GOVERNMENT AND THE MANAGEMENT OF SECURITY CHALLENGES IN NIGERIA

0
498

ABSTRACT

Security concerns have existed since time immemorial. But, the challenges have never been as readily manifested as they are presently. This is rather disconcerting. Moreso, because some of the security challenges and problems we encounter daily in the contemporary society are almost entirely unpredictable. Indeed, rapid growth and use of mechanical arts, applied science, and revolutionary dynamics of society apparently blend well with the desperate nature of the criminally minded to increase the spate of threats to life and property, a state which has assumed omnipresent and digital dimensions of crime in our society. The aim of this study is to examine Government and the Management of Security Challenges in Nigeria: a case of Akwa Ibom State (1999-2011). Governments, all over the world are accountable for the provision of security and well-being of their citizens through the use of instruments of state power, including defense and security agencies, backed-up by enabling laws. For instance, the 1999 Nigerian constitution outlines the role of government and relationship among levels of government in security management. During the period, Akwa Ibom State had suffered myriad of internal security challenges namely; kidnappings and hostage takings for monetary gains, murder and political assassinations, armed robberies, cult-related criminal activities and subversion. Others include illegal possession of fire arms, insurgency, economic sabotage, oil pipelines and NEPA installations vandalization, arson and fire outbreaks and boundary disputes. This work used descriptive statistics (including charts and tabular analysis) to analyze the role of government in security management. The study however, focused on security challenges arising from dereliction of statutory duties by police personnel due to poor salary, insufficient funding and equipping of security agencies with consequent high crime rates. This work adopted structural functionalist and levels 1, 2, 3 models as theoretical frameworks. The study recommends that government at all levels should motivate, approve good remuneration to security and law enforcement agents, properly fund and equip security agencies to boost their operational capabilities for effective protection of lives and property of the citizens.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study

From time immemorial, man has been pre-occupied with the problems of self-preservation and survival. In recent time, emphasis had shifted from the narrow individual security to collective security perspective provided under the constitution. All over the world, provision of security to guarantee welfare and rights of the citizenry have always been the statutory function of any responsible government which is achieved through the use of instruments and mechanism of state power which, include the use of defense forces and security agencies backed-up by enabling laws and the constitution.

In the same vein, Nigerian state and its component units have the primary duty to guarantee the welfare of their citizens. In carrying out this mandate, government usually evolve policies and programmes that are security-oriented for the enhancement of the protection of lives and property of citizens through which a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere for human activities can thrive.

Consequently, government receives demands from citizens of the state concerning a great variety of services related to, for example, law and order, defense and security (Agi, 2003:29). Nnoli (2006:7) postulates that security has become a big issue in Africa today because of the forms of carnage, brutality, pogrom and even genocide associated with incessant civil wars and other forms of violent conflicts on the continent.

            Security is a robust term used to describe all measures taken to discover, assess and contain threats from hostile intruders. It thus involves the protection of lives and property and the provision of a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere in which individuals can go about their lawful businesses (SSS Training Journal, 2005:28). In a narrow common sense and usage, security as a concept is similar to safety. Security means that something is not only secured, but has become secured (Eselbor, 2007: 102). This definition makes security a condition of protection against danger or loss.

Security in a more general sense, include activities involved in the protection of a country, property or persons against attack, danger, etc. There are internal and national levels of security. Internal security is concerned with issues of security interest occurring within a particular geographical location involving state and local governments whereas; National security on the other hand, is simply immunity from external threat to a country. National Security as a concept has undergone various perspectives from early times.

Me Namara (1968: 149) – former president of World Bank, also perceived National Security as:

In a modernized society, security means development; security is not military force, though it may involve it; security is not traditional military activity, though it encompasses it, security is not military hardware, though it may include it, security is development and without development there can be no security.