Sunday, 4 March 2018

Checking Insecurity ahead of the 2019 general election

| 5 March 2019 | George Odok

Unarguably, security is the benchmark for sustainable peace, progress and development. No wonder, various nations across the globe have one form of security outfit or the other, including the police and the army. 

Even at community level, there are now vigilante groups and other local security arrangement put in place to present a break down of law and order. This further shows the importance of security to the survival of the people and protection of their limited resources. In Nigeria, the government had at various times taken different measures to ensure the security of the country and the people. This was done not just by providing necessary logistics to security personnel but also recruiting and training of such personnel to cope with the global challenges of security.

It is however most unfortunate that despite such laudable measures the nation is still grappling with the problem resulting from boundary, communal, religious, bombings, kidnapping, ethnic and political disturbances. Despite effort made from the independence period to institutionalize democracy, coups and counter-coups were the order of the day, an unhealthy situation that paved way for many years of military rule in the country till May 29, 1999. 

It is most disheartening that in spite of the belief of many Nigerians that political killings and assassination would end with the military era, the problem is still rearing its ugly head even in the present political dispensation. While the federal government was still being commended for the human and diplomatic approach adopted towards finding a permanent solution to the Niger Delta conflict through the granting of amnesty to repentant militants, organized crimes such as robbery and kidnapping became the order of the day.

Consequently, as concerns were still being shown to victims of the unfortunate development, the entire nation was thrown into mourning years back as the world converged on Abuja to rejoice with Nigeria on her golden jubilee anniversary. This was the day twin bomb blasts rocked the city leading to the death of many innocent souls and destruction of property. Still at the end of that year, the same dastardly act was carried out on the eve of Christmas in Jos, plateau state and again in Abuja at the Mogadishu military cantonment.

 The recent abduction of Dapchi school girls in Yobe and mass killings by Fulani herdsmen in Benue are still very fresh in our minds. 

As the election draw near, various security apparatus should see the present security situation as a big challenge and take a more result-oriented approach to check the trend.

This has become very imperative, especially now that the government says the people's vote must count. Indeed, any political exercise conducted under an atmosphere of tension would encourage general apathy, intimidation and disenfranchisement of many eligible votes. The frequent uprising in some part of the country should be addressed immediately as the crises constitute serious threat to national security and peaceful political transition. 

To this end, government should equip security agencies with all needed facilities, necessary incentive to influence the current challenges. On their part, security agencies should uphold national interest above other considerations and discharge their duties with high sense of patriotism, diligence, dedication and commitment.

Religious leaders should also be prayerful ahead of the elections just as Nigerians should learn to be more tolerant and desist from seeing politics as a do or die affair.

Desperate politicians should in fact understand that he who kills by the sword goes by the same sword. Clearly, political Assassination or any other form of killing is a heinous crime against God and humanity and perpetrators should be made to face the law to serve as a deterrent to others.