In recent times, the Nigerian nation has been bedevilled by a plethora of security challenges. These challenges range from insurgencies, terrorism, armed banditry, and many more that threaten the corporate existence of the country. But rather than analysing the issues as they are, people prefer to explore them for their individual political interest. This is very unhealthy to our nationhood, poisonous to our democracy and corrosive to our developmental efforts.
The safety, security and welfare of citizens is the primary responsibility of any government, be it elected or otherwise. But this responsibility becomes more binding on a democratically elected government which claim popular support.
But a democratic government in its classic definition is not only the elected individuals and their political appointees, rather, it is a collective role of all the citizens of the nation. Each individual has rights, privileges, responsibilities and obligations in running the affairs of the government. The leaders can only provide policy framework, personnel as well as sundry paraphernalia of maintaining the safety and security of the country.
This can actually be enhanced by involving the people in the security architecture through the traditional institutions. These institutions have the full knowledge of their area, it’s people’s culture, tradition and religious beliefs, and therefore know how to talk to them and engage them in securing their communities. This enabled them from time immemorial to resolve disputes, conflicts and crises among their subjects with relative ease.
The traditional council know all the farmers and their farms, all the herdsmen and their hamlets, cattle routes and grazing reserves in their territorial jurisdictions. Therefore, any person or group of persons that come into their communities, can be identified and their activities monitored while maintaining full surveillance of their movements. Therefore, according the traditional institutions specific constitutional roles in governance and security policy framework, will surely improve national security, which will further enhance the economic prosperity of the citizens. The security of all is the responsibility for all.
Usman Aliyu Elnafaty,
DP 21, Fadamar Jaji Bauchi