Nigeria has deployed no fewer than 640 soldiers to different peacekeeping missions in other countries despite the rising cases of insecurity across the country.
The figure was based on media reports on deployment between July 2021 and May 2022.
On July 21, 2021 the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retd.) said over 200 Nigerian soldiers were serving in the Economic Community For West Africa States mission in the Gambia.
Sixty-two soldiers and officers were also sent to Mali on a peacekeeping mission on December 3, 2021, while no fewer than 173 troops were deployed for peacekeeping mission to Guinea Bissau on April 21 , 2022.
Also, on April 30, 2022, the Nigerian Army sent a contingent of 205 troops to The Gambia on a peacekeeping mission
In a report released by SBM Intelligence, at least 2,085 persons were killed in Nigeria between October to December 2021 in violent incidents across the country, while a total of 10,366 died in 2021.
Also, between January and March 2022, at least 2,968 people were killed while another 1,484 were abducted, according to data released by the Nigeria Security Tracker.
The security operatives were not left out, as no fewer than 323 were killed by non-state actors between January and May 15, 2022.
Security experts, in separate interviews with our correspondent, bemoaned government’s deployment of security operatives to other countries while losing the battle against insecurity at home.
One of the experts, Ben Okezie, said those on peacekeeping missions should be recalled to fight insecurity in the country.
He said, “Nigeria has been on fire for over a decade now, a lot of civilians have died and security operatives are not left out. We have our own problems and our leaders are sending our security operatives out of the country, it doesn’t make sense. We should be getting help too.
“When Ghana had internal security issues they recalled their troops on foreign missions. All Nigerians on peacekeeping missions should be recalled to secure our nation. After that is done, we can afford to send them on different missions. We have no business helping to secure other countries when ours is not secured.”
Another security expert, Oladele Fajana, said with the state of insecurity in the country, Nigeria should be seeking for help, rather than deploying troops for peacekeeping missions.
“Normally, it is not advisable but because Nigeria is a member of different international organizations, we have to make contributions when there is a conflict anywhere in the world. But with the peculiarity of our case, we should not be doing that. We need those who are out there to come and help us because the situation is getting out of hand.
“Do we even have enough security operatives to secure the country? No, we still have a long way to go securing the country,” Fajana said. – Punch.