Safety and protection

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Returning to the theme of the role of displaced citizens who have been invited by the Nigerian government to return to their land of origin to get involved in nation building, one can only think about the personal safety of these people. Obviously, there are some relatively happy stories of folks who have relocated to Nigeria. These tales are frequently told, with the aim of incentivising many of us who have built lives elsewhere, to take chances and risk turning new pages in our lives. The other side of the things can be easily perceived in the information that is circulated on social media platforms in the looming election season.

In one television clip, a financial technocrat who is running for the presidency agreed with those who interviewed him, about the parlous state of security for individuals in the country at present. The discussion was not about the dangers of dealing with Boko Haram or Herdsmen. The issue at stake was the unfortunate current state of policing across the nation. There are not enough police officers to take care of the problems that could possibly arise, and those officers are not paid well enough to maintain focus on doing their jobs. One of the interviewers mentioned a notion which I was aware of many years ago – the fact that the motives of police and thieves seem to be indistinguishable from one another in that part of the world.

This is not to suggest that people don’t survive in that system. Obviously, there are millions of survivors who have come to terms with this precarious state of affairs. Is it fair to call on those who have learnt to live in more secure societies to throw caution to the winds, by investing their futures in such locations?

Looking at the much touted success stories of those who have landed on their feet in relocating, there are dark rumours about one person being blackmailed in the upper echelons of the system, due to unreliability of the bureaucracy around laws pertaining to eligibility for public office in the system.

Corruption thrives, even in nations with much more developed infrastructures. Why would anyone want to make their lives less secure than before?