As President Bola Tinubu marks his 100 days in office, some experts have expressed divergent views on the state of the country’s security situation.
Terrorism, banditry, and other criminal activities were the major crisis bedeviling the nation prior to May 29 2023 when President Tinubu took over the mantle of leadership from his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
While some experts are of the view that the wanton killing, kidnapping, and other heinous activities perpetrated by the bloodthirsty assailants have drastically reduced, others are saying that nothing has changed so far.
Recall that in an effort to quell the age-long security crisis ravaging the country, President Tinubu after a few days in office, overhauled the security architecture with new service chiefs.
Although the President’s action stimulated a new hope amongst Nigerians who were hitherto in despair over the havoc being wrecked by the daredevil terrorists and bandits, killings and abductions of unsuspecting citizens have continued.
The criminal elements are still on the rampage in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the nation despite efforts of the new government to tackle the menace.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported in August that no fewer than 23 local government areas are controlled by bandits in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states.
More worrisome is the deteriorating situation in Sokoto and Zamfara states where residents are forcefully sacked from their ancestral homes, abandoning their various sources of livelihood.
It was gathered on Saturday that the security of lives and property in the eastern part of Sokoto State recently hit an all-time low as the criminal elements continued their killing sprees, kidnapping and maiming innocent members of the communities.
According to a source, Mr Muhammed Magaji, who is conversant with the ugly situation, the development has instilled fear in residents, especially those in Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah, Goronyo, and Illela local council areas of the State.
Kaduna State has also been a den of the criminal elements with several abductions, and killings occurring incessantly.
Recent among the numerous attacks was the incident that occurred on Thursday when the unscrupulous elements burnt down the parish house of Saint Raphael’s Catholic Church in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area of the State, killing a Seminarian in the process.
Locals, who witnessed the attack, said the miscreants in their large numbers stormed the Saint Raphael Parish at Fadan Kamantan, Kafanchan Diocese on Thursday night and set the building ablaze alongside a vehicle parked in the premises.
The perpetrators of the dastardly act causing mayhem across the country did not exempt the nation’s capital as bandits continued to terrorize parts of the city, particularly the satellite areas.
On Thursday, September 8, about 19 persons were kidnapped in the Bwari Area Council by gunmen yet-to-be-identified
The development was revealed during the maiden meeting between the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, and the six area council chairmen.
The Minister, who was concerned about the developments, said he would summon the FCT Director of the Department of State Services, DSS, as well as the Commissioner of Police, to be comprehensively briefed about the kidnap incident and facilitate rescue operations.
Similarly, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Haruna G. Garba on Thursday paraded no fewer than 15 suspected criminals who were nabbed for various crimes, including murder and abduction across the territory.
While the Southerners are enjoying relative peace, some states in the region including Rivers and Edo have been in the news following activities of suspected cultists.
Recall that armed men suspected to be cultists terrorizing parts of Rivers State on Friday night killed a Divisional Police Officer, DPO, identified as Bako Amgbanshin.
A viral video that surfaced on the Internet revealed how Angbanshin’s head, hand, and private parts were cut off.
Experts’ Views and Recommendations
President of the Eagle Crime Awareness Prevention Initiative, ECAPI, Samuel Eniola Adam told DAILY POST on Saturday that the insecurity situation in the country has tremendously reduced.
Adams claimed that the crime rate in the country has in the last four months reduced from at least 100 to 50%, citing the level of killings prior to Tinubu’s assumption of office.
He said, “To me, the insecurity in Nigeria has so far reduced from at least 100 to 50%.
“Majority of the security crisis we faced during the past government has really gone down.
“Although we still have some elements causing trouble in the north, it cannot be compared to what Nigerians were facing during the past administrations.
“Go to the Southeast and you will understand what I’m saying. Kidnapping and other activities of the unknown gunmen have drastically reduced since the President took over the leadership of Nigeria.”
Mr Adams, however, admitted that the fight against insecurity would yield more positive results when the county’s economy is in good shape.
“I think the only thing that is affecting the society now is the economy. People are hungry and I believe that if the President can tackle the hardship problems, insecurity will be a thing of the past.
“My advice to Nigerians at the moment is to exercise patience. I am sure that by the time the economy is revived, every other thing will fall in place. I’m begging Nigerians to have patience; this is the only country we can call our own.
“It is better to prevent crime than fighting crimes. The economy is the problem in Nigeria. There are no jobs anywhere. The federal ministries and even the states have no employment going on and that is why our children are joining bad gangs to perpetrate evil.
“If the majority of the youths are engaged through employment, the general crime rate will be reduced to a minimum. Both adults and even children are now into internet fraud because there is no job.
“I don’t blame them, I blame both the government and the parents. Everybody wants their children to go to university whereas the highest qualification that is recognized in Nigeria is secondary school. With such certificates you can become governor and even president.
“Parents should encourage their children to acquire skills. If you have a skill, for instance, a fashion designer, you don’t need a job from the government. You will engage yourself and earn good money”, he added.
But a security analyst, James Adakole, who spoke to our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday, said nothing has changed since the President took over power.
He said, “I have not seen any change. Have the bandits stopped attacking innocent people? Has the killing in the Northeast stopped?
“Are the Fulani militias no longer killing people in Benue, Kogi and other states? Where is the change?
“Everyday we keep hearing of attacks, abductions, killings everywhere. The thing is, when people are unhappy, the crime rate automatically increases. Nigerians are not happy so the crime rate is increasing rather than reducing.
“Many people are now going into the business of kidnapping to survive. Yes, many of them refer to the crime as business. Yahoo boys are multiplying everyday and these boys are now into something else. They now use human life as a sacrifice to boost their crimes.
“So when people say the security has improved, I don’t understand. Maybe I will understand better when things begin to work well. When the cost of living reduces and Nigerians are happy.”
Adakole also pointed out that “the best way to tackle security problems is to improve the lives of the people. Many people are into what they naturally don’t like doing but they feel that is the only option for them.
“When the government puts up measures to better the lives of the citizens, people will change. You hardly hear of this security crisis in most developed countries and that is because things are easy for them.”