By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
An associate professor of Comparative Politics, University of Ilorin, Dr. Gbade Ojo, has stated that if a society is backward, it becomes difficult to fight crime and corruption, adding that the level of technological and economic developments have inverse relationships with security.
He made the disclosure recently while delivering a lecture on the topic tagged: “Security Challenges and Sustainable Peace: The Way Forward” at Oodua News Newspaper Lecture and Award Ceremony, which took place at the NUJ Press Centre, Iyaganku, Ibadan.
In his 11-page speech, Ojo said developed societies of the world fight insecurity with technology in contemporary times, stressing that insurgents, freedom fighters and miscreants have gone hi-tech to the extent that without technology, the state might be incapacitated in confronting them.
“One of the challenges faced by the security sector in the country is brazen corruption. Recently, the anti-corruption agency (EFCC) disclosed that they have uncovered $12.9 billion another arms deal fraud during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. The development has brought arms funds, which were diverted to other uses to $15 billion as the initial probe covered only $2.1 billion.”
“During the administration of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo too, an Inspector General of Police was arrested, tried and convicted of corruption charges. The concomitant effect of corruption on security sector is revealing itself.
“Nigeria is at cross-road in terms of security of lives and property. The citizenry both low and high now live in perpetual fear of the unknown. Much as night movement bears high risk, daylight attacks and mass killings seem to be bringing Nigeria’s post-colonial state to its knees.”
The don lamented the spate of armed robbery attacks, assassinations both political and criminal homicides, ethnic and religious conflicts with the latest addition of the Fulani herdsmen spreading like bush fire coupled with the seemingly helplessness of the security agencies to handle irredentist claims by the ‘Biafrans.’
He observed that the increasing number of unemployed Nigerians as a result of the financial crunch nationally seemed to have made the youths ready recruits for criminal activities, adding that the scenario of insecurity had been compounded by both Boko Haram insurgency and Fulani herdsmen saga coupled with rampant cases of kidnapping for money.
As an antidote against the security challenges in the country, Dr. Ojo, who is now the Chief of Staff to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, advocated additional recruitment of security personnel, while calling on the Federal Government to improve the current conditions of police stations and military barracks across the country.
“Furthermore, the media too are required to play positive roles by engaging in developmental journalism. In a plural and deeply divided society like Nigeria, the media should down play centrifugal tendencies to hasten the process of national integration. The media can do this without necessarily sacrificing their professional etiquettes,” he urged.