By Muhammad Yakubu
We usually shower oceans of praises on heroes of democracy of our country during special times. Today, designated as Democracy Day by the Federal Government, is likely to witness torrents of such encomiums for our heroes past and present.
Unfortunately, this year’s democracy day is being celebrated amidst unprecedented degeneration of security situation in the country.
Yesterday, a brother who is well known on Facebook, Barr Shettima Danazumi, forwarded a suggestion that we should use the day to call the attention of our leaders towards the seemingly endless insecurity and unfortunate massacre of people in our country. The northern part of Nigeria where I come from and coincidently, the constituency of President Muhammad Buhari GCFR, is the worst hit. I instantly agreed, without even having a second thought, as the issue has been disturbing me for a while. And, I have been looking for the perfect time to express my immense grief.
Nigeria was, at a time, the giant of Africa when it comes to the issue of tackling insecurity. The exploits of our troops in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other parts of the continent are well known.
Nonetheless, it is now a national consensus that, that commanding image of the past has almost faded completely. Yet, I am still optimistic about a positive turnaround during difficult times. I strongly believe that we are more than capable of overcoming this epidemic. Yes, epidemic. The high rate of insecurity in our country has done more damage and cost more Nigerian lives than the recent outbreaks of diseases, including Lassa fever and COVID-19.
It is alarming to see that the situation has kept escalating and more terrorist and notorious groups are emerging by the day. From armed robbery to Boko haram, kidnapping, cattle rustling and banditry, these terror groups have caused enough destructions through their barbaric activities. It is time the governments at different levels doubled efforts with a view to curbing the crises before the impacts and strength of these groups become insurmountable.
Our people in the north are living in fear. Nobody knows the next target of the terrorists. They are insidiously taking over the north before our very eyes. I therefore call on the government to look into this issue seriously. Many people are now homeless, while many have been orphaned all because of insecurity. We are gradually becoming another Somalia or Afghanistan.
The government, therefore, has to tackle this matter from its roots. Restructuring of the country’s security architecture can certainly help bring us out of this mess. More youths have to be recruited into the system. Our internal security agencies like the Police and Civil Defence should be more engaged in tackling the internal problems as the military is clearly over stretched. These agencies must be properly trained and equipped with modern weapons to do their job. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
*Muhammad Yakubu, a young passionate and patriotic Nigerian, wrote in from Abuja