The freedom from danger, care intimidation, apprehension, the feeling or assurance of safety, peace of mind or absence of fear, and the certainty or assurance of the good life or welfare – constitutes one of the fundamental objectives and indeed the foremost responsibility of every government and the state. In Nigeria, the constitution unequivocally spelt out as a fundamental objective and directive principle of state policy that “the security and welfare of the people (of Nigeria) shall be the primary purpose of government” (Section 14 (2) (b) Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999). Nigeria in recent times has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity. No wonder national security has become an issue for government, prompting huge allocation of the national budget to security. According to Azazi (2011), in order to check the crime rate in Nigeria, the federal government has embarked on criminalization of terrorism by passing the anti-terrorism Act in 2011, installation of computer-based Closed Circuit Television cameras (CCTV) in some parts of the country, enhancement of surveillance as well as investigation of criminal related offences, heightening of physical security measures around the country aimed at determining or disrupting potential attacks, strengthening of security agencies through the provision of security facilities and the development and broadcast of security tips in mass media. Despite these efforts, the level of insecurity in Nigeria is still high and the country has been consistently ranked low in the Global Peace Index (GPI, 2012), signifying poor state of insecurity in the country as indicated.
The term security has been used to mean protection against or safety from a future risk of severe deprivation, injury or death and requires rules, order and impartial adjudication and application. Security according to Achumba, Ighomereho & Akpo-Robaro (2013) refers to a situation that exists as a result of the establishment of measure for the protecting of persons, information and property against hostile persons, influences and actions. It is the existence of conditions within which people in a society can go about their normal daily activities without any threat to their lives or properties. It embraces all measures designed to protect and safeguard the citizenry and the resources of individuals, groups, businesses and the nation against sabotage or violent occurrence (Achumbo et al, 2013). Security is the protection against all forms of harm whether physical, economic or psychological. It is however argued that security may not be absence of threats or security issues but the ability to rise to the challenges posed by threats with expediency and expertise. Security cannot therefore exist without provision for national security. Aggressive and repressive states can be major sources of human insecurity and a greater source of human suffering.
National security is concerned about those governmental institutions that seek to ensure the physical protection and safety of their citizens, their equal access to the law and protection of from abuse. There are two sets of government systems and institutions concerned with national security. The first component consists of the traditional instruments of national security, namely: the criminal justice system (police, justice and correctional services/prisons) the military and the intelligence community. The second and more important, relates to the nature of governance, its institutions and rules, norms and values that underpin it – as well as the efficacy thereof (Thamos, 2008).