Nigeria drifting into anarchy, Northern leaders raise alarm
Kaduna— A meeting of Northern leaders, including retired Army Generals and Inspectors General of Police, intelligence experts, academia and other technocrats, yesterday, warned that the country was gradually drifting into anarchy as a result of the failure of government to address the security challenges confronting the country.
Nigeria has failed’
At a two-day Northern Nigeria Security Conference in Kaduna, organised by Arewa Research and Development Project in collaboration with Sir Ahmadu Bello Foundation, Savanna Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development as well as the Joint Committee of Northern Youth Associations, speakers warned that politicising the security situation in the region would have dire consequences.
The meeting with the theme, “Organising and coordinating community response to the rising insecurity in the North,” deliberated on the security situation in the North-East, where Boko Haran had ravaged for 10 years and the North-West, where cattle rustling and banditry have held sway.
Dr. Usman Bugaje of Arewa Research and Development Project, one of the conveners of the meeting, expressed concern over the increasing spate of insecurity occasioned by kidnapping, armed robbery and banditry across the north and parts of the country.
He lamented that the failure of the Nigerian government to protect its citizens had forced many Nigerians to illegally amass weapons for self-defence.
“We should not play politics with the issue of security. We, as citizens, are not here to undermine government on what they are doing but to complement their efforts,” he said.
Speaking on the security situation in the North-East, Director, Centre for Defence Studies and Documentation, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, Prof. Usman Tar, noted that the Boko Haram insurgency was no longer “a North-East problem” as viewed in the past “but today, it is a transnational problem as it has spiraled into neighbouring countries.”
He said the military could only win the war if they changed “tactics,” arguing that there was need for an alternative approach to the fight against the insurgents.
The don also disclosed that the north’s neglect of almajiri would spell doom for the region in the near future if not tackled.
He said: “If we don’t take care of them (almajiri), then they will form the next line of recruitment for Boko Haram. As observed earlier, there are no purely military solutions to ending insurgency.
“The issue of governance deficit remains the root cause of Boko Haram conflict; poor governance, corruption and leadership failure are part of the causal factors that led to the conflict in the first place, which eventually brought about the proliferation of IDPs in the North-East.”
On his part, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, a Senior Fellow at The Centre for Democracy and Development, said the current insecurity pervading the north or Nigeria was due to failure of the state to protect her citizens.
According to him, the state has failed in its statutory responsibility of providing security to the people.