For those who witnessed Nigeria’s independence some 52 years ago, they were pleased that they were going to be given a new flag different from that of the colonial masters. And singing the old national anthem, they promised to remain united despite their ethnic backgrounds. They sang like brothers. They never thought that one day we (the Nigerian people) would aim guns at one another.
Many Nigerians today are not happy with current state of the nation. The general perception is that every department of the society has failed to meet the expectations of the teeming masses since October 1st 1960.
This write up is confined to the security state of the country before and after independence. Personal studies have revealed that immediately after independence, Nigerians continued to enjoy relative security and crime rate in the entire country was relatively low as a result. It was said that those days, most people were contented with what they were earning and the security men were only committed to the task of maintaining law and order in the land. This was attributed to the culture and foundation laid by the British colonialists which gradually disappeared soon after they left the shores of the country.
People were not scared of walking the streets at night however late it was then. According to history, the only job the police was doing then was to arrest people for fighting, burglary and fraud related activities. There was nothing like the police checkpoints on the roads and definitely there was a very few cases of police extorting money from motorists and other road users.
On rare cases when petty thefts occurred, the thieves would take to their heels when the property owners shouted. Can these be said of Nigeria of today after 52 years?
This whole problem of armed robbery and the likes actually started after the Nigeria civil war and was made worse by the military administration. After the civil war, arms were able to get into the reach of the civilians. Military regime which was believed to have encouraged bribery of all sorts made it easier for the police to become corrupt. It was alleged that most police officers gave out their guns to armed robbers for a hire and this marked the beginning of the sorrowful state of Nigerian police.
What a pity!
Since then, armed robbery attacks have become part of our economy. Today armed robbers attack on the roads even few kilometers away from the police checkpoints and the police are not worried. Since then, people became so scared to even buy new cars, until the latest trend in the security issues of this country which is The Boko Haram insurgency as well as kidnapping activities in the country ushered in.
In some states like Lagos state, things are getting better because most of the hoodlums have been employed into LASTMA and other agencies. This simply means that the easiest way to tackle security challenges is by creating employment opportunities for the youths.
As far as jobs are not available, crimes will be on the rise. On the other hand, the Nigerian police have been neglected, ill-equipped and underfunded. The current Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakkar as a benefactor of the British system is working round the clock to restore professionalism by the constant trainings and the removal of roadblocks and checkpoints on the roads. This if sustained, will bring the much needed face lift in the Police Force.
The issue of Boko Haram on its own was capable of dividing the country into two political and religious parts, but thank God, Nigerians resolved to remain as one indivisible entity.
If Nigeria didn’t break up despite the civil war, the Boko Haram, religious clashes then Nigeria will always emerge stronger from any daunting challenge. In all, the only thing that is lacking in Nigeria is quality leadership which will one day become history. Happy independence Nigeria!
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.