Security is of utmost importance in every country. It ensures the free and safe movement of persons, goods and services within and outside the country. Thus, it is government’s primary responsibility to guarantee the protection of lives and properties against internal and external threats.
Nevertheless, Individuals and organizations equally have a strategic role to play in making the county secure.
In the last few years, the country’s security personnel have been tested to their limits.
Though they are doing the best they can, the challenges remain enormous. For instance, it is reported that Boko Haram insurgents are fighting our soldiers with more sophisticated weapons. This portends a grave danger to the security of the entire country.
There is also the issue of low morale amongst soldiers in the heart of the war whose allowances are reportedly not paid as and when due. Some security personnel are even afraid of what becomes of their families should they lose their lives in the line of duty.
In 2014 for example, about 100 men of the Nigerian Police Force were killed in Alakyo, Nasarawa State. Till date, little or nothing has been heard about arrest or prosecution of those involved in that dastardly act.
Under such unfriendly work environment, it difficult for the security structure to work effectively. Little wonder the country appears overwhelmed with herdsmen/ farmers clashes, banditry, kidnapping and assassinations.
Therefore, the idea that these unfortunate upsurge can magically be crushed reveals either an outright poor attempt at deceiving Nigerians or a gross lack of knowledge of how things turnout to be once left to fester for a while and are out of hand.
For instance, the war in Southern Cameroon between Anglophone and Francophone speaking natives of the country has been there for the past three decades. Others are Israel-Palestine war, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS in Syria, as well as the crisis in Central African Republic.
So, in fighting Boko Haram and other criminal activities in Nigeria, we need to understand that we are already in very dangerous territory and act accordingly instead of playing to the gallery for political purposes.
One area we need to be vigilant is that of unregulated movement of foreigners in and out of the country. As long as this continues, whatever efforts we exert in pushing back insurgency and other criminal acts will be in vain.
Nigeria must find a way to secure its borders and have a strong collaborative security plan with its neighbours.
Another angle to the nation’s security challenge as alleged by some security experts is unhealthy rivalry amongst the Army, Air Force and Navy which undermine the fight against insecurity. All security forces should be on the same page and collaborate without rivalry.
Besides, in the war against insecurity the issue of political affiliations must take a back seat. The words of former President George W. Bush in 2001, shortly after the WTC terror attack should serve as a constant reminder to all of us.
He said, ‘We are war with terrorists, and there is no Democrats or Republicans, but America’.
This suggests absolute patriotism. Nigerian politicians must put an end to playing politics with the security of lives.
George Galloway, a British MP once said: ‘Any politician who finds it difficult to live above politics can himself be the enemy of the state he claims to love’.