Many security problems in Nigeria are rooted in the perceived inequality in the country’s political space, high rate of poverty in the land, increasing spate of unemployment, inequitable distribution of national resources, corruption among top governmental officials, and poor management of communal conflicts by appropriate governmental institutions, among others.
These inadequacies of both the state and the people have continued to retard meaningful socio-economic development in the contemporary Nigerian State.
From my view, here are two (2) major security challenges that need to be tackled on a state level and in our wonderful state Ondo:
- Farmer-Herder Violence
The Middle Belt region of Nigeria has faced prolonged violent clashes between the predominantly Christian farmers and the mostly Muslim cattle herders. At the core of the conflicts are disputes over access and rights to land and water resources and rapid desertification which has changed the grazing patterns of cattle.
These clashes are not necessarily new, but since 2015, the disputes have become more frequent and violent which eventually extended to Ondo and Ekiti State between 2017 and 2018.
In 2018 and 2019 alone, more than 2,500 people were killed in such clashes – more than the number killed in the past few years combined. The conflict now claims an estimated six times more than the Boko Haram crisis. The dispute is being politicised and is stirring ethnic and religious tensions, which is very dangerous in a deeply divided country like Nigeria.
Therefore, every state in Nigeria must find inclusive and creative ways of addressing and de-escalating this complex conflict. This has revived my instincts to arriving at the skeptical modality which will proffer a long-lasting peace in our state as I assumed the office. Several security measures have been designed which will unfold as soon as I attain the helm of the state.
Kidnapping has been a serious issue bedeviling our Ondo State, hitherto known for its tranquil and peaceful environments, is now a hellhole for travelers and residents alike, many of whom have been victims of kidnappers and ritual killers.
In December 2018, a 13-day old baby was kidnapped from her family in the wee hours of the night by daredevil kidnappers without a trace after many days. Also, politicians and citizens have been paying a ransom to kidnappers, boosting a trade that has been outlawed by both the federal and state legislative institutions.
The rate of kidnapping is now on the increase, not only in Ondo State but also in some other states of the South-west. Four people were abducted by kidnappers along Akure-Owo Expressway. Among the kidnapped; Mr. Akinyemi was killed despite payment of a ransom to the kidnappers. Continuous perpetration of this evil baffles me a lot. Imagine a state with the rule of law and governed by leaders yet there are manifestations of conduct daily in our society. This problem among others is what I and my entire team would devise a long-lasting solution to curb the propagation of mischievous attitudes in our communities.