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Who or what could have inflicted untold hardship on over 170 million people? Who or what could have murdered people in their millions, rendered several millions homeless or make so much orphans, widows and widowers without an iota of remorse? A beast is the only thing I can think of.
My nation Nigeria is indeed a great country that has been bedeviled with a vast array of beasts.
Since the country attained the status of a republic in 1963, endemic corruption has been a prominent characteristic of successive governments, however in recent times, economic sabotage, militancy and insurgency have been the ugly beast ravaging our dear country.
Having highlighted some bestial manifestations in the most populous black nation in Africa and the world, I would limit the scope of this piece to insurgency.
Wikipedia defines insurgency as a rebellion against authority. Merriam-webster.com also defines the term as a usually violent attempt to take control of a government: a rebellion or uprising. A person who belongs to a group of people fighting to take control of his country by force is an insurgent. Insurgency has reared its ugly head in the society and one of the most affected countries is Nigeria.
The reasons insurgents invade a country are diverse, but I will start by enumerating a few within the Nigerian context.
The first is the failure of government to ensure the social security and safety of lives and properties of its citizens despite the abundant natural and human resources in the country.
Closely associated with the above is the disproportionate distribution of wealth and opportunities, allowing for a rich few -those in government to close to them- and a poor majority who are the hoi polloi.
The obvious corruption of public office holder and the extravagant lifestyle they live at the detriment of the masses is another factor.
The above stated reasons could cause a social awakening in the minds of the people and a desire for change which may take the form of violent rebellion as it played out in Egypt and other countries in a chain of event tagged the Arab Spring.
However some insurgents have no genuine reason to justify their actions, some of them just express their extremism or fanatical ideologies or beliefs which could be philosophical, religious or outright greed or lust for power.
The poor and porous security structure in the country is one of the reasons insurgents are on the increase, these have made it easy for the penetration of the insurgents often times.
Have you ever wonder where and how these insurgents get funding, arms and ammunition, which in most cases are superior to those of our security agencies? Politicians most times for selfish reasons and lust for power, sponsor the activities of insurgents to frustrate the effort of an incumbent or opposition government.
Having delved into some of the causes of insurgency, it is important to state some practical solutions to this bedeviling factor of our nation.
There is an urgent need to aggressively deal with corruption by adopting a reward mechanism, where a corrupt person is served justice in a quick and timely manner and an upright citizen is publicly commended and rewarded with not just abstract but physical cum material items.
The place of an incorruptible judiciary is important in the fight against insurgency, the court needs to be alive to it responsibility of quick and unbiased delivery of judgment in cases of corruption and insurgency to serve as deterrent to others.
There is an urgent need to ensure equal distribution of opportunities among every region, tribe and religion in the country, opportunities, appointments and power should be shared equally, based on merit, the walls of discriminatory and lopsided appointments should be brought down.
Orientation and re-orientation for those that have been indoctrinated into excessive and fanatical religious, political and social belief system is also important, because a right mind and perspective is required to kill the beasts of our nation.
In conclusion, the war against insurgency is not for government or security agencies alone, the masses, rich or poor has a responsibility to cooperate with government, by providing useful information about insurgents’ activities to security agencies.
The safety of our nation is our collective responsibility, defeating this beast won’t be an easy task, but it is very achievable.