The problems of crime, insurgency and insecurity are general problems cutting across all societies in the world in different magnitudes. Wherever these problems exist, they threatened the lives and property of societal members and above all raised the degree of relative vulnerability. This puts the survival and development of the society difficult and in serious uncertainties.
Among all the security challenges of contemporary world, the most devastating and difficult to combat, prevent and control is insurgency particulaly religiously oriented insurgency or faith-based insurgent’s violence.
Nations all over the world are spending billions of dollars in fighting insurgency/terrorism to curtail it’s socio-economic, infrastructural and political consequences that are crippling nations individually and collectively as continents.
Despite security sophistication in terms of logistics and professionally trained security forces at the disposals of USA, Europe and other countries in the world, but they still have sleepless nights and nightmares in the fight against insurgency and terrorism in their countries and other parts of the world. Before the coming of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration in 2015, Nigeria was facing the problems of insurgency that is ravaging some states in the country by crippling their socio-economic activities. Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and FCT became high-risk states due to insurgents’ attacks which forced people to avoid these places because going there is like a suicide mission due to bombings in public places particularly motorparks, markets, places of worship (churches/mosques) and educational institutions. As a precautionary measures people in places affected by insurgency restricted their movements and avoid crowded places that became suitable target for insurgents.
Unlike conventional war where you are fighting known enemies that enables you to assess and determine their firing powers and strength that gives you a clear direction to prepare a comprehensive battle procedure to subdue the enemies with minimum casualties; fighting insurgency is difficult because you are fighting unknown enemies. The nature of guerrilla warfare is extremely difficult due to the dynamics of tactics adopted by insurgents to choose soft targets that are easily accessible in order record massive casualties.
However, for someone to appreciate the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government in the fight against insurgency needs to remember the difficult situations many cities found themselves where almost everything comes to a standstill as survival to the next hours became extremely difficult and highly characterized by all forms of uncertainties. Maiduguri, Damaturi, Baga, Potiskum, Mubi, Azare and many cities in the northeast have several hotspots where the insurgents controlled and conducted their activities freely without hindrance or resistant. The numbers of casualties and property worth billions of naira lost and destroyed could only be estimated as the exact figures are humanly impossible and difficult to quantify.
The cases of insurgents attacks in Abuja left everlasting bad and horrible memories in the minds of the victims, their families and sympathizers at the Police Force Headquarters, United Nations Office, Nyanya and Banex Plaza. One Div Headquarters in Kaduna and other parts of Kaduna left many people dead.
When we come to Kano, boko-haram severely crippled commercial activities in the city that is considered as the biggest and center of business activities of the North. The coordinated attacks of January 2012 devasted the city of Kano which necessitates the imposition of 24 hours curfew as a result of attacks on Zone One Police Headquarters, Bompai and other police stations in the city. These were followed by series of attacks in Bayero University Kano, School of Hygiene, Federal College of Education Kano, New Road/Kano line motorparks, attempted suicide bombing at Kwari and the horrible attacks of 28th November, 2014 at Kano Central Mosque during Friday prayer that left dozens dead and still the memories of these heartless and wicked attacks are still fresh in our minds.
Between 2012 to 2015 military/mobile police checkpoints were created in all the entrances leading to the Kano city and major ways within the city in an attempt to combat the activities of the insurgents which makes movements of people slowed and boring. For example someone coming to Kano heading to Singa/Sabon-gari markets he/she will be welcomed by military checkpoints at 9 miles, Bachirawa, Rijiyar Lemo, Bukavu Barracks and Katsina road. As a results of these inconveniences people were forced to programmed their movements and visitors avoided and disserted Kano. The outskirts of Kano became difficult to live due to high security risks in some areas of the city such as Maiduguri road, Sabuwar Gandu, Sharada with some shops closed and those that still operates closed earlier. Business men/women in all the major markets of Kano Metropolis closed early for their safety due to the experiences of late evening attacks.
The frequency of bomb blasts and coordinated attacks has reduced drastically and areas under boko-haram occupation were librated through an intensive effort by Buhari’s administration. When one look at the military/mobile checkpoints and those mounted in major cities such as Maiduguri, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja disappeared, commercial activities are going on due to the relative peace and normalcy that return. If one will not see anything good and positive in the efforts of this government on the war against insurgency is not normal opposition but extreme hatred that blinded their minds.
It is true that, one can hardly find a perfect system that works without shortcomings. We are humbly appealing to the government to review it’s approaches, strategies and other operational procedures to assess and evaluate their strength and weaknesses in order to make adjustments where necessary. May Almighty God in his infinite mercies grant our security forces a giant success in the fight against crime in all it’s ramifications.
Ado Umar Lalu
Usman Suleiman Sarki