BOLA Tinubu has been sworn into office as the President of Nigeria and as he takes over the leadership mantle, some stakeholders have proffered solutions to the myriad of security challenges confronting the country.
Nigeria has witnessed seemingly unrestricted killings by non-state actors in recent times, so Nigerians anxiously wait to see how his government will tackle the massive security challenges that bedevilled the country over the past few years.
When the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn into office on May 29, 2015, he promised that his administration would concentrate on the economy, fight corruption, and tackle insecurity.
However, eight years after, data by the Council on Foreign Relations’ Nigeria Security Tracker (NST) checked by The ICIR showed that non-state actors killed 31,821 people between May 2015 and April 2023.
The NST website tracks violent incidents related to political, economic, and social grievances directed at the state or other affiliated groups.
The ICIR, in a special report, looked at key security issues and major killings that took place in Buhari’s eight years of administration.
You can read the report HERE.
Tinubu was sworn in as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Monday, May 29.
After emerging as the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections, in June 2022, Tinubu promised a secure, prosperous and united Nigeria in his victory speech.
Tinubu said he was ready to unite the nation, provide security, and rebuild the economy.
He said if elected President, he would eliminate criminals, including terrorists.
“They have been worrying us, but we will eliminate them. We are Nigerians. We are sure that no animal in the darkness of the night, no intruders, no destroyers, can bring Nigeria backward. Forward we are moving,” he said.
Also, during his campaign around the country, Tinubu promised to provide security for the large populace.
He promised to tackle the security situation across the country, stating that the economy cannot thrive in an insecure environment.
“I will give priority to confronting security, making the economy one of widely shared prosperity and paying special attention to agriculture, like the current government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“On security, my policy is not artificial, created to sound good for this campaign. Our security policy is based on dedicated study and long conversations with experts in this field.
“I used the same approach to tackle the bad security situation that faced me when I became governor of Lagos. I created programmes and institutions to solve the real and dangerous challenges Lagos faced.
“I shall increase security personnel and better equip them. Advanced air and ground surveillance technology will identify, track and attack the criminals until they are utterly defeated,” the former governor of Lagos state said.
In his inaugural speech on May 29, he also pledged to prioritise security and effectively tackle the menace of insecurity.
“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.
“To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security Doctrine and its Architecture.
“We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number. We shall provide better training, equipment, pay and firepower,” the President stated.
Meanwhile, in separate interviews with The ICIR, some stakeholders in the security industry offered suggestions on ways the Tinubu administration can effectively address insecurity. Most of the stakeholders encouraged the use of technology in the fight against insecurity.
A security analyst with SBM Intelligence, Emeka Okoro, in a chat with The ICIR, listed some measures Tinubu should implement to address insecurity.
Increased funding for security agencies
He said, “The government should increase the funding for security agencies to enable them to procure modern equipment and technology to combat insecurity effectively.”
Okoro noted that, although the Buhari administration invested huge amounts in the security sector, “there was really nothing to show for the huge funding”.
The situation implies that more funding is needed to address the country security challenges.
Collaboration with neighbouring countries.
Okoro, in the same vein, called for cross-border collaboration in the campaign against insecurity.
“Nigeria should collaborate with neighboring countries to tackle cross-border criminal activities such as arms smuggling and banditry. This aspect is very important if any meaningful progress is to be made.”
Address the root causes of insecurity
According to him, the Federal Government should address the root causes of insecurity, such as poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
He said this can be done by implementing policies that promote economic growth and development.
Okoro further urged the government to invest in community policing to enable security agencies to work closely with local communities to identify and tackle security threats.
Strengthen intelligence gathering
The security analyst further advised the government to strengthen intelligence gathering so as to anticipate and prevent security threats before they occur.
Address corruption within security agencies
Okoro identified corruption within security agencies as one of the factors responsible for the high level of insecurity in the country.
“Corruption undermines security by providing an enabling environment for criminal activities. The government should tackle corruption in all its forms, including especially within security agencies,” he stressed.
Engage in dialogue
He urged the new administration to dialogue with stakeholders, including religious and community leaders, to address underlying grievances that fuel insecurity.
Improve border security
Finally, he added that the government should improve border security by deploying modern technology to monitor the movement of people and goods across the border.
According to Okoro, improving security at the country’s borders would help address insecurity.
Also speaking with The ICIR, the Managing Director of Ethicos Security, Oladele Fajana, urged Tinubu to understand that security of lives and property is a fundamental right of Nigerians.
Audit, evaluate security situation, deploy technology
Fajana called for an audit and evaluation of the security situation in the country.
“As a professional, I implore the leaders to at least audit and evaluate the security situation; if I may suggest, the security architecture should be changed; this will usher in fresh ideas; I mean all the service chiefs,” he submitted.
He added that government should use technology instead of ‘wasting’ manpower, considering the number of security personnel that lost their lives fighting the insurgency.
Also speaking on the same issue, the Director, Security Salute Nigeria Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, Salihu Dantata Mahmud, asked for a restructuring of the nation’s security architecture.
He also urged the President to appoint competent service chiefs and the IG of Police and visit Military and police formations regularly to interact with both commissioned and non-commissioned officers.
Mahmud, who is also the director of publicity at Arewa Youths for Peace and Security, asked Tinubu to seek the involvement of traditional rulers of affected areas.
“Procure intelligence gathering gadgets, install CCTV in forests, highways and also procure right hour drones, capacitate police outposts, divisional headquarters and area commands to meet up with instant insurgent and arm bandits invasion.”
He equally urged Tinubu to open up more mobile police squadrons in different areas, establish more military cantonments, and also improve the welfare of officers and personnel.