By Dr Timothy Oladele Gold
The anomie does not only pose threat but got enveloped in psychological embarrassment, thus ,the vulnerable who are clueless as far as the whole scenario is concerned, see all these more of drama or rather a masterminded show like any war movie with scripts for thespian artists to act.
Every sane Nigerian wonders why this ignominious trend persists despite whooping sum of money being budgeted for defence every year.
The aggravation of decayed state of security in Nigeria is not far fetched considering her status as the largest concentration of black people on earth and the influence in the comity of nations in Africa.
Ipso facto, any attempt to distrupt Africa for whatever hidden agenda, Nigeria stands as prime target.
There are several insinuations and allegations around the intent of AL-QAEDA, ISWAP, etc to over run states of west Africa for the purpose of JIHAD.
This and other agitations form MEND, MASSOB notwithstanding, the people of Nigeria had been unperturbed until recent time when it downed on them, the realities of premonitions of war outbreak!
Nigerians have been experiencing violence such as abduction of expatriates in Niger-Delta region and vandalization of oil supply installation for the purpose of agitation for derivation and recovery from ecological degradation brought by oil exploration in the region.
Conscientiously speaking, abduction was not part of crimes in Nigeria ,apart from a notable case of an erstwhile governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chris Ngigie who was rapaciously abducted by his disgruntled god father, Chris Uba in July 10, 2003 to score political points, hardly there was any high profile abduction recorded. Though, there have been cases of ritualists on prowl that seldom kidnap for illicit deals.
Unfortunately , the so called MASDOB has been replaced with IPOB that is so desperate to ensure that secession of Igbo from the triune entity of Nigeria becomes a reality. While the Bokoharam insurgency has grown into branches: banditry and Fulani herdsmanship, all working to wreak havoc.
The alleged fulanization of the country is synonymous with islamization, this is a logical equation: if the fulanis are predominantly fundamentalist seeking for Jihad rise to attack and annihilate non fulanis based on religious and pastoralist expansion….the syllogism is glaring , showing that security of the nation is threatened.
BOKOHARAM: this group is otherwise known as Juma at Ahl as -Sunnah lid-Da’ wa’l Jihad agitating principally against westernization and Western education which are believed to be sacrilegious and inconsistent with sunnah in which Sunnah translates, tradition and tenets of Islam.
At this juncture, it is essential to note that this treatise does not intend to denigrate Islam in any form as Bokoharam insurgency is never in the best interest of the religion as several clerics claim…
The movement founded by Muhammed Yusuf in 2002 in the Northeastern part of Nigeria, grew to become a torn in the flesh of the Christians initially and latter, the generality of the entire residents.
However, cases of christian churches burnt and priests gruesomely murdered in broad daylight ushered in the enormities of bombing across the Northwester and Northeastern Nigeria.
Unfortunately, the group became wildened by the death of Muhammed Yusuf who was incarcerated in the custody of Nigeria Police and died on 30 July 2009. The cause of death was yet unknown. There was a claimed that he died of injury sustained from gunshot while resisting and escaping arrest.
This marks the beginning of sporadic unleash of terror across the northern region of the country.
Several megadeath have been carried out by this group. The leader ,Abubakar Shekau who has since been constantly making footages and videos meant to make rounds on social media for the purpose of gallivanting with the claim of responsibility makes the situation messier.
POST INDEPENDENCE SECURITY REALITIES
A retrospect into the state of security after independence is essential in a treatise like this. This will definitely provide insight into the remote causes of several security challenges facing Nigeria.
The outbreak of civil war between Nigeria and secessionist Biafra. A violence spanning from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970, is however considered one major factor causing frictions in the nationhood. A cold war that lingers interminably. The rancour ensuing from the war described internecine in some quarters remains an underlying factors for secession threat and pressure from Igbo tribe that felt annihilated and battered economically by the Federal Government of Nigeria without compensation and reparations. The enormity is the marginalization as far as presidential position is concerned.
