Nigeria It is currently plagued with various criminal activities perpetrated by terrorists, killer herders, kidnappers and cultists. The attacks that were once common in the northern part of the country are gradually infiltrating the southern parts and the institutional and governmental structures seem powerless to stop them.
Kidnapping-for-ransom is now on the rise, and terrorists loot defenseless villagers in coordinated attacks that leave many in mourning. In recent years, Nigeria has witnessed attacks and kidnappings in which the victims have paid large ransom sums in naira and foreign currencies.
In 2009, the terrorist group, Boko Haram and soldiers clashed and caused heavy casualties between July 26 and 29, 2009. The attacks occurred in four different locations, namely Bauchi, Bauchi State, Maiduguri, Bauchi State, Borno, Potiskum, Yobe State and Wudil. , Kano State. The clashes are believed to have marked the beginning of violent insurgent attacks in Nigeria.
In recent years, the country has been in the grip of senseless bloodshed perpetrated by insurgents and, bizarrely, ‘unknown gunmen’. Many villagers were left homeless, so emergency camps for internally displaced persons were needed.
Recently, on March 28, 2022, a Nigeria Railway Corporation train heading to Kaduna State from Abuja was attacked in Katari, Kaduna State, with 168 passengers kidnapped and eight passengers killed during the coordinated attacks. The hijackers used explosives. After the attack, the kidnappers release the hostages in batches upon payment of the ransom.
Similarly, on 26 May 2022, armed men killed a pregnant woman, Harira Jibrin, and her four children in Isulo, in the Orumba Norte local government area of Anambra state. The attack also claimed the lives of six other people.
On June 5, there was a mass shooting and shelling at a Catholic church, Owo, Ondo State. The incident claimed the lives of more than 40 worshipers, including children and women.
On July 5, 2022, the Medium Security Custody Facility, Kuje, Abuja, was attacked and the inmates were released.
One militant group, the West African Province of the Islamic State, has claimed responsibility for the attack it carried out to free some of its imprisoned fighters.
In July, terrorists also ambushed the presidential advance team in Dutsinma, Katsina state, wounding two security officers in a daring attack.
Yet despite the abysmal level of security in Nigeria, the statistics-based site that monitors defense-related information globally, GlobalFirepower, ranked the country’s military the 35th most powerful in the world and fourth in Africa.
Despite these attacks, security experts pointed out that countries employed high-powered advanced technological devices used to deal with insecurity to achieve a better approach to national defense and security. Some of the devices they identify include drones, GPS tracking, gunshot detection, satellites, Artificial Intelligence, planes, tanks, computers, artillery, and video surveillance, among others.
During his inauguration as Director General of the National Agency for Space Research and Development, Dr. Halilu Shaba insisted on the need to develop satellite technology in the country to curb the insecurity that plagues the country.
In his opinion on the matter, a security expert, Adamu Sagir, stated that security was based on human intelligence and intelligence gathering through the use of technological devices capable of rescuing Nigeria from its current security challenges.
He added that many states in the country have various forests that terrorists and other criminals use as hideouts to carry out their nefarious activities.
Sagir said: “Apart from the fact that the army does not have enough facilities, one cannot send a soldier to protect a forest and pay him N1000, for example. There is an obvious problem with underpaying soldiers that can be attributed to corruption. Unfortunately, there are defense budgets every year, but they are not used properly.
He noted that the fight against wars and the fight against global insecurity had advanced, and urged Nigeria to seek help in copying security models.
He added: “The military should already be using drones to collect intelligence in threatened states. We have heard that criminals use locals for information to operate in every state.”
The security expert added that if security officers were to use the equipment to gather accurate intelligence, they would be able to anticipate attacks and deal with them as they occur.
Furthermore, a safety and security consultant, Oladele Fajana, noted that before insecurity could be adequately addressed in Nigeria, the military had to understand the operational modes of terrorist groups.
He said: “By now, Nigeria should have abandoned the idea of confrontation and deployed technology like drones to track these groups. That is the only alternative technology that can be used today. Look at the number of soldiers that have been lost in the country in the fight against terrorism. If technologies are implemented, the number of casualties by the nation’s armed forces will be drastically reduced.
“How can a group carry out an attack in the Federal Capital Territory and get away without being apprehended? The armed forces must engage the groups using the technological developments of the international communities.
“Look at the attacks on the Abuja-Kaduna train, some of the victims are still in captivity. The government can deploy drones to track perpetrators and identify their locations. The National Identification Number is another technology that is not used in the correct way. The criminals communicate with the families of the victims through telephones. The NIN should be used as an advantage to track them down.”
Fajana pointed out that, in fact, if the military was doing everything it could at the moment, then it wasn’t enough.
He urged the military not to wait any longer until places are attacked by terrorists, but to always stay ahead of criminals by anticipating attacks by using modern devices for security.
A security consultant, John Eweliku, noted that in addition to the regular approach used by the military, the adoption of technology would create a paradigm shift and fill the gap in the fight against insecurity that the country had faced over the years. .
He said: “Look at the CCTV we see in supermarkets and shops, this is a technological device that can be crucial in reducing insecurity in Nigeria. In Kano state, there is CCTV in many areas of the state and in the governor’s office; there is a control room that they use to monitor events in the state. One can see the reduced crime rate in the state after the adoption of this technology.
“If you compare Kano state with other states in the north, such as Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and other states, you will realize that there is a big gap and security that works.”
Eweliku noted that as far as the country’s pipelines, trackers and CCTV could be placed in strategic areas to monitor and send information back to control rooms to know when criminals were vandalizing the pipelines.
He said: “Another state that is doing well is Borno state. The state has also made use of CCTV to monitor the state. You will notice that the war against the insurgency in the state is making great progress.
Eweliku, however, stated that there was a need for a high-maintenance culture if Nigeria was to use technology in the fight against crime. He also pointed out that the culture of replacement is vital so that any faulty technological devices are promptly replaced.
He added that without being imbued with these two cultures, it would be almost impossible to register successes in the fight against insecurity.