DANCING AROUND SECURITY SITUATION IN NIGERIA
Two reasons were responsible why Nigerians trooped out in their numbers to vote for Muhammadu Buhari as their President in 2015. First was Buhari’s firm promise to deal squarely with corruption that was eating deep into the economic fabric of the country.
The second was Buhari’s promise to confront headlong, the security problems facing the country, in particular, the Boko Haram insurgency that had almost brought Nigeria down on its knees.
Candidate Buhari then assured us that as an Army General now on the reserve list, he would personally be in the warfront to lead troops to combat Boko Haram and ensure that it was defeated it in a matter of weeks. We believed and trusted him, and gave him our votes. In 2019, we equally voted for him.
Five years down the line, however, Transparency International, the global body that monitors corruption perception index, returned a verdict of worsening corruption under the Buhari government.
Transparency International had in its latest report published in January, this year, ranked Nigeria 146th out of 180 countries indexed, and scored the country an abysmal 26% over 100. This means that in spite of all the noises made by the administration of fighting corruption, not much progress has been made.
If you doubt, or if you think that Transparency International is biased, simply look for something in any government office and you will be frustrated, unless you a play ball. If you are still in doubt, meet any of the politicians with pending cases in election petition tribunals or even the regular courts. They will tell you how judgements are obtained in the courts with the power of the purse.
We do not want to talk about our security men at various check points. Perhaps, Governor Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State would tell better. You will hear from him how soldiers on security check points in his state, instead of fighting Boko Haram, were busy collecting N1,000 from each motorist. Perhaps, Borno State may not be the only place where security men on check points extort money from motorists. It is all over the country.
Again, five years of fighting Boko Haram, we have not seen the end of the monster. Boko Haram has intensified its activities, even attacking military formations, killing soldiers and carting away their weapons and equipment, instead of the other way round. Many of the Chibok girls kidnapped since 2014, are still in captivity. So also is Leah Sharibu, held since 2018.
They now tell us that Boko Haram has teamed up with the Islamic State of West Africa (ISWA), to vent their spleen on Christians within their reach. They kidnap and kill aid workers. On Christmas day, 2019, they executed eleven Christians caught in their net. Two weeks ago, they also murdered a Christian cleric in Adamawa in cold blood, etc., etc
Apart from Boko Haram and ISWA, killer herdsmen are also on rampage. They destroy farmlands, burn down houses, kidnap and kill people, maim them, and rape their womenfolk in many states of the south and the middle belt.
In the Northwest, bandits terrorize the area almost on daily basis, and make every place uncomfortable. All over the country, every place is on fire, as a result of insecurity. Nobody moves about freely without fear of being kidnapped or even killed.
Yet, we have somebody the ball stops in his court, who had asked us to vote for him with the promise to squarely deal with these security problems, which we dutifully did. But rather than these problems abate, they have even increased, intensified.
The point Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was making, which we equally concur, is that instead of dancing around blaming the Service Chiefs for the worsening security situation in the country, we should locate where the problem is, and accordingly deal with it.
There is somebody who holds our mandate, who promised us that he would secure our lives and property, if we cast our votes for him. Since therefore, we have played our own part by voting for him, we should be able to invite the man and ask him what is happening? Why is he not delivering on his mandate, on the promise he made to us, of securing our lives and property.
The Service Chiefs did not sign any contract with us. It is President Muhammadu Buhari that signed contract with us. It is President Buhari that we voted for. He is the person who promised us protection of our lives and property, and not the Service Chiefs.
It is President Buhari that signed contract with the Service Chiefs. May be the Service Chiefs are doing exactly what the President had asked them to do, ie., allow the bandits to terrorize and kill us. Who knows?
In other words, instead of dancing around, blaming the Service Chiefs for failing to protect our lives and property, we should straightforwardly lay the blame on the feet of President Muhammadu Buhari. The National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, should summon the President to let him tell the nation what is responsible for this worsening security situation in the country. If the reason is because the situation has overwhelmed him, he should honourably throw in the towel.
It is only in Africa that people who failed in their duties, who are incompetent, do not resign. They will continue to hang on to power until something untoward happens, and they will be flushed out in a jiffy.