April 09, 2021

We are extremely concerned about deteriorating security situation in Nigeria -UK government

THE United Kingdom government says it is extremely concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria.“We are extremely concerned about the deteriorating security situation,” said Catriona Laing, British high commissioner to Nigeria, in a reception held to welcome home the 2019/2020 UK Chevening Scholarship beneficiaries in Abuja on Tuesday. While stating that the UK government was keen on supporting Nigeria win its fight against insecurity, Laing said her country had been helping the Nigerian military in the areas of training, campaign planning, and countering of IEDs.
“I mean, Nigeria is facing a lot of problems everywhere in the northeast, terrorism; in the northwest, banditry, kidnapping; in the middle belt, the farmers-herders conflict; in the south, the Niger Delta conflict everywhere. “And the secession movements in the south-east. So, Nigeria is really struggling. “Well, we are here to support and help. We have the military team here, who came here after the Chibok girls were kidnapped actually. We are still here, training the Nigerian military, helping them to do campaign planning, how to counter IEDs.”
She said the recent visit of the UK minister of armed forces to Nigeria showed the commitment of the UK government. “So, we are here for a long time. This is a Nigerian partnership. Your insecurity becomes our insecurity if we don’t help you tackle it. So, we are here and we are trying to do our best to support you,” she said. Commending the Chevening programme, Laing said it was an initiative of the UK government aimed at preparing future leaders who would not only excel in the academic sphere but also give back to their respective countries. She said Nigeria already had 1,300 Chevening alumni “currently occupying important positions in power” and providing the UK with both “access and influence.”.
The high commissioner’s statement came barely 24 hours after Nigerian Senate president Ahmad Lawan had claimed on social media that security in Nigeria was gradually improving.
Lawan had stated that more resources needed to be deployed to enable security operatives to deliver on their mandate.“The security situation is gradually improving and I am sure that when we have more resources to our security agencies, we will see an even faster recovery of our situation.”
The data
According to data obtained from the Nigeria Security Tracker, 115 civilians died from banditry, insurgency and inter-communal clashes, while 51 persons were kidnapped or abducted between March 21 and 27. Insecurity in Nigeria has worsened in recent times, from clashes between the Eastern Security Network and the military in the South-East to herders/farmers clashes in the South-West, as well as insurgency and banditry in the northern region of the country. In Kaduna State alone, more than 150 persons have been kidnapped in the state. Although some of them have been released, some are still languishing in the kidnappers’ dens.
Other northern states like Yobe, Adamawa, Zamfara, and Niger faced a recurrent violent crisis that led to the closure of some schools in the states earlier in February. A civil society organisation Amnesty International had lamented the ‘strings of attacks on schools in northern Nigeria, stating that security operatives were not doing enough to curb the trend. 
Much of the crisis is particularly perpetrated by Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, farmer/herders, secessionist groups, and others. Within the last seven months, Canada, United Kingdom, United States, and Australia have warned their citizens against travelling to Nigeria, citing insecurity and other crises.