One of the major issues President-elect Bola Tinubu will have to contend with is the insecurity still ravaging a number of communities in Nigeria.
Tinubu, a former Lagos governor, will continue the battle President Muhammadu Buhari has been trying to win since his election eight years ago.
Though some say Buhari did his best to subdue terrorists and bandits, critics insist the co-founder of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, performed below par.
Not a few put money on the Katsina-born former Head of State to crush guerillas due to his background as a major general who took part in different wars.
During electioneering for the 2015 general elections, the APC specifically vowed to fix security, the economy, corruption, and unemployment, areas where it said the then government failed.
At campaign grounds and interviews, the President and party officials enjoined citizens to vote out ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and the People's Democratic Party, PDP, promising to solve the country’s problems.
The APC feasted on the April 14, 2014, kidnapping of 276 Chibok schoolgirls by Boko Haram, an incident that drew global outrage and knocks for the authorities.
Kashim Shettima, a serving senator and the incumbent governor of Borno State, where the attack happened, is the Vice President-elect.
In January 2023, the parents of the girls still in captivity wrote an open letter to the President to remind him of his promise to ensure their children’s freedom.
Under Buhari’s leadership, the nation witnessed the highest number of mass abductions, forcing the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN, to ask if insurgents had taken over.
In 2021 alone, terrorists kidnapped students from the Government Science College in Kagara, Niger State; 73 students from the Government Day Secondary School in Kaya, Zamfara State; and 300 schoolgirls from the Government Secondary School in Jangebe, Zamfara.
Also in 2021, 100 students of the Federal Government College in Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State, were taken. At least 11 female students are yet to be released; some have delivered babies.
Ahead of the May 29 inauguration, Tinubu’s supporters argue that he has the magic wand, judging by his efforts as Lagos helmsman from 1999 to 2007.
He established the Rapid Response Squad, or RRS, under the Lagos Police Command, which started out as “Operation Sweep” (comprising the army, navy, air force, and police) under Col. Buba Marwa’s rule.
But the majority of Nigerians, having endured killings, kidnappings, and invasions, are paying less attention to the past because they had their hopes dashed under Buhari.
Last week, it was revealed that the Islamic State’s West Africa Province, ISWAP, is preparing to use drones for attacks in Nigeria and other countries around the Lake Chad Basin, meaning that more trouble looms.
In a chat with the Daily Post on Sunday, a prominent security analyst, Kabiru Adamu, stressed that only the enforcement of “operational and financial accountability” will improve security.
The intelligence specialist noted that Tinubu had already released a 7-point manifesto titled “Renewed Hope,” which contained a detailed plan to tackle the challenge.
He believes work commenced with the President’s signing of Executive Order 14, which led to the establishment of the Transition Council chaired by the Secretary to the Government, Boss Mustapha.
The National Security Adviser, Babagana Mungono, heads the security sub-committee; the President-elect has two representatives (Governor Atiku Bagudu and banker Wale Edun).
“But beyond that 7-point plan and what the council is doing, I will strongly recommend ‘security sector governance, which the current government does not pay much attention to,” Adamu said.
He added: “Such is very important, especially in a democratic setting like ours." There must be accountability, which has two parts: operational and financial.
“Governance is a continuum, and the incoming government has promised to build on the good policies of the outgoing." Synergy between the executive and the legislature is also vital; we saw that in this dispensation.
“It is also commendable that the equipment repository has been improved." The Buhari government stopped using third parties; it is now a government-to-government purchase.
“You remember what happened during the Jonathan era when money transported to South Africa to buy equipment was intercepted and the whole thing became an embarrassment.
“The solution is accountability; security should be managed like projects." You should have metrics. If you appoint someone, you need to measure the person. There must be a penalty.
“Recall the attacks on the Owo church in Ondo, the Nigerian Defense Academy in Kaduna, the Kuje prison break in Abuja, and so on. No one has been punished. If you know any, you can tell me.
“This government has done a lot, but there’s still the specter of corruption in the sector. I’ll cite an instance: "Drones selling for N20 million each were purchased for N35 million.”
Noting that appointees would sit up if they knew punishment lay ahead, Adamu urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to focus on the security sector and block loopholes.
“If the people notice improved performance and see there are consequences for corruption, they will support the government." "That is not really happening right now,” the risk management expert observed.