Modern military technology recommended to end Nigeria’s escalating security challenges
Nigeria is currently plagued by various criminal activities perpetrated by terrorists, killer ranchers, kidnappers and cultists. Attacks once common in the north of the country are gradually creeping south, with institutional and governmental structures seemingly powerless to stem them.
Kidnappings for ransom are on the rise, and terrorists are rampaging through helpless villagers in coordinated attacks that leave many in mourning. In recent years, Nigeria has recorded bombings and kidnappings, with victims paying huge sums as ransoms in naira and foreign currency.
In 2009, Boko Haram terrorist group and soldiers clashed resulting in heavy casualties between July 26 and July 29, 2009. The attacks occurred in four different locations, namely Bauchi, Bauchi State, Maiduguri , Borno State, Potiskum, Yobe State and Wudil. , Kano State. The clashes reportedly marked the start of violent attacks by insurgents in Nigeria.
In recent years, the country has been plagued by senseless bloodshed perpetrated by insurgents and, strangely, “unknown gunmen”. Many villagers were left homeless, requiring emergency camps for displaced people.
Most recently, on March 28, 2022, a Nigeria Railway Corporation train bound for Kaduna State from Abuja was attacked at Katari, Kaduna State with 168 passengers abducted while eight passengers died during the coordinated attacks. The kidnappers used explosives. After the attack, the kidnappers release the hostages in batches upon payment of a ransom.
Similarly, gunmen killed a pregnant woman, Harira Jibrin and her four children at Isulo in Orumba North Local Government Area of Anambra State on May 26, 2022. The attack also claimed lives to six other people.
On June 5, a shooting and bombing took place at a Catholic church in Owo, Ondo State. The incident claimed the lives of more than 40 worshippers, including children and women.
On July 5, 2022, the medium security detention center in Kuje, Abuja was attacked and the detainees were released.
One militant group, Islamic State’s West Africa Province, claimed responsibility for the attack it carried out to free some of its jailed fighters.
In July, terrorists also ambushed the presidential vanguard team in Dutsinma, Katsina State, injuring two security men in a daring attack.
However, despite the abysmal level of security in Nigeria, GlobalFirepower, a statistics-based site that monitors defence-related information around the world, ranked the country’s military 35th in the world and fourth in Africa.
Despite these attacks, security experts have noted that countries are employing high-powered technological devices used to combat insecurity in order to achieve a better approach to defense and national security. Some of the devices they identify include drones, GPS tracking, gunshot detection, satellites, artificial intelligence, planes, tanks, computers, artillery, and CCTV, among others.
During his inauguration as Director General of the National Space Research and Development Agency, Dr. Halilu Shaba stressed the need to develop satellite technology in the country to combat the insecurity plaguing the country.
From his perspective on the matter, a security expert, Adamu Sagir, said that security was based on human intelligence and intelligence gathering through the use of technological devices capable of rescuing Nigeria from its challenges of current security.
He added that many states in the country have several forests which terrorists and other criminals use as hiding places to carry out their nefarious activities.
Sagir said, “Besides the army doesn’t have enough facilities, you can’t send a soldier to guard a forest and pay him N1000 for example. There is an obvious problem of underpayment of soldiers which 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 insecurity in the world had progressed, urging Nigeria to seek help in copying security models.
He added: “The military should now use drones to gather information in threatened states. We have heard that criminals are using premises for information to operate in all states. ”
The security expert added that if security guards used the equipment to gather accurate intelligence, they would be able to prevent attacks and combat them as they occur.
Furthermore, a security and safety consultant, Oladele Fajana, noted that before insecurity can be properly addressed in Nigeria, the military must understand the modi operandi of terrorist groups.
He said: “By now Nigeria should have abandoned the idea of confrontation and deploy technology such as drones to track down these groups. It 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 the technologies are deployed, it will significantly reduce the number of casualties on the side of the national army.
“How can a group carry out an attack in the Federal Capital Territory and leave without being apprehended? The military must engage the groups using the technological developments of the international communities.
“Look at the Abuja-Kaduna train bombings, 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 being used in the right way. The criminals communicate with the families of the victims by telephone. The NIN should be used as an advantage to track them.”
Fajana noted that indeed, while the army was doing its best right now, it was not enough.
He urged the military to no longer wait for places to be attacked by terrorists but to always get ahead of criminals by anticipating attacks with the help of modern security and safety devices.
A security consultant, John Eweliku, noted that apart from the usual approach used by the military, adopting the technology would create a paradigm shift and fill the insecurity-fighting vacuum the country is facing. 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 are CCTVs in many parts of the state and in the governor’s office; there is a control room 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 to other northern states such as Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto States and others, you will realize that there is a huge gap and job security.”
Eweliku noted that right down to oil pipelines across the country, trackers and CCTVs could be placed in strategic areas to monitor and send information to control rooms to know when criminals are vandalizing oil pipelines.
He said: “Another state that is doing well is Borno State. The state also used CCTVs to monitor the state. You will notice that the counterinsurgency war in the state is making a lot of progress.
Eweliku, however, said it was necessary to have a high maintenance culture if Nigeria was to use technology to fight crime. He also noted that the replacement culture was vital so that, in the immediate future, any defective technological device is replaced.
He added that without immersing himself in these two cultures, it would be almost impossible to register successes in the fight against insecurity.