By Ray Morphy |
The sad news from Borno is trending worldwide. 43 young men buried with slit throats and decapitated heads! Young men who were at work to feed the nation wasted by men who neither farm nor toil!
Fathers are devastated. Other than the buried, the reports say between 43 to 110 were slaughtered and many women are missing! The reports indicate that they alerted the security forces, but alas, neither preventive nor proactive steps were taken, so today Nigeria is in the world news once again for the wrong reasons!
People are not safe anymore. The people to safeguard them are not up to it. Someone, somewhere is sleeping on duty and as a result, many are needlessly mourning. I will not join my friend and colleague Shehu Garba to blame the dead. I would rather blame those in office. O would rather ask, what did Shehu expect the villagers to do? Maybe they should lie down and starve to death. Farmers’ lives matter!
Farmers are more important than politicians, farmers are more important than journalists or administrators! Without farmers, everyone starves. This is why the basis of national security is food security! No food security, no national security.
And this is why the report of the villagers to the authorities should have been taken more seriously. More so, when there are reports that youths of that town had incurred the wrath of Boko Haram by acting patriotically in arresting and handing over a BH operative to the authorities!
I don’t even want to dwell in the leakage of information that allowed the info to filter back to BH that the villagers arrested one of their own. I do not even want to delve in the fact that other villagers from other villages will no longer cooperate with
the authorities! To allow that village to suffer alone because they helped the nation is a cross that is too heavy to bear. Whatever has happened to our national security apparatus?
What has happened to the well funded and well oiled machinery of national security architecture? Where has gone the capacity of our nation to mobilise military forces to guarantee its borders and to deter or successfully defend against physical threats including military aggression and attacks by non-state actors, such as terrorists!
For the avoidance of doubt, national security is the ability of a nation to preserve the nation’s physical integrity and territory; to maintain its economic relations with the rest of the world on reasonable terms; to preserve its nature, institution, and governance from disruption from outside; and to control its borders.
National security is an appropriate and aggressive blend of political resilience and maturity, human resources, economic structure and capacity, technological competence, industrial base and availability of natural resources and finally the military might.
National security is the measurable state of the capability of a nation to overcome the multi-dimensional threats to the apparent well-being of its people and its survival as a nation-state at any given time, by balancing all instruments of state policy through governance.
It may also be understood as a shared freedom from fear and want, and the freedom to live in dignity. It implies social and ecological health rather than the absence of risk. Although many countries prioritize dialogue, some are beginning to prioritise non-military action to tackle systemic drivers of insecurity, various forms of coercive power predominantly used, particularly military capabilities in the pursuit and establishment of security objectives of nations!
In practice, national security is associated primarily with managing physical threats and with the military capabilities mainly used for doing so. That is, national security is often understood as the capacity of a nation to mobilise security forces to guarantee its borders and to deter or successfully defend against physical threats including external aggression and attacks by non-state actors, such as terrorism. This is the major reason why most nations keep standing forces. Such a force is mobilized to quell any breaches of the wellbeing of peaceful citizens of a nation. Despite the high cost of maintaining large security forces, many nations still do so because of the centrality of such forces to a nation’s security!
For the security forces to be maintained at such a high cost without discernible benefit to the citizenry is not good enough. The funds allocated to the security agents alone can turn around many a sector
of the economy. This is why many Nigerians find the security gaffes galling and difficult to understand. The situation has reached such a state that many Nigerians are reading meanings into the inability of our famed security agents to contain and neutralize insecurity in the North East in particular and in Nigeria at large.
If this farmland attack is not contained and security of farmers restored, food will become even scarcer than it already is, thus worsening an already precarious hunger, poverty and insecurity across the nation! Indeed, farmers’ lives do matter much more than many think!
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