Blasphemy Protests: Averting Security Breaches
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
AREWA AGENDA – Incidents of extra-judicial killings, which also appear in the barbaric dimension of ‘jungle justice’ is not a new phenomenon in Nigeria. However, these kind of unwarranted acts have since reached an alarming rate, and thus continue to pose a serious threat to our existence as corporate entity.
Through these recklessness, many innocent lives have been cut short and sent to the greater beyond without recourse to legal frameworks.
In Nigeria of today, it is disturbing that suspected thieves are easily lynched and burnt alive by mob at the shout of ‘Ole.’ The same phenomenon happens to those who are also accused of being rituals, cultists or making blasphemous comments.
However, in most cases, some of these victims were just wrongly and or erroneously accused of perpetrating such act, thus, they will be able to get the kind of justice they deserve had it been they were referred to a court of competent jurisdiction for judicial proceedings.
The recent Sokoto incidents had just added to the long inventory of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria. It was gathered that, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, named Deborah Yakubu, has made a blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad SAW, of blessed memory.
It was reported, that her irate colleagues were quick to mobilize cohorts who lynched and equally set the victim ablaze.
Meanwhile, the Sokoto Police Command were very responsive on their part for the timely arrest of the lead perpetrators who have since been arraigned before the court for prosecution.
As we all know, Sokoto is the seat of Caliphate for Muslims in Nigeria, as it is the home base of the erstwhile Shehu Usmanu Bin Fodio who carried out ‘Jihad’ in some Nigerian States some hundred years ago. As a result, this unfortunate situation has nearly poses threat to the national security as violent protest erupted where the participants demanded the unconditional release of the arrested perpetrators from the police custody.
If not for the timely interventions of joint security forces from different agencies, the situation could have been worst as the mammoth crowd of protesters headed to the house of Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar Saad III, with a mission to register their anger.
In addition, the curfew also imposed by Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal was very apt, as it limits the movement of people and further reduces the risk of security breaches.
Meanwhile, it is pertinent to understand that, the Military presence in Sokoto in order to douse these tensions is not necessary as at now. Thus, the Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and other paramilitary agencies are enshrined to deal with these kinds of civil disorders.
Because, military are known to protect the territoial integrity of the country against activities of external forces and other non-state actors. Apart from that, the Nigerian Military (comprising of Army, Navy and the Air Force) is currently overstretched due to engagement in almost every state in the country including the capital city, Abuja.
This is not unconnected to the unprecedented rise in the level of insecurities that are currently bedeviling the country including, kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, sea piracy, oil theft and pipelines and vandalism, cybercrimes, cultism, rituals, separatists’s movement and host of others.
Notwithstanding, the presence of Military Intelligence on ground is very vital so as to gather and collect the necessary intelligence and information in order to stem the rising tides of security tensions in the state.
Again, the Department of State Service, DSS, another security agency which is famous for its track records of neutralizing security threats prior to their emergence through implementation of working proactive measures, should also channel more efforts to the security cause with regard to this happening in Sokoto and the Nigeria at large.
Nevertheless, we should not forget that, the Nigeria’s foremost military intelligence body, i.e. the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) is responsible for providing the much needed intelligence to the Armed Forces and Ministry of Defence.
Additionally, the agency coordinates and maintains synergy among the Armed forces of Nigeria comprising the trio of, Army, Navy and Air Force as well as the Police, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the Department of State Service (DSS).
Therefore, the DIA and other host of these security architectures should not relent in their efforts of ensuring continuous peaceful coexistence and harmony among citizens through surmounting the present security challenges.
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest