Feb 2, 2020

Firing Service Chiefs Will Not Suffice

Nigerian Service Chiefs

Some notable Nigerians have suggested that the sacking of service chiefs is the best solution to our security challenges in Nigeria.

While President Buhari sought to become president, ahead of the Presidential Elections in 2015, the problem of Boko Haram was at its peak. Buhari rested his political campaign on security challenges the country faced, among other promises. Since he has a history of being hard-nosed, he was voted, especially for the security issue had reached what a lot of Nigerians saw as the worst possible.

After winning the Presidential Elections, he took measures that saw the weakening of Boko Haram, with territories taken over and the terrorists pushed to a small corner.
With time, though, Boko Haram regained strength. But in addition to Boko Haram, the killing of innocent farmers by herdsmen in villages, initially in Plateau State, spread to other parts of the country. Kidnapping for ransom, which was only in the Niger Delta and a few states in the South East, spread to other parts of the country?

What is baffling is that the police are not fighting the growing crime, so that the population is at the mercy of the criminals. Our condition at the moment, in literal terms, is like we don’t have a police force in this country.

The result is that people are calling for the sacking of the Chiefs of Army, Naval and Air Staffs (Service Chiefs). With or without Service Chiefs there are constant problems that have to be addressed. So, these are the problems the country will have to look into. Impunity has become so perpetual that some members of the military and paramilitary forces, themselves, are complicit in these crimes. There is also the manner in which people are recruited to these forces, not to talk about the reality that hardworking members are not rewarded for their hard work. There is the denial of members of what is due to them by law as a result of corruption. When personnel die in service, their dependents suffer, since entitlements are not paid on time. Sometimes they are not paid at all. The police also need gear to help them in their operations. These are hardly provided. The authorities themselves don’t take measures to solve a problem the moment it surfaces and wait until it becomes so complex when it has become difficult to tackle before beginning to make attempts at solving them. For instance, a group of kidnappers (mostly kids) have currently been tormenting people in Jos. With the manner of operations, they are just a few groups. Nothing is done to curb them right now. The police, most times will tell you to just pay the ransom and save your relation because their hands are tied.  It is why some will join the bad guys, making the situation complex and hard to tackle.  

Most times, the Police, which is a federal institution, ends up begging state governors to provide work-gear to enable them to police their territories. It is the reason why the idea of state police could help the country effectively fight crimes in the country. It is without a doubt that the state police forces in the thirty-six states of the country if established, will not all be inept at the same time. This will definitely minimize the crime levels and cut down the innocent lives that die every day.

Everything has to be taken into consideration if we have to solve the mountainous security challenge in the country.

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