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Fight Against Insecurity: Is It Yet Uhuru?

By Deborah Coker



Fight Against Insecurity

For more than one decade Nigeria has battled various forms of insecurity. They range from Boko Haram insurgency in the North East, Banditry in the North West and North Central to militancy and oil theft in the South-South.

In the South East, the fear of gunmen is the beginning of wisdom. Farmers and herders continue to clash in parts of North Central and South West.

These security challenges are a major strain on the country’s human and material resources. According to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project, (ACLED) Nigeria recorded no fewer than 4,556 fatalities and 7,086 abductions in the last one year.

ACLED is a global data hub that collects real-time conflict-related data.

Among others, the data showed that banditry in the North-west leads others with 1,475 deaths and 4,343 abductions while in the North-central there were 552 incidents of banditry, even as farmers-herders conflict and cultism claimed at least 1,444 lives.

In addition, about 1,321 abductions were recorded in the region. In the South-South a total of 231 violent incidents majorly cultism-related and militancy were recorded resulting in at least 336 deaths. There were 295 abductions.

According to reports, between 2015 and 2021, Nigeria spent ₦8 trillion on defence. Global Terrorism Index in 2023 ranked the country as the 8th country most impacted by terrorism globally.

On the assumption of office on May 29, 2023, President Bola Tinubu promised to frontally address the security challenges and he is keeping to that pledge according to Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru.

According to him, since the Tinubu administration was inaugurated that several key terrorists and bandits have been captured or neutralised just as a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered.

Badaru said that while 245 kidnapped victims have been rescued, 61 HH radio, 223 vehicles, 363 motorcycles, and 551 mobile phones were recovered.

He also said that troops of the Armed Forces have denied the oil thieves of an estimated N91,247,052,565 as well as recovered 92,547,601,541 litres of stolen crude oil, 61,469,999 litres of illegally refined AGO and 3,920,549 litres of DPK among others.

According to the minister in a bid to improve national security and defend the nation’s territorial integrity, the ministry enhanced synergy within the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies.

He said that defence equipment was procured, just as there was improvement in production and capacity development of personnel of Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“We also enhanced personnel welfare, increased partnership with friendly nations/organisations and sustained stakeholders engagement session.

“The ministry ensured strict adherence to stipulated guidelines such as standard operating procedures, rules of engagement among others.

“This has contributed greatly to the feat recorded in tackling insecurity in the country”, the minister said.

Reports by military sources say that in the past one year no fewer than 9,300 bandits and terrorists have been neutralized while about 7,000 others were arrested, and 4,882 assorted weapons and 83,900 munitions recovered.

The results indeed are showing, in one of the recent operations by the  troops of the Nigerian Army conducted in Zamafara and Katsina killed no fewer than 11 terrorists were killed and a large cache of arms and ammunition recovered.

With the feat recorded by the AFN with the supervision of the Ministry of Defence in the fight against insecurity, can Nigerians say it is yet an uhuru?

Chief Sunday Emeyese, a legal practitioner, the security situation in the country has improved tremendously under the Tinubu administration when compared or juxtaposed with the Buhari administration.

“The regularity and incessant cases of unwarranted attacks and bombings by bandits has reduced.

“Kidnapping too is on the decline. However, Fulani herdsmen and communal attacks have not abated.

“The Tinubu administration must thus rise to the occasion and ensure that the issue of unbridled insecurity in the country becomes a thing of the past or is reduced to the barest minimum”, he said.

Similarly immediate past Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu said that the security situation in the country now was not as bad as it used to.

According to him, the situation is not as bad as it used to be. I can bet that it’s gradually stabilising. I can tell you that the level of insecurity in the country is going down.

‘’We are not yet there, but I can bet that it is not what it used to be, So I can say kudos to the president and the present sets of security heads. They are bringing the temperature down.

‘’But I think they still need to do more”, he said.

In the fight against insecurity it is important to keep eyes on the ball.

Mr Tobi Akinwole, a driver, said that though the insecurity situation has greatly reduced, there was the need for the government to sustain the success recorded.

Akinwole advised the government not relent in attacking the terrorists and bandits.

“Yes we are witnessing a decline in insecurity now in the country now. But we are not yet where we should be. People still have fears when they want to travel from one part of the country to the other, especially by road.

“And this is because they think that these terrorists and bandits and kidnappers can strike at any time.

“During the reign of the immediate past administration, these people operated without any fear. The Nigeria government cannot afford to relax now that we are experiencing some form of relief”, he said. (NAN Features)

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