12th April, 2021
From north to west, east down southern part of the country, Nigeria has been engulfed with chaos, so much that, the nation’s security bases which were supposed to serve as refuges for the civilian population are not left out in the rising attacks across the nation.
Overwhelmed by the spate of insecurity, the Ebonyi state government for instance was reported to have made the following helpless submission: “we are worried that men who are commissioned to defend the people are being attacked and we are living as if we have been conquered….” The statement issued by the secretary to the state government, Kenneth Ugbala, therefore urges security personnel to defend themselves against bandits and the now cliched, “unknown gunmen”, who, in reality are known by the state in some cases.
In another state in the region, a correctional facility in Imo state was said to have been attacked by another set of “unknown gunmen”, allegedly freeing over 1800 inmates and burning down facility at a location that was a few miles away from Douglas House, the official residence and office of the Executive Governor of the state and the Police State headquarters.
Up north and down western part of the country, banditry and kidnapping have been normalized so much that in a north central state of Benue over the past week, it was reported that 11 men of the Nigerian army who were on reinforcement and peace seeking mission in some part of the state, were ambushed and gruesomely murdered by armed bandits.
The unabated attacks on security infrastructures and personnel is an indication of the helplessness of ordinary citizens in the hands of these daredevil gunmen who are having a field day across the nation.
For us at SING Nigeria, while we support effort at strengthening the security forces, which will ultimately serve a combatant purpose that may not have yielded much success, especially given the fact that state actors are profiteering from the crises, we hold strongly the belief that not all violent problems will always require violent and combatant solution.
There are several factors responsible for the current violence ravaging the country. Prominent among others are the structural inequalities, poverty, poor education, and government continued negligence.
While we also called on the security agencies to focus on preventing further attacks on innocent citizens and controlling the trafficking in small arms and light weapons which the nation has begun to see the effect of their prior neglect, the long-term solution is in rapid human capital development in the context of our Code 3 and Creative Intelligence / Digital Skills Development initiatives.
When the nation’s young people are productively engaged, they will be less susceptible to use by agents of societal destabilization. Stakeholders who truly believe in the Nigerian project must begin to think in the direction of how the country can bridge the abysmal digital skill gaps; because our foreseen problem is much more about having the adequate skilled population for the future which will be more technologically driven.