By Jérôme-Mario Utomi
Recently, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Annadif, said that the wave of insecurity afflicting Nigeria and other countries in Africa West is an overflow of the Libyan crisis.
As a solution, Annadif called for a regional approach to tackle security concerns in the region and pledged that the United Nations would help the Nigerian military overcome insecurity in the country, as well as profiling suspected financiers of the region. terrorism.
Comparatively, as Annadif spoke in Abuja during a visit to the Chief of Staff of the Army, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya alongside the Special Representative and Head of the Regional Office of the Nations United for Central Africa, Francois Fall, at around the same time, which is apparently qualified as a more compatible, effective / achievable, results-oriented and sustainable solution to the nation’s haunting security challenge, was presented in Asaba, the capital of Delta State, by the Deputy Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Ochor Christopher Ochor.
He pleaded for continued synergy between governments, the population and the country’s various security agencies, in order to control the growing rate of insecurity.
The vice president, who was represented by his press secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Enebeli, made the appeal in Asaba on Thursday, October 28, 2021, during an intelligence security summit, hosted by Ben Media House in Grand Hotels, where he was recognized with outstanding personality on legislative duties / impact on humanity in Delta State, for the year 2021.
“In order for us to have a safe and peaceful society, the different communities in the country must always work with the government and the security agencies, there must be this synergy to build confidence among the people.
“It is necessary, because the insecurity in the country has become worrying and very frightening. But we can help, by working with security agencies, because security is everyone’s business, ”he said.
Essentially, in addition to talking about what worried Nigerians, coupled with his display of curiosity for new information that could produce a deeper understanding of security issues and other challenges that leaders want to protect the life chances of their people need to care and fight on behalf of the country, there are in fact reasons why Mr Ochor’s latest appeal deserves the collective support of Nigerians.
First and most fundamentally, although Nigerians’ rights to life are currently openly enshrined in the 1999 national constitution (as amended), the current temperature of security in the country orchestrated by the President’s lack of political will Muhammadu Buhari for rewriting the narrative so generously promised in 2015, has secretly characterized these rights as a circle of chaos or worse yet, “a meaningless equation”.
In today’s Nigeria, evidence abounds, if only sought, that insecurity has not only gained ground but has taken on an alarming dimension.
Our public media often make the headlines of the insecurities of the global community about how life in Nigeria has not only lost its value, but quoting Thomas Hobbs, is getting wicked, brutal and short. The country in the rating of self-righteous individuals has become a hotbed for all kinds of violence.
Second, the Nigerian security sector over the past six years has remained in a dire state. Even President Muhammadu Buhari admitted this spiraling fact in June 2020, as he addressed security chiefs in a meeting.
The president, based on media reports, told them that their best efforts to tackle the security challenges were not enough and that they should improve their game! He particularly disapproved of the lack of synergy between security agencies tasked with combating insurgency and banditry in the country.
Similar to the above fact, Ochor’s latest call for synergy is in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a United Nations initiative and successor program to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – with a set of 17 global goals formulated to, among other things, promote and embrace for people, peace, planet and poverty that has partnership and collaboration at its center.
The agenda, among other goals, seeks to find an “urgent need for creative and innovative thinking by all strata of society – the public and private sectors and civil society – to promote sustained and inclusive economic growth, security, social development and environmental protection ‘.
Ochor’s intervention also supports the conviction of security experts around the world that to suppress the challenge of insecurity is no longer a question of government holding all the powerful weapons but a function of collaboration between interventionist groups, keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of unstable individuals and using research on issues related to terrorism and extremism for informed decision making / roadmaps.
So, using the above importance as a scorecard to correct our culture-gravitating security challenge, it will be important for us as a nation to openly admit and embrace structural and managerial changes. .
In my opinion, this will force our leaders to embrace approaches that impose more discipline of leadership than conventional approaches and to create government institutions that are less extractive but more innovative in their operation.
This shift in action is important because we cannot solve our socio-economic challenges with the same thinking we used when we created it.
As an incentive, this necessary partnership between the State and the private sector in the race for security will again call for a solution to the social problems facing youth unemployment.
Speaking of youth unemployment in Nigeria, a report recently said: “We are in dire straits because unemployment has various implications. From a security perspective, the large population of unemployed youth is a threat to the security of the few who have jobs.
“Any transformation agenda that does not have job creation at the center of its agenda will get us nowhere. “
Young people challenge all regions, religions and tribes, and have led to the proliferation of ethnic militias as well as youth unrest across the country.
Therefore, catalyzing the process of building a sustainable security architecture in the country, this, in addition to Ochor’s prescriptions, is a relevant fact that we must not miss as a nation.
First, the security situation in the country has continued to deteriorate in the areas of lack of funding, insufficient personnel, insufficient equipment and insufficient training.
It cuts across all specters of the security sector and has persisted despite Nigeria’s ratification of several treaties that uphold the rights to adequate security of life and property and impose an obligation on the federal government to respect, protect and fulfill. these responsibilities. Indeed, it needs the support of all Nigerians.
Most crucially, President Buhari, for his part, needs to recognize that on a global scale, “a country’s defense capacity must continually improve as new technologies, especially technologies of the United States, continue to improve. information, are integrated into the weapon system.
“It requires a healthy economy that can afford to pay for new weapons and highly educated and trained people who can integrate the different weapons into one system and operate them effectively and efficiently.”
More importantly, while this article appreciates Ochor for this timely statement, this time around, however, bodes well for our government to bring about a paradigm shift in leadership by shifting to a leadership style capable of making decisions. successful based on superior quality. information while abandoning the age-old mentality that presents execution as more important than the incubation of ideas.
Jerome-Mario Utomi, Program Coordinator (Media and Public Policy), Advocacy for Social and Economic Justice (SEJA), wrote from Lagos. He can be contacted via [email protected] or 08032725374.