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Despite huge defense budgets, insecurity festers

Nigeria has been embroiled in myriad of problems since the inception of this present administration with Nigerian security agencies, from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air…

Nigeria has been embroiled in myriad of problems since the inception of this present administration with Nigerian security agencies, from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force (NAF) as well as the Nigeria Police Force, incapacitated to put an end to the series of senseless and unending terrorists’ attacks, herdsmen brutality, banditry and kidnappings for ransoms, just to mention a few.

The killings are going on without check despite million of US dollars claimed by the Federal Government of Nigeria to have been spent in the procurements of ammunitions and arms to fortify the security forces with little or no results.

In July 2021, the Nigerian Air Force took delivery of some A-29 Super Tucano Aircraft from the United States of America. The reason for the procurement of those aircrafts according to the authority of the Nigerian Air Force was to aid the fight against insecurity in the North-east and other parts of the country that are witnessing unending security challenges.

From the chart of the security budget displayed by Channels Television that covers from 2015 to 2022, the security budget was N969 billion, while the budget in 2022 is N2.41trn, which is 148.7 per cent increase in seven years. It is ironic that despite this budget and spending on security in Nigeria, many parts of the country are not safe because of insecurity in different dimensions.

In three months alone, from January to March 2022, Nigeria recorded a total of 2,968 deaths from violent killings and 1,484 abductions. The North West region has the highest cases with a total of 1,103, North Central 784, North East 488, South East 181, South West 127 and South South 85 killings.

The inability of Nigerian security agencies to provide security for the country has continued to give the terrorists, bandits, and herdsmen a field’s day to engage in their senseless killings and abductions of innocents Nigerians.

The question begging for an answer is the reason behind the retention of the incumbent National Security Adviser while the likes of Islamic States West Africa (ISWAP), Boko Haram, bandits and as well as herdsmen continue to terrorise and kill Nigerians?

From 2015 to till date, hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to insecurity across the country.

With the spate and dimension of insecurity in Nigeria, no part of the country is safe; terrorists operate everywhere, be it in the communities, villages, towns, cities, churches, mosques, on the road and rail as innocent Nigerians are gruesomely killed.

The latest bandit’s attacks on a Nigerian passenger train from Kaduna to Abuja on March 28 where eight people were confirmed dead, many injured and more than 150 people still missing is another worrisome incident of insecurity in the country.

It is on record that the terrorists and bandits operate riding on motorbikes in convoy sometimes operating for several hours without interception by any arm of the Nigerian security forces. The terrorists have also been reported to have abducted hundreds of victims, loaded them in lorries and travelled many kilometres to where they kept their captives without being trailed by the security operatives.

That Nigerian security operatives are incompetent is not an overstatement because how can one explain a situation where bandits freely use telephones to communicate with the families of kidnapped victims in their dens and their conversation are not being intercepted by security operatives? It shows that the Nigerian security agencies lack intelligence gathering or some officers are collaborators working with the terrorists and bandits to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

The military authority has done that several times and recently, in March 2022, it was reported again by Major General Christopher Musa, a top commander in the Northeast region, that some 7,000 members of terrorist’s groups that comprises of Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram just surrendered in Northeast Nigeria.

The question begging for answer is: if truly several thousands of terrorists continue to surrender as always claimed by the military authority, why do insurgency activities persist in the Northeast and other regions?

It is very dangerous when the security operatives are found to be engaging in propaganda because on many occasions, the Nigerian Military informed Nigerians that terrorists have either been decimated or defeated but the reality on the ground is that terrorism and killings of Nigerians by the terrorists continue with impunity.

One can conclude that the military authority is only using the claims of thousands of terrorists surrendering to cover up their incompetency and failure to combat terrorism in Nigeria.

Agunloye Adewunmi Bashiru writes via: [email protected]

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