Friday, February 21, 2014

A MUST READ: Insecurity, Parasite To Nigeria's Economic Development

Life by nature, according to Thomas Hobbes, was brutish, nasty and cruel. Every man competes for survival. Life then was delicate for survival of the fittest was the rule.

The state thereby existed to ensure that there exists peaceful co-existence among the people as every individual now has the liberty to acquire property. The primary aim of existence of state therefore is to maintain law and order in the state and to also protect and defend the national integrity of the state.


Over the years, the issue of national security in Nigeira has been treated with light concern and has attracted various criticisms by both national and international observers.

Some writers have stated that the security of lives of Nigerian is of less or no concern to the state as there has been a consistence record of religious and tribal crisis among communities and regions in Nigeria.

Should we start with the Ife-ModaKeke crisis in 2001 that claimed thousands of lives and cost a huge economic dilapidation in the west; there was the Ijaw- Itsekri communal crisis in 2002. Hundreds of lives were also lost in the clash; the following clash in Jos (Plateau State) where one of the villages was invaded by unknown men and the entire village was burned down.

Today, issue of national security has taken a new form. In the past couple of years, the experience has been sporadic record of bombings. Nigerians no longer sleep with both eyes closed even when the citizens walk, they watch every side to ensure they don’t fall victim of circumstance in the hand of the terrorist group.

The first recorded bombing was in October 1st, 2010 when Nigeria was celebrating her 50th year of independence. It was detonated in front of the national stadium at the Federal Capital Territory. Ever since then, there has not been a week past that Nigeria don’t experience series of bombings especially in the north and common Nigerians are usually the causalities.

It was noted that each time the President visited the bomb scene and assured Nigerian that more security measure would be put in place to ensure the security of lives and property, these groups would attack state, leaving hundreds of people dead.

Thus issue of the terrorists group was seen as a national issue which can be discussed within the confines of the state until the United Nations office in the Federal Capital Territory was bombed, leaving many people dead and several victims injured.

Since then, there have been cases of bomb attack in churches, media house, resource centre, Army barrack, commercial structures and so on and the citizens don’t see the government treating the uprising as a matter of urgency.

It is to be noted that when we consider the amount of death recorded in the Boko Haram bomb attack, it can confidently posit that not many nations at war have lost so many people in so short a time. Jaiye Gaskia of Joint Action Forum stated that the federal government has proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are incapable of raising a security standard against this movement group and preserve the fundamental reason for our existence as a state.

Since the September 11 bombing in the United States, they have since increased their security facilities such that such event has not taken place in the country since then.

This is not to say that there have not been several attempts from terrorists groups to continue the evil act but when a security standard is raised to a considerable extent sudden harm cannot be easily done.

The endless security threat in Nigeria can be attributed to the disjoint pattern of our political administration. Some erstwhile political giants who had been politically displaced in the present administration make use of unscrupulous element to perpetrate evil in the state so as to prove an irrelevant political point that the present government is weak and cannot deliver the expected mandate for the people.

The government on the other hand is also exhibiting the fear that the government will down turn upon them if drastic step is taken against these perpetrators of consistence bombing. The police and the armed forces and all other security agent also are concerned with protecting themselves since they are also part of the prime target.

On the 28th November 2012, the national assembly declared that the assembly, where the decisions that shape the affairs of the country are made is no longer safe for members and workers alike. The lawmakers in a motion of urgent national importance said insecurity has reached a stage where no security facility could secure anyone anywhere in Nigeria (Vanguard News Nov 29, 2012). These events has espoused air delicate security short carryings to the word and whoever chose to invade our country that Nigeria is not formidable in term of security.

This is a country where the Chief Security Officer of a State would cry out to the world that even his life is not safe in his own state.

The era of open letters were made paramount based on the security threat that was identified as it concerns and consequentially affect the so called “shot-callers” on whose corporate corridor the socio-economy prospect of the countrylies. Rather than dismiss the allegations of insecurity and malicious tendencies these letters were triggered towards, the federal government was busy criticizing the author.

The implications of the high rate of insecurity in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized in terms of economic drawbacks. The country that was once a preferred investmentdestination according to United States Investment Advisory has become a den of religious, political and socio-cultural vampires who would devour any specie of human at will. The President in 2013 was at the Economic Summit in Germany where he advocated for investment in Nigeria and at the same time solicited the support of the same country in combating militancy and terrorism.

There is no doubt that insecurity in any state is a parasite to economic development as both potential and existing investors would shun the country out of the uncertainty of corporate security and personnel safety.

We have heard of countries that suffered economic blockade for scores of years but were able to thrive economically within the state but this can only be achieved where there exist an internal formidable security measure.

If the government has the interest of the masses at heart as often claimed, the paramount agenda to be addressed should be the issue of insecurity as it is the sub-structure upon which every other supra or super-structure can be built.

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