It is good to note that ,the triune coexistence of nations in Nigeria began to suffer apathy immediately after the sanguinary clash.
Igbo afterwards ceased to trust oneness on the country.
Without mincing words, this is the beginning of ethic nationality that bedevils the nation till present days.
It is pathetic to note the balkanization erupting from the civil war constituted an aftermath that kills national interest in governance. This however proves to have adverse resultant effects on the socio political terrain.
Hate is considered to have strong influence in the threshold of violence. In fact ,it is the spring board that launches men into conflicts. This was a notable aftermath of the civil war.
Without mincing words, security of any nation is not independent of psycho social vibrancy of the people.
Historically, few incidents of violence were witnessed several years after the tail end of civil war.
Mohammed Marwa better known as Maitatsine which translates ,the one who damns came back from exile imposed by the British authority and unleashed religious terror in company of his militant fundamentalist followers called Yan Tatsini.
This movement was of the bigoted opinion that use of cars ,television radio,bicycles should be prohibited and possession of money beyond fundamental needs must be discouraged.
The gamut of their rage were the various attacks on the police and other law enforcement agencies which aggravated the situation.
Unfortunately, over 5 000 souls were lost in 1980 to the upheaval caused by this group .
There were few residual communal clashes in the country that punctuated the peace of the various epicenters and the environ. The Ife-Modakeke crisis, Aguleri-Amuleri crisis, Ndagu-Alike and Ehyibichiri of Ebony State, etc.
THE CURRENT SPATE OF INSECURITY
The factors responsible for these ugly development can be categorized into the following:
Legal and judicial systems
It is notable that Nigeria during oil boom and economic vibrancy was an habitable place in terms of living condition and security. The teeming undergraduates in various public universities got matriculated for a better future.
The hope of survival was potent enough to curb undue anxiety to become accomplished in life and heal the youths from “get rich quick syndrome”. The viability of economy which could afford to give bursary awards, create employment could douse several latent tensions, strong enough to pose security threat.
“An idle hand is the devil’s workshop”. This is an apposite aphorism that explains the effects of economic hardship on the psyche of the youths which in turn affects the security of any society.
Harsh and inclement economic reality is the bedrock of several evil leeway taken by the disaffected for survival sake ;a pathetic life of modern Nigerian youths.
Nigeria that was an haven for foreign nationals till mid 80s suddenly snowballed into a quagmire without any temporal salvation in sight.
Invariably, every tendency to wrestle with economy that is battered by corruption in a corrupt manner elongates the evil trend of circuitous route of woe.
This is exactly what is happening in Nigeria, where her youths, graduate from various universities to become cyber criminals. This goes to say that any pillaged economy which can not provide jobs can never provide security…..
This is the bottom line.. Security and economy are married in a way. No wonder ,men who can provide for their households tend to be on top of control. This is analogous!
Economic factors which does not understand religious inclinations is capable of creating same effects in the religious minds of different sectarian people. Thus, hunger is hunger ,penury is penury irrespective of religious colour and terminology given to them.
It is a common phenomenon to see indigent parents praying towards success of cybercrime being committed by their children so as to survive the economy that lacks human face . Without mincing words ,any one engaged in cyber crime whose result can make the victims die of high blood pressure such can graduate to become an abductor.
Amalgamation of northern and southern protectorate, which looks more of a fait accompli, is fundamental in the nationhood.
The coming together of the north that is predominantly Islamic and the south predominantly christian requires a detailed social order and constitution that would contain and sustain the co existence. The north that trusts in Sharia law believed to be Islamic law. The South that embraces English laws that is believed to be christian have been on a ding dong affairs as far as social justice and equity are concerned.
This fundamental disparity midwifed the major disunity in the nation .Hegemony which is an off shoot of feudal influence of the northern oligarchs who romance and seize political power through enlistment in the military ,an organ that has held the rein of power since independence stands in the way of peace and unity.
However, history has it that Nigeria has been under military rule and pseudo democratic rule otherwise known as militocratic administrations headed by successive junta leaders uncivilized ex military personnel coupled with interregnum headed by military man and seldom democratically elected civilians.
