• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho are not solutions to rising insecurity


The Nigerian government recently announced the arrest of the Leader of The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). Days later, the home of Sunday Igboho, a Yoruba Rights activist was raided by operatives of the SSS. These individuals for many are seen as individuals fighting to curb the spate of rising insecurity in their regions, hence, the rise in the support they get.

However, the fact that these individuals and their organisations continue to stockpile weapons in the process of achieving their aims makes them dangerous on the long run.

Individuals like Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu with their organisations are classified as non-state actors as they are organisations not funded or regulated by State laws. Non-state actors have been a source of concern for many countries with deteriorating security situations especially when they start to posses and enhance the proliferation of Small and Light Weapons and, in this situation, Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu should be a source of concern.

Read Also: Sunday Igboho alleges plot to arrest him

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Since non-State actors cannot acquire and bear arms legally, they resort to illegal acquisition through means such as diversion of State stockpiles, trafficking, black markets and local production. These means of weapon acquisition in reality has no monopoly, hence, weapons can get to the hands of anyone. A society that therefore makes the acquisition of arms by non-state actors easy is walking on a keg of gunpowder. A 2017 Oxfam report on the Human cost of arms proliferation in Africa, which analyzed events in seven African countries, confirms that a continual proliferation of arms comes at a huge human cost in most cases creating a rise further in insecurity. As IPOB and others get arms illegally, so do armed rubbers, street thugs etc. also have access to the arms markets. These, therefore, increases armed robbery, street gang violence and other violent crime, which are not in any way related to the agendas of the main non-state actors.

Nigerians have continually lamented and protested various cases of police brutality, however, this is only possible because there is a rule of engagement set for State security forces, hence, any action taken outside the scope of the rules of engagement can be declared as wrong. This is not the case with non-state actors. At a point in time, we will need to ask ourselves, who determines the rules of engagement of IPOB and ODUDUWA Republic fighters? Since these groups are not backed by legal rules, history has shown to us that on the long run, these groups become more deadly than the State security agencies as they become a tool for settling personal and communal fights. These groups are more prone to committing genocide than the traditional State security forces. Also, the growing power of these groups is more likely to stiffen freedom of speech and thought than the State as individuals seen as saboteurs will be victimised and most times killed indiscriminately. You can contest the government infringing on your rights in a court of law, but where can you contest or defend yourself when IPOB labels you a saboteur. Days ago, we saw a video trend on social media as IPOB punished an individual labelled as saboteur by cutting his genitals, this is an early sign of what to come, growing power of these groups will result in more victimisation of people tagged as non loyal to their course.

Seeing videos of events in Libya, Congo and Somalia is a stark reminder that in the long run, regional militias disintegrate the country and makes rebuilding countries harder. Regional militias erode social cohesion and communal trusts, thriving on we-versus-them mentality to entrench themselves in the heart of people. They have created mass IDPs in places where they rule the field. The Oxfam report stated earlier found out that instead of these non-state actors to solve the problems they have been created to solve, they have instead contributed to the degeneration and increase in the intensity of the problem. In most cases effectively making resolution of the problem impossible as they become contented with being the numero uno force in the region they hold sway and not ready to release that power for a long term effective building of the State.

Finally, we must understand that building a society is bigger than fighting so-called wars of freedom. We cannot afford to throw our Country into another round of civil war, hence, a need for more measured and realistic actions to solve the problems of the country. History has proven to us that a democratic political solution is in the long run a more rational and effective approach than sounding the drums of war. We must avoid at all costs a Libya where the state disintegrated after the overthrow of Libya or a DR Congo where the state disintegrated after the fall of Mobutu.