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STRIKER: Once Again On Security And Elections

STRIKER: Once Again On Security And Elections
  • PublishedJuly 8, 2022


THE biggest and most troubling breaking news at dawn of Wednesday, July 6, 2022, is the attack on the advance team of no less a personage than the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces by bandits, terrorist, unknown gunmen – call them what you may! Casualties recorded. In same breath, the Kuje Correctional Facility was attacked with devastating force, and despite the heroic resistance of the facility’s security forces, and called-on reinforcement, many inmates escaped, reportedly among which are Boko Haram members in custody, who are perhaps the main targets to be freed by their accomplishes at large. Also, casualties recorded.

There has been no shortage of riot-act reading, tough talks, marching orders, from the Presidency and the President himself, directed at ending, or at least minimising, the spate of insecurity – all to no avail.

A situation where senseless mass killings and kidnapping become the daily news, now capped by an attack on the advance security team of the President and Commander-in-Chief does not inspire confidence in a hitch-free national election just 7 months away. Not only innocent citizens by the hundreds but personnel of the police and security forces, and their infrastructure, are daily targets of attacks and killings!

Worrisome is the feeling that the Commanders of the Armed Forces and their Commander-in-Chief seem helpless to bring the horrifying state of insecurity under control; more worrisome is the feeling that those sworn to responsibility to secure Nigerian lives and properties and those ambitious to be so sworn are simply not furious, in mourning, or even concerned but simply carrying on with routine “business” of officialdom and ambition; and much more worrisome is the allegation, unattended by those who should attend to it, that there are sponsors, known sponsors, who have made insecurity a material and political business, and that there are many compromised agents within the security formations!

Recent elections (intra and inter-party) have come under the assault of heavy monetisation and vote-buying. Joining violence and insecurity to voters’ corruption and inducement is next to the murder of a democracy that already has all the characteristics of demonstration of craze.

Gubernatorial election in Osun is a week and a day away. The step taken by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, in redeploying the State Commissioner of Police, Adewale Olokode, and bring in a new temporary Commissioner, Julius Okoro, to supervise the election is commendable, given the several protestations and allegations of partisanship and incompetence against Mr. Olokode. However, guaranteeing security of lives and properties, freedom of choice, and a fair and credible election goes beyond token gestures. We are where we are today in a dreadful insecurity situation simply because many persons responsible for ensuring that it is not so are not doing their jobs, commanders and the commanded alike. More alarming is the fact that the security architecture seems infiltrated, inept, laid-back and corrupted almost beyond immediate redemption.

The call by the Zamfara State Governor for citizens to arm themselves and take their destinies into their hands is symptomatic of the frustration, desperation and helplessness of those who should be the helpers. They need be reminded that self-help in securing citizen lives and properties is no way to go, is a testament to a failed state and a recipe for anarchy.

Nevertheless, when government and the state show all the signs that are this boldly highlighted, the people have a responsibility to be up and doing for their own deliverance. Rather than agonise incessantly, it is time to meticulously organise. The sorry state of popular organisations irrespective, it is time for patriots – and Nigeria still has many – to show leadership and direction, with demonstrated bravery and sacrifices.

A visionary appraisal of the State of the Nation shows clearly that the more complicated and awful the situation looks, the more it is possible to clearly resolve with great leadership and a determined and organised people. The opportunity for the emergence of such leadership is not only a matter of prayers but interactions, mobilisations and concerted struggle by patriotic followers and citizens.

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