Unfortunately, these security executives never thought of orchestrating religious security in the nation but rather, General Yakubu Gowon a christian head of state dragged a multi religious Nigeria into Organization Of Islamic Conference OIC.
Gowon who besought president Nasir of Egypt during the civil war (1967-1970) for armamental assistance never thought of the difference between the minaret and pinnacle and the difference between hijab and veil worn by the nuns.
Christians and moslem legislators converge at the national Assembly built in Islamic architecture with resilience.
The Green -White -Green colour of the national flags has been found to be Islamic colour .or rather ,hijacked and adopted for supremacy motive.
All these look more of oppression as far as Christendom is concerned, though no one has been openly agitating against this.
A supposed secular state has its currency carrying Arabic inscriptions.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Dr Goodluck Jonathan, former presidents at different occasions took umbrage in this and obliterated what looks puzzling to non Muslims.
It is never insidious to take the cognizance of graveyard peace in a ugly situation that is challenging citizenship.
Categorically, the fundamental human Rights that enshrines freedom of religion is not fully exhibited and canonized in Nigeria. Ultimately, this poses threat to the security of the state.
This is a factors that determines the gravity of other underlying factors. A failed system is characterized by all sorts of anomalies. The political terrain is too slippery only the money bags who have gained weight from ill gotten wealth are strong enough to plod with stolen spiked shoes
Meanwhile political harakiri, vendetta, and perfidy are orders of the day.
Sad enough, politicians train men for henchmanship, provide firearms to disrupt elections. They as well patronize assassins to bring adversaries down…., All these are done with impunity at the expense of national security.
Without mincing words, politicians across the nation proliferate illegal possession of firearms which they are latter turned to instruments for robbery, banditry and kidnappings.
The activities of Bokoharam are often traceable to political machination of some disgruntled politicians who also double as fundamentalists
At this labyrinth junction, it is logical to ferret out the fact that religion and politics have contributed immensely to security challenges in the country.
Howbeit, a vanquished in election becomes enemy of the government without measure.
Elections are do or die thereby trivialize the security of the affected constituency and geopolitical area. There have been cases of stern armed thugs firing at voters during elections… This is a spectacle !
Without any fear or favor ,it is essential to inquire about how these sophisticated arms infiltrate the country, beating customs and immigration services. Asking??? Is there clandestine arms factories in the country???
Apparently, these are sheer complicity embedded in political laxity and malfeasance.
Obviously, religion creates ember of discord for politics of bitterness ,greed and tenacity to rekindled in Nigeria.
Unfortunately, these spell doom for the nation.
Nigeria is suffering the cumulative effects of criminal indulgence perpetrated by politicians over the years.
It is however dramatic and a proven fact that all these imbroglios are premeditated by the security conscious gladiators who do not have their family members in the country.
While the unsuspecting and vulnerable acolytes never learn from the wisdom of the villains .They only gallivant in subornation and conspiracy capable of upsetting the apple cart called Nigeria.
This has jeopardized the economy and other facets .It is observed that the people saddled with the onus of securing the state are busying in the shady deals of sabotage which ranges from peculating fund as demonstrated by ex National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki who was held for embezzling security fund. Some of these miscreants go as far as playing the role of fifth columnist as demonstrate and perpetrated by Dr. Isa Patami in favour of the insurgents for furtherance of a cause that is pestiferous to the security.
Nabbed terrorists are often liberated or kept in prison custody for future release: the case of a Kingpin of abduction, Evans, and others.
Insomuch, corruption is potent enough to undermine the security of a nation like Nigeria where police men at check points are stationed to extort money from motorists without minding what may be trafficked. This is done to the detriment of security.
On a clearer note, the incessant en mass kidnappings of students throws more light on the height of corrupt practices. This appears to be the worst security ordeal but found to be a charade to discredit.
As a matter of urgency it is sensible to ask pertinent questions: How have such operations been successful in spite of gauntlets of police checkpoints and barricades??
