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Nigeria has been faced with security challenges since the beginning of the democratic era in 1999. It has spread to all parts of the country with its climax being the Niger Delta militants during Yar’adua’s regime and Boko Haram in the Jonathan and now the Buhari regime.
Past governments have tried to combat these problems but the situation always seemed to get out of control. Today, insecurity is a major issue especially in the North Eastern and Middle Belt regions of Nigeria with Boko Haram kidnapping young school girls in the North East and Fulani Herdsmen ravaging villages and killing farmers in parts of the North East and Middle Belt.
The question on the minds of concerned Nigerians is how can these insecurity challenges be brought to an end? In this article, we will discuss a few possible steps that can be taken to bring an end to insurgency in the country and improve the security and safety of Nigerians.
Ways of Improving Security in Nigeria:
1. The Public Must Rise to Assist the Government
Insurgency is a problem in communities and there have been rumours of some community members harbouring insurgents when they are about to be found out maybe because they are family members or friends.
With such practices it is impossible to deal with insurgency in this country. Community members must be willing to expose insurgents and their accomplices living in the community so that they can face the law as they deserve.
It is a good thing that there are vigilante groups that help to patrol but the other members of the community must cooperate to make the fight against insurgency a success and to improve security in our communities.
2. Communities Prone to Attacks Must be Vigilant at all Times
People living in communities where there are recurring attacks must learn to be vigilant whether in their farms or at home, day or night.
They should report any suspicious persons to security agents and get themselves to safety. Most of the night attacks may just be because the people were all fast asleep and could not realize when the attackers were coming until they had gotten too close. Vigilance will help to reduce the success of attacks on communities.
3. The Military Must Be Up and Doing
Although the military has been doing its best in an attempt to conquer security challenges in the country, lingering crisis is an indication that the methods being used have not been effective.
This calls for implementation of better ideas in order to win the war against terrorism in the country. They must seek ways to come up with new ideas and if necessary involve their foreign counterparts who may proffer better solutions on how to conquer insurgency in the country.
4. Religious Leaders Must Tell their Followers the Truth
Religious leaders are influential people and whatever they tell their followers is what they are likely to do. If the leaders can tell their followers it is bad to participate in activities that disrupt the peace of the country, the chance of succeeding in the war against insurgency will be really high.
Thank God that Nigeria is a religious country and we are loyal people although sometimes to the wrong things. But if our religious leaders will harness this loyalty and use it for good then we can improve the security of this nation.
5. There Must Be Penalty for Involvement in Actions that Disrupt the Peace
The government always claims to be concerned about insurgency but people involved in this acts have never been brought to book. How do we intend to stop insecurity when anyone can just enter a village, kill people, burn houses and go scot-free?
If we are serious about our concerns let us take action by prosecuting people who carry out these heinous acts and penalize them accordingly. Only then will we be on our way to improving security in the country.
6. Empowering the Armed Forces
One of the major problems facing the armed forces according to reports is inadequate supply of weapons and other logistics to enable them fight insurgency.
The weapons the insurgents use are far better than those of the armed forces. If we will succeed in the fight against insecurity then we must invest in our armed forces to empower them to fight the people that threaten the peace of our dear country.
7. Security Personnel Must Go on Regular Patrols
Book Haram and Fulani herdsmen are not the main problems in cities. The main problems are kidnapers, robbers and petty thieves. This has made it unsafe for people to be outside once it is getting dark.
It has also crippled businesses because businesses open late and close early to avoid being robbed. The security personnel especially the police should be empowered with vehicles and weapons to go on regular patrols in areas where cases of robbery and kidnapping are often reported.
This will make our cities safer and people can concentrate on their businesses to improve their livelihoods.
8. Parents Must Caution their Children
One of the places where children can be most influenced is at home. If parents can warn their children against engaging in practices that will cause insecurity in the society, it will reduce the incidences of crime and insurgencies.
Most of the youths involved in these acts either do not live with parents or the parents do not create time to talk to them.
Parents must live up to their responsibilities and warn their children against engaging in actions that disrupt the peace of their communities if security is to be restored in Nigeria.
9. Government Must Engage the Youth
Youths involved in activities that disrupt peace are often idle youths with nothing to keep them occupied. Because they do not have source of earning a living, they become easily available to be used as instruments to disrupt peace and cause chaos in the society.
It is the same reason why politicians don’t want the youths to be enlightened so that they can be used as instruments of violence during election.
If the government is serious about its fight against insecurity then it must get the youths engaged in things such as vocational training to acquire skills that will keep them busy and make them unavailable as agents of destruction. When this is done, security will be markedly improved.
10. Involving International Bodies
If all the methods stated above fail to yield results in combating insurgency, foreign governments and agencies can be involved.
There are bodies such as the United Nations which are more than willing to help restore security and they can be involved.
The United States government will also be happy to assist with manpower in order to fight insurgency in Nigeria. If the government is serious about restoring security in the country then international help can be sought.
Our Take: Insecurity is a serious threat to the country, particularly the North-Eastern and Middle Belt regions where Boko Haram has continued to unleash terror on the citizens. The recent abduction of young schoolgirls in the North East and Fulani Herdsmen clashes with local farmers in the North East and Middle Belt is just a tip of an iceberg of the level threat the country is bound to face if effective solutions are not implemented.
To restore some level of safety in the country, community members must be willing to assist security operatives in the fight against insurgency by offering helpful information about the activities of insurgents. People who live in areas where attacks are common must learn to stay watchful and alert at all times to report suspected attacks before they are launched.
Source: Info Guide Nigeria