Security intelligence and Nigeria’s democracy

The modern society has grown so complex with knowledge acquisition and has acquired systems for continual data collation, such that, over the years, it has amassed a relative level of accuracy in interpreting and predicting events. The confidence level of security intelligence which is tested and grows over time has a huge impact on the emotional intelligence of the vast majority of the citizens. Nigeria, which happens to be the biggest black nation in the world, exudes the imagery for the black race. The nation state Nigeria has spent the last five decades grooming the various cadre of its security arms into a formidable network that can salvage the nation from threats and dangers of enemies of the state. However, sincere as the operations of the service men had been, it has failed to garner the momentum that win the hearts and support of Nigerians who they exist to protect.

From the onset, Nigerians have continually and consistently shown high distrust for the Nigeria Police. Averagely, an experience in a police will leave you in no doubt of why they should be avoided at all cost.

Corruption as a secret affair of compromised citizenship has had no need to wear mask in the case of the Nigeria Police. The uniform has become a uniform of dent, distrust and corruption. This is no personal opinion but the symbolism with which an average Nigerian depicts the Nigeria Police. Away from the Nigeria police who are the custodian of guaranteeing citizen internal security. The operations of the military across the three-armed units have been polarized by political sentiments. The military which serves to defend the nation’s glory, having tasted power over the era of military rule, is finding it much more difficult to operate within the boundaries of their duty sphere of protecting the nation’s interest from external aggression. The whole mix up of servicing security obligation and meddling with the object requiring protection has become the dilemma of our present reality.

Our security agencies should understand that as they amass hard and soft security intelligence, there exist the smart demands to integrate the emotional intelligence of citizens, so as to optimize the outcome of events. With our growing democracy, the current bulk of Nigerians are evolving in her orientation and disposition. The actions and reactions of the past cannot be relied upon to judge how events will unfold in the future of our dear country.Our political culture of ‘use and discard’ is undergoing a subliminal tilt and politicians who have crafted the act of using circumstantial, individual and organizational lacuna to their advantage should see beyond their nose, that winning today by hook or crook has dire consequences ahead.

The Edo State election drama is just a clue to the apathy and coldness that the ‘intelligence conflict’ can bring to the fore. The lack of trust between the people’s emotion and the security’s operations is a matter we must begin now to address while things are a bit mild on the center stage. Mark zuckerberg’s entry into Nigeria few weeks back without notice spelt out in plane, the level of intelligence available to those we rely upon to provide us with intel. History of terrorist coming into and going out of Nigeria un-noticed has not left our memory plate.

The use of security intelligence report in menial, lackadaisical and gratuitous circumstances has marred the emotional intellect of Nigerians. The average Nigerian’ response to real intelligence tip can best be imagined. We are threading on a very dangerous mine with no assurance of where it might ultimately lead us. But, one thing is certain, we are not on a comedy stage where we all go home filling it was a mere joke after all. The reality of the present day Nigeria, calls for proper deployment of the right psychology in dealing with the ‘civil’ society. We are now more aware than we’ve ever being, this fact cannot be taken for granted.

The obsessive tendencies of power wielders have left Nigeria more volatile by the day. We anchor on the delicate branch of our ethno-religious intolerance to fan the flame of violence. We are no longer a problem to ourselves alone, Nigerian has become a global interest and thus, we should see the picture when we are tempted to play ugly with matters of public interest. The onions now lies on the present government (cut across the three arms) to make Nigerians wear out it old retrogressive ideologies of the state and put up the change garment. Change, like a new doctrine, has to be appreciated and imbibed on a gradual progressive manner. Change can be difficult and most often does not meet with popular reception. The symptoms of citizen’s perception of governance are clearly seen in her policy and directional flow with government when the need arises.

We are a nascent democracy and much more is yet to be learnt before we achieve stability of flow in governance but, we must evolve with the people who have the biggest stake in the nation State. Democracy which is more about the people has derived more of its sustenance on the wings of the peoples’ demands and wishes. The questions of interest seem to be; Can Nigerians be more wrong than the Nigerian security? Can the Nigerian security be more attuned to protecting the people than the Political class that they call their Masters?

If over the years, many Nigerians have suffered victimization for providing relevant tips to security agencies, who in turn, used it against the information provider to protect the interest of the crime-lord. Then, the feeling is understandable that many Nigerians are not willing and ready to give cheap trust until all is done to earn it by will, and not by force or compulsion.

Alivionote is a public affairs commentator.