The year 2021 had come and gone like any other past years with records of favourable and unfavorable incidents with respect to insecurity in Nigeria.
While the favourable has to do with achievements of the Federal Government and its security agencies towards making the country safe and secure for the citizenry, the unfavorable has to do with the several lapses and thousands of lives lost in the year to terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, cultists, armed robbers and so on.
Available records show that no fewer than 9,000 lives were lost to bandits and terrorists in the Northern part of the country between January and December. To security analysts, this figure represents a frightening scenario that indicates a state of war. Regrettably, this war is not with any other country but war of Nigeria against itself.
To put it succinctly, securityreporters.com, hasten to say that Nigeria did not fare well in 2021 in its fight against insecurity in spite of efforts of the security forces. This is given credence by statements from several quarters. Just a few days to the new year, a coalition of northerners called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take the security situation in Nigeria back to what it was during President Goodluck Jonathan’s era.
Others have called for the official declaration of banditry in the North as outright terrorism and so on.
In all of these, the summary is that Nigeria is still at a state of war with itself and leaves the citizenry with greater fears in the new year.
While it could be well acknowledged that the Buhari administration over the years has been doing its best to stem the tide of insecurity in the length and breadth of the country, the unabating posture of the criminal elements largely explains that the government and its intelligence agencies are yet to unravel the actual causes of the security threats everywhere.
It is evident that security agencies have relatively been encouraged by both the Federal and state governments with needed equipment and logistics in the fight against the criminals, yet there appears to be fundamentally wrongs in the system.
At different times, Nigerians have been told by the Federal Government that it has identified those suspected to be sponsoring insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and so on. Regrettably, nothing has been done practically to publicly identify who the sponsors are and measures taken against them judicially.
If government could courageously inform Nigerians that it has names of sponsors of terrorists and bandits in the country, why has the same government not been able to publicly prosecute the same identified sponsors?
We need say that government’s inconsistency in handling suspected sponsors of terrorism and banditry is highly suspicious and seriously lends credence to the general belief that government officials have some hands in the terror regime.
As we are now in a brand new year and itching towards the 2023 general elections, we strongly feel that there must be a paradigm shift in the new year with a stronger focus on addressing the fundamental causes of terrorism, banditry and all other forms of criminality.
As the insecurity regime escalates and creates fear with respect to the 2023 election, now is the time to put more concerted efforts in checkmating the trend and dealing decisively with identified sponsors.