Jet Stanley Madu
Security Management Consultant, Mr. Dickson Osajie, has said that one of the ways to boost the confidence of people living in the troubled parts of Nigeria is to ensure adequate security.
Security has continued to remain a great challenge to successive administrations. Why has this been so?
Thank you for this question, regrettably, Nigeria has been faced with a high spate of insecurity from our geopolitical zones. This challenge did not start today. It can be traced to the aftermath of 1967 civil war, post colonialism. History has it that the Nigerian- led government then, were more interested in achieving the unification of one Nigeria. Also, they were after the surrendering of rebel forces, which we find okay.
However, the Nigeria government neglected the two main pointer of the DDR conflict resolution process, that’s the disarmament and proper reintegration from both sides. This led to the massive circulation of small arms and concealable weapons to criminal elements. This produced the first celebrity armed robber in Nigeria Ishola Oyenusi aka ‘Dr. Rob and Kill’ and others. And over 31,000 Nigerians came out to happily celebrate the execution of Doctor Rob and Kill with his colleagues at a firing squad; due to the pain they caused the society. Our foundational values were never on criminal ground things changed after the civil war.
So the reason for the challenges never started with today’s government. Another fundamental reason is the neglect of our border security. Nigeria by default is naturally a nation under threat. How do I mean? From the east, we are bordered by Cameroon on a distance of about 1,690km long. On the north we are bordered by Niger Republic on a distance of about 1497km. On the North East also, we are bordered by Chad on a distance of about 87km. From the west, through Lagos Nigeria is bordered by Benin Republic on a distance of about 773km while from the south, the gulf of guinea Atlantic Ocean approximately 853km. These four nations surrounding us and the coast of guinea making five nations are all francophone countries while Nigeria is an Anglophone domiciled in their middle. This, in every respect by nature, is a big threat. If perhaps we have conflict of interest with one of this nations, or on the other hand, the English and the French goes to war, Nigeria will be consumed from left right, center. This scenario happened in the Napoleonic war in 1803 to 1815 that lasted 12 years five months and four weeks.
With these analyses, in the event of the forthcoming elections, the Federal Government should see border security as a topmost agenda of the nation’s survival, no matter how strong and effective our security agencies are, if our borders are vulnerable, the security situations would somewhat be perpetual. There is no country without effective border; the Nigerian government must see our border security as an automatic emergency situation.
There has been serious outcry over high unemployment rate in Nigeria. Do you think that unemployment has a role to play in the level of restiveness across the country?
Criminality is a choice perpetrated by the actors irrespective of the ill state of social, whether economic and political wellbeing of a given entity. So, we must be very careful in aligning unemployment as a root cause of restiveness or criminality; if we do, we justify criminality. However, government must address unemployment rate to the very minimal level. A successful government must ensure maximum job creation, youth engagement, security and safety of its citizens, a robust economy and political stability. This will mitigate the weak unemployed persons from perpetrating violent and/or property crime under the disguise of unemployment.
Do you think the security situation that currently pervades some parts of the country, particularly, the North East would make for a free and fair election?
I believe it would to a very great extent, work against the success of elections in those troubled spots. So, we may not expect free and successful elections in troubled areas such as the North-East. But, I believe in our security agencies to be able to rise to the challenge. In fact, the military and Police are our last hold of national defence. The forthcoming 2019 elections is a golden opportunity given to all Nigeria’s head of security agencies to write their good names permanently in the good history book.
I am talking of the INEC boss and his commissioners, service chiefs, Inspector-General of Police, the head of DSS, NSCDC and other paramilitary agencies that would be involved in the safety of the electorate and the electioneering process. No matter the political pressure, they must not disappoint over 180 million Nigerians for the few.
Our government must understand that politics is a game of two faces, and not a do or die syndrome. No Nigerian life is worth the victory of all the political office seekers. The security agencies must be well sensitised before going to the field of election because they are the light of the nation at this critical period.
Our youths also have a role to play; they must not gamble their future for a price. In checkmating insecurity the politicians must also be aware of the danger of the tongue. They must see politics as a win or lose affair, they must restrain from offensive statements. Hate speech must be seen as an emergency situation and be avoided, I stand with many Nigerians to also condemn the recent booing of our president at the National Assembly, such act can lead a country to war, an assault on our president in a legislative headquarters, is an assault on all Nigerians.Steps must be taken to forestall any re-occurrence of such in future, notwithstanding which political party is in power. The president is for everyone and not for a set of people.