What Tinubu should do to tackle insecurity in 2024 – Stakeholders

INSECURITY and crimes have remained a huge challenge for successive governments in Nigeria.        

While a high crime rate predates insecurity, which escalated with the emergence of the Boko Haram group in 2010, the two issues have persistently altered the trajectory of peace in the nation, as stakeholders, including citizens, government and foreign partners, labour to contain the menace.

Every part of Nigeria has grappled with insecurity and crime, but the North-East, North-West, North-Central and South-East regions have faced them more than the remaining two South-West and South-South in recent times.

In 2023, Nigeria saw a surge in violent attacks, particularly in Benue, Niger, Zamafara, Sokoto, Plateau, and several South-East states where the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has held the region by its jugular.

In this report, The ICIR’s Bankole Abe looks at what the government can do to tackle insecurity in 2024.

President’s promise to tackle insecurity

President Bola Tinubu was sworn in on Monday, May 29, 2023. He took over from former President Muhammadu Buhari, who spent two terms of four years apiece in office.

In his inaugural speech on May 29, Tinubu pledged to prioritise security.

“Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

President Bola Tinubu.
President Bola Tinubu

“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 vowed.

Despite his promises, insecurity has continued to threaten the nation.

Shortly after Tinubu assumed office in May, The ICIR, in separate interviews with security experts offered suggestions on how his administration can effectively address insecurity. 

You can read the report HERE.

Nigeria’s experience with insecurity in 2023

In December, The ICIR reported that the military said it killed 6,886 terrorists and other suspected criminals during various operations across the country in 2023.

The military also said it arrested 6,970 suspects and rescued 4,488 kidnapped citizens across the country.

The director of Defence Media Operations, General Buba Edward, a major, stated these in Abuja on Friday, December 29, 2023, while briefing journalists on the troops’ activities for the year.

Buba identified banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, oil theft, secessionist movements, and conflicts between farmers and herders as prominent concerns.

Christopher Musa, chief of defence staff
Christopher Musa, chief of defence staff

In another development, data collated by The ICIR showed that between January and October 2023, 7,046 people were killed in violent attacks across Nigeria. 

This implied that an average of 24 persons were killed daily within the month under review. 

The ICIR gathered the data from the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED), a data bureau that collects real-time data on the locations, dates, actors, fatalities, and types of all reported political violence and protest events worldwide.

According to the data, the states with the highest killings within the ten months are Zamfara (672 deaths), Niger (544 deaths), Benue (454 deaths) and Plateau (362 deaths).

The ICIR reported at least 15 deaths resulting from terror attacks in Zamfara state between September and October 2023.

Recently, on December 24, 2023, approximately 100 people were killed in an attack by gunmen on several villages in the Plateau state, with many also injured. 

Things Tinubu must do to tackle insecurity in 2024 – stakeholders

Managing director of Beacon Consulting Limited, Kabir Adamu, in a chat with The ICIR, listed things Tinubu’s administration could do to reduce crime and insecurity in the new year. 

According to Adamu, the government should focus on implementing its Renewed Hope Agenda.

He urged Tinubu to expand other policy documents for which the President had signed a performance bond with his minister. 

He added that the government must ensure that national security formations are more effective and efficient and avoid using ad-hoc means for addressing security challenges. 

“To achieve the above, the performance measurement system that the government has institutionalised and that is to be superintendent by the presidential adviser on policy and coordination should embrace metrics and be firm in its consequent management functions,” Adamu stated.

He also urged the National Assembly to embrace a similar performance management system that uses metrics in its oversight functions.

In his opinion, the director of publicity, Arewa Youths for Peace and Security, Dantata Mohammed, urged Tinubu to review the country’s security architecture by putting the right persons at the helm of affairs. 

He also called for adequate incentives for all the security agencies.

Similarly, a security expert, Oladele Fajana, said to curb insecurity and crimes in 2024, the Tinubu government must formulate effective and sustainable policies to sustain the fight against insecurity. 

According to Fajana, many things are going wrong with the fight against crimes in Nigeria.

“In a society where the criminals are ahead of the security agents, there will be many problems, but when the community is ahead of the criminals, there will be fewer problems,” he said.

He called on security agencies to always anticipate the moves of the criminals.

He suggested that political leaders pick qualified heads of security agencies to sustain the fight against all forms of criminality.

“Government should endeavour to carry the community along because the community have a role to play in tackling insecurity and crimes.” 

He also claimed that there were criminals among the Police and other agencies, adding that before recruiting, there should be a policy that would encourage a check on the background of those recruited by the Police and other security apparatus. 

What security agencies should do differently in 2024 

Mohammed urged the top echelon of the security agencies to purge itself of rotten eggs and put in place a monitoring mechanism for checking overbearing behaviours.

Adamu, on his part, listed what security agencies should do differently in 2024 as follows:

  • Strengthen their monitoring and evaluation departments and ensure their key performance indicators are developed.
  • Align with the national security agenda and have international mechanisms for standards and measurements.
Nigerian security agents
Image courtesy: HumAngle Media
  • Strengthen their collaboration, coordination and cooperation and ensure they carry the people along. 

He urged the office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Ministries of Defence, Police Affairs, Interior and Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) and the Presidency to ensure that the platforms for performance measurement, intelligence fusion and grievance resolution are functional.

Ways citizens can contribute to help curb insecurity

Adamu listed ways the citizens  could contribute to help curb insecurity as follows:

  • Not to be involved in or to support criminality 
  • Share information on any criminal activity with security agencies
  • Continue to show up and speak against poor performance while providing constructive criticism.

Mohammed said that to curb crimes and insecurity, citizens should continue to provide the needed information to the security agencies, and the identity of the informants should be protected.






     

     

    Regarding citizen participation in security, Fajana said they are an important part of security in their communities. 

    He said communities should endeavour to give information to the security agencies. 

    According to him, the criminals live among the people and are easily detected by them.

    “Many want to give the information out but fear being the victim. The community has the authority to contribute to the security of society because if they refuse to contribute, they might be the victim,” Fajana stated.

     

    A reporter with the ICIR
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