Still on Eastern Security Network – By Binzak Azeez

February 5, 2021
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The formation of Eastern Security Network (ESN) by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), has continued to stir legal and moral reactions. Indisputably, ESN outfit contravenes Nigeria’s constitution and other extant laws. On the other hand, the Nigerian government is also guilty of this gross infraction. Both Nnamdi Kanu and the government often operate outside the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The unending assault on the country’s grundnorm by the institution which has the onus to promote and protect it, has rendered Nigeria as a lawless state. This adoption of unguarded and discretionary norm in Nigeria’s political system therefore serves as a premise and justification for ESN.

Moreover, the proverb that two wrongs don’t make a right won’t be adequate to nail the formation of ESN in the country where terrorism, kidnapping, indiscriminate killings have become the new normal. Any national government that fails to protect its people through national security apparatus has created a lacuna for the latter to seek self-defense as an alternative to reliance on government security outfit.

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Besides self-preservation, any interest groups or individuals could exploit the absence of law and order in a country to promote their goals. Whether Nnamdi Kanu purposely launched ESN as an instrumentality to further actualize his long-term agitation for Biafra Republic, by waging war against Nigerian government, though contrary to his claim is another discourse.

What is visible to the blind and audible to the deaf is the state of anarchy in Nigeria. And Nnamdi Kanu has promised a safe haven to Easterners through ESN. Sooner than later, private security outfits and emergency freedom fighters would spring up in dimensions except the present lawlessness is arrested with alacrity.

Nigeria’s government could tackle the general insecurity menace through the establishment of state police. Likewise is the need for enactment and enforcement of the Forestry Laws in every state in tandem with the peculiarity of their geographical features to curb forestry offenses and regulate farmers and herders face-off.

Terrorism/insecurity is a global menace. It takes an ethnic colouration in Nigeria due to the existing fragile state of the Federation and the government’s failure to keep the country as one entity beyond the mechanism of cohesion. The government must create a feeling of belonging among the various people of the Federation through its policy. With this, every challenge would take a national outlook with a common way forward.

Binzak Azeez writes from the faculty of Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife

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