Stemming The Growing Insecurity In Nigeria


The worsening security situation in Nigeria reached a boiling point last week, prompting eminent Christian leaders to lead public protests nationwide.

Also as a pointer to the growing insecurity, the United States government added Nigeria to a list of nations whose immigrants are now barred from entering the American country.

For years now the blood of innocent Nigerians has been shed by blood-thirsty hounds and there does not seem to be a let up in sight.

In the face of it all, the Federal Government apparently looks helpless in arresting the situation and, in most cases, has been roundly criticized as being complacent.

Most disturbing of the bloodlettings is the herdsmen- farmers feud that has been allowed to fester and there is no doubt that Christians, especially those in the north of Nigeria, have borne the brunt more than any groupings so much so that the rest of their brethren are now openly protesting that ‘enough is enough’.

Maybe in the past some of the killings were taken for granted as isolated cases and one-off moments of madness. But the increased frequency of such dastardly acts now portends danger to the unity of Nigeria as a nation.

Already there are ominous signs of mistrust in the nation’s unity as a result of lack of effort by security agencies to contain the alarming killings, with various sections of Nigeria now ready to go against the norm by forming militias to protect themselves, especially from the marauding killer herdsmen.

Therefore the present Federal Government has to win back the confidence and trust of Nigerians that it is able and determined to stop the wanton killings. It should endeavour to win the hearts of Nigerians through decisive action against the insurgents.

For example, in all the many attacks widely suspected to be carried out by herdsmen, deligent prosecution and conviction have been lacking. Therefore such inaction gives room to critics to argue that some people in power are tacitly giving backing to the actions of the herdsmen. The government must counter the growing distrust among Nigerians that the leaders are not protecting them.

Although the Federal Government has done a lot to dislodge and degrade the Boko Haram Islamist insurgents, it is not getting much credit for the effort as it is not impactful as desired. In fact, whatever success government may have recorded in the prolonged ‘war’ against the insurgency in the North East is being overshadowed by its seeming inability to put a stop to the rampaging killer herdsmen.

Without being an apologist, it is such a pity that government is hapless about the worsening situation. Already the security forces appear overstretched to cover every inch of our vast landmass where most of the herdsmen killings occur in utmost remote areas.

The obvious inability of government to monitor all the remote nooks and corners therefore calls for the formal introduction of the much talked about community police. Perhaps that is the gap such militia as the newly formed Amotekun by the South West government is set to fill. In that case, the role of Amotekun should be viewed as complementary to the national security forces.

More geopolitical zones are likely to follow suit in setting up their militias for self-security, having realised the ineffectiveness of the Federal Government to protect them. The Middle Belt section of Nigeria which has suffered the most in the hands of herdsmen will certainly copy the example of the SouthWest.

Another point of view to consider is that the heavy inflow of small arms into Nigeria is equally fueling the insecurity in the country. Today, Nigeria is learning from hindsight that it should have taken strong measures years ago to protect the borders from inflow of arms. A student of politics and history would have known that most of the arms in the conflicts in the Chad, Niger, Darfur and Libya were going to end up elsewhere as we have witnessed in Nigeria through the north east route.

Finally, perhaps for the first time in many years, Nigerians (traditional rulers religious leaders, political class, regional leaders of thoughts) are rising in one voice to call for an end to the growing insecurity in Nigeria. Enough is enough.

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