Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sleeping With Both Eyes Open! By Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai

Sahara Reporters
2 September 2011

By Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai
Earlier this year, when this column stated that the Federal Government was spending over two billion naira every day (including weekends) on security without corresponding results, the State Security Service (SSS) made a fuss of arresting and detaining me for ‘incitement’ - a funny basis for infringement of a citizen's right indeed since the colonial era offence of sedition has been declared ultra vires our Constitution! But since that article was published, what has changed? Instead of an improvement, the security situation is evidently getting worse. Last week, the United Nations Headquarters in Abuja was attacked with a loss of over twenty lives. This week, an Eid ground was attacked in Jos, Plateau State, with the loss of about 50 lives and over 200 vehicles belonging to the worshipers burnt.

So for the second week in succession, this column is focusing not on policy analysis to further our debate on issues, but on yet another burning national issue: Insecurity. We also need to ask government why, despite the huge budgetary provisions for security – at the Federal, state and local government levels, most Nigerians are now forced to sleep with ‘both eyes open’ - assuming that unemployment, hunger and poverty will allow the majority to sleep at all. 

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