Mazeed Mukhtar Oyeleye writes,

Whenever my father inquires about my welfare, his calls are always concise, and regardless of the absolute briefness of such calls, the old man would never forget to broach this issue; “Please, son, do not leave the school or loiter within it”. Although I ridicule the comment and dismiss it as yet another verse from the Psalms, but the thought that his conclusion packs a punch of truth never loses track on my mind.

In Nigeria, whether it is in your school or outside, nowhere is safe. I have no doubts that the IDPs in Borno, the internally dispersed in Niger, folks who witness gory bandit attacks in the Northwest and the inhabitants of other unsafe communities in Nigeria would have united in opinion with Rasaq Malik Gbolahan when he said “There is no home in this land”. And thinking it deep on the side of truth, do we not even wonder why the giant of Africa is becoming, on a sixpence, the globe’s capital of poverty?

Security according to Merriam Webster dictionary defines as the measures taken to guard against espionage, sabotage, crime, attack, or escape., on the other hand, defines security as freedom from danger and risk or the precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, and the like.

Therefore, it is deductible that insecurity, which is the opposite of security is the lack of proper protection from danger, exposure to crime, attack, espionage, and others, especially of the same kind. So, one would take note glaringly from these cited definitions that Nigeria really suffers from the non-existence of what is termed as security.

To start, the prevalence of outrageous crime rates evidences the peril underlying the failure of security forces, including the police, military and paramilitary, to observe their duty with the utmost fidelity and hence, the ongoing abductions, banditry, communal and religious crises, cultism, electoral violence, hooliganism, insurgency, jungle justice, rape, ritual killings, vandalism of private and public properties, and a host of other perversions which ravage the innocent without an end have been the resulted consequences, and such catastrophes, as countless as they are, are what have been making the citizenry at large lackadaisical about contributing their quota to the country’s economic and national development.

Unfortunately, the stupendousness of crimes results in the aggravation of casualties, and fatality, in adverse cases, and as most of the victims of these atrocities are from the exuberant demographic, a massive decline in the working population is imminent. Such reduction in population will result in a severe imbalance in the ratio of dependents (including the aged, physically incapacitated, women in purdah, and children) to the working population, and hence, the eventuality of such harbingers more crippling effects on the Nigerian economy.

Similarly, insecurity paves the way for the brain-drain syndrome to thrive, dwindling the already diminishing human capital further as citizens abscond to other countries with more secure environments. It is no news that Nigerians flee their motherland by crook or hook. The level of austerity stemming from insecurity drives promising citizens out of the country to saner climes to harness their potentials and sometimes maybe through illegal migration. This development rids Nigeria of objective citizens, and this largely precursors a devastating blow on the national development as such key individuals would then find their new home much safer.

Again, insecurity decries the integrity of honest public officers who give their best bet to ensure uniform developments in the country, hence, also discouraging dedication to public service.

A vivid example of such is a scenario of that of Professor Babangana Zulum of Borno State, who works diligently to better the lives of his own people. However, it is disheartening to acknowledge that the painstaking efforts of the governor are, later in time, like water off a duck’s back.

The people do not feel the impact of his visionary leadership because of the banditry and insurgency that pillage the state ceaselessly. Furthermore, insecurity taints the international image of Nigeria, giving her a throne amongst war-torn countries and others that suffer civil unrest. The world peace rankings are irrefutable as insecurity has carted away the peace that the white of the Nigerian flag represents and these factual yet demeaning reports of Nigeria being a tempestuous country disturb patriotic Nigerians at home and in the diaspora.

It all does not stop here, insecurity also denies Nigeria the presence of foreign investments as no sane individual will choose to invest in a country where blood spillage is the order of the day. Nigerians will agree that Facebook and Twitter situating their African headquarters in South Africa and Ghana is fair when they reflect on the currency of insecurity in Nigeria with sincerity.

Although Nigerians account for almost a third of the African clients of Facebook and Twitter, it still then fails to be a safe milieu to domicile investment. However, all hope is not lost for Nigeria to reclaim herself from the destructive tentacles of insecurity. We do not know how we ascended the chart of the most dangerous countries to habituate, but we can still restore security to the country.

The appraisal of the Nigerian security framework and a consequent restructure is necessary for undermining insecurity. We can do this by recruiting honest people into law enforcement agencies with standard remuneration and medical packages which will sustain them. Such action from the government will instil zeal in the security agents and enable them to perform their duties to the letter. We must also get rid of the security framework of corrupt officers who conspire with agents of destruction to bereave Nigeria of safety. In the same vein, the upheaval of the security framework should also cater for the psychological welfare of the law enforcement agents, reorientating them on how to discharge their duties without putting the masses they serve in harm’s way.

A respectful alliance would build a bond of trust between the citizens and security agents, ensuring their cooperation whenever the need arises. Such developments will ease the discharge of duties by law enforcement and tackle the appalling trend of insecurity to a fault.

Similarly, the adoption of hi-tech security implements will be a giant stride in the fight against insecurity. We can also resort to virtually assisted policing, installing Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in streets and highways, drone surveillance, and a host of other A-list security implements used by other countries.

The government should also equip the law enforcement agencies with a steady and ample supply of state-of-the-art ammunition, tactical gears, shuttles, communication systems, and training to enable them to triumph over the perpetrators of acts of terrorism and other violent crimes against humanity. The digitalisation of security would catalyse the decimation of the rotten eggs in the country. Withal, the government must embark on rigorous sanitation of the judiciary to curb the excesses of insecurity.

Optimum security would be a wild dream without an incorruptible judicial system to play the music of justice for miscreants to face, thereupon, a stringent penalty should be prescribed for roughnecks to disabuse the prevalence of crime, which will, in turn, serve as an elixir to cure Nigeria of the ailment known as insecurity. It is no lie when anyone thinks that the comeuppance of apprehended hooligans will serve as a deterrent to those who look up to them. And with the effective implementation of the aforementioned, Nigerians will herald dusks where insecurity is a pariah. And until then also, we must remain law-abiding as good citizens who want a change for their own nation should be and pray for the country to earn bragging rights over optimum security in a little while.

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