Saturday, April 17, 2021

Tackling insecurity: The Sokoto example, by Nafiu Muhammad Lema

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tiamin rice

“Safety and security don’t just happen. They are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear,” former South African President and Nobel Peace Laureate, Nelson Mandela, once said.

I quoted the above statement made by one of Africa’s most famous and revered leaders, who was jailed, tortured and incarcerated in one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. Madiba, as he was fondly called, was subjected to different harsh conditions and tests, all in order to dampen his spirit and break his will. He withstood all the sufferings for the future of South Africa, and at last all that became history. And due to his sacrifice, South Africa is now among the democratic countries in Africa and world.

To this end, security of lives and property should be given a paramount importance by any competent leader. Any sane society must devote itself towards championing the course of secured environment for its citizens, even if it means putting their own lives on the line.

Insecurity is the one challenge that is staring Nigeria on the face. Sadly, the country is now being labelled among the most dangerous countries to live in the world.

Although its leaders had been exploring many options of stemming the menace, a lot needs to be done to arrest the situation before it gets out of hand. Many options were tried by the past and present administrations with some having positive outcome and others negative impact. It is thus impressive and commendable when one of the present leaders stands up and executes blueprint that is seen to be reducing the insecurity to its barest minimum. This leader is none other person than Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokot State.

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When Governor Tambuwal said and reiterated that security and religion could never be politicized under his administration, the opposition leaders thought that otherwise, believing that since they couldn’t get to the root of it during their tenure, Governor Tambuwal would never be able to do so. Unfortunately for them, he has been matching his words with action and the result of which is now being visibly seen in a reduced criminality in the state.

His foremost method of strengthening the security agencies with the logistics is second to none. With no fear of contradiction, I make bold to say that no administration has ever accorded such logistic support to the security agencies like Governor Tambuwal did or is doing in Sokoto.

He started off by institutionalising a prompt payment of incentives to the security agencies especially, the police force whose role in taming the wild beast of insecurity can never be over-emphasised. This submission was attested to by the Honorable Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi at a public gathering.

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At first, Tambuwal donated no fewer than 90 vehicles to the Military, Police and Nigeria Civil Defence Corps. He, in addition, procured another 15 Hilux Vehicles to the Nigerian Airforce and at the same time donated another set of 50 Motorcycles to Nigerian Army, all in order to check the rising insecurity in Eastern Sokoto.

Then just a few days ago, during the launching of Operation Puff Adder by the Nigeria Police Force in Sokoto, Tambuwal again matched his words with action through the donation of another 25 Hilux Vehicles to the operation, with 15 out of the 25 on hand, and the remaining to be delivered soon.

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Insecurity in Sokoto State predated Tambuwal’s administration. Commuters travelling in the Sokoto East axis can testify that for over 30 years, areas of Isa, Sabon Birni, and Goronyo have been experiencing criminal attacks on their roads, and markets. Regardless, Tambuwal vowed to stop the menace and we are seeing the sincerity of his words and actions. He pledged to never compromise our security for the sake of politics, and he’s doing it in style. His commitment to the return of peace to Sokoto State is sincere and real.

Tambuwal’s security intelligence is not limited to only Sokoto State. A few months ago, he identified six fundamental points that could ferry Nigeria out of its present security quagmire. The points are: New effective strategy, Positive attitude of security personnel, Prompt Salary and welfare of security agents, Acquiring modern superior weapons, Use of ICT, and Recruitment of more patriotic capable personnel.

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Tambuwal’s proactive and effective approach to challenges facing Sokoto is one of the many vital factors that easily distinguishes Sokoto among sister states.

Just recently, he directed the closure of boarding schools outside the Sokoto Metropolis to protect students from the spate of abductions in the Northwest. And in order not to disrupt their schooling, the affected students are merged into safer institutions.

Tambuwal further promised the affected teachers, just as he did to all health workers during Covid-19 pandemic, additional incentives. The teachers too will receive this magnanimity until all the challenges are addressed.

Tambuwal sure matches his words with action by giving adequate support to Security Agencies. Insecurity in Nigeria can sure become something of the past if all hands can be put on deck as Tambuwal does in Sokoto.

Finally, with the recent rise of abductions and bandit activities in Sokoto East, Tambuwal’s gesture will go a long way in minimizing the scourge. And I urge the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to complement Governor Tambuwal’s gesture by supplying the security with more equipment and vehicles to combat the menace.

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Mr Lema writes from Sokoto, and can be reached via [email protected].

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