This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Monday, April 10, 2017
ABUJA-KADUNA ROUTE SECURITY ARRANGEMENT IS FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL
ABUJA-KADUNA ROUTE SECURITY ARRANGEMENT
IS FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL
The Vice President,
Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday appraised the ongoing face-lifting exercise
at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and confirmed that 80% of
the refurbishing has been done.
agents virtually line up the road between Kaduna Airport and Kaduna town as
police vans are stationed almost at every kilometer thus making the road
absolutely impregnable. Added to this is the unassailable rail and road transportation
network put in place to move travelers from Kaduna to Abuja. Battle-ready and
fierce looking security agents and their vehicles can be seen every ten kilometers
of the road while surveillance helicopters hover in the air.
To date, there has not
been a single incident of robbery or kidnapping along Kaduna-Abuja road since
the commencement of this security arrangement. It will be recalled that this
same route was notorious for its lack of safety. It was a den of robbers and
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the Federal
Government (FG) for the water-tight security network which is now in place in
that axis. It is simply fantastic and sophisticated. Yet we are constrained to
describe it as cosmetic, bourgeois and a window-dressing rehearsal at best.
We must ask FG some pertinent
questions. Why did it take FG so long to wake up to its responsibility? Is this
security arrangement real or cosmetic? Is it for every rich or poor citizen or
for the capitalist compradour bourgeoisie? Does any poor Nigerian travel by air
within the country? Are we going to see more of this even in other parts of the
country or is it a case of ‘the more you look the less you see’?
MURIC commends the Inspector
General of Police and the heads of other security agencies for the civilized manner
their men treated travelers along the Kaduna-Abuja road during this period. No
vehicle was stopped on the highway. No motorist was asked to show his or her
particulars. Every traveler was given red carpet treatment.
This has prompted us
to ask: are these security agents who line up the Kaduna-Abuja route Nigerians
or are they seconded to the country from one of the advanced democracies of
Europe and the Americas? Or are they aliens from other planets?
The Nigerian system is fraudulent, exclusive and deceptive.
Why did we allow robberies and kidnappings on our roads when our security
agents are capable of making this type of arrangement? The basic responsibility
of government is to ensure the safety of lives and properties but the reverse
is the case in Nigeria. We are stupefied that this massive security network can
be put together in a matter of days.
We know it is all in
the interest of the rich and powerful. It is in the interest of the ministers,
senators and lawmakers who cannot land their jets in Abuja while the repair
work is still on. We are not deceived. How many poor Nigerians travel by air?
A state governor was recently reported to have more than
200 policemen around him alone. Some senators parade more than ten or fifteen
policemen. That is why the poor man has no policeman to protect him. The IG
should tell us how many senators have been kidnapped. How many lawmakers have
been subjected to trauma by hoodlums?
The answer is ‘none’ simply
because some powerful but selfish people have arrogated to themselves the
limited number of policemen that are available. They have perfected the theory
of the hegemony of the Nigerian political class by compartmentalizing Nigerians
into ‘those who should be protected’ and ‘those who should not be protected’. Who
allowed such frivolous luxury at the expense of the rest of us? Why should so
many policemen surround a tiny cabal? Is it because they are powerful
politicians? But should the rest of us continue to live in fear, abandoned to
Nigeria had 310,177
policemen with about 33,000 in the Department of State Security before Buhari
came on board. Mr. President found this inadequate and an additional 10,000
policemen were recruited. This is commendable but it still falls short of the United
Nation’s recommendation of a minimum of one policeman to every 448 citizens (police/citizen
With our current population
of 193 million citizens as at January 2017, Nigeria has fallen below the 2007
rating of police/country population ratio of 1.538. Buhari’s target must be
this global best practice of ratio 1.448. Nigeria needs to add at least another
100,000 policemen before the end of 2018 if we are going to take security very
seriously. Buhari must ensure that this becomes a fait accompli.
President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the change mantra to manifest in the area
of security. Nigeria’s security is presently for the rich and powerful. The
poor are helpless. They are not safe. They are denied protection. They are
denied justice. They are attacked by robbers in their homes and kidnapped when
they dare to go outside. They are harassed by security agents on the roads. Buhari
must put a stop to this.
Finally, we demand a
replica (or something akin to it) of the Kaduna-Abuja route security scenario
everywhere in Nigeria. Mr. President must direct the IG to withdraw excess
policemen from governors, senators, lawmakers and the rest of our oppressors
who have turned the poor into ordinary human shields. We the poor people of
this great country wish to feel the impact of Buhari’s change in the area of
security. We are not safe until this happens. Who feels it knows it.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)