• Monday, May 27, 2024
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Insecurity: Ten ‘wise’ Northern governors and our collective shame


That insecurity has become Nigeria’s nightmare is not in doubt. That efforts have been made and are still being made to end the scourge is also not in question.

What seems to be a point of argument is whether or not some steps being taken to solve the problem by the political class are well-intentioned.

Recently, some Northern governors were in the United States of America to take a lecture on how to stamp out insecurity in their domain.

The ten governors from the North West and North Central had been invited by the United States Institute of Peace to a two-day symposium on Peace and Security in Northern Nigeria, but many Nigerians believed it was an unnecessary jamboree.

Truth be told, insecurity in parts of the North has become a pain in the neck of Nigeria as some of the states have almost been swallowed up in the menace of violent bandits, herdsmen and jihadists killing, abducting people, destroying communities and displacing innocent citizens.

For years, there have been assorted seminars, summits and conferences on security, attended by these governors. At such events, great suggestions were made but the situation has remained unchanged.

It is feared that the US security symposium attended by Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau, Abba Yusuf of Kano, Uba Sani of Kaduna, Umar Bago of Niger, Hyacinth Alia of Benue, Umar Namadi of Jigawa, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara, Nasir Idris of Kebbi, and the Deputy Governor of Sokoto, Idris Gobir, would not yield the desired fruit at the end of the day, if past experiences were anything to go by.

Nigerian politicians take joy in jumping abroad with the excuse of looking for investors and seeking better ways of doing things. The Nigerian society would have been the better for it if half of the things they see and learn abroad is replicated here upon their return, but the case has been that as soon as they return to the airport in Nigeria, they drop whatever good lessons and mannerism acquired abroad, and put on the garb of their bad behaviours.

For instance, these politicians see the laws work perfectly abroad, but they have made sure that the rule of law does not have any meaning here. They respect traffic rules over there; they see how human beings should live when they go abroad, but they have collectively turned the country into a zoo. They daily make Nigeria a laughing stock in the comity of nations by their actions.

So, whatever lesson they learn abroad, is usually dropped inside the trash can at the airports upon their return.

There is no amount of training and seminar on terrorism that has not been held here, the question is, what has been done with the recommendations? There has been no implementation.

Well, Nigerians are expecting to see a positive reflection of the US symposium on the fight against insecurity at least, at least, in those ten states represented at the April event.

The governors pretended to forget that insecurity has a precursor. When a large percentage of the people in the North are poor and with little or no education, they become easy preys to the bandits, who recruit them for dangerous jobs.

The question is, what efforts are the governors making to change the poor conditions of their people? Travelling abroad for a lecture on how to fight a symptom and not the real cause of the symptom is a sheer waste of resources.

One of those who believe that the April outing was just a shadow-chasing was Sule Lamido, a former governor of Jigawa State.

Lamido said that the trip exposed the ignorance of the governors about the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Among other downsides of the trip, he believed that it was a negative one on the image of Nigeria.

“Nigeria and Nigerians now carry the image of ‘advancing our shame and embarrassment beyond our frontiers’ caused by their Excellencies,” he said.

He argued that “Security is a very wide subject which their Excellencies must have the capacity to grasp. Most urban towns in their states lack portable drinking water, and refuse dumps have taken over some streets.”

He said that even if the governors were so serious about having a lecture on security, they could have approached the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in Kuru or the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria in Badagry to get more insight.

“Security is a very wide subject which their Excellencies must have the capacity to grasp. Most urban towns in their states lack portable drinking water, and refuse dumps have taken over some streets.

“Our children attend primary schools under the trees and where there are classes, they take their lessons sitting on the floor, yet the security implications of this cannot be discerned by their Excellencies.

“If the governors were serious and wanted to have a lecture on security, they need not have embarked on such a wasteful journey with the accompanying expenditure of flight tickets, hotels with all their aides, and above all the valuable time wasted at the expense of running their states.

“Certainly, they could have gotten more than they wanted from our resourceful institutions such as NIPSS in Kuru Jos or ASCON in Badagry or even NIA,” Lamido said.

The former governor, however, blamed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Intelligence Agency for failing to properly guide the governors.

“I blame the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NIA for failing to properly guide the governors for this folly.

“The governors could not have travelled without the facilitation of the Ministry or our Embassy in Washington.