Crime Headline Nigeria Security Special Report

Gallantry of Nigeria security forces in fighting terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari inspects a guard of honour at the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day, National Arcade of the Three Arms Zone, Abuja. Photo: Tolani Alli

The socioeconomic and political developments of Nigeria have over the years been exposed to serious dangers and threats of daunting insecurity.

This has been occasioned by the upsurge of insurgency by Islamic extremist groups under the aegis of Boko Haram and dare-devil Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) as well as increasing banditry, kidnapping and other sundry criminal activities.

Spanning over one and a half decade, the northeastern part of Nigeria has been under siege of unprecedented dimensions leaving in its trail, thousands of people dead, and millions utterly displaced with properties of inestimable value massively destroyed.

At a point in time, about 20 local government areas of Borno and Yobe were under the total control of insurgent groups while the entire country was almost on the verge of being overrun by terrorists.

There was a time when frequent bomb blasts and explosions often directed at soft targets swept across the country with devastating effects, leaving behind rivers of tears, sorrow and blood.

In the wake of all these, worship centers across the country had become dreaded places for worshipers as threats of bomb explosions loomed, sending endless fears amongst all citizens.

(L) Onlookers gather a bomb blast carried out by the Boko Haram insurgents at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Nigeria on Christmas Day in 2011, where 41 people were reported dead and over 50 injured. Photo: AP.
(R) The Grand Mosque bomb blast by Boko Haram left over 120 people dead with hundreds of others wounded. Photo: France 24

Also saddening is the fact that at a point when the government was recording successes in decimating the once fierce Boko Haram menace, other waves of equally frightening hydra-headed monsters in the shades of banditry, kidnapping and ritual killings reared their ugly heads.

The viciousness with which these latest brands of bloodthirsty terror agents took the northwest of the country became overwhelming that the feat and joy of recapturing territories hitherto under the control of insurgents almost disappeared.

In spite of the fact that activities of terror groups have almost become a global phenomenon, taking enormous tolls on many countries including the so-called great powers with immense effects, in Nigeria, issues of insecurity are often political issues and the subject of mockery and smear campaigns by power seekers.

Efforts of security agencies to tackle insecurity

Notwithstanding these daunting challenges, the various security agencies have continued to maintain appreciable momentum ceaselessly taking the war right to the dens of the terrorists.

From operation Lafiya Dole, to operations Zaman Lafiya, Hadin Kai to Hadarin Daji among others, the country’s security agencies and their personnel have through different joint task forces continued to record massive successes in neutralising insurgents and massively destroying their hideouts.

Consequently, tens of thousands of high-profile terrorist commanders and their foot soldiers have continued to surrender en mass to the Nigerian troops and denounce terror acts along with their families.

Needless therefore to say that in spite of the dangers posed by the activities of insurgents and bandits operating from different parts of the country, men and women of the Armed forces, the police, NSCDC and other security outfits have continued to sacrifice their comfort and lives so that Nigerians may sleep without fear.

(L-R) President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN honouring Nigeria’s fallen heroes at the 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Abuja. Photo: Tolani Alli

Knowing full well that non-conventional warfares all over the world are usually unpredictable and difficult to subdue, Nigeria security operatives have continued to confront and record world-class successes that should be appreciated.

Hardly a day passes without reports of enormous breakthroughs by joint security forces in either arrests and, or killings of insurgents, bandits, gun runners, and other criminal elements in the society.

Underappreciation of efforts of security agents

Unfortunately, despite these daily successes, and the fact that officers and men of the Nigerian security agencies also lose their lives and suffer daunting injuries on a daily basis fighting to keep the country united and safe, their efforts are often underappreciated.

Read also; Bandits kill 7 NSCDC personel.

Rather, and in most cases, these gallant men and women are unfortunately vilified, maligned and ceaselessly accused of unfounded and baseless human rights violations.

Surprisingly, in this selective human rights protection apparently often hinged on politicisation of security issues, attacks on security personnel are hardly classified under human rights as if armed personnel does not have rights.

This is why the Media as strategic partners in national development and especially in peacebuilding, have the gigantic task of being socially responsible to society by being purveyors of truth and objectivity on matters of insecurity.

Apart from being sensational in their conduct, some media professionals often employ high-level sentiments and crass biases in the conduct of their journalism affairs when reporting insecurity, crimes and criminality.

Nigerians must realise that they are only able to go about their normal businesses irrespective of their locations, because security agencies and their operatives have chosen to remain permanently awake, including paying the supreme price.

For, as it is often said, those who decide to make enemies with their security agents, must be prepared to have criminals as their friends.

Read also; Evaluating gains of 2023 Armed Forces Remembrance Day

Writing by Musa Abdullahi of our Editorial Unit; Editing by Muzha Kucha