President Muhammadu Buhari has warned all those making trouble for the country to repent from their wicked and unpatriotic activities or in the alternative be prepared to face the consequences. Buhari in his Christmas and New Year messages to the country said there would be no more hiding place for bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and insurgents who have troubled the country without let in the past several years as the security agencies would decisively deal with them. In the letter entitled “Nigeria’s Decade”, the President gave hope and optimism to Nigerians as they enter a new decade.
The country has been particularly beset with security problems which included armed robbery, kidnapping, banditry and sundry criminalities. The insurgency in the North-East which has decimated the region in the last decade or so has only worsened the internal security problems which have apparently defied successive administrations’ efforts to contain them.
We recall that President Buhari campaigned and won election twice as he acknowledged in his latest communication with Nigerians, promising to tackle insecurity, fight corruption and revamp the economy. This is his social contract with the people of Nigeria and which he must deliver on, if he wishes to be remembered well by Nigerians.
Unfortunately, the security problems have escalated since he assumed office in 2015. The Boko Haram monster has grown in confidence and defiance, changing tactics and its rules of engagement with impunity. It has expanded in its reach too, breaking into more sinister factions with affiliations to terrorist organisations such as the ISIS and others. Despite the best efforts of the administration in the last five years to defeat the insurgency, the menace is even escalating. While the restlessness in the Niger Delta region seen in previous administrations has abated, kidnapping for rituals and ransom continues to ravage the country. Sadly too, the herders/farmers crises, banditry, armed robbery and cultism are on the increase.
There is clearly more work to be done by the present administration, if the dream of a “Nigerian Decade” is to be realised. First, the government, working with all stakeholders in the Nigerian project must continue to uphold the tenets of democracy. What this means in simple terms is that the will of the people must prevail at all times. Government must uphold the rule of law and due process. The doctrine of the separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution must be upheld by those saddled with the responsibility of governance at all times, no matter how inconvenient it might be. This is the only way to guarantee the sustainability of the system of government which we have chosen for ourselves as a people. It must be realised that no one person or institution can do it alone. We agree with the president that “The Federal Government would continue to work with State Governors, neighbouring states and our international partners to tackle the root causes of violent extremism and the networks that help finance and organize terror.”
With the crippling internal security challenges, the country and its leadership cannot discountenance positive collaboration across board.
That is why the latest move by the Chadians to pull out of the multi-national security architecture put together to tackle transnational security challenges, must be addressed. Whatever may have caused this sudden withdrawal must be quickly interrogated with a view to getting them on board once again. There can be no denying the fact that their involvement in the war against terrorism has been significant in the modest successes recorded so far.
For the country to enter this new decade with confidence and assurance, the Federal Government working with the sub-nationals and all other stakeholders and multilateral partners must prioritise the creation of more jobs. The growing number of the unemployed, especially the youth, is embarrassing. No doubt, the youth constitute a large workforce for the country. Taking 100 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty in the next ten years, as the president has promised, requires the efforts of all tiers of government to achieve.