By Ahmad Deedat Zakari
It is no longer news that the security situation in the country is pathetic and worrisome. Even the blind can see that the country is held to ransom by forces that challenge the state’s monopoly of violence. It is appalling that governments at various levels have failed in their primary objective of protecting the lives and properties of citizens. Terrorism and other atrocious crimes are being perpetuated wantonly and daily.
However, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahya Bello, is doing something different and commendable. In a Nigeria stuck with a replete of security challenges, Bello seems to be a shining example worthy of emulation by the president and his brother governors. This explains the relative peace we enjoy in Kogi, although it shares borders with about ten states in the country. Even while the country’s capital is under siege by terrorists and bandits, the same can not be said of Kogi State, which is about two hours drive from Abuja.
Other state governors have to learn that as chief security officers of their states, the responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of people in their state falls on their shoulders. As much as collaboration is necessary between the states and the federal government on internal security issues, there is apparent incompetence of the highest order on the side of President Muhammadu Buhari.
For example, whenever there is a security challenge in Kogi State, the governor actively engages locals and traditional rulers in the area of the security breach to proffer solutions. This has proved effective in curtailing crimes. Although every state has its peculiar security problem, it is high time the governors realized this and came up with creative solutions like Bello is doing.
Although many Nigerians have realized President Buhari is a grand failure, it would still do the country immense good if the president adopts Bello’s carrot and stick approach to security. Bello queries and suspends government officials and traditional rulers complicit in security infractions.
Bello similarly rewards the officials who do the needful in forestalling attacks and maintaining peace. But, sadly, the president only expresses shocks and issues empty threats that are never backed with actions. He honestly needs to learn from Bello, his political son and acclaimed mentee.
Ahmad Deedat Zakari wrote from Kogi State via firstname.lastname@example.org.