True, there is no nation without security challenges. As we have become accustomed to hearing in the last four years, it did not start with this administration. This and many other excuses are often used to justify failure. A country’s government is supposed to tackle problems and not trade blames and kick the can down the road.


If you have ever spent more than one night in police detention, you might have a glimpse into the agonising feeling of being abducted or kidnapped. I know that for children, one of the most dreaded comeuppances is to be grounded. For them, it is one of the worst feelings on earth.

So when you read or hear about people being kidnapped or abducted, you can barely imagine the psychological trauma of those victims.

To give you a clue into their pain, imagine a curfew imposed on a state or a city by the government without the sight of the dreaded weapons and stern faces of criminals breathing down your neck. It often feels like hell if it goes beyond just a couple of hours.

Sometimes, it is not necessarily because you even want to go out, but because you know that your freedom is restricted, the frustration is capable of driving you out of your mind.

It is often said that people do not appreciate the value of freedom until it’s taken away from them. It’s very easy for us to trivialise the state of insecurity in the country and play politics with it, like we often do with several other issues, but for a moment, imagine being in the hands of criminals as a victim. You are not going to drink the kind of water you like to drink nor eat your favourite meal hot.

This is not “Tales by the Moonlight”. It is the reality of several Nigerians at this very moment that you are reading this. Many Nigerian lives are in the hands of gunmen, due to no fault of theirs, but because our government is incapable of securing their lives.

True, there is no nation without security challenges. As we have become accustomed to hearing in the last four years, it did not start with this administration. This and many other excuses are often used to justify failure. A country’s government is supposed to tackle problems and not trade blames and kick the can down the road.

Seventeen people were abducted recently from a church in Kaduna State, and three others were kidnapped in Ondo State. Many others dotting the map of the country have also encountered similar troubles. And guess what? They were all kidnapped by the infamous “UNKNOWN GUNMEN.”

It is time for the government of Nigeria to take full responsibility of securing her citizens and ensuring their welfare as provided by the Constitution.


These are the stories we hear every day now. Our airwaves have become dominated by the stories of attacks here and there. Life, the most precious gift given to man, and freedom the second best thing, are no longer guaranteed in our country. Young women are forcefully abused, just because they are Nigerians, and their government lacks the power and the desire to protect them. This is sad.

Our roads are not safe, and neither are our homes. Criminals run free from north to south, east to west. All these are happening while some people who are in custody of taxpayers’ funds fold their arms. How can anyone possibly rationalise and appropriately interpret this irony?

If you step out of your house to travel, you are likely going to spend the whole of the journey praying. Any and everything on the road is a suspect, and fear torments you all through the trip. How could the government be so ineffective to the extent that citizens now have zero confidence in the system?

The things that have become normal in our society today are alien to working human societies. Law and order are two of the attributes of a working community. Once they are taken away, everything else is not guaranteed.

The Nigerian government must do more than try. It must do more than a media display of gallantry. The state must deploy all its resources to combat insecurity, and guarantee the safety of our country men and women.

The president of Nigeria must put his foot down to arrest, prosecute and appropriately punish those who are perpetrating this evil and their sponsors, regardless of their statuses and class affilitations in the society.

We know that there are perks for being in power, but we also know that there are responsibilities that come along with such perks. It is time for the government of Nigeria to take full responsibility of securing her citizens and ensuring their welfare as provided by the Constitution.

Mathias Baba Tsado is a former presidential aspirant and the convener of Hope Platform Initiative.