Tackling Insecurity In Nigeria : The Omodara's Kogi Example

Commander Jerry Omodara, State Security Adviser, Kogi State 

By Inyali Peter Since after the civil war between 1967 and 1970, Nigeria has never been confronted with security challenges like she has in the past two decades. From militancy, to Boko Haram, to banditry, farmers/herders crisis, armed robbery, kidnapping, cultism, etc. The country has lost great fortunes; lives and properties to insecurity. From mindless bombings of oil installations to killing of innocent Nigerians. That the country has survived all these goes to show why she is regarded as the giant of the black race. While the issue of militancy has gradually changed for the good in the last couple of years, there's unarguebly, a rise in banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and farmers/herders clashes. Nothing is threatening Nigeria's existence today as much as these issues. While other state governments have effectively collaborated with the federal government to address them in their respective states, others are struggling. One of the States which has come out as hero and leading light in effectively tackling thses challenges has been Kogi State under the leadership of the youthful Governor Yahaya Bello. The success, perhaps has been largely due to the fact that unlike many other states who play politics with security by saddling people with little or no security experience with the responsibility of providing the framework to fight the issues, Governor Bello went for an expert in security Commander Jerry Omodara. The appointment of Omodara as Kogi State Security Adviser has proven to be one of the best decisions take by the Bello administration. This is because when you juxtapose what the state experienced prior his appointment to what it's now, you will realized how much good a job, he and the government have done. Before the Bello's administration, the famous Lokoja/Abuja expressway was a criminal den and a death trap. Armed robbers operated at will. Kidnappers made the state their home and cultism almost became a norm. Farmers / herders clashes held sway. All these have become things of the past as the state, despite sharing boundaries with some of the hotbeds of banditry, kidnapping, farmers/herders crisis, etc is today regarded as one of the most peaceful in the country. In the last six months, no fewer than 8,00 people have been kidnapped by bandits. The fight between farmers and some criminal Herdsmen have been going on almost unabated. Political leaders of even the same parties have been trading words in very worrying tones. These developments especially in the past few days have intensified the call for the federal government and the affected states to carefully consider adopting the Omodara model in tackling the issues. One of the most effective ways of solving problems is to learn how people who have experienced similar situations were able to overcome them. What's happening across many states of the federation today is akin to what Kogi have dealt decisively with hence, it is very important that Omodara's strategic security plan is given a second look by the federal and affected state governments.

If Omodara provided the security advice that ended the Kogi surge, then he can provide a valuable advice on how some states in collaboration with the federal government can address this very disturbing issues.

One of the tricks to Kogi success story is that Omodara designed security masterplan that's suitable for his state by considering their culture, traditions, the people, level of literacy, topography, geographical locations and boundaries, etc. This may just be what other states need to do.
Instead of other states to wait and be playing blame games like some are doing, governments (federal and states) should see it as a necessity to understudy what Omodara and Governor Bello have done to humble the criminals in such a short time and adopt their style. Like other states, Kogi has no state police so the insinuations that state police would automatically wipe out criminals is unreasonable. Omodara, a widely traveled retired Naval officer is a security expert who holds a Certificate in National Security and Country Resilience from Galilee International Management Institute, Israel. What Nigeria is facing now is a serious issue that requires the help of the best in security and intelligence and Omodara has proven clearly that he can offer some valuable solutions. The federal government through the office of the National Security Adviser should draw Omodara closer to tap from his wealth of experience and possible, given more responsibility to replicate his model in some of the affected states. Also, as a matter of urgency, a security summit for all the state security advisers across the states should be organized by the federal government with Omodara and other security experts in the country as facilitators. Security has gone beyond guns and bullets hence, state security policy makers need to be exposed to modern technology-based security intelligence Until Nigeria begin to appreciate what they have and look inwards for solutions to some of these problems, nothing would really change.
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