Chief Iheanyi Chinasa Frank, a US-trained security expert and President, Red Hawk Security Solutions USA, has offered solutions that will help curb the increasing security challenges facing Nigeria and re-focus her on the path of progress through purposeful leadership that traverses beyond the boundaries of partisan politics.
According to him, “This is the time of truth. It is a period to thoroughly examine ourselves and tell ourselves the truth. Insecurity is ravaging our country. It is not that it has not been there before or that it would not be even in the best times, but the truth is that it has gone beyond tolerable levels.
“On one side you have the Boko Haram menace and on the other the ravaging herdsmen versus community residents. We also have armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, and ritual killings. Indeed, these vices are realities of our present times. These problems would have been solved but because sometimes many of us want to deny reality, so they linger”, he said.
He noted that insecurity affects the growth and development of the country, adding “we also do ourselves so much harm when we refuse to accept the extent of insecurity that plagues the country.
Unfortunately, this was not the intention of the ruling party, they are trying their best but raw statistics keep showing that the country is losing more lives daily than nations at war. This situation is so revealing and so every well-meaning Nigerian and a lover of democracy should lend ideas and a voice.
“The truth from history is that every case of insecurity, no matter how complex it would seem, has an answer once there is a political will. How do we then solve our challenge of insecurity?; The first is to admit that the situation is bad and to have the federal government declare it a national emergency and involve more stakeholders and village chiefs in solving the problem. Politics is local and security is also local. In this way, it becomes a national problem and not the challenge of the political party in power.
“For most times we have seen the challenge of insecurity as a failure of governance on the part of the ruling party. Other parties make fable references to developments in this regard, take frequent jabs at the ruling party, and retreat, feeling happy they have scored political points that could bolster their fortunes in the next general elections; this is not right.
“Challenge of insecurity, especially when it involves lives is beyond partisan politics. So declaring a national emergency would go a long way to change narratives and dispositions.“So it is very pertinent that politicians meet and agree that it is time to drop negative behavior and bad political tactics so that the country can have peace. I insist that the politicians must look themselves in the face and agree, and once they agree, 70 percent of factors behind insecurity would be dealt with.
After that, the politicians and security experts can meet so they can hear each other. My only fear is that security experts tend to talk in billions of Naira and that can be scary. Not all security challenges require money to solve; a lot of them just require brain work and local collaborations.
“The third is to employ the power of public enlightenment. One can use the tool of public enlightenment to stop deviant behaviours in any area of jurisdiction. I have in recent times had things to do with youths from different parts of this country and one thing I discovered is that nobody speaks to their mind, not the parents, not the schools, and unfortunately the faith-based organisations also fail in this regard. They emphasise product over process and discipline, and that is taking its toll. Most leaders are not even thinking in that line.
“The absence of good policy and sound governance, combine to add to the problem. The vacuum created is being filled by foreign influences that are often far from realities. So we have a responsibility to teach why they should not bring harm to themselves and cause society so much pain. The National/State orientation agencies should build more peacebuilding content.
“The fourth action should come before education. There is an urgent need to draw a national development plan, perhaps a four-year plan which would require the three tiers of government (federal, state, and local) running developmental projects in key sectors of national life, all at the same time. Some of these projects could be mechanised agriculture with added value. Where they produce rice for instance there should be rice mills to turn them into finished products for the markets. There could also be small-scale industries that can turn rice into flour, same for beans, yam, palm oil, tomatoes, ginger, groundnut, and cashew nuts. I do not see why we cannot produce chocolates from cocoa. You can also talk about road infrastructure, massive housing, and petroleum refining capacity amongst others.
“It is still inconceivable that we cannot have uninterrupted electricity supply despite the huge funds that annually goes into the sector.
“Fifthly, credit facility has become an imperative. Many Nigerians know what to do but do not have funds. Imagine what would happen where the three tiers of governments are running credit facility programs. When our governments talk economy they talk only about fiscal and monetary policies; they hardly talk about the productive economy. It is time we begin to do so. We must look at the sectors and see how we could populate them with investors. Manufacturing is the livewire of any country. The youths we produce from our institutions must have avenues for self-actualisation.
“The sixth is education. Nearly 60 years after independence we are still producing educated people and not trained manpower. It is time we know that education without skill is a disservice of the highest order. There is a need to change our curriculum and restructure our institutions of learning, beginning even from primary schools. We must help educate and train our youths. I don’t want to talk about political restructuring even though I find so much sense in it. I also don’t want to talk about the police institution even though I know that the police’s main problem is not about numbers or remunerations.
Yes, they are part of it but the bigger problem is the institution itself. The way it is today, recruits would always be forced to bend to a police culture we know has not helped this country. Above all, we need good citizens that will believe in dialogue all the time and not war”.