Why the end may not be in sight yet for Nigeria’s insecurity challenge

Incidents that took place in the past week have made it probably the most gruesome since the week of October 20, 2020.

When Nigeria was again named the third most terrorised country in the world, it seemed as if there was an unseen and determined principality ready to prove why the country is third or deserved to be ranked higher. Such was the nature of events that followed the announcement.

Barely a day after, a commercial bank was besieged by armed robbers in Ondo State and a first class traditional ruler, the Olufon of Ifon, Oba Adegoke Adeusi, was killed by unidentified gunmen, in the same state.

As though that was the beginning, wife of Governor Rotimi Akeredolu‘s Chief of Staff was also abducted.

The tragic climax came with the reported decapitation of about 43 farmers in Borno State. Although the state is widely seen as the base of insurgency and has suffered more attacks than other states, the new wave of tragedy represented another low for the state and the country in general.

The only silver lining from the clouds of mishaps was the reunion of Olubunmi Ale, wife of the Chief of Staff to the Ondo Governor, with her family, 

Although there was a message of condolences from the Presidency over the loss of lives the past week, many Nigerians are really doubtful that the perennial challenge of insecurity may not have an end in sight anytime soon. The following factors underpin such thoughts:

Failure to get more weapons

When Nigeria paid $493 million to the United States for the purchase of Super Tucano fighter jets in 2018, there were speculations that the odds of winning the war against insurgency could increase.

Based on revelations from a meeting of the Senate Committee on Air Force last Thursday, Nigeria stands a risk of losing the $493m paid for the fighter jets because the nation’s runway at the moment was not up to standard and could not carry the fighter jets.

Poverty-induced Terrorism

According to a 2018 report by the United Nations Children and Emergency Fund (UNICEF), about 10.5 million children are not in school, and for a country that’s also the poverty capital of the world, a lot of poor young hands are idle and available for terrorist recruiters to engage.

The Sultan of Sokoto realised this and sounded an alarm that the North is the worst place to live, as bandits operate freely within the region. With the population still on the increase, there will only be more hands to recruit for Boko Haram and similar terror sects.

Northern Governors now Abuja-based

Reports are rife on social media that many Northern governors now hardly reside in their states anymore. They only go to their states occasionally. If these allegations are true, there would be decreased effort and motivation in trying to improve the security infrastructure of the state. More importantly, there will be a free rein for insurgent elements to operate.

Misplacement of Priority

When the Kano State Hisbah Board wrote Cool FM on their Black Friday sales that it was improper to call a Holy day ‘black’, there was outcry from people across the country on something that seemed insignificant in the scheme of things. 

Then Hisbah further stated that they’d conduct house to house search of drunks who are sinners. In a region that is beleaguered with insecurity and illiteracy, among other challenges, paying attention to ‘Black Friday’ is trivial. 

Also, at a ‘crucial meeting’ of the Northern States Governors Forum (NSGF) held in Kaduna weeks back, social media regulation was top on the agenda and it begs the question if the region that suffers most from killings and kidnappings was getting its priorities right.

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