Security is everyone’s business

Instability and insecurity in Nigeria are on the rise. According to a report, about 8372 Nigerians lost their lives to insecurity in Nigeria in 2021. The rise in kidnapping, banditry, and other vices are also a major cause of concern. As expected, citizens are worried about what the future holds, and suggestions have come from different quarters on what the government can do better.

My belief is that we have left the task of security solely to the government for far too long. The only way the Nigerian government can effectively secure the nation is if the citizens play their part.

I know this may ruffle feathers but let’s go back to the basics. The fundamental security rule, especially in Nigeria is based on the premise of information. Information is part of the atom of every security system. For example, in a diverse Nigerian landscape, we rely on information from people like our neighbors. They can easily raise an alarm on unusual activity in the neighborhood.

However, many have tagged neighbours who know something about what is going on in the vicinity as ‘nosy’. While I understand the reason behind this, seemingly nosy neighbours are great security agents. The nosy neighbour will most likely have valid information if there is an unfortunate security incident in that neighbourhood.

In the past, our communal living made people lookout for unusual movements. Now, everyone keeps to themselves. People are siloed in their activities. A neighbour’s property or home could be getting robbed, and nobody would know.

This is not to endorse being in each other’s business, but there’s a level of communal responsibility we owe each other. It is our responsibility as citizens to be on the watch. Our community and families are the nuclei of society, and society is the nucleus of our government.

Our community is less secure today because of us. We do not challenge events contrary to the natural progression. We don’t talk about what we see. We praise illegal, unethical, and immoral actions. To solve the problem of security, we have to change our attitude towards the way we live with each other within our community. We should learn to speak up concerning things that make no sense.

If more people are aware of what’s not acceptable, more people will clamor against it, and our community will be more secure. If we continue to ignore events around us, the government will continue to fail.

If we decide to become more responsible for our society, the government will have no choice. Our community has to find a way and go back to the old way of doing things.

Read also: Insecurity threatens Nigeria’s foundations of nationhood – Gbajabiamila

Unfortunately, most of us have no clue what the old way of doing things was like as we have formed our way of doing things. For instance, most children nowadays are locked up in their houses, and this is sad. Ironically, we do this thinking we’re more secure. What we don’t understand is that things don’t work that way.

In conclusion, it is imperative to keep in mind that the government comprises the people of society. It is crucial to stop pointing accusing fingers at the government as if those in government aren’t part of us. If we don’t become better citizens, we won’t produce better leaders because they will keep emerging from us. We are the government, and the people in government came out of our society.

If we reshape society and family, then we reshape the government. The government has a lackadaisical attitude because people have this same attitude. For a sustainable security posture, we must reshape the mindset of the people in the society. Security is everyone’s responsibility.

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