Nigeria currently faces an array of security challenges, from Boko Haram attacks to banditry and kidnapping. These security threats have witnessed an incredible surge in recent time, affecting Nigerians’ well-being – as many schools are closed and several residents forced to leave their homes.
Recently in Kaduna state, gunmen attacked a private University in the state, killing one staff member and abducted over 20 students. It was the fifth known attack on a school or college in Nigeria since December 2020, and with about six students dead.
As sad as this is, it is, however, not the only attack in the last few days. In Yobe state, at least 11 civilians were killed when the Boko Haram terror group invaded a Geidam town. Similarly, the terror groups overran an army base in Mainok town in Borno state and killed up to 33 soldiers before pulling back in the face of airstrikes.
In another news, the Boko Haram terrorists have hoisted their flag in Kaure village, Shiroro Local Council of Niger State, as confirmed by the state Governor, Abubakar Bello. The Governor added that about 5,000 inhabitants were sacked from their homes, and the terrorists forcefully took over the wives of some of the villagers and allocated them to themselves.
The rate at which kidnapping for ransom, particularly students, has increased lately in the Northwest is very worrisome. Boko Haram was said to be technically defeated but now hoisting its flag in Northcentral with more frequent attacks.
With the growing security challenges and the government’s lack of proven capacity to guarantee the safety of lives and properties in the country, the question that begs for answers is, “can there be security?” Is the security of lives and properties achievable?
Insecurity in Nigeria has seemed like an insurmountable problem with different contention that the government at all levels is not doing enough to confront the situation or take decisive actions in dealing with it. Speculations are also rife that the security challenges have political undertones and, as such, serve some political interest. Be that as it may, the challenge is not so much about the insecurity of external sources but rather that of internal sources.
Hence, what are the significant factors contributing to this menace?
Even though several factors exist, one of the significant factors is the porous frontiers of the country, where most movements are untracked. This has posed serious security concerns for the country. Given the permeable boundaries and weak security system, weapons are moved easily into the country.
Government failure also contributes significantly to insecurity in Nigeria. The incapacity of the government to public services and provide basic needs of its citizens, combined with rising unemployment, has created a pool of frustrated people who are ignited easily by any event to be violent. A system where the country earns a great deal of revenue through its resources but fails to use the earnings to improve people’s lives, the crime rate is bound to increase, and security of lives and properties would be difficult to guarantee.
This results from a lack of sufficient and sophisticated equipment for the security organ of government, both in weaponry and training. Thus, failing to make the desired impact.
To overcome the security challenges in Nigeria, there is a need for more intelligence gathering and surveillance to be proactive and predict potential crime with near-perfect accuracy rather than reactive.
Capacity building of the security forces should also be prioritised to meet global standards. At the same time, decisive actions should be taken in fixing the porous borders of the nation, and more efforts should be made in improving the well being of the citizens overall.