Communication Disconnect: The Case With Insecurity in Nigeria

By Ernest Omoarelojie

Not too long ago, Nigerians woke up to the frightening news that the Kuje Correctional Centre was attacked by terror elements. The incident, which didn’t quite catch many as a surprise left observers wondering if the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has ultimately left Nigerians to their own fate. The general feeling was predicable-if terrorists could attack such a facility despite all necessary protection supposedly put in place, operate for over half an hour and successfully concluded their plan to release their arrested comrades, no one was safe any more.
Not unexpected, there was no immediate cogent official explanation. Thus, Nigerians were, as always, left to figure out what may have transpired prior to, during and the aftermath. In the end, they were left to rely on conspiracy theories bandied by fifth columnists but filled with plausible official collaboration to fill the gap.

Before the effects of the Kuje Correctional Centre attack wore off, one of the nation’s highly revered institution of higher learning, the Nigerian Law School, situated in Bwari, an outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, became the home of yet another daring security mishap. This time, the same band of ISWAP terrorists who, incidentally served notice of their intention to the school, ambushed three army units, including a detachment of the country’s elite army Brigade, the Brigade of Guards. In the aftermath, the attackers wasted the lives of at least 6 soldiers-one Captain, a Lieutenant and four others of the lower ranks. In particular, the killed captain, lieutenant and two soldiers were from the Guard Brigade, one soldier each from both 177 and 102 battalions.

As was the case with the Kuje Correctional Centre Attack, the Nigerian public were left to the whims of conjectural conspiracy theorists to figure out what really transpired. Indeed, even when an official statement came from the ministry of interior, as was the case with Kuje, a statement made on national television networks by the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Babagana Monguno, produced more questions than answers.
“…Brigade of Guard was ambushed and decimated,” Monguno said.

But more than anything else, the NSA’s account, particularly the use of the word, ‘decimated’, was not only out of tune with on-the-spot account as detailed by an injured soldier, it was out of sync with his office and totally bereft of the required diplomatic finesse.

For full details and soldier’s transcript of events as they unfolded in the Bwari attack, click on www.2n-network.com

A few days after the Brigade of Guards debacle, the terrorists, apparently emboldened by the appalling security response time, allegedly attacked a military check point close to the Zuma Rock, in the Mandalla suburb of the FCT, where they also allegedly abducted a number of school children who were taking part in their school’s end-of-year anniversary. Yet again, while official communication on the Zuma Rock attack was cursory, nothing was heard of the abducted children.

For every action, there is a reaction. It goes without saying therefore that for all the lapses identified with regards to the official handling of ongoing state of insecurity, Nigerians have evolved certain consequential reactions. In the main, they are more certain that the Buhari administration has failed to live up to its responsibilities of protecting lives and property. This much is obvious because it is the position of the average Nigerian on the street. Even those that were once avid supporters of the Buhari regime are now so disenchanted that they no longer exercise any hesitation in stating that the country’s security situation has deteriorated so badly that there is nothing in the last few years that compares to it. They will always add that the administration is inelt and bereft of ideas required to sort it out.

The point to take home here is that the reaction of the people is part of their response to the growing lacuna between the country’s increasing state of insecurity and official responses. As far as the people are concerned, the administration has failed both in dealing effectively with the challenge or release of relevant, genuine and convincing information on same to calm the people’s heightened level of anxiety. Sadly, official responses have often been grossly inappropriate, inadequate and lacking in convincing content. Even when such responses come eventually, they leave the people more confused than when they never came at all.

The immediate consequence is that Nigerians are no longer with the administration because, among other inexcusable lapses, it seems to have no check system to scale the performances of its officials particularly as it is apparent a lot of them really do not have a good grasp of their job definitions as donstrated by Monguno. More Nigerians are joining the disenchanted list because President Buhari himself appears indifferent to both the insecurity plight of Nigerians and the below par performance of the country’s security hierarchy. The more frightening reality is that if the ordinary man on te street can identify and interpret thede realities, one that puts a doubt on the ability of both the President and his team to secure the country and people’s lives and property, there is hardly any need guessing how easy it is for the terrorists to lap on the lapses to continue to operate with near wreckless abandon. That seems to be the reason for the country’s convulsing state of insecurity.

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