NBA Tackles Tinubu On Security

Being an excerpt from the State Of The Nation Address By the President Of The Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN

Across its length and breadth, our country is bedevilled with challenges of insecurity in alarming proportions. From the ravaging activities of bandits and terrorists to the scourge of kidnapping for ransom and other forms of criminal activities, bloodshed has become a daily occurrence. The news of these dastardly incidents pervades the airwaves and psyche of Nigerians, sending shock and instilling fear in the populace.
These criminal activities have left many Nigerians homeless, many families and businesses completely destroyed and, rather than abate, these incidents are clearly on the rise.
From the kidnap of pupils and their teachers in Ekiti state to the continued onslaught on the people in the Northwestern states, the killings and massacre in Plateau, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, the destruction of electricity infrastructure in Bauchi; the murders in Anambra, Imo, Enugu and other parts of the country, not excepting the Federal Capital Territory – the seat of the government of the federation. There is literally no part of the country that is not enmeshed in one form of insecurity challenge or the other.

Felix Chukwuma Ashimole, Esq., co-publisher Kubwaexpress is consulting to serve NBA as Publicity Secretary 2024-2026.

The increasing boldness of the perpetrators makes the entire situation even more disturbing. Security personnel, who have the responsibility of securing the lives and properties of Nigerians, have apparently been unable to effectively stem the spread of violent crimes across the country. What used to be at the fringes of the country (bad as it was) has now taken centre stage.
The entire country is under siege by terrorists, bandits, and criminal gangs. It is no longer easily determinable, if not impossible, which square kilometre of the Nigerian territory is under the authority or control of the Federal Government of Nigeria. A situation where criminality dots all over the space known as the Nigerian territory, in a manner that diminishes the presence of law enforcement agencies, directly challenges the sovereignty of Nigeria.Some Nigerians have lost confidence in the Federal Government’s ability to deal with Nigeria’s security situation, and many more are quickly losing confidence in the Federal Government’s ability to deal with Nigeria’s security situation. At this time, when public confidence in the sincerity of government in dealing with insecurity is at its lowest ebb, something radical must be done as a matter of emergency.
In his inaugural address on 29 May 2023, His Excellency, President Tinubu, clearly assured Nigerians that security would be the top priority of his administration. In the President’s words:Security shall be the top priority of our administration because neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence. We shall reform our security DOCTRINE and its ARCHITECTURE to tackle this menace effectively.
We shall invest more in our security personnel, which means more than an increase in number. We shall provide better training, equipment, pay and firepower.”    
I call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCON, to spare no time and effort. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu must show a demonstrable commitment to prioritize the security of the lives and properties of Nigerians already committed by him. The government, through our Armed Forces and other security agencies, must ensure that no square inch of the Nigerian territory is left ungoverned; no part of Nigeria should be left under the control of criminal elements by whatever name, so-called.We strongly recommend the following immediately for long-term intervention. First, deliberate efforts must be made at all tiers of government to inform and engage Nigerians about what is being done (as security protocol may allow) to secure the nation. While ultimately, the responsibility to secure lives and properties rests with the government, citizens must now be empowered to play a supportive role in this regard.
Deliberate efforts should be undertaken to break down the suspicion that prevents citizens from reporting activities of criminal elements. Citizen’s trust in the ability of security agencies to handle information of this nature is a crucial component in the fight against all forms of criminality.
Secondly, we are concerned about the increasing civilianisation of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Across the 36 States of the Federation and the FCT, military battalions/detachments are deployed to deal with what should normally be the mandate of the Nigerian Police. However desirable this is, it is our view that this state of affairs distracts the Nigerian Military from its traditional role and further weakens the Nigerian Police.  As we have seen over the years, this military intervention is not sustainable.
There is no substitute for embarking on far-reaching reforms of the Nigerian police that will elevate it to an effective and efficient institution capable of enhancing the sense of security of Nigerians. The Nigerian Police, in its present form, cannot deliver on its mandate. It is our view that the delay in commencing fundamental reforms in the Nigerian Police is a contributory factor to our nation’s current state of insecurity.  We call on the administration to stop paying lip service to Police Reform and begin a meticulous reform of the police.
Thirdly, the federal government must adopt a holistic approach to the issue of security while not overlooking the peculiarities of each region and designing bespoke measures to deal with them. In this way, the government must neither be “scared” nor “ashamed” to make the right investments in security, in line with global trends, without compromising our sovereignty. Specifically, the government must make a deliberate investment in security of such a scale and magnitude that will leave Nigerians without doubt of its sincerity. Beyond getting the right tools and equipment, the welfare of security personnel must be reviewed to improve the lot of officers and men of the Armed Forces and other security personnel in and out of service.
Finally, to focus the nation’s attention on the issue of insecurity and ensure that all resources at our disposal are put in place to deal decisively with this issue, we call on President Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in the area of security. As rightly noted by Mr. President himself, neither prosperity nor justice can prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

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