In the latest consultation of the Federal Government to quell issues of insecurity in the country, especially in the highways, the presidency has announced plans adopted. They include, community policing, use of Drones, and installation of CCTVs on the highways. This was announced at the conclusion of the meeting that President Buhari had with South West Royal Fathers on Wednesday, 31st of July.
The recent rise in kidnappings and killings on the East West highways has escalated security concerns from Abuja–Kaduna highway, where bandits and gunmen have made it impossible for road users to ply the routes without fear and trembling.
The adoption of tech-based approach seems interesting since it’s quite different from the previous security measures adopted by the Government that have failed to yield fruitful results. The use of technology in combating crimes has been advocated by security Experts for long, so it sounds like a practical alternative when the FG disclosed that the police will be equipped with modern technology to tackle insecurity nationwide.
The community policing plan involves boosting the number of police through recruitment of personnel from their Local Governments of origin and stationing them there. This will bridge the gap of distrust between communities and security personnel since they have their own interest in their respective communities to protect.
However, the deployment of tech in various states faces some hindrances that the Federal Government is aware of. Concerning this, President Buhari said:
“I will be issuing some directives to the appropriate federal authorities to speedily approve licensing for States requesting the use of drones to monitor forests and other criminal hideouts.”
The plan to monitor highways among other places through CCTVs is to record happenings and activities in these places for security reviews. This technology disposition will likely accomplish two things:
- The CCTVs will record events of crime to expose those behind it for prosecution.
- The Drones coverage will alert the security agents in the events of attacks or plans to do so.
President Buhari explained that the military will continue to be used occasionally when the attack is overwhelming. He said:
“we will continue to bring in our military when needed to complement the work of the police, including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on temporary basis, and the use of Nigerian Airforce assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.”
Responses to this development seem to suggest that it’s what many have been expecting. However, others are skeptical that it is just another motivational speech that will never come to pass. Recall that the military was the first to announce a plan to use technology, drone precisely to fight insurgency. In February, the Nigerian Airforce unveiled the TSAIGUMI UAV, an indigenous developed Drone, for surveillance and intelligence gathering.
Months have gone by, and there is yet to be seen an improvement in the fight against insurgency as a result of the drone. The police have also shown the lack of capacity in the use modern tech gadgets, giving the impression that the personnel recruited from rural Local Governments Areas will find it harder to master the use of any gadget that the Government may deploy.
There is also concern about the Federal Government’s unwillingness to prosecute the perpetrators. Some citing instances where Miyetti Allah have taken responsibility for crimes and yet no one was arrested not to talk of prosecution. So there is perception of nepotism in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria that is casting doubt and disbelief on every step the Government is taking to restore peace.
While there is belief and skepticism, only time will tell if the recent approach to the security challenges in the country will restore people’s faith and trust in the government’s ability to protect life and property.