On securing the homeland: Inspiration from France

This is Monday. It’s three days after the attacks. 23 persons have been arrested, 104 under house arrest, in connection to the attacks.

Talk about getting results. Talk about speed and critical precision.

If we here get serious about our security and work at it like we mean business, terrorists would think a thousand times before they try to hit us. Because they’ll know there is no escaping.

This reminds me of the Boston bombings. President Obama stated very firmly, ‘we will find you’. And in a matter of few days, those responsible were found.

Can we also mean business like this? Can our president also say to terrorists and criminal minded people, ‘we will find you’ and it comes true?

YES. It’s a matter of small fixes here and there – fixes that won’t burn a hole in our treasury.
Upgrade our surveillance systems. Upgrade security at all our borders. Upgrade security agents via training and better equipments. Have a centralized, quick reference data base for citizens. Create security awareness for the public.

When our internal security structures are strong, smart and ready, we reduce the chances of being hit by criminals. And if we do get hit, we can confidently trace the villains and put them in their place very fast.

The Nigerian government needs to demonstrate that it has the monopoly of force in the country. I find it completely unacceptable that groups of people in the country were left to amass military grade weapons, as we saw the Delta militants and now Boko Haram doing. We saw the sort of weapons the militants gave up after the amnesty deal. Terrific things.

Failure of the government to maintain the monopoly of force has put us in a sorry situation where we are unable to effectively defend the lives of our citizens. Since the days of the Delta militants, Nigerian forces have not had rest as they have struggled to dislodge these anarchists. We have had about ten years of consistent shooting, first in the creeks of the Delta, and now in the northeast.

Who knows where else others are usurping the monopoly of force, and getting ready to strike? We just can’t wait till events happen and then react to them. Let’s be proactive. Do something about the border. Illegal immigrants are dangerous to us. They are undocumented and untraceable, especially in a clime where there is rampart illiteracy and poverty. It’s not news that a significant portion of Boko Haram members are illegal immigrants. That’s a lapse in border security. Where do these people get their weapons? Across the border.

How much is it going to cost us to empower our border states to secure the line for us, and design an efficient immigration process? How long might it take us to shut our borders in the case of an emergency, to prevent influx or escape of dangerous people? How many times have Boko Haram members escaped through the borders only to re-emerge with sinister motives?

Still on borders. We can also figure out how to cut off funding for these people. We can figure out how to disrupt the weapons black market. We can trace the money and weapons to their source and make sure those paths are permanently disabled.

How about our police? And immigration force? Is the military as strong and up-to-date as is necessary to deliver us security?

These are things we can measure. If we can measure them, then we can precisely fix them and give ourselves much needed peace.

God help our security agents who are at the war front, fighting to give us our peace. God help those ones drafting policies, making procurements, negotiating terms of alliance, etc… God help Nigeria. Seeing that nations like us are doing well against anarchists gives me hope that we’ll also rise up to the occasion and win.


About Johnson Boyede

Johnson Boyede, B.Sc in International Relations. He wrote 'Addressing terrorism in Nigeria and possible spill over into West Africa' for his Long Essay. He contributes scholarly writings to an open facebook group, 'League of Diplomats'. He agrees and runs with the opinion of Paul Romer that, "Knowledge is a non-rival nature and only partly excludable... In an open society, knowledge's non-rival nature means that a piece of new information can be used over and over again, by different people, in varying contexts and to make new things...one good piece of knowledge will live several lifetimes, undergo different iterations and be put to ever more unique purposes."
Aside | This entry was posted in Counter-terrorism, Policy, Security and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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