Senator Ali Ndume (APC-Borno South) has expressed worry over the increase in criminal activities, adding that security and welfare are threatened in Nigeria.
Speaking at a press briefing on Saturday, Ndume said Nigerians and government are still not taking the security situation seriously.
He called on citizens and government to match faith with action on ensuring an urgent improvement in the security situation.
Ndume, who said the country is on a dangerous “brink”, stressed that citizens still trivialise, tribalise or give the situation religious colouration.
He said: “The fundamental thing that keeps the country going is security and welfare of the citizens. That’s why our constitution clearly states that the purpose of government is security and welfare of the citizens. You know these two key things are now under threat in Nigeria.
“At the beginning, it started like a joke, staring from small stealing and all that. That culminated into armed robbery. In the early 70s in this country, you hardly hear of armed robbery. I remember when we were in secondary school. One of the first armed robbers that was executed at the beach in Lagos was Oyenusi; they call him ‘rob and kill’. Over 30,000 people gathered at the beach to watch his execution with his colleagues. The next one that was famous was that of Anini. But other than that, before today, armed robbery was a small crime in Nigeria.
“You see people involved in banditry, kidnapping, and of course, the insurgency that has bedevilled the north-east for the past 11 years now, to the extent that in Maiduguri now, once it’s 5 o’clock, you cannot go in or come out of Maiduguri. From all angles. By 10 o’clock, Maiduguri is shut down. You can’t go anywhere. In fact, this is even an improved situation.
“We hear of kidnapping, banditry, and all sorts of crime these days. The nation is at the brink of collapse. The unfortunate thing is that Nigerians, from top to bottom, still trivialise, tribalise or give the situation religious colouration, and we’re now in this sorry state.”