How Has Nation’s Security Fared Under Tinubu?

Kingsley Nwezeh writes about extra measures put in place by the military and security agencies culminating in considerable decline in security skirmishes across the country since President Bola Tinubu assumed office about a year ago.

On his assumption of office on May 29, 2023, President Bola Tinubu listed a secure nation as one of his priority areas.

Prior to his assumption of office, the country, under the leadership of former President Muhammadu Buhari, had become a river of blood of the innocent with rampaging insurgents, armed bandits, kidnappers and agitators running amok all over the country.

Thousands of citizens including the personnel of the Armed Forces were killed in the North-east, Benue, Plateau states while thousands were kidnapped across the country. Some paid the supreme price while others parted with huge sums of money as ransom paid to kidnappers.

On Tinubu’s assumption of office, Nigerians, were, therefore, full of expectations that the state of insecurity in the country will abate.

But the killings have continued in Plateau, Benue and other parts of the country with close to 500 citizens killed so far while hundreds of school children were kidnapped in Kaduna and Zamfara States even as armed bandits have continued to wreck havoc in the North-west.

It must be noted that the armed forces have battled non-state actors across the country even with record numbers paying the supreme price.

In a recent statement, President Tinubu said the security situation in the country has improved. He said though it may not have solved all the security problems confronting the country, government was working hard to ensure that Nigerians have peace of mind in their homes.

“Since our administration took over the mantle of office, security has improved. Silently, we have worked to free captives from abductors.

“While we can’t beat our chest yet that we had solved all the security problems, we are working hard to ensure that we all have peace of mind in our homes, places of work and on the roads,” he said.

But Plateau State remains a centre of killings by herdsmen causing indegenes to disagree with the president.

“It is disheartening to witness the continual cycle of devastation without meaningful intervention. The promises of protection seem hollow, and our plight grows more desperate each passing day”, laments Fatima Agwai, a resident of a besieged village in Plateau.

“The time for mere rhetoric has long passed. We require concrete action, tangible measures that will stem the tide of violence and restore a semblance of peace to our lands,” asserts Umaru Yakubu, a community leader in Barkin Ladi, Plateau State.

But the Beacon Security Intel Nigeria, a security and  intelligence gathering outfit that keeps a tab on violence in Nigeria in its “April, 2024 Nigeria Security Report” said the security environment in Nigeria remained challenged.

“In the review period, April 01- 30, 2024, the security environment in Nigeria remained challenged mainly due to the dire socio-economic circumstances occasioned by food inflation, and a cost of living crisis that

continued to trigger social unrest and impact the structural deficiencies that predispose some residents to criminality while also impacting the operational uncertainties for private individuals, business organisations, and communities despite efforts by the government at the federal and subnational levels.

“Additionally, the period experienced prevailing, persistent, dynamic, and multifaceted security challenges

affecting various regions of Nigeria and resulted in varied typologies of security challenges.

The dashboard shows Nigeria’s monthly security incidents, abductions, and fatalities for the reporting period of April 01- 30, 2024, identifying periodic trends and impact analysis based on abductions and

fatalities trends on a regional and State basis in the inset”, it said.

“Compared to the previous reporting month, March 2024, there was a significant decline of 63.63% in the number of abducted persons in April 2024, despite this decline, notable spikes were observed in Cross

River, Delta, Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Kogi, Nasarawa, Ondo, Oyo, Rivers, and Zamfara states tied to armed banditry in predominantly the North-west and North-central and criminality in the Southern

regions”, it said.

Beacon Intel also stated that “the lethality of incidents and the resultant fatalities remained high, with a significant increase of 34.44% with notable spikes observed in Anambra, Bayelsa, Borno, Enugu, FCT, Kano, Kogi, Lagos, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara states tied to Non-State Armed Groups (NSAGs)

activities predominantly in the Northern regions; security forces operations against threat actors in the North-east and North-west; and road transport accidents in North-central and South-west.

“Civilian casualty accounted for 49.50% of the total fatality count, especially in the North-west and North-central regions

tied to domestic issues i.e., transport accidents.

“It should be noted that variances in monthly occurrences in the security landscape are common in Nigeria. In addition, the uncoordinated approaches to managing the various security threat elements, particularly in the northern regions, where poorly thought out measures or very little effort is put into addressing the root causes of the security challenges, continue to produce consequences that are in themselves triggers of insecurity”, it said.

On the density distribution of abductions, it noted that “in the comparative analysis between April 2024 and March 2024, we observe shifts in several critical

metrics, indicating evolving trends within Nigeria’s security landscape.

In April 2024, there was a notable

decline in violent occurrences, with 691 incidents recorded. This marks a 10.72% decrease compared to the

774 incidents documented in March 2024.

“April 2024 witnessed a significant 63.63% decrease in abductions between March 2024 and April 2024, with the numbers dropping from 855 to 311. This could be

attributed to the government’s efforts to tackle insecurity, especially in the country’s Northern regions.

“April 2024 recorded a further surge in fatalities, with the number climbing to 1,097 from 816 in March 2024. This marks an alarming 34.44% increase, underscoring the urgent need for more robust measures to safeguard civilian lives and restore peace”, it said.

Beacon Intel further maintained that the complex interplay of terrorism, banditry, and ethnic militia activities continues to drive these concerning trends, underscoring the multifaceted nature of Nigeria’s security challenges.

“Despite ongoing security operations, the perpetrators often operate with impunity, exploiting existing grievances and

socio-economic disparities to perpetrate violence and advance their agendas. “Addressing these root causes

and implementing effective strategies remains imperative to mitigate the escalating security risks and protect the well-being of Nigeria’s populace”, it said.

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