Article written by Sunny Awazie from Umuahia Abja state.

You do not blame the Individual involved in criminal act, rather reproach should be placed at the door step of Society that produced the individual and created the environment that elicited his/her criminal idiosyncrasy ( Helder, Psychologist) .

The spate of insecurity in Nigeria is indeed worrisome. Like a smouldering inferno whose embers are continuously stocked, the insecurity in the country has assumed an octopoid dimension despite efforts by government and security agencies. Insecurity in Nigeria appears to be a norm and a reoccurring phenomenon that threatens the well-being of its citizens.

The causes of insecurity could be attributable to the menace of unemployment and poverty, elite exploitation of ethnicity and religious differences, corruption, weak security apparatus, porous borders, marginalization, and inequality in the country, bad governance and poor leadership.

The South-West of Nigeria is plagued by surge in kidnapping, extrajudicial killings, header-farmer conflicts and armed robbery. The South-East is a haven for secessionist agitation, attacks by unknown gun men, kidnapping and commercial crimes.

The South-South region is constantly threatened by militancy, kidnapping and environmental agitation.

The North-East and North-West are enmeshed in banditry, kidnapping and insurgency. Undoubtedly, insecurity had claimed unquantifiable loss of lives and properties.

The Kaduna train attack on 28th March, 2022 by terrorists, the attack on the convoy of president Mohammadu Buhari in Katsina State and the attack on troops of the 7 Guards Brigade which provides security for the presidential villa and Federal Capital Territory by suspected terrorists were indications that the pillars of the security architecture in Nigeria are rusty incapacitated, epileptic hence on the brink of its precipice .

The signing of the electoral act by the president on 25th February 2022 was a huge victory for democracy.

Moreso, the provision of electronic transmission of results in accordance with the procedure determined by I.N.E.C, to a large extend had restored confidence on the electorates.

Electorates are upbeat that the 2023 elections will be credible, free and fair. In the same vein, the assurances from I.N.E.C that every vote must count in the forthcoming elections also triggered the surge for Continuous Voters Registration and Permanent Voters Card, PVC collections.

Amidst the security challenges threatening the peace and stability of our dear nation, the question on everyone lips is ‘’How sacrosanct is the 2023 general elections? The 2023 general election is a huge project that should not be toyed with hence an enabling environment devoid of threats, molestation, thuggery and any form of insecurity must be handled.

Conversely, the 2023 election could be election of paradigm shift and a departure from the previous. For the first time, youths have expressed unprecedented desire to participate in the election and change the narratives. The Ekiti and Osun states elections were pointers to relatively credible election and offers hope ahead of 2023 polls.

Going forward, government, stake holders, security agencies concerned citizens and the electoral empire (INEC) should hit the ground running to ensure successful polls come 2023.Firstly, concerned authority should overhaul the epileptic security architecture saddled with responsibility of ensuring security of lives and properties of citizens.

Secondly, funds should be injected into appropriate security outfits to motivate security personnel for efficiency. Thirdly, the land borders which are vulnerable entry points for arms and ammunition should be strengthened and beefed up with uncompromising security personnel.

Conclusively, with sincerity of purpose, a mechanism and security strategies should be deployed to halt the activities of bandit, terrorist and unknown gun men.

The security of lives and properties of electorates and electoral empire must be guaranteed before, during and after the 2023 elections. And the time to do so is now.

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