The 2030 Sustainable Agenda And Insecurity And Ochor’s Template—Recently, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Annadif said that the spate of insecurity afflicting Nigeria and other West African countries is a spillover of the Libyan crisis.
As a solution, Annadif called for a regional approach to combat the security challenges in the region and pledged that the United Nations will help the Nigerian Army to overcome the insecurity in the country, as well as help profile the suspected terrorism financiers.
Comparatively, while Annadif spoke in Abuja during a visit to the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Faruk Yahaya alongside the Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Regional Office for Central Africa, Francois Fall, at about the same time, what is seemly qualified as more compatible, efficient/workable, result-oriented and sustainable solution to the nation’s nagging security challenge, was proffered in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, by the Deputy Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ochor Christopher Ochor. He advocated for continuous synergy between the governments, people and the various security agencies in the country, in order to check the rising rate of insecurity.
The Deputy Speaker, who was represented by his Press Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Enebeli, made the call in Asaba, on Thursday, October 28, 2021, at an Intelligence Security Summit, hosted by Ben Media House at Grand Hotels, where he was recognized with an Outstanding Personality on Legislative Duties/Impact to Humanity in Delta State, for the year 2021. “For us to have a secure and peaceful society the various communities in the country should always work with the government and security agencies, there must be that synergy to build confidence amongst the people.” “This is necessary, as the insecurity in the country has become worrisome, and very frightening. But we can help, by working with the security agencies, as security is the business of all citizens”. He said.
Essentially, aside speaking what has been on the minds of Nigerians, coupled with his demonstration of curiosity about new information that might produce a deeper understanding of security problems and other challenges that leaders desirous of protecting the life chances of his people must show concern and wrestle with on behalf of the country, there are in fact, reasons why Rt Honourable Ochor’s latest call deserves the collective support of Nigerians.
First and very fundamental, though the rights to life of Nigerians at the moment are overtly inscribed in the nation’s 1999 constitution (as amended), the present security temperature in the country orchestrated by President Muhammadu Buhari’s absence of political will to rewrite the narrative as lavishly promised in 2015, has covertly characterized these rights as a circle of chaos or worse still, ‘an equation without meaning’.
In today’s Nigeria, evidence abounds, if only sought for, that insecurity has not only gained ground but assumed an alarming dimension. Our public media often makes headline news of insecurities to the global community on how Life in Nigeria has not only lost its value but quoting Thomas Hobbs, becomes nasty, brutish and short. The country in the estimation of right thinking individuals has become a hotbed for all manners of violence.
Secondly, the Nigerian security sector in the past six years has remained in a dire state. Even President Muhammadu Buhari admitted this spiraling fact in June 2020, while addressing the security chiefs at a meeting. The President, going by media reports, told them that their best efforts at tackling the security challenges were not good enough and that they should up their game! He particularly frowned on the lack of synergy among the security agencies saddled with the responsibility of fighting insurgency and banditry in the country.
Similar to the above fact is that Ochor’s latest call for synergy is in line with the 2030 sustainable agenda, a United Nation initiative and successor programme to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)- with a collection of 17 global goals formulated to among other aims promote and carter for people, peace, planet, and poverty which has partnership and collaboration at its centre. The agenda, among other goals, is aimed at finding an ‘urgent need for creative and innovative thinking by all strata of the society-public and private sector and civil society-to promoting sustained and inclusive economic growth, security, social development and environmental protection’.
Ochor’s intervention also supports security experts believe across the world that to quell the challenge of insecurity is no longer about government holding all of the powerful weapons but a function of collaboration among interventionists groups, in keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of unstable individuals and using research on issues related to terrorism and extremism for informed policy decision-making/roadmaps.
So, using the above importance as a dashboard to correct our security challenge which is gravitating towards becoming a culture, it will be important for us as a nation to openly admit and adopt both structural and managerial changes. This to my mind will necessitate our leaders welcoming approaches that impose more leadership discipline than conventional, and creating government institutions that are less extractive but more innovative in operation.
This shift in action is important as we cannot solve our socio-economic challenges with the same thinking we used when we created it.
As an incentive, this needed partnership between the government and private sector in the race for security provision will again call for finding a solution to the societal problems vis-a-vis youth unemployment.
Talking about youth unemployment in Nigeria, a report recently puts it this way: “We are in dire straits because unemployment has diverse implications. Security wise, large unemployed youth population is a threat to the security of the few that are employed. Any transformation agenda that does not have job creation at the centre of its programme will take us nowhere” Youths challenge cuts across, regions, religion, and tribe, and has led to the proliferation of ethnic militia as well as youth restiveness across the country.
To therefore catalyze the process of building sustainable security architecture in the country, this, in addition to Ochor’s prescriptions, is germane facts we must not fail to remember as a nation.
First, the security situation in the country has continued to deteriorate in the areas of poor funding, poor staffing, poor equipment and poor training. It cuts across all spectra of the security sector and has persisted despite Nigeria’s ratification of several treaties that advocates for the rights to adequate security of life and property and impose obligation on the Federal Government to respect, protect and fulfill these responsibilities. Indeed, this needs the support of all Nigerians.
Very crucially, President Buhari, on his part, needs to recognize that globally, “a country’s defence capability has to continually upgrade as new technology, especially information technology, is incorporated into the weapon system. This requires a sound economy that can afford to pay for new weaponry and highly educated and trained people who can integrate the various arms into one system and operate them efficiently and effectively”.
Most importantly, even as this piece appreciates Ochor for this timely declaration, this time is however, auspicious for our government to bring a change in leadership paradigm by switching over to a leadership style that is capable of making successful decisions built on a higher quality of information while dropping the age-long mentality which presents execution as more important than idea incubation.
Utomi, Programme Cordinator (Media and Public Policy), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy, SEJA, wrote from Lagos. He could be reached via; firstname.lastname@example.org or 08032725374.