NewsReel 20/9/13 - Tackling Insecurity in Nigeria

 [ Masterweb Reports: Victor Igiri reports ] - The state of insecurity in the nation in the last three years is such that has become a major concern to Nigerians as many seek a lasting solution to this evil that has befallen our dear nation Nigeria.


It is to this end that the 14th Mike Okonkwo Annual Lecture carried out recently at the Shell Hall, Muson Center, Onikan, Lagos was organized to deliberate on ways and to provide measures that would bring a lasting solution to this problem that has befallen the nation.


Mike Okonkwo Annual lecture was instituted in the year 2000 as part of activities to mark the birthday celebration of the presiding Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), Dr. Mike Okonkwo, MFR, where the event is used as an opportunity to address topical issues relevant to nation building.


The event which was organized under the auspices of the Mike Okonkwo Educational and Youth Initiative (MOEYI), had the theme, “Overcoming the Nigerian Security Challenges: A Panacea for National Growth and Development,” was delivered by Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu OFR, Former Minister of Finance and National Planning and Chairman, Institute for Policy and Economic Development (IPED).


In his words, Dr Kaku posited, “As it is too often, when you look around for a typical national setting for a great example of a vivid and poignant illustration of the impact of social or political events on the course and content of growth and development, in variably, our nation Nigeria, comes quite handy!


“On this continent, of over fifty nations, Nigeria’s history, from the City, Colonies stage, to the Provincial Protectorates, from the famous or ‘infamous’ amalgamation that would be 100 years by 2014, to the Federal Republic that we have today, our history as a nation, represents one of the most varied national experiences, even among all the so-called third world developing economies!


“our population, easily by far the highest on the continent is projected to climb from its present 9th position to become the third or fourth largest in the entire world in fifty years.


“The sheer heterogeneity of its large and smaller nationalities, it’[s very excitingly complementary diversity of tongues, cultures and enormous resources represent a veritable force for growth and economic development subject to certain constraints, as famous economic jargon goes!


Major elements among these invariably intricably intertwining conditions/constraints/prerequisites are law and order, security and level playing field, a certain critical minimum predictability of the norm and changes that follow socially established traditions and customs, all of which go into a definition of an ordered community!”


He added that Nigeria has witnessed absence of peace from time immemorial, ranging from the Aba women’s riot in 1923 and struggles from some Niger Delta community, to the famous Fumilayo Kuti women liberation movement, struggles against unjust taxation and many more other crises in the pre and post colonial era,   has created a lot of challenges to the security in the nation.


 He said, “Recent sporadic events from the Niger Delta struggle, to the ethno-religious riots in the Plateau, and a few other areas, all seemed child’s play by the comparison with the carnage and ferocity unleashed by the Boko Haram insurgency in the last two two or three years, with a casualty figure roughly put at 3000 according to the recent survey by a Global Human Right Monitoring Group- The Human Right Watch. It might also interest you to know that Bokao Haram ranks second on the global terrorist list and only Afghanistan Taliban were ahead of Boko Haram on a list of global terrorist attacks and numbers of death.”


While he posited that poor leadership, bad politics, poor governance, inadequate dispensation of justice, entrenched cronyism, poorly contrives constitution, poorly managed political system, corruption and political malpractices has caused insecurity in the nation, he suggested ways on how to tackle and overcome the many security challenges.


 One of which was, sustaining an orderly merit and equitable system of transparent linkage between effort and predictable reward. He said once this natural justice becomes rubbished on a platter of who knows who, and stifling of Cronyism of whatever origin becomes the order of the day, it presents a security challenge.


Second, he said that good education, civic responsibility inculcated into the content of education such as an involuntary queue mentality will eradicate security challenges, where all these attributes can be explicitly and consciously developed under formal tutelage in institutions of learning.


He also added that improvement in security can overcome challenges from administrative lapses, but deliberate retraining programmes will be required to beef up performance and overcome security challenges from technical incompetence. He said, “Security is a function of the health of the politics. We need stability and orderliness in our politics. Politics should be for people who are stable and can feed themselves.”


In a time when there is the need for drastic remedy to the level of insecurity that has bedeviled the nation,  till when should Nigerians wait on the government for solutions to this menace that has endangered their lives and property?


Victor Igiri ( ).


*Photo Caption – As seen

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