THE failure of the Federal Government to effectively tackle the insecurity challenge facing the nation presently has given rise to probably a worse form of insecurity: hunger.
Insecurity is one of the cardinal programmes of this administration. Yet, we have seen armed insurrection, terrorism, banditry and herdsmen attacks on farmers and indigenous communities ballooning across the nation’s landscape.
The Buhari regime continues to double-speak on the matter of the current state of insecurity in Nigeria. While the president recently asked the media to change the tone of its reportage from “worsening insecurity” to “improving insecurity”, the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, recently lamented that “worsening insecurity” is endangering economic growth and food security.
Our leaders should know that simply procuring more military hardware and mobilising more forces alone will not produce results until the right responses are applied. The inability of the regime to properly analyse the issue and respond to it accordingly has helped to worsen, rather than improve, the situation.
No country faced with a threat like the Boko Haram jihadist terrorism can go far in tackling it by alienating some sections of the population through acts of extreme nepotism even in terms of military appointments and deployments. This has killed initiative, patriotism and collaboration while promoting corruption and divided loyalties within the military.
Secondly, the police, military and security agencies have been made to shield the murderous activities of herdsmen who have been committing genocide in many parts of Nigeria’s food basket zone, the North-Central, and the three zones of the South.
A variant of these nomads in the North-West who have abandoned pastoralism for kidnapping and mass abduction of school pupils have also been indulged. Meanwhile, unarmed agitators and vigilante groups protecting their people from herdsmen are tackled with all the fierceness the Nigerian military can muster.
If the regime had seen the herdsmen and those they call “bandits” for the terrorists they really are and tackled them accordingly, the hunger and skyrocketing food inflation that our people have been battling with would have been avoided. The activities of these armed criminals have driven farmers off their farms. Many farming communities have been sacked and occupied by these terrorists while the indigenes now live in refugee camps.
Bad regime security policies are chiefly responsible for the mess we are faced with. Criminals should be dealt with irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds. Nigerians must also be protected without prejudice. The farmlands and forests must be cleared of these armed demons.
The Buhari regime still has 18 months to flush out illegal and armed occupants of our farmlands and forests to allow the farmers to produce food. The little gain the regime made in the agricultural sector in its first term has been totally eroded.