Juliana Francis

As the curtain falls on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, bringing an end to his eight years reign, all eyes are now on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, aka Jagaban.

As the curtain falls on Buhari’s receding back, Tinubu has taken centre stage and all eyes are now on him, waiting, watching, and taking note of how he is going to tackle the hydra-headed challenge of insecurity decimating different parts of the country, with northeast and Benue State still topping the ladder in bloodletting and mindless killings.

It has been eight years of many issues bedeviling Buhari’s administration, with chief among them being insecurity. Insecurity has continued to be the hard nut, which many administrations have repeatedly failed to crack.

Some security watchers, experts, and analysts have however expressed their opinions on security areas in which Tinubu could channel its energy and arsenal to check, and hopefully eradicate insecurity.

The National Coordinator of the Network on Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN), Mr. Emmanuel Ikule believes that the solution comes with a holistic picture of several issues, including strict adherence to the laws of the land.

He said: “The appointment of a new Police IGP with a minimum of four years remaining for a four-year term according to Section 7 of the Police Act 2020 and with the advice of the Police Council. Selection of IGP should be based on competence and the years of work for impact.

“There is a need for proper recruitment especially of Police Officers by the Police Service Commission (PSC) to ensure inclusion, credibility, and transparency with NOPRIN being part of the process to flag up any abnormality as well as offer technical assistance when needed. This has been an issue over time and has prevented recruitment as well as limiting the reach of security personnel as officers are grossly inadequate to police 200 million citizens.”

He also wanted the Tinubu administration to focus on auditing security training schools, stressing that gaps should be addressed especially in their curriculums which are outdated.

“There is a need for re-orientation of all security agents on their roles, duties, Nigerian laws and need for clear emphasis on respect for rule of law for and on everyone, especially the Poor. There is a need to decriminalize poverty in Nigeria. Mostly the poor suffer in all aspects in Nigeria as it relates to access to resources and they are the ones in detention, police custody,” said Ikule.

He further said that there was a need for all erring officers to be punished as well as erring citizens who actually also violated the law in the destruction of public property, and police institutions.

He continued: “There is a need to release all peaceful protesters still in security custody and compensation of families of affected citizens and security officers as well as the implementation of the recommendation of the panels of Inquiry in States.

“There is a need to bring to book all terrorist organizations like Boko Haram, Miyeti Allah, and Fulani Herdsmen, check the activities of Hisbah, as well as the conduct of sitting and former executives who are sponsoring the activities of hoodlum and terrorist organizations in maiming the lives of citizens.

“There is also a need to also check the activities of overzealous religious, traditional, and opinion leaders who have been consistent in misleading the people, causing crises, and building hatred for certain sections of the country. There should be more emphasis on developing the country than promoting religion and tribalism, sectionalism, and ethnicism.

“There is a need for the inclusion of youths in decision making, in the involvement of technology. There are a series of solutions that tech can provide especially for tracking, data on crime, and forensics as this would reduce and address the culture of torture inherent in our security system.

“Welfare of security agents both those in service and retired, should be looked into and addressed the unnecessary wrong ways to support themselves and live better lives. Like creating Police PenCOM.

“Collaborative town hall meeting bringing together a wide range of civic actors, youths, security agencies, media, and other civic actors, to understand the impact of bad policing on the citizen. The information gathered will be used to create policy briefs and other advocacy materials. Collaborative townhall meeting with youth, students, artists in the geopolitical zone

“There is a need to audit the Police Trust Fund and appoint persons who can be able to implement the act as expected. That is the training and retraining of officers, refurbishment of police institutions, purchase of armory, state of the art equipment for the Nigeria Police force.”

A security analyst, Attah Folorusho also has something to say on the issue. According to him, Tinubu tackled insecurity at the state level when he was a governor, he believes he could replicate it at the federal level. He however argued that tackling insecurity begins with the appointment of security chiefs with, “I can do it and achieve it,” spirits.

His words: “Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State prioritized security issues. He reformed the state security outfit, “Operation Sweep” now Rapid Response Squad, RRS.  However, security at the state level can not be measured with that of the federation.

“Since the security of lives and property is, according to his inaugural speech, a top priority, one would advocate that a proactive approach to stem the tide of insecurity must be engaged.

“This is by way of giving the lion’s share of the yearly budget allocation to defense and appointing competent security operatives to head all security agencies.  Religious and ethnic considerations must not come to the fore when appointing security chiefs.  A review of the country’s security architecture needs to be carried out swiftly.

“This can be done by addressing intelligence failure. Constant training and retraining of security agents are necessary. Curbing corruption within the folds of security agents is very important. But you can only fight corruption if you provide the enabling atmosphere for the operatives to perform optimally and effectively. This can be done through the provision of accommodation, car loans, a good salary, and a good welfare package for security operatives. A good insurance package for such personnel will boost their morale to give their best to their fatherland.  The government should make budgetary allocations for informants too. Adequate patrol vehicles and communication gadgets will assist in rapid response to the crisis, distresses, and crime scenes.”

The Executive Director, of CLEEN Foundation, Gad Peter, said: “At the centre piece of this government should be the issue of Security because like the president captured in his broadcast. If there is no security, we cannot be talking about development. We cannot be talking about economic growth. As a matter of fact, nothing will happen!

