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Opinion; Why Niger State Needs Better Approach To Security Despite Its Recent 5BN Expenses

Security has proven to be a very problematic situation and subject in Nigeria recently, and while these events cannot be blamed on the government, there seems to be quite a lot that could be done to counter the attacks and the constant disrespect and dishonor for the law guarding the ordinary man against gun welding elements, ranging from terrorists to Bandits and perhaps kidnappers, whose sole purpose has been said to be for financial reasons alone. In attempts to counter the activities of these criminal elements the Federal government through the armed forces has taken several steps, many of which are quite effective. While the federal government uses its power in certain areas, Affected states also put in efforts to ensure their citizens are safe. One of such states is Niger State.

According to the Niger State government in a recent publication by Vanguard, the state dedicated and spent 5 billion nairas on the security of the state. While this would seem like a lot of money which it is, it didn't exactly do much in providing security for the people of the state. The state government t had stated that it used the money quite judiciously, stating that it used a huge sum from the stated amount to empower the security forces that operate within the state, and it ensured that some of those who had been earlier affected by the Unfortunate incidents were in some way compensated. 


However, despite what seems like a lot of money spent on Security, the state is still on the top of the lists of states that are affected by the dangers of Insecurity in the country. Perhaps this suggests that this is a time, a period to try a different approach and that Insecurity could not simply be solved by using a huge chunk or sum of money. Empowering the security agencies in the state by buying them patrol cars is a good action but perhaps we need to look beyond the security forces and their ability to counter these armed men and begin to look into biting the head or taking the head of the snake that is Insecurity. What this means is that we especially the affected countries need to trace the root of these criminal elements by engaging the locals. 

Over the years, it has remained obvious to the general public and perhaps to the security agencies that the locals are more aware of incidents and perpetrators than the forces who are supposedly in charge of gathering said details and news. Locals are the ones who pay these bandits, they engage them and are engaged by them, the route and location of their hideouts are known to them and as such, the locals can prove particularly useful in an attempt to destroy the strongholds and physical locations of these bandits. However, the problem is that locals cannot particularly effectively ensure the capture and Arrests of these said bandits. Resources, training, and capacity seem missing in their stature. This leads one to believe that perhaps local police aside from that which exists as the federal police should be created in states such as Niger. 

A local agency of some sort, empowered and trained to combat local attacks, with little to no requirement for a large scale output but such simple tasks that would eventually lead to the destruction of the strongholds and physical homes and hideouts of these bandits. This said local agencies should be made up of local security agencies, perhaps some sort of vigilante group that could effectively sniff out these criminal elements. Over the years, it has been noted that locals often tend to shy away from speaking to the Police and the Military, there is this level of fear that seems present within them when they spit the police. However, it would be different when rather than speak to the police, they are speaking to people who are in the same community as they are, chiefs and young men who grew up in the same location that they did. This writer believes that this would prove very useful and effective in destroying the strongholds of these bandits and kidnappers who have become a menace in society.

References;

https://www.vanguardngr.com/2021/11/niger-spends-n5bn-on-security-in-2-years-ssg/amp/

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Federal Niger State Nigeria Vanguard

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