The increasing spate of insecurity in every nook and cranny of Nigeria in the last one decade obviously reveals that in spite of concerted efforts of the country’s security agencies to fight insurgency, armed banditry, robbery, cultism, kidnapping etc, not much has been achieved in relative terms, not because the security forces are lacking in operational prowess but because of certain nocturnal tendencies.
Evidence abounds to truly posit that the prevailing acts that constitute insecurity are largely encouraged by the absolute indifference of the nation’s leaders to the poverty that pervades the tribe of the less privileged even when the country’s resources are in abundance to take care of all and sundry.
It is not far-fetched to understand the disingenuity ostensibly caused in the social space by the primitivity of our leaders who are inclined towards appropriating to themselves more than what ought to be their fair share from our commonwealth.
Countless records of criminal activities in the corridors of power abound, indicating the humongous sums in billions of Naira and foreign currencies, stashed away by officials of state in the most brazen manner that diminishes our collective image as a country in the global arena.
How do we explain cases of corrupt enrichment levelled against several state officials who have faced prosecution for such acts like the former boss of Pension Reform Reform Task team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who was recently convicted for embezzling billions of naira? What about others still standing trial for stealing billions of public fund?
The attendant ostentatious lifestyle of such sleazy elements in the corridors of power has obviously prompted some youths with criminal tendencies to easily launch themselves in activities that could criminally and violently open the doors of quick enrichment for them.
That was how the likes of Evans, instantly became billionaires through kidnap for ransom because they would want to live ostentatiously too like other leaders.
Confessions by several arrested suspected kidnappers, armed robbers and even internet fraudsters (a.k.a. Yahoo Boys), have pointed to the fact that they were attracted to join such criminal groups by poverty and hopelessness in securing gainful employment.
Some of such suspects have gone further to tell the police and journalists during interrogations at parade grounds that they could not watch helplessly the squandering of riches by politicians and their associates at the expenses of the impoverished masses. Hence they chose to indulge in any activity that could give them some riches unmindful of the consequences.
We may want to argue that terrorism in the Northeast part of the country, banditry across the states, kidnap for ransom are all induced by several factors, but we need to point out, that greed of our leaders is the primary cause. Majority of the country’s leaders over the years have displayed more selfishness in their official conducts than anything else. They have appropriated more to themselves and their families and associates, thereby leaving majority of the populace in poverty.
A country where billions are stolen and the thieves are treated with kid gloves can only expect more criminally minded elements to emerge and devise means of getting their own share through kidnap for ransom, armed robbery, banditry etc. Regrettably, the victims of such reprisal actions are not the very looters of the economy but often innocent people struggling to survive.
Those who have looted our public treasury rarely fall victim of kidnappers, armed robbers etc because they devote large chunk to provide security for themselves at the expense of the state.
We need re-emphasize the fact that if billions of naira being primitively diverted from government’s coffers to private accounts are judiciously applied in providing employment opportunities like factories for production, thousands of Nigerian youths who are engaged today as armed robbers, kidnappers, internet fraudsters etc would obviously not be involved in such heinous activities. They are involved in those vices ostensibly due to lack of genuine employment after leaving school or lack of technical skill acquisition.
It has therefore become imperative that instead of spending billions in the acquisition of security equipment needed to fight crime, there should be a paradigm shift by diverting such money towards rehabilitating our multi billion dollar now moribund companies like Delta Steel Company, Ajaokuta Steel Company, National Fertilizer Company, Oko Ibokun Paper Mill and many other companies wrongly sold or concessioned in the wake of the privatisation and commercialisation regime of the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
Moreso, we need recommend that since the current penalty imposed on those convicted of corrupt practices in public offices has not served any deterrence, the Chinese system of execution can be introduced as a way of checking the primitive accumulation which will continue to destroy the economic stability of Nigeria if not halted.