The Islamic insurgency perpetrated by the Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) groups in northern-eastern Nigeria over the years has been costly in terms of loss of lives, loss of livelihood, displacement of citizens, cost of military operations, loss of faith in government and governance and loss of face to the Nigerian state, to mention but a few.

While we grapple with this, we are further beset by an upsurge in criminal activity in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

This development also casts a dark shadow on the state of security in our country, Nigeria, as the state of the capital is an indicator of the general state of the nation.

Regarding the insurgency and spiralling crime, former chief of defence staff, General Lucky Irabor, quite hit the nail on the head while in office.

Irabor said: “National security in Nigeria is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach from all sectors of the society. The country has been grappling with various forms of insecurity in the past decade which include terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, communal clashes, oil theft, piracy, drug, and human trafficking, illegal unregulated and unreported fishing, and cyber crimes, amongst others.”

Irabor further said a new strategy to dealing with the insurgency had been drawn up and was being rolled out, as the application of sheer force alone was clearly not yielding the required result.

He advocated an “All of Society Approach”, comprising multi-sectoral and specialised efforts and involving all of society.

The administration of President Bola Tinubu confirmed it would follow on with this new strategy to the war against insurgency.

The approach involves the participation of the government, security agencies, civil organisations, religious leaders, traditional leaders, the press and the general public, it is said.

The military says it involves a non-kinetic approach by developing a policy framework and National Action Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAPPCVE).

They further attest that the Non-Kinetic military operations involve the use of psychological, diplomatic negotiations and economic sanctions to achieve military objectives.

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They add that it includes civil military operations, cyber warfare, covert intelligence operations and media operations, among others.

Key to the strategy is winning over the local communities under siege of the insurgents by emphathising and cooperating with them and providing for their needs, including in the provision of food, medication, potable water, as well as rendering training in enhanced farming methods and artisanal skills and carrying them along in the visioning for a stable society.

However, little is being heard of the follow-through of the said change of strategy to which the Federal Government, security and the military chiefs have made repeated commitments.

It is time for resolute and firm action as clearly, there is a downturn in the security situation in our nation.

A first step would be to call for a series of stakeholder meetings involving the Presidency, National Security Adviser, State Governors, Security and Service Chiefs, among others, to review the security situation, as well as the causes and possible solutions.

Following this, a strategy with stated deliverables should be mapped out and roles, resources and timelines assigned with progress reports, under the supervision of perhaps the National Security Adviser.

This should be accompanied by public sensitisation to instill confidence in the larger populace and enable evaluation, while the campaign progresses.

Regarding general crimes in Abuja and elsewhere, prevention strategies play a crucial role in maintaining law and order and promoting a peaceful society.

The effectiveness of technology applications in crime prevention and detection takes us back to the bungled $470m Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) project.

The Federal Government is advised to find a way to make this project work, as it has been proven to be a most effective tool in crime prevention and detection, it has been paid for and it has worked and continues to work in other countries where it has been deployed.