The aftermath of a car-bomb attack
The Nigerian criminal community has lost it’s innocence.Make no mistake about it.From kidnapping of school children to car-bomb attacks,nothing is ff-limits or sacrosanct.The government has yet to wrap it’s head around that fact.Nigeria is on a slippery slop:the simplest definition of a slippery slope is that,in a chain of related events,the hardest step to take is the first one.Once the first step has been taken,subsequent steps come easier.Government needs more than moral suasion to combat this scourge,profitably.The genie is already out of the bottle.We cannot hope to re-bottle it.Appealing to the sense of morality criminals works,only if they know that the alternatively is the sword.Because,certainly,these guys have no conscience.
Government needs to remember,that while the basic condition for humanity is a sense of fairness,the basic condition for society is security.People first came together as group,in an attempt to ward off predators; in the belief that society,through a sovereign,would provide them with protection,people forfeited their natural rights to self-defense.It follows that the primary duty of government,is the protection of life and property.When government is unable or unwilling to provide this service,society becomes nasty and brutish.A descent into the rule of the mob and vigilante disorder beacons.Government should not underestimate or discount the ability of the people to take the law into their own hands,in an attempt to re-claim their original rights of self-defense.
To tackle this problem,government needs a mix of police measures and social dynamics.One without the other would not work.First,the government immediately needs to boost it’s security capacity.The police,as it is presently constituted,is under-armed,under-equipped and under-motivated.They would struggle to deal with the depredations of semi-illiterate armed robbers,not to talk of internet-savvy graduate-criminals.We need a police force that can do the business,in a knowledge-based society,in the global village.This is the immediate step to be taken.Now
Second,government must take cognizance of the dynamics shaping our society,as it changes negatively.Government must address economic growth,by meeting the needs of it’s branches: education,health-care and infrastructure.This would promote economic growth and increased productivity.Government must address the need for a social safety-net,for those who are unavoidably unemployed.A measure of re-distribution is necessary to maximize the gains of increased productivity.The dehumanization of young people can only equip them for a life of enforcement.If they are outside the employ of the security services or the ruling political party,they would still employ these skills where ever they can.Regardless.
Government needs to fight corruption.We need to bring corruption to heel.As long as the “feeding frenzy” amongst politicians continues,an ethos of impunity and greed would would continue to be promoted.This is the basic propblem.Kids are growing up learning that society cares about only “success”;how you “succeed” is irrelevant.We need to punish criminal behaviour,regardless of the people involved.A society that rewards the meritorious rather than criminal or rent-seeking behaviour,will find itself ,by and large,making due progress.We should not be super-stitious,one plus one will always get you two.If we want a different result,we need to change the equation.