Opinion

Insecurity: Away with El-Rufai’s incendiary idea

D evelopments in Nigeria’s security sector in recent times are frightening. With the criminal invasion of the runway of the Kaduna International Airport; the several barricades of many major roads in the country and the attacks on the rail transport sector, former President Olusegun Obasanjo rightly captured the current security situation in Nigeria as: “A situation where you are not safe on the road, you are not safe in the train, you are not safe at the airport”. I dare to add that even on the sea and in respective homes, Nigerians are equally not also safe.

This is enough to say that the insecurity in Nigeria is all-pervading. That the internal security of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has deteriorated to this alarming level where nobody is safe is pathetically disappointing given the scathing criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari and his co-travellers in All Progressives Congress (APC), against the former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration between 2013 and 2015.

In fact, Presidential Buhari, during his presidential campaigns, promised to end the security challenges posed by the Boko Haram insurgents in the Northeast within months if given the opportunity to serve as the president of Nigeria. Buhari flaunted his credentials as an army general; and Nigerians who craved an immediate end to terrorism believed Buhari. However, events have proved that Nigerians were deceived by Buhari and APC. In Buhari’s handling of the security challenges in the country, Nigerians are yet to see and feel the “army general” in President Muhammadu Buhari. Admittedly, the security challenges of Nigeria began before Buhari’s administration, but security experts, public affairs analysts and even ordinary citizens of Nigeria attest that the security situation deteriorated to its present extreme point under the Buhari administration due to gross mismanagement of the security sector by the self-same President Buhari and his officials.

With the religious and cultural undertone of the security challenges in the country, it was tactically wrong for President Buhari to concentrate the management of the security apparatchiks of the country on one section of the country for the greater part of his administration. It was also counterproductive for President Buhari to ignore the concerns raised by well-meaning Nigerians over this anomaly especially in the face of the continued deterioration of the security challenges of the country. To reward the non-performing Service Chiefs with the rare privilege of “extension of service year” amounted to official promotion of mediocrity.

Common sense shows that if a security chief knows that the security of the job lies in his/her performance, he/she would be bound to pursue excellence in his duties. In as much as one is not against the amnesty programme of the Federal Government for the Boko Haram insurgents in the North, President Buhari should have taken in the concerns of Nigerians over the management of the amnesty programme to prevent infiltration by pretending repentant insurgents. Nigerians were proved right by the many reported instances where the so-called repented and rehabilitated insurgents after reintegration into the society and even in the establishment were discovered to be active moles of the insurgents against the society and the establishment.

The obvious bias or partiality of the Buhari presidency and the Nigerian security agencies in the handling of security challenges across the country is another source of worry to concerned Nigerians. Condemnations have trailed the alleged preference of total martial approach to the exclusion of dialogue adopted by the Buhari presidency and the Nigerian security agencies in handling peaceful agitations for sovereignty by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as against the several open negotiations and financial “appeasements” made to insurgents and bandits in Northern Nigeria which seem to goad the criminals. Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State was said to have confessed to negotiating and giving funds to those he described as bandits from other countries.

Trending video clips of Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State and even President Buhari’s governor, Bello Masari, have been seen where the respective governors were allegedly negotiating and appeasing arm-bearing non-state actors with cash. So far, this contradictory dichotomy in the management of the nation’s security challenges has compounded the security situation in Nigeria.

In January 2022, the Federal Government announced that sponsors of Boko Haram have been found and would be prosecuted but the names of those sponsors were not mentioned. This cover-up of enemies of the state by the FG even when pick-pockets are always paraded before media platforms suggest the politicization of national security; and it is disheartening. Nigerians deserve to know the sponsors of the atrocious insurgency against the nation. Out of indignation, Governor el-Rufai has threatened to invite foreign mercenaries to protect Kaduna State if the FG fails to act fast. El-Rufai’s statement, while capturing Nigerians’

loss of confidence in Buhari’s handling of national security, is bound to create greater security problems for the nation. President Buhari is hereby charged to promptly arrest the security drift and not give room for the proliferation of the management of the nation’s security as suggested by el-Rufai because that suggestion is anarchic and will not augur well for the country.

 

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