Non-state actors and spectre of insecurity

By Alao Abiodun

The action of Sunday Igboho, a non-state actor, in serving ‘quit notice’ on herdsmen in Igangan, Ibarapa East Local Government of Oyo State over alleged kidnapping and banditry is an indication of the citizenry’s loss of confidence in the country’s security and indeed a wake-up call for government at all levels to sit up.

These are not cheery times for farmers as a result of the incessant conflicts with cattle herders. The issues may appear complex but the factors are salient. The rapacious activities of herdsmen in the Southwest have left tales of woes with many persons, including aged farmers, hacked to death on their farms while their wives and female children are not only raped but also butchered and some others kidnapped for ransom.

Sadly, the level of insecurity today is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Many states have continued to witness enormous insecurity lately from armed bandits, herdsmen, gunmen, Boko Haram, others. Many citizens are living under palpable tension and fear.

While we experience insecurity especially kidnappings and threats from gunmen on a daily basis, the unanswered question begging for answer is; if our law enforcement agencies which are responsible for tackling crime and the government are really serious with safeguarding the lives of Nigerians?

The primary responsibility of any government is to ensure the security and welfare of citizens. With the unending terror from herders, the serenity of southwest seems to be under threat.

At this critical phase, as citizens, do we now need to bear arms to ensure the safety of our lives, families and community? Undisputedly, the current insecurity plague and other social horrors afflicting Nigerians predate the current administration, but however it appears the leadership is not living up to expectation to tackle these issues decisively.

Here is an administration that is quick to respond to critics and critical remarks, instead of arresting the situation of insecurity that is ravaging the country. Travelling along many routes in Nigeria especially traversing through the South, West, East and North have become a nightmare due to the presence of bandits, gunmen and kidnappers along many highways of the country.

Rather than crush Sunday Igboho and other like minds, and seek to make them silent or tagging them as enemies of the state, any government that truly cares about the state of insecurity will meet those people at the level of ideas.

Many people have lost their homes and lands to herdsmen, some others have also had their family members killed or kidnapped by gunmen. Clearly, these unfortunate events in the past couple of months have shown how urgent it is that we examine and reflect on the extant security architecture of the country.

The current insecurity crisis is jeopardizing Nigeria’s unity. The government must be more responsive, and willing to collaborate with Nigerians to tackle the menace. It is unacceptable that the country’s security setup has degenerated to the stage that it is, and it is across the country.

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