Nigeria will not be a threat to their interests as served and protected by those their former colonies. We pray and hope that the government will do the right things, seek foreign help and any and every other thing that is necessary to surmount the current security challenges.