“I expect President Tinubu to review the entire security architecture nationally and work with the state governors and private local government for local security and repackaging of the country.

“We need to agree whether we need to have state police, we need to agree whether the military needs to remain on the streets of Nigeria, we need to agree whether we need to equip and retrain all of our policemen and women. We need to agree on whether we need to recruit a new set of police personnel and support other parametric agencies to do their work well, we need to equally review our borders.

“We need to look at the issue of small arms, so we need to equally look at human security in terms of job opportunity and the issue of inclusiveness and giving everybody a sense of belonging because the flipside of what we are discussing is the fact that there are people that feel that they are not considered as part of this country. There are people that feel that they are first class, while some people are second class citizens. Government implementations of its activities have not been fair and so all of these inequalities, injustice, and impunity create an issue of insecurity.

 “I expect the president to do a holistic reform of the security looking at the police because the police are supposed to take charge of our internal security and therefore, we need to empower them to do their work.”

Gad noted that most of the challenges Nigerians have are related to internal security, therefore the military can only come and support the police and go back but “when you have the military permanently on our streets then you are weakening the police and making them ineffective and so the military need to go back to the barracks.”

He also mentioned: “We need to trust the police, we need to give them more responsibility, we need to equip them, we need to empower them, we need to give them all logistics and the support that they need to succeed.”

Another analyst, Frank Oshanugor, said that it was interesting to note that in Chapter Two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended), under the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, “it is the duty of the Federal Government to provide for the security of the citizenry.  Section 2 (b) expressly states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

He then added: “If this constitutional requirement from whoever oversees the Federal Government at any time is anything to go by, I would say that Bola Tinubu as the new President of Nigeria has the responsibility of ensuring that security of every Nigerian or anyone resident in Nigeria is protected, safe and secure.

“This automatically means that incidences of insurgency, unknown gunmen attack, herdsmen unprovoked attack, kidnap for ransom, cultism, armed robbery, and cyber-attack, among other crimes should be things of the past.

“The new administration should therefore ensure that all the mistakes or lapses inherent in the Buhari administration caused by wrong appointment, nepotism, insincerity, corruption, and misplacement of priority, are not allowed to repeat themselves.

“The President in appointing the service chiefs and heads of other security and anti-crime agencies should be guided largely by the principle of competence, track record, and patriotism without pandering to ethnic or religious tendencies.

“From my own assessment with available evidence, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration failed largely with respect to providing security for Nigerians due to those mundane tendencies.

“In spite of the modest efforts made in containing the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast of the country, the regime of rampaging killer gunmen in the North West, North Central and even in parts of the South in which hundreds of innocent lives have been lost, seriously portrayed Buhari’s administration as the worst in recent time.

“His government’s inability or incapacity to checkmate activities of the gunmen, kidnappers who go for ransom and all other masquerading blood tasty criminals, clearly indicts Buhari as a failure with respect to security.

“A conservative estimate of the number of people killed by terrorists, kidnappers, gunmen, and Fulani herdsmen in various parts of the country was over 60,000 within the eight years of his leadership. This is a frightening figure that clearly poses a disincentive to attempt in attracting foreign investors.

“Many schoolgirls taken into captivity by terrorists in the North East are still missing without any trace by Nigeria’s security forces and their chapter seemed to have been closed as far as the administration is concerned.

“It was during the Buhari administration’s time that Nigerian Correctional Facilities and police stations became the commonest centres of attack by gunmen for reasons not quite explicit to Nigerians. Matters are not helped by the lackadaisical manner the Government was handling security issues due to ethnoreligious considerations.

“This was evident in several reported cases of identification or arrest of certain persons behind some of the killings, no sooner had the news settled than the entire matter is discarded or manipulated in such a manner that nobody hears of it again.

“There was a time Nigerians were told via the media that some persons behind terrorism and other killings particularly in the North had been arrested. Nigerians demanded disclosure of their identities and prosecution but till today nobody could tell what has happened.

“A lot of evil practices associated with security of lives and property occurred during the Buhari era and much of it has remained concealed with the perpetrators shielded by the government.  One such was the brazen display of thuggery and attack by agents of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) in a place like Lagos where the likes of MC Oluomo would brazenly threaten the Igbos even in the presence of the police for attempt not to vote APC presidential and Governorship candidates in the 2023 election.

“Following the threat, lives were lost during the election and the perpetrators are still walking freely without the law enforcement carrying out their duties accordingly as they have been compromised.

“In the history of Nigeria, there has never been a time killing of innocent citizens has ever taken place as we witnessed in the last eight years, particularly in the North Central where the Fulani herdsmen have strongly entrenched themselves and continuously kill the natives who oppose them for destroying their farms.

“I will conclude that the money spent on Security by the Buhari administration cannot be justified with the low level of performance with respect to his government’s constitutional obligation as earlier mentioned.

“Therefore, the Tinubu Administration has a humongous challenge to right the wrongs of the Buhari administration if he wants to go down in history as a President whose election was mired in controversy but ultimately led Nigeria on the part of progress, peace, orderliness, security of lives and property.”

BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis

Caring is Sharing ... Think It's Cool? Please Share to Any Icon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *