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Government must be on top of security situation

Published by The Nation on Tue, 23 Feb 2021


By Andrew A. ErakhrumenSIR: The clich we are on top of the situation had been the familiar seemingly instructive but short insincere sentence that appears not to be popular, any more, among those whose hands the running of our country finds itself. This sentence was so handy to officials and loud hailers of governments, in the recent past and very recently, that it was unnecessary to read, and/or listen to, their comments and official releases concerning the catastrophes resulting from security lapses in Nigeria. It got to a point when kindergarten pupils knew what governments official position would be when bombs explode and/or people get killed by killerswhatever names they were/are called.Some of us, in the 1980s to the 1990s, used to read back issues and late arrivals (for underprivileged readers like us) of foreign newspapers and magazines such as The Times, Newsweek and Time, and we marvelled, then, at the security challenges in some other countries. The gory pictures painted in some of those reports, to us then, were like tales by moonlight. It never crossed our young minds, then, that Nigeria could one day find itself battling with similar or, as it has turned out to be, worse security challenges when compared with those we read about.It is well agreed that the main essence of any government and its governance structure is to ensure the security and well-being of the citizens of the entities being superintended over by such government. Is this true in Nigeria' The answer is implicit in the question.We cannot continue like this in a country with abundant human and natural resources. No, we should not! This country should not be allowed to go through the dreaded route Somalia took. As at today, some non-state actorspurportedly well-known and supportednow brazenly wield assault rifles like AK-47, taking over many ungoverned spaces. The weapons, they claimed, are for self-protection. They cause mayhem, while some (a state governor inclusive) justify this in their comments.If this is not a path towards a failed state, then what is it' This is one of the state governors belonging to Forum for this and Forum for that. We wonder what they discuss at these fora. It is believed by many that those fora are for sharing of wines and clinking of drinking glasses. These allegedly unserious gatherings appear so, that someone who is not a state governor is said to have the appellation Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (whatever that means!). These are people who cannot proffer solutions to our collective problems except to point accusing fingersa characteristic of a finger-pointing society that ours has, painfully, become.Collectively, we will be deceiving ourselves if what we perceive as solution(s) to Nigerias leadership challenge is to be looking for difference(s) between six and half a dozen, concerning our current groups of politicians. Certainly, we must find solutions for the identified challenges! Nobody will solve our problems for us, not when some are benefiting from the status quo! With sincerity of purpose, when we truly get Nigeria to the level of real work in progress then it will be seen from the perspective of a half full rather than half empty glass.Meanwhile, as 2023 is fast approaching, efforts should be intensified towards making our electoral process work better so that the right people may be encouraged to come into politics to positively change the narratives. It is noteworthy that there cannot be any meaningful growth and development anywhere security, justice, peace and tranquillity are not available in convincing proportion. Thus, we reiterate that, as the clueless People-Deceiving-People, All-People-Conniving, and their cohorts do not have solutions to our socio-politico-economic challenges; they should be flushed out in favour of those with good solutions. For this, the clock has long been ticking!Andrew A. Erakhrumen, PhDUniversity of Benin.
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