INSECURITY: FED GOVT TO UNLEASH “OVERWHELMING FORCE” IN COMING DAYS

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, spoke at a press conference in Lagos on 11 May 2021 where he made serious remarks concerning the insecurity situation in the country. The Minister noted as follows:

[The Federal Government] acknowledges the security challenges we face at this time, from terrorism to kidnaping, banditry and farmer-herder conflict, it is definitely not overwhelmed and indeed it has the wherewithal, as you will see in the days ahead, to confront the challenges headlong and restore law and order, peace and security.

Nigerians are eager to see real action in the days to come as claimed by the Minister; actions that will bring desirable results. Bandits, kidnappers, terrorists and even unknown gunmen must be forced to be wary of the military might of the nation. The Government must prove that the threat of action is not an empty one. It is unattractive to assume that the country’s military might appear to be more effective in dealing with people who fight injustice with flags, placards and packs of fried rice and chicken.

The Minister also decried the unfortunate killing of security agents. He described the development as a declaration of war against the nation. He therefore warned in a boastful fashion that:

Any attack on our security men and women is an attack on the State and a declaration of war against the nation. It follows, therefore, that this will be countered with overwhelming force.

Aside the use of “overwhelming force” which is more of a retaliatory mechanism, the security forces should be able to consistently neutralize any offensive targeted against security agents. 

While the killing of security agents is strictly condemned, neither the Minister nor the Federal Government has considered the killing of innocent Nigerians by security forces, especially the Police, as a declaration of war against the citizens by the State. We are yet to see any “overwhelming force” and seriousness in handling the situation. Till date, even after the #EndSARS protest, we still receive reports of police harassment and brutality.

In a recent report, Nigerian Senator, Ali Ndume, had noted that Nigerian security forces lack necessary modern sophisticated weapons to combat acts of terrorism and other heinous crimes against the Nigerian people. He claimed that the military is being underfunded.

We have seen in the past how funds meant for the fight against Boko Haram were allegedly diverted for political party activities. This signals that there seems to be existing corruption in the system. Thus, it appears that while the issue of funding is being addressed, there is the need to apply overwhelming force in scrutinising how the funds are utilized so as to ensure that our security agents, especially members of the armed forces, do not embark on suicidal mission.



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