To unravel this, politics and corruption will come to play.
The venom of sabotage in the ampoule of corruption has been literally injected into the blood stream of some individuals who wry things out of shape.
A nation where the killers of former Attorney General and Minister of Justice Chief Bola Ige fizzled into the tiny air of corruption ,despite the primafacie evidence of conspiracy of the orderlies that left their duty post to usher in the killers for the official assignment.
Unfortunately, justice is still hanging in the balance in this matter.
The dystopian novelist George Orwell (pseudonym) The real name: Eric Arthur Blair and the writer of a satire titled “Animal Farm” where he made a remarkable cliche that stands the test of time especially in Africa “All Animals Are Equal But Some Are More Equal Than Others” can not but be remembered for alluding to a place like Nigeria inadvertently.
The principle of egalitarianism is a myth in the milieu. ipso facto, the whole numerical strength of southern Nigeria not equals life of a Fulani cow in the drove of any northern i herder…
Fulani supremacy is a dent on the image of the nation .It is unspeakable that the so called giant of Africa nurses virtual vassal races that are made subservient as a result of malady of amalgamation.
It could have been auspicious if the amalgamation of northern and southern protectorates had been done in a good faith that would make the nation a true federation of united States of Nigeria with a measure of autonomy for the regions. A system that was more partially practised in the defunct regional federation.
LEGAL AND JUDICIAL SYSTEMS
Decadence is believed to be ravaging the legal system which makes a nation of enviable magnitude ruritanian.
Palpable complicity of the law enforcement agents, the inconsistency of law as demonstrated by the law enforcement agencies meshed with outright ultra vires conducts among the stake holders in the legal system account for travesty and miscarriage of justice carried out by venal judges in the land.
The perpetrators of breach of peace have not been dully punished. The case of elusive Kabiru Sokoto, a notorious terrorist who bombed the congregation at St Theresa Catholic Church Madalla on the out skirt of Abuja was first reported to have escaped from police custody which was an evidence of abortive conspiracy.
It is sad that there is a criminal hibernation in our battered legal system which encourages breach of peace and other security challenges.
THE CURRENT AGITATIONS AND SECURITY IMPLICATIONS
This treatise will be incomplete without this sub topic. Undoubtedly, agitations for advancement is not new. This happens all over the world, Catalonia is clamouring for sovereignty away from Barcelona. Likewise California agitates for independence away from the United States .
It is not strange to read about this on the pages of news papers.
The igbo separatists are predicating the struggle on marginalization while the agitators for Oodua nation are either complaining of encroachment of brutish Fulani herders or dwarfing of the region by the northern hegemons who have been determining the leadership and management of the nation’s affairs to the detriment of the region believed to be subservient .
However, the activities of Indigenous People Of Biafra under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu evolves into violence and other turbulent actions that threatens the security of the region. This may be described in some quarters as reaction to the intervention of Nigeria armed forces in curbing the trend.
Yoruba nation otherwise known as Oodua which is being championed by Chief Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho has its origin from protest against Fulani herders’ assault on the dwellers of Oke Ogun area of Oyo State, where the herders allegedly abduct, rape and kill innocent residents.
At this juncture, it should be noted that people tend to spontaneously resort to self defence in the event of government’s failure to provide adequate security.
The violent dislodgement of brutish Fulani herders from Iganga township and its environs brought Sunday Igboho to the limelight afterwards.
While those who may not know security implication of secession agitation that involves deviation from civil regulation applaud and bask in the euphoria of achieving a brand new country in the offing .
Unfortunately, the capitalists and real business moguls from these agitating regions issue contempt to these activities. They rather see the agitators as enemies who are working to undermine their various investment scattered across the country .
The Igbos who have invested immensely in places like Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Kaduna with no contemplation of relocating to any part of the country are constituting a drogue in the sail of the struggle. This also applies to Yorubas who have been naturalized in terms of commerce in other parts of the nation.
