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Strength in unity, shield the flock with resolve, while beast loses its grip, as the nation evolve




By Suleiman A Suleiman


The persistent issue of kidnapping and other insecurity challenges in Nigeria has raised significant concerns, especially in the prevention of investment in the country. This has been further exacerbated by the targeting of high-value individuals, and strategic locations in the capital city, a sit of the President, which now has contributed to a fear of insecurity at Abuja and it’s environs.

Recent incidents, such as the abduction of five sisters near Abuja, have sparked a national outcry and highlighted the growing insecurity in the country’s capital. The sisters were seized by armed men, resulting in the tragic killing of one of them when a ransom deadline passed. Though they were rescued on Saturday evening, but this case, along with numerous others, has prompted public outrage and condemnation from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who expressed concern over the recent spate of kidnappings and bandit attacks

The Nigerian risk consultancy SBM Intelligence has documented a significant number of abductions in the Federal Capital Territory, with experts attributing the rise in kidnappings to the country’s economic crisis.

Insecurity around the capital has been a growing concern, with criminal gangs targeting highways, apartments, and even schools. The situation has been further complicated by periodic crackdowns that have not been effective in addressing the problem, allowing the criminal elements to evade capture.

Kidnapping in Nigeria has been identified as a serious national security challenge, driven by factors such as unemployment, worsening political instability, internal grievances, and a “get rich quick” syndrome. The prevalence of this criminal behavior has been linked to joblessness, moral decadence, hopelessness, and frustration among the youth, as well as the exploitation of the opportunity by politicians and disgruntled individuals.

The persistent issue of kidnapping and insecurity challenges in Nigeria poses a significant barrier to investment and economic growth. The government’s approach to addressing these challenges, including the formulation of sound policy programs, job creation, and the resolution of internal grievances, will be crucial in mitigating the insecurity and restoring confidence for investors.

Bello Matawalle, the former Governor of Zamfara State and current state Minister of defense, has a crucial role to play in addressing the insecurity challenges in Nigeria, building on his experience in addressing similar challenges during his tenure as Governor. His experience in Zamfara State offers valuable insights into potential strategies for combating insecurity on a national level.

During a live interview on BBC Hausa Program Ra’ayin Riga, Bello Matawalle emphasized the need to address and prevent the spread of insecurity in Nigeria. He highlighted the importance of understanding the root causes of the security challenges and the need to bring stability to the affected areas, particularly in the northern region of the country.

Matawalle spoke about the impact of banditry and its detrimental effects on the populace, stressing the need for a comprehensive approach that includes addressing the grievances of the affected communities. He also emphasized the importance of engaging in dialogue and reaching agreements and collaborative efforts from the affected state’s governors, drawing from his experience of initiating peace talks in Zamfara State.

Apparently, there is an urgent need for a serious discussion with the relevant media boards on the critical role they can play to defeat the bandits and other terror groups. It is essential to emphasize the importance of responsible reporting that focuses on showcasing the defeat of these criminal elements rather than glorifying their acts through reporting them evil doings.

Media engagement is crucial in shaping public perception and understanding of the security situation. By reporting more on the efforts to defeat bandits and terrorist groups, the media can contribute to demystifying these criminal elements and portraying them as the criminals they are, rather than granting them undue attention and recognition, in their reportage.

Promoting stories of successful operations against bandits and terror groups, highlighting the bravery of security forces, and showcasing the resilience of affected communities can help shift the narrative. It is imperative to outline the progress made in containing and defeating these threats to national security, as well as the efforts being made to restore peace and stability to affected regions.

By working closely with media organizations and setting guidelines for responsible reporting, the government can ensure that the media plays a constructive role in showcasing the defeats of bandits and terror groups while avoiding sensationalism and inadvertently providing these criminals with unwarranted attention. This approach can contribute to building public confidence in the government’s ability to address insecurity effectively and create an environment that is conducive to investment and national development.

Equally important to note is that, the aspects mentioned earlier, the role of collaborative state vigilantes and the restriction of weapon acquisition and movement are critical in combating insecurity. Collaborative state vigilantes, when properly organized and regulated, can significantly contribute to local security efforts. These vigilantes, when working in conjunction with security forces, can provide valuable intelligence, support, and surveillance within their communities.

As stated by Bello Matawalle nigeria’s state minister for Defense called for concerted efforts to combat the activities of criminal elements, focusing on preventing and addressing attacks, abductions, and other criminal activities. Matawalle emphasized the importance of collaboration between security agencies, local communities, and the government to ensure a unified and effective response to the security challenges.

Moreover, it’s advisedly for Nigerian government to impose a restriction to weapon acquisition and movement which is very essential in curbing the activities of bandits, terrorists, and criminal elements.

There is need for a more stricter regulations regarding the purchase and transportation of firearms can help prevent the proliferation of weapons, thereby reducing the capabilities of these criminal groups.

Additionally, the security at the border level is of utmost importance, as highlighted by the statement from the Kebbi State Governor during his interview on the BBC Hausa Program A fada a cika. The governor’s revelation about people mining illegally in Kebbi from Tanzania, Uganda, and some eastern countries underscores the transnational nature of some criminal activities. Strengthening border security and implementing stringent border controls are crucial in preventing the influx of criminal elements and illegal activities across the borders.

By working to strengthen collaborative state vigilantes, imposing restrictions on weapon acquisition, and enhancing security at the border level, the government can advance its efforts to counter insecurity and criminal activities effectively. This holistic approach, when coupled with the other elements previously discussed, forms a comprehensive strategy for addressing insecurity and restoring stability in Nigeria.

Furthermore, it is imperative that all security personnel receive their allowances and salaries on time to boost their morale and commitment to securing the nation. Timely payment of allowances and salaries is crucial in motivating security personnel and ensuring that they can carry out their duties effectively. This measure is essential for maintaining high morale among security forces and demonstrating the government’s commitment to their well-being.

Moreover, there is an urgent need for serious collaborative measures between all state governments to curb the menace of insecurity before it consumes the nation. Inter-state collaboration and coordination in combating insecurity are crucial for creating a unified front against criminal elements and fostering a comprehensive and effective response.

Additionally, mapping out ways to rehabilitate those involved in criminal activities and disabuse the minds of those attracted to evil acts is essential for addressing the root causes of insecurity. By providing avenues for rehabilitation and addressing the underlying factors that drive individuals to criminality, the government can work toward preventing the perpetuation of insecurity in the long term.

As the wise says “Strength in unity, shield the flock with resolve, and
Arrest the beast’s grip, and watch the nation evolve.”

This riddle encapsulates the analysis of the multifaceted strategies required to combat insecurity across Nigeria, emphasizing the importance of unity, proactive measures, and a concerted national effort to achieve lasting peace and security.

By Suleiman A SuleimanA

journalist based in Abuja.


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