President Muhammadu Buhari must have had his ears full with the cacophony of voices on the failure of his administration to arrest the problem of insecurity across the country. In the past two weeks, the voices of anger against his government over insecurity across the country have reached an all-time high.
From the National Assembly to the Northern Elders’ Forum, the Arewa Consultative Forum to the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere to the common man on the streets, Buhari has been buffeted with calls to act and arrest the insecurity that is pervading the entire Nigerian landscape.
Only last week, the Senate for the third time this year, passed a resolution asking the president to sack the Service Chiefs, who have been on their seats since 2015. The Senate passed the resolution following worries over the worsening state of insecurity in the country.
The Senate had passed similar resolutions in February and June this year. Nothing happened! Rather, the president keeps meeting and mandating the Service Chiefs to arrest the spate of insecurity across the country.
But the point remains that nothing has changed. Instead, the country continues to move deeper into the labyrinth of insecurity every day. Two weeks ago, over 40 farmers were murdered in Borno, even though the figures from other global bodies pointed at a higher number. The government maintained that only 43 farmers were killed.
Like every Nigerian, we are not worried by the dance with figures. We are not worried by either 43 or 110 people killed. Rather, we are disturbed by the audacity the seeming ineffectiveness of the military in the battle has given to the insurgents.
That a leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau, who was alleged to have been killed multiple times by the same military, could come out and make claims on the number of people killed rankles the most. Yet, the spokespersons of the presidency and even the Federal Government still have the face to come and speak on the numbers.
We dare to submit unequivocally that the Buhari administration has failed in tackling the worsening insecurity in the country. We believe that no matter how colourful or sentimental the government and its agents might want to paint the pictures, the facts speak for themselves.
While Nigerians were outraged by the killings in Borno, there were also killings in other parts of the country. In Kaduna, Katsina, Edo and other states, the situation remains the same.
What is different is the scale of the killings. But what is not in doubt is that insecurity is holding Nigeria by the jugular. During its resolution, the Senate asked the President to take immediate steps to restruc ture, remodel and revamp the country’s entire security architecture and provide enough state-of-the-art weapons and equipment to effectively combat the insurgents.
It also asked the President to initiate probes into widespread allegations of corruption and leakages within the security structure, as well as recruit at least 10,000 Civilian JTF, versatile with the local terrain in Borno as Agro-Rangers under the aegis of the NCDSC to complement the efforts of the Nigerian Armed Forces. But what followed the Senate resolution was the usual diatribe and stonewalling from the executive arm of government.
While Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said the prerogative of firing the Service Chiefs lay with Buhari solely, Lai Mohammed, the Information and Culture Minister claimed that major world powers were denying Nigeria weapons to fight the insurgency.
According to Mohammed, “Certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons. “For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.”
While we sympathise with the government on the predicament with world powers, we, however, insist that those are not enough excuses for the anarchy Nigeria is descending into. We are aware that during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, he had also encountered the same difficulty with world powers.
At that time, none of the key actors of today took his claims seriously. Jonathan was dismissed as an incompetent president. Hence, Buhari, a retired Army General, was brought in to stem the tide of insecurity, among others.
We are not in any doubt that Nigeria is more threatened today by insecurity than it was pre-2015. That leaves the question of how much Buhari has achieved since his assumption of office in this area.
We do not want to align with the positions of hardliners, who are asking the president to resign. Already, the army hierarchy is flying the kite of some instigation of military coups. We do not believe in that either.
But that is by no way a means of exonerating Buhari from the responsibilities on his shoulders, which he has not effectively discharged. We expect that the president should, for once, rise up and put his critics to shame by listening to the calls from all over the country to rejig the security architecture and put a new life into the fight.
That is because we believe that the president and his foot soldiers are the only people who are still sounding optimistic about the situation in the country. Other Nigerians are worried. That is why we call on President Buhari to save the country from the looming anarchy.