This is a pointer to a future intra tribal conflict which may as well lead to pogrom. This happened among Ogoni elders who were killed by the youths who felt betrayed and consequently led to the death of Ken -Saro Wiwa the activist and environmentalist who fought for the emancipation of his father land.
The on going non violent campaign for Yoruba nation has tendency to go confrontational. This is observable and predictable… The utterances of Chief Sunday Adeyemo sound more of defying military and constabulary mights .
His flagrant claims of invincibility looks challenging to the sensibility of security agencies.
Cases of attacks on the residence of Sunday Igboho by people suspected to be supporters of Fulani henchmanship have been reported in the media. This is no wise difference from sequence of events that preceded legal and military action against Nnamidi Kalu that have made him an émigré .
There is an avalanche of security implication of these current agitations which involves attacks on police stations, arson and killings of civilians and police officers that have tremendously torn South eastern region apart .
Undoubtedly, this spate of unrest and protracted conflict are capable of escalating to serious anarchy if not curb.
The Yoruba elders who are placid as a result of scruple and the lesson from witnessed civil war are apathetic towards the agitation. While the maverick politicians who are feeding on the virtue of oneness of Nigeria distance themselves from this cause.
It is unfortunate that in no time the agitators will be repudiated by the entire leadership of Yoruba which is already a reality. As some socio political groups and leaders of political parties are condemning this activism in the overt. This also spell security risk if not thoroughly managed.
The security implication of this is not far fetched. Factions may spring up in the struggle as a result of compromise: The big wigs with national political ambitions may offer money to quell and gage which may cause serious fracas among the agitators. This was the phenomenon that initially tore Odua Peoples Congress founded by Late Dr. Frederick Fasehun apart.
It is notable that the leader of the factional leader, Otunba Gani Adams now Iba Gani Adams who doubles as Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba Land is part of the struggle for the creation of Yoruba Nation…,
Going down the memory lane , fracas and killings caused by rivalry between the two factions of Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) can not be forgotten in a hurry. It was a great security challenge in the South west that must be forestalled!
The self acclaimed security and law enforcement agents suddenly constituted parallel police force. They arrest suspects, detain and execute … Many innocents were maliciously killed .
It is imperative to guard against re occurrence of this ignominy. Yoruba which is looked upon as an intelligentsia is at the verge of being rubbished by agitation .
It is reasonable to limit the struggle to agitation against Fulani encroachment and malicious attacks on Yoruba people at the moment.
LIFE EXPECTANCY IN RELATION WITH SECURITY
Africans mostly do not die but killed! Apart from death arising from poor health system coupled with diseases emanating from squalour and abysmal ignorance in the area of nutrition and regimen that claim lives.
Healthy people as well as wealthy ones die cheaply under unchecked pressure of insecurity. This decimates and demoralizes the people of the land and ultimately lowers life expectancy that is already too low compared to other climes .
Under listed are the categories of killings in Nigeria
(2) Criminal Killings
(3) Intelligence Killings
(5) Ritual /Traditional Killings
(6) Despotic/Tyrannical Killings
Many innocent souls have been lost to political Killings in the past . While in history, cases of henchmen and other armed political thugs that inflicted serious injuries on people thought to be inimical because of their party affiliation and political stance, perpetrated the crime with much impunity have been recorded
Unfortunately, various electoral violence were reported on the note of carnage and still counting.
The experience of sporadic shooting during electoral process is a normal phenomenon that is expedient and not in any way seen as criminality as far as formal debacle is concerned
Mean while, outright assassinations of political contenders that makes the politics look dirty never dissuades maverick and pugnacious politicians who are willing to match force with force to ensure victory and emergence. This makes the terrain risky and as well spell doom on the security
Assailants in form of organized armed robbery and hire killing thrive much as a result of corruption. Lack of effective judicial process and other factors such as hi tech surveillance that is almost zero constitute a great bane.
There is no effective monitoring intelligence that can averagely nip crimes in the bud… police only react to already committed crimes . This is archaic in a population of 180 million.
The cities are not smart. No surveillance cameras, no effective data base. Murderers get away with their deeds.
