New Perspectives On Insecurity In Nigeria
In February this year, Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro met a delegation of the European Union led by Ambassador David Macrel, who referred to the current state of insecurity in Nigeria and called for drastic actions to meet the challenges. The EU leader pledged the union’s readiness to assist Nigeria in this area, saying that Nigeria needs peace to key into the global perception of the giant of Africa as the window of the continent.
Later, the minister went on to assure member-nations of EU and other groups within the international community that Nigeria will spare no effort at bringing its internal crises to an end. He tied the theory issue of security to the economy and declared: “Nigeria still remains the best investment destination in Africa.”
Taken together, the views of these two gentlemen support the old saying that “where you have disorder, you’d have underdevelopment.” The corollary is that where you have order (peace), you’d have development, stability and progress. So, if Ghana’s founding president, Osagyefo, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, said “Seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things shall be added,” Abba Moro and the EU leader would declare: “Seek ye first the kingdom of peace and all other things – prosperity, stability, progress, development etc. – shall follow!”
Nkrumah understood perfectly well what it meant for Ghana (and other nations of Africa) to secure independence from their colonial masters. It gave them unlimited access to control the vast human and natural resources of society. Left in the hands of the imperialists in colonial times, these resources were ruthlessly exploited and the proceeds taken away to develop Europe and America. The result was, invariably, the savage impoverishment of the colonies.
Now several decades after Nkrumah, we must seek the installation of the reign of peace as the key that would open the door to the wealth, prosperity and stability of Nigeria. One big step to land us into this kingdom is to generate an internal cohesion among the people of Nigeria by stopping the influx of destabilising agents.
Now, this is a core challenge, given the acute porosity of Nigeria’s borders that stretch thousands of kilometres along the length and breadth of Nigeria that covers a land area of 910,768sq. km and a coastline of 853km. Through these routes, Nigeria had, in the past, been invaded by hordes of armed villains, including those who fought in the Libyan war.
We need to remember that these are the same forces which have exerted war against Mali and declared self-rule in the north of the country.
Nigeria’s Interior Minister has, however, moved to abort the danger. He has, within a year of his tenure, signed an agreement between
Nigeria and Cameroon on joint border patrols between the two nations. There is a similar pact with Niger, Benin and Chad republics.
The deal with Chad and Niger is, particularly, of interest, not only to the international community, but also to Nigeria. After the fall and death of Libyan strongman, Muammar Gadaffi, the Touaregs that fought for him during the battle to oust him moved southwards into Mali through Algeria and Niger. If we don’t police our borders with eagle eyes, as the Ministry of Interior has been doing since February this year, Nigeria would have been overwhelmed by the marauders, thereby compounding the security situation already posed by Boko Haram and other anti-social elements in our midst.
The government needs to push this agenda of ensuring an internal cohesion of the constituent units of Nigeria by partnering with our immediate neighbours and the global community to deal a fatal blow on instability and pockets of terrorism, whether they are local or international.
We need to commend the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, for recognising some of the sources of the current insecurity in Nigeria and moving to address it appropriately. Some critics have claimed that the problems go beyond policing our borders and checking the influx of unwanted guests. The answer to such remarks is that it is easier to contain the enemy within, that is, the one you know, than to battle the foe you don’t know, that is, the external foe.
Even the simple rules of personal hygiene teach us that it is the germs we pick from outside that attack us and cause damage to our health and system!
Ayinde is a Lagos-based writer.Share