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Rising insecurity threatening Nigeria’s unity – Senate President

By Idowu Abdullahi

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has stated that the rising insecurity across the country, including incidences of kidnappings, banditry, and insurgency were threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria, saying chances of sustaining Nigeria’s unity under the current reality were slim.

He added that the recent development had put Nigeria at crossroads and that what started little in 2009 has snowballed into full-scale violence and insurgency such that every part of the country had disrupted peace being enjoyed across the nation.

According to him, the very essence of the existence of this country is under serious threat because what started as an insurgency in 2009 or so in the northwestern part of Yobe has now snowballed into a full-scale insurgency in the entire northeast and what was not known to us in the northwest is now today the home of banditry and kidnapping.

Speaking on Wednesday at the security summit organised by the House of Representatives in Abuja, Lawan noted that it has become crystal clear that no part of Nigeria was safe and it was important all hands be on deck in arresting the insecurity menace.

He stated that “the north-central as we all know is not safe. It suffers the clashes between the herders and our farmers. And the recent introduction in the southeast is another serious threat to the existence of this country. Where government institutions are targeted, our police and security agencies personnel are being killed on a daily basis. Our institutions, buildings are burnt. I believe that these are threats not only to those areas but to the entire nation. And our armed forces are doing their best.

“The essence of this summit I am sure is to look for ways and means of improving the performance of our armed forces and other security agencies. This summit is essential because we are tested as a country. We are tested as a people. Criminals everywhere have found probably comfort in doing what they do. This is the time for the legislature and executive arm of government to come even closer in finding solutions. I want to also appeal to all Nigerians for their continued support for the administration and for our armed forces and our security agencies. All hands must be on deck.

“It is also important that we provide resources more resources for our security agencies to enable them better tackle the criminal activities across the country. And our armed forces can do that. But the fact remains that we have not enabled them enough. Today in this country, there is no better investment than investing in the security of our people.

“The security agencies we know are doing their best, but I think it is high time that we work with the executive arm of government to look at the architecture of our security system for better performance. And when I mention architecture, I also want to mention that all levels of government are responsible for securing the lives and property of Nigerians. The federal, state, and local governments. And of course, it is a well-known fact that the local governments do not function.

“The local government system does not function and that takes away a lot from our efforts at providing security for lives and property of people. And when I mention the local government system not functioning, our traditional rulers, who had played major roles in protecting us today have no function more or less. It is only when there are problems, we look for them.

“In the northern part of the country and I daresay all parts of Nigeria, our traditional rulers had played key roles in ensuring security in their domains. Why can’t we look at the possibility of providing an official function for them, even if it is in advisory capacity in the constitution.”

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