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Interview: What Government Needs to do to Combat Insecurity – Capt. Adamu rtd.

Nigeria is facing quite a number of challenges with insecurity at the forefront in recent years. All the six regions in Nigeria grapple with their share of the challenge. This security challenge that is shaking the fabric of the Giant of Africa sprouts from nonstate actors whose daring approach and government negligence have culminated into a significant quagmire that so far defies response from the authorities.

In this interview, Capt. Abdullahi Bakoji Adamu r.td., a security analyst, human rights activist and the Country Director, International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) explains why it was wrong that President Tinubu didn’t empathise and sympathise with victims of different attacks that occurred few days earlier to his Democracy Day Speech. He also highlights what needs to be done to tackle insecurity in Nigeria.

Excerpts:

WT: President Tinubu’s Democracy Day Speech didn’t highlight the security challenges that Nigeria’s going through currently. What could that mean considering the gravity of the problem?

Capt. Adamu: The omission of security issues in President Tinubu’s Democracy Day Speech is quite concerning. Given the gravity of the current security challenges, this omission could be interpreted in several ways. It may suggest a lack of prioritization of security matters or a strategic decision to focus on other issues. However, it also risks appearing disconnected from the immediate realities faced by Nigerians. Addressing security challenges is crucial for building public trust and ensuring national stability.

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WT: Just a few days to the Democracy Day, many people about 50 were killed in Katsina alone alongside 4 police officers. In Imo, police were killed, and Boko Haram blocked the Kano-Maiduguri Road and have reportedly killed people. Isn’t this worthy of mention and giving people some hope, empathy, and sympathy from the president?

Capt. Adamu: Absolutely, the recent violence and loss of lives are significant events that should be acknowledged by the President. Mentioning these incidents would have provided an opportunity to express empathy and solidarity with the victims and their families. It also would have been a chance to reassure the public that the government is aware of these issues and is committed to addressing them. Acknowledging these tragedies can help build trust and show that the leadership is in tune with the people’s suffering.

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WT: Can Democracy thrive in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity?

Capt. Adamu: Democracy cannot truly thrive in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. For democracy to function effectively, citizens must feel safe and secure in exercising their rights and participating in the political process. Insecurity undermines the rule of law, restricts freedoms, and erodes trust in democratic institutions. Therefore, ensuring security is a fundamental prerequisite for a healthy and functioning democracy.

WT: What does the Government need to do to combat the lingering insecurity in the country?

Capt. Adamu: To combat the lingering insecurity in the country, the government needs to take a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach:

Strengthen Security Forces:  Enhance the capacity and coordination of the military, police, and other security agencies. This includes better training, equipment, and intelligence gathering.  

 Community Engagement: Foster collaboration between security agencies and local communities to improve trust and gather valuable intelligence.

 Address Root Causes: Tackle underlying issues such as poverty, unemployment, and lack of education that contribute to insecurity.

 Improve Governance: Ensure transparency, accountability, and good governance to build public trust and reduce corruption, which often exacerbates security issues.

 Promote Economic Development: Create economic opportunities to reduce the appeal of criminal activities and insurgency.

 Regional Cooperation: Work with neighboring countries to address cross-border security threats and share intelligence.

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