Insecurity and Under Development as Siamese Twins of Nigerian State, By Jauhar S. Salihu
Nigeria is the most populous black nation in the world with diverse historical, political, economic, social and contemporary experiences. Attempting to use this yardstick as a unit of discussion will therefore have its drawbacks.
To arrive at a purposeful and relevant security policy, one must among other things reasonably identify one’s purpose, or clearly define the interest to be protected; appraise the opposition or danger to the interest(s); and fashion appropriate strategies for discouraging, resisting or destroying the threat being expected.
The strategy formulated must take into account the resources available and be able to positively reconcile the ends with the means. Eva Garzouni (Economic Growth and Development: “The Less Developed Countries) argued that the major objective of any nation is the full utilisation of all its human and material resources in order to increase its real output and thus improve its standard of living.
This is very correct, whether it was Plato’s enlightened despot or Aristotle’s constitutional ruler, or Machiaveli’s Prince or Marx’s proletariat, the maximum welfare of the greater number of people remains, in theory, the main objective of state policy.
Standard of living must begin and be founded on the provision of the most basic needs of man – food, clothing, health, housing among others. These basic human and national needs constitute the most primary type of security and their provision and protection must also form the first line of any viable defence policy system.
Any society that has not completely or adequately taken care of these primary concerns and seeks to move its defense to another level would be putting in place a dis-articulated system and cannot really be secured. Nigeria has adopted an entirely military approach to its security problems.
Arms have been pouring into the country at a rate faster than any other countries in the world: militarism is on the increase. These do not address the problem therefore not surprisingly insecurity and instability are on the increase.
Nigeria’s defence strategy must face the crisis of nation building and leadership. It must formulate strategy to harness its human resources to build more co-operation between the leadership and the people. Nigerian people are alienated and apathetic and so difficult to mobilise.
People must be made to believe that there are reasons and profit in belonging to a state and that would mean having to provide more social amenities such as better education better health services, cheaper food, adequate water supply among others. That obviously means more expenditure on the social sector than on defence and other assumed growth areas.
While concluding, I still reiterates that Nigeria’s crisis of insecurity and instability cannot be separated from her problem of underdevelopment and vice versa. In other words, for Nigeria security means development and development means security.
Jauhar writes from Abuja