The federal government and security agencies in Nigeria have been called upon to take more decisive actions to arrest the fast-degenerating security situation in the country.
The call was made by the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural and political organization, Afenifere, through a Press Statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi.
According to the organization, reports from various parts of the country were indicating an upsurge in acts of banditry, especially kidnapping. Since the terrorists are targeting farmers, road users, students, youth corpers among others.
Afenifere proffered the following suggestions to stem the trend:- Immediate establishment of state and local government areas’ Police Forces, boosting the morale of security officials in terms of remuneration, provision of modern equipment, proper kitting and technological innovations. – Drones should also be deployed in various parts of the country while quick dispensation of justice for kidnappers and bandits too must be accelerated.
To put an end to the risks faced by youths, especially youth corpers, these youths be allowed to serve their fatherland within their localities – within their states of origin or within the state of domicile.
This is to put an end to the corpers being kidnapped in the process of making a long-distance journey as happened to the corpers going to Sokoto from Akwa Ibom State.Ondo, Osun, Ekiti, Imo, Rivers, Niger, Nassarawa, Kaduna, Benue, Imo, Enugu and Katsina are among the hot spots for banditry, kidnapping especially!
So serious was the situation that Governor Dikko Umaru Radda of Katsina State said that he was ready to go into the bush and lay down his life in order to stop banditry in his state.
Many of his fellow governors are no less concerned about security situation in their respective states, even if they do not feel like going into the bush to lay down their lives to for the purpose.
According to Ajayi, no Governor needs to lay his life in the bush to tackle banditry and terrorism in the country.
“All that is needed to be done are to constitutionally allow states and local government communities to have own security outfits empowered to carry out Police duties.They should be trained and equipped with modern technology designed for security.Those to be recruited should be indigenes of the locality who are familiar with the terrain and are known by those in the community.
“Without doubt, most of the nefarious activities (kidnapping in particular) occur with the knowledge, if not a tacit connivance, of some people within the locality. So, if the community is put in a position to be deeply involved in the security of its area, chances are that banditry, terrorism and sundry criminality would be brought to the minimum level”.
As the process of establishing community policing is started forthwith, government must also embark on enhancing the welfare of the people immediately.Specifics for realizing this include the following:- a drastic cut in the emoluments of political office-holders.- provide highly subsidized vehicles for transport unions across the country to cut down costs of transportation. Members of the transport unions are to purchase the vehicles and pay installmentally if they so wish.- create the atmosphere for youths to be gainfully engaged such as getting moribund factories to rebound and creating farm settlements with needed facilities.- set up commodity boards through which farm products are purchased from farmers profitably.
The products are to be sold to food merchants who are to sell to the public at prescribed prices that must be people-friendly.
The point just made is very crucial because there is a consensus that cost of living is a major contributing factor to the insecurity in the land.
President Bola Tinubu put this in proper perspective when he stated that: “Democracy without food on the table is a breeding ground for what will consume us, if care is not taken”.
He said this during his engagement with South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, in New York City, ahead of the 2023 United Nations General Assembly.
As is well known, activities of bandits have imperiled lives and properties of farmers particularly in parts of the North and in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun States in the South West.
And contrary to the thought that the menace of Fulani herdsmen killing and maiming farmers in their farms went with the administration of President Buhari, reports from Iwere-Ile in Oyo State, Ondo, Benue and Enugu states indicated that the herders have not given up.
Just last weekend through Monday, middle of October, several people were reportedly killed in Iwajowa local government area of Oyo State, a simulacrum of what happened in the same place earlier this year.
It also recalled to mind the invasion of a school farm in Oriire local government of the same state earlier this year resulting in injuries on teachers and students who tried to chase away the invading cows.
For this reason, the Anti-Open Grazing Laws passed by various states should be enforced without delay with severe punishment for anyone who flouts the law.
Just as unscrupulous Fulani herdsmen are becoming more daring, so were the bandits and perhaps multiplying as suggested by a report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNICEF) which disclosed that over 300 terror groups are in Sokoto, Zamfara and Katsina states alone.
Afenifere spokesman concluded that if the suggested steps are taken, the monster called insecurity would be tamed.