Thousands of lives have been snaffled by dastardly armed killers without any clue for arrest.
And so sad that these criminals often avert adequate punishment as stated by the criminal and penal codes.
It is startling that those who have the wherewithal to buy justice constitute a great threat on the security of lives in their immediate environment.
As a matter of fact, power of violation and death are the social secrets that make so called VIPs relevant in the society. This poses to be a security threat on the less privileged.
October 19,1986, marks the death of a great veteran journalist, Mr. Dele Giwa who lost his life to the receipt of a letter bomb.
This was unprecedented in the history of killings in Nigeria. This is one of typical death masterminded by intelligence unit .
More so, several air crash have been attributed to intelligence vendetta …
The death of many political big wigs, M K O Abiola and few others are undoubtedly intelligence killings
This may sound equivocal as the word ‘accident’ poses to be incongruous with the word ‘kill’. Thus, accident is described sudden and unpremeditated and not masterminded in any form.
The word death can not collocate in this sense having considered the gross avoidable accidents that have claimed lives.
The accidental detonation of bombs in Ikeja Lagos on 27th January 2002 which caused pandemonium and death of hundreds was accidental but avoidable.
Negligence many a time is often responsible for accidents in Nigeria.
Explosion of gas plants and other catastrophes that claim lives in gross may be described accident
The bottom line is, accidents are mostly function of negligence, though this does not expunge the word accident in the lexicons of Nigeria
RITUAL/TRADITIONAL KILLINGS :
Ritual killing is rampant in all the geopolitics zones of the country…. It is spiritually believed that human parts are found to be a very efficacious ingredient of fetish concoction for money ritual and other traditional sacrifices for atonement and propitiation.
Unfortunately some societies are still indulging in this savage culture. This is often clandestine and nocturnal rites in most cases.
Evidently ,most missing persons are victims of this circumstance.
The saga of Clifford Orji who hibernated somewhere in Lagos for his trade of butchering humans for sale is one of uncovered cases.
In November 20, 1999. Nigerian army under the leadership of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo the Commande- In -Chief Of the armed forces ordered the annihilation of Odi community without minding the position of the international community on genocide. This is an outstanding example … Innumerable cases of such killings are as well lingering in the memory of the people
There is an indications of alarming indices of security risks in all facets of life in the land .
Wealth which only attracts theft and robbery in the days of yore now puts the wealthy on a higher pedestal of risk of abduction that is capable of impoverishing.
People of substance are abducted for ransoms big enough to make the victims poorer. The hostages are as well killed in case of delay in the delivery of ransom .
It is however incommoding to learn that ,the families and friends of the wealthy are not safe as well. The new crime has cleverly resolved to kidnapping of any one that will be of concern to this category of people.
Kidnappers often round off commuters on Nigeria roads at random for the proceed called ransom
The attack on Samuel Ortom, Executive Governor, Benue State on 20 March 2021 by Fulani killers heightens the vulnerability profile of Nigerians as far as security is concerned .
It is ignominious that, despite heavy security details of the Governor, the executive could only escape by a whisker …Alas !
essentially, it is enough to refer to the recent attack on the former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Prof Charles Soludo in which his police orderlies were killed .A mayhem that also heightens the vulnerability profile .
Nowadays ,presence of security guards around the elites has been rendered useless and considered to be more of flamboyancy than security beef-up .
Meanwhile, living at the mercy of criminals is more challenging than death .This statement represents and as well alludes to the situation of Nigeria with every tendency to escalate to anarchy.
Conspiracy theory around insecurity in the country makes the whole scenario convoluted. The surge and scourge of Bokoharam insurgency and other national security nightmares which may look more of fate to endure is a sheer demonstration of woe brought by corruption of the quislings who are feeding fat from evil proceeds.
From all indications, the security challenges bedeviling the nationhood is 80 percent Man made, 10percent the shot of the nation from the global spate of insecurity orchestrated by terrorist groups. While 10percent is attributed to fate, accident and act of God.