By Ebunoluwa Sessou
President, Association of Industrial Security and Safety Operators of Nigeria, Dr. Ona Ekhomu has lamented failure on the part of the Federal Government to secure the release of Boko Haram captive, Leah Sharibu after two years of abduction.
Ekhomu in a phone interview with WO said it is worrisome that the government has not been able to define and understand the cause of incessant insecurity in the country.
“The fact that the young girl is still in the captivity of Boko Haram against her wish tells us that this insurgency has not gone away. In fact, I am concerned that it is getting a new life of its own.
“At this time, we don’t know the state of her health and her mind. There is also rumour that she is a mother now. So, she has been brutally raped and we are so helpless in ensuring her rescue”, he lamented.
He said there is a need to renew efforts towards securing the release of the girl out of captivity. “Luckily, this girl is in the captivity of ISWAP, which is not as bad as Shekau. So, I think it is still possible to have a negotiated reason for her even if we cannot release her by force of arms”, he explained.
According to him, “The problem is conceptualization. The way the problem is defined is wrong. We have to understand what the problem is. Because you have to understand that Chapter B2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria says that the security and welfare of all Nigerians should be the responsibility of the government.
“No Nigerian should be subjected to killings, torture or any insecurity of all sorts. The government should be responsible in the area of security. Borno state is the largest city in Nigeria but it is wrong to feel that people in other parts of the state should be subjected to torture and untold sorrow.
“We have to look at different areas of the state and know the kind of security to provide. We should be mindful of the architecture of security to be provided as well as the effectiveness of the architecture. There is too much insecurity on the land and there are so many successful attacks that might have been preventable.
“There are things the government will have to do right. For instance, when the government took on the fight for the first two months of assumption of office in 2015, there was spate in attacks but once the government got its rhythm right and started getting new equipment and the new leadership of the military was able to encourage the soldiers and inspire them, you could see the changes in the tide of battle.
Tempo of insurgence
“In 2016, the government dismantled Boko Haram’s den in Sambisa forest and took over the areas, those were the golden days. Things were fine then. 15months later, there was a resurgence in violence and until now. The tempo of insurgency has been increased.
“The tide of battle has shifted again; we have daily murderous attacks to overrun Damaturu, Maiduguri among others. The government has done well and they are expected to do more. Most of the people are doing guerilla tactics now to strike but they are not holding down the government the way they used to do before.
“There are killings at will and there are no good killings at all. I will not tolerate the killing of any kind. Whatever lapses exploited should be sealed.
“I think the government is doing its best based on its capability. The insecurity on the land is porous, especially in the North East. So many women have been kidnapped in the bush.
“Are we really ready to accept the fact that there is a need for prompt security mechanisms? In Nigeria, travellers are not secured. They cannot be assured of good security on the road. It is a total failure.
“No Nigerian should be subjected to killings, torture or any insecurity of all sorts. The government should be responsible in the area of security. Borno state is the largest city in Nigeria but it is wrong to feel that people in other parts of the state should be subjected to torture and untold sorrow. We have to look at different areas of the state and know the kind of security to provide. “We should be mindful of the architecture of security to be provided as well as the effectiveness of the architecture. There are so many successful attacks that might have been preventable.
“Clearly the girl child is at a disadvantage when it comes to insecurity in Nigeria. Many of them are vulnerable because of poverty in the land and the fact that their parents are at a disadvantage to provide security for them.
“Government needs to intensify efforts on massive awareness, creating information, security education and vulnerable locations should be identified and people should be briefed on how to strengthen their security so that girl-children are not abducted and manipulated”, he said.
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