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Fear is a common emotion which humans experience, day in day out. However, in a largely unsecured environment, the feeling of fear is more magnified. In little time, fear develops into paranoia where an individual might just panic needlessly whether s/he is in danger or not.

Nigerians who travel frequently on roads sometimes live to tell in shock the horror they sometimes experience anytime they escape armed robbery or herdsmen attacks. In fact, such attacks were so rampant earlier in the year that a lot of people had to force themselves to travel by air, a more expensive alternative, or not travel at all.

There has been a spate of killings and kidnappings across the country for some time, despite some measures taken by the Nigerian military to secure peace. Mounted roadblocks which are now a common sight at strategic flashpoints across the country have not helped much in abating violence.

We would discover that the reformation of the police force as an urgent solution to this problem of insecurity was once met with great resistance before the recent Police Reform Bill. Frankly speaking, it is not precisely within the purview of the Army to maintain internal security within a sovereign state. This staggered intervention of the Army is only being excused because the police force has been so incompetent at doing their primary jobs.

The role intelligence units under the police, military and other independent intelligence outfits such as the Department of State Security (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) play is nothing to write home about; they hardly collaborate in effective intelligence information sharing. Information gathering and intelligence are key to out-thinking whatever schemes criminals have up their sleeves. After all, advanced countries have perfected this system of intercepting and nipping evil schemes in the bud before criminals are able to foment violence.

It is not a good omen for the security architecture of the country that a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (Rtd) was summarily shot dead yesterday night while travelling through the Keffi-Abuja Road. It is disturbing that despite the extent of monies spent on procuring arms for security institutions, little has only been achieved with respect to herdsmen attacks, armed robbery and kidnappings.

As a former military chief, he is entitled to security aides; but as he did not travel with one, he left himself open to attack. Yet the more salient point is if such a highly placed figure can be murdered that simply, what is the fate of the ordinary Nigerian with no privileges of a security aide? Yes, a number of major Nigerian roads have been known to be notorious death traps for decades  – Benin-Ore, Kaduna-Abuja, Okene-Lokoja, Lagos-Ibadan and South East roads, to mention a few – but won’t this Badeh tragedy make more Nigerians paranoid?

That many people run to procure extra protection be it through ritualists, pastors, alfas or even armed security detail is a sign that citizens are fast losing faith in the effectiveness of Nigeria protecting them. This hopelessness and lack of trust in the security architecture of Nigeria is one of the major reasons why Nigerians tend to be self-governed; running and providing for their affairs and security.

A people will lose interest in governance participation when they are not adequately protected by their government. The citizens will not be willing to participate in voluntary tax payments if they cannot experience the benefits of having a government secure them. A people will not be too willing to obey the laws and dictates of a nation if they cannot have a fair say in how the government is being run. An economy does not function optimally in an unsafe environment as commerce will not thrive well.

Losing hope in governance is a chain reaction. The more that government seems helpless with basics such as security, the more miserable and uninterested the citizens become in their own country.


Featured Image Source: Signalng

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This article was first published on 19th December 2018


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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