Nigerian military personnel can be found on active deployment in no fewer than 30 states of the federation, tackling internal security threats that ordinarily should have been left to the police and paramilitary agencies to contain, a report said Wednesday.
SBM Intelligence, a strategic intelligence analysis firm, said the situation had taken an appalling toll on the overall capacity of the military, and explained the frequent clashes between soldiers and civilians.
The report also says that Nigeria has one of the lowest military-to-civilian ratio of nine personnel to every 10,000 people, a situation it said was alarming for the country’s security framework.
“The military involvement in security of almost every state in the country speaks to the sorry state of our policing and a failure of intelligence services,” the report said. “Police reforms are overdue and the APC government must now make good its promise to devolve policing to the local level.”
According to the report, Abia, Anambra, Bauchi, Edo, Imo, Kano, Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Oyo represented states “in which the military has been deployed to deal with organised crime”.
Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Gombe, Kaduna, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba and Zamfara represented states “in which the military has been deployed against a non-state actor which actively takes Nigerian lives or destroys government and private property”.
Adamawa, Borno and Yobe were said to be the states “in which the military deployed and in an ongoing battle to reclaim Nigerian territory or pacify reclaimed territory”.
Military personnel have not been deployed to Ebonyi, FCT, Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi and Sokoto in a security capacity within the last six months.
The report urged the government to make more use of intelligence than force in dealing with crises.
“Intelligence needs to be more surgical in its execution so that the security issues that require force to correct are rather prevented or arrested before they escalate,” it said.