Before President Tinubu assumed office on May 29, 2023, Nigeria grappled with a significant security crisis characterized by terrorism, banditry, and various criminal activities. While some experts argue that there have been notable improvements in curbing these threats, others maintain that the situation remains dire.
In an effort to address the longstanding security crisis, President Tinubu wasted no time in his early days in office, initiating a comprehensive overhaul of the nation’s security architecture, which included appointing new service chiefs. This move instilled a sense of hope among Nigerians who had long been in despair over the relentless violence by terrorists and bandits.
However, despite these changes, the country continues to face challenges. Criminal elements are still on the rampage in the Federal Capital Territory and other parts of the nation, despite the government’s efforts to tackle the menace.
Reports from the News Agency of Nigeria revealed that as of August, no fewer than 23 local government areas in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Kebbi states were under the control of bandits. Particularly troubling is the deteriorating situation in Sokoto and Zamfara, where residents are being forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes, leaving behind their livelihoods.
In Sokoto State’s eastern part, security has hit an all-time low, with criminal elements continuing their killing sprees, kidnappings, and violence against innocent community members. This alarming situation has instilled fear among residents, particularly in Isa, Sabon Birni, Rabah, Goronyo, and Illela local council areas.
Kaduna State has also been plagued by these criminal elements, with frequent abductions and killings. A recent incident saw assailants burning down the parish house of Saint Raphael’s Catholic Church in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area, resulting in the tragic death of a seminarian.
Even Nigeria’s capital, the Federal Capital Territory, has not been spared, as bandits continue to terrorize parts of the city, particularly satellite areas. In September, 19 individuals were kidnapped in the Bwari Area Council by unidentified gunmen.
Amid these challenges, experts hold differing views on the security situation in Nigeria under President Tinubu’s leadership.
Samuel Eniola Adam, President of the Eagle Crime Awareness Prevention Initiative (ECAPI), believes that insecurity in Nigeria has significantly reduced in the past four months. He claims that the crime rate has dropped from approximately 100% to 50%, citing a decrease in killings since Tinubu’s inauguration.
However, James Adakole, a security analyst, disagrees, stating that he has seen no significant change in the security landscape. He points to ongoing attacks, abductions, and killings across the country as evidence that the security situation has not improved. Adakole emphasizes the importance of improving the lives of Nigerians as a means to address security challenges.
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The divergent views on Nigeria’s security situation reflect the complexity of the issues at hand. While President Tinubu’s administration has taken measures to address the crisis, challenges persist, and the ultimate solution may require a multifaceted approach that extends beyond security reforms, touching on economic and social factors as well.