By Emmanuel Ekpe
Securing life and property is something nobody should hold with levity, especially government at all levels. Due to the established fact that the world has become a global village, any threat to peace in any part of the world is now a threat to peace all over the world, because, if the security situation is not urgently tackled, its escalation may affect areas that never envisaged that such could affect them. Nigeria has had its share of security challenges, especially in the Northern parts. That the country is still peaceful today is due to democracy which made it possible for the true representatives of the people to be at the helms of affairs.
We all should accept the fact that the insecurity challenges in Nigeria cannot be entirely blamed on the service chiefs. In my opinion, the service chiefs are doing incredibly well in combating insecurity in Nigeria. When I took the time to critically analyze the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, I realised that the current administration has done so well compared to the past administration. I remembered the frequency and severity of the attacks by both insurgents and bandits on the lives and properties of the Nigerian citizens back then, most of which their painful memories still linger in my heart. The terrorists had the upper hand because the service chiefs back then were very ineffective. But thanks to the sagacious decision of President Muhammadu Buhari in choosing the present security chiefs, insecurity in Nigeria is gradually being defeated. The president’s administration and the current service chiefs have been burdened with cleaning after the previous administrations’ mess.
Indubitably, the service chiefs aren’t magicians who would instantly make the evil of insecurity disappear. It’s a gradual process. Remember that they are faced with many security threats such as Boko Haram, Niger Delta Avengers and other clandestine forces who have the backing of both internal and external forces. What has made matters worse for the service chiefs is the fact that they have had to deal with many disgruntled elements sponsoring bandits and terrorists. Let’s not forget that even the country with the most powerful military in the world, the United States of America is still struggling to win the war against the Taliban due to the fact that there are unscrupulous elements sponsoring and protecting these jihadists.
Many have chosen to point out the so-called failures of the service chiefs, but in truth, the service chiefs have accomplished a lot. The Federal Capital Territory is now safe for everyone, also there is no Local Government under the control of the Boko Haram terrorists. The people of Zaria and their neighbors were saved from the threat of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, The Niger Delta Avengers have been properly checkmated and thus prevented from continuing their mindless attacks on Nigeria’s Oil infrastructures and foreign workers that would have led to the sabotage of the Nigerian economy. Boko Haram has been prevented from establishing enormous control of the Northern parts of the country just like the Al-Qaeda jihadists did in Western Asia.
Interestingly, we have had lots of recorded success in quenching the fire of insecurity in the country, due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s action in charging the heads of security agencies including the service chiefs not to tolerate the worsening security situations that were sprouting in different areas in the country.
As such, the country is relatively safe, devoid of rancour and friendly for investments. Though, the President still showed his extreme unhappiness about what is happening and he feels that even though the security agencies are doing their best, their best is not good enough for him and he wants an immediate reversal of the current trend.
The president understands the wild influences of corrupt mediocre that have turned to criminal elements and terrorist funders that aimed at destabilizing the country.
Let us also take note that the calls for the President to sack his service chiefs due to the insecurity challenges in Nigeria are driven by the witless efforts of nefarious individuals with what I term ‘anti-Nigerian military agitprop’. They know quite well that due to the immense efforts of the service chiefs have prevented the insecurity issues in Nigeria to proliferate beyond control. This is also part of the efforts by terrorists to dislodge the current chiefs who have so vehemently opposed their evil doings since the assumption of their respective offices. If we join the calls for the sack of the service chiefs, then we are inadvertently joining the cause of these terrorists.
Indeed, it is known that this administration came to power on the platform of three issues – fighting insecurity, overcoming our economic difficulties and dealing with the scourge of corruption. I can boldly say that, this administration as recorded monumental achievements that have touched these three issues. Both local and international experts have all rated President Muhammadu Buhari’s strategies at achieving such feat, a top notch, and they gave credence to these claims, especially in managing the security situations in the country.
But for a few a disgruntled elements, PMB has not perform very well to their own expectations. They so much think otherwise, and One would begin to wonder how President Buhari can solve all the problems, when we are winning the war against Boko Haram and its factions, they are busy arming bandits to destabilize another region, causing mayhem, and being a grievous menace to the nation.
I was very impressed when the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai relocated to the epicentre of the war earlier this year, where he decided to lead his soldiers and in battle against the terrorists lodged deep in the Sambisa forest and other parts of the region. This is a brave effort by the General, and it shows how devoted he is in carrying out the directive of the president in ensuring the protection of the lives and properties of the Nigerian citizens. With this, the Nigerian military was able to regain hold of the region, free a lot of innocent citizens kidnapped by the terrorists, and killed a lot of them. This brought back hope and raised the spirits and morale of the Nigerian army. The Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ekwe Ibas has also led his men in ensuring the safety of the Nigerian waters and the transformation of the Nigerian Navy into a formidable force. Let us also not forget Air Chief Marshal, Sadique Abubakar for his efforts in counterterrorism and increase in the number of aircraft which have been effectively used to combat insurgents from the skies.
The president knows how these obnoxious acts could distract the focused security forces, therefore, he has urged them not to be deterred, but to remain focus on their goal in the continuous fight.
The President has also told the heads of security agencies to justify their continuous stay in office as he expressed anger at their less than satisfactory performance so far and that he will no longer accept further escalation in insecurity in the country, which has led to protests.
I believe we should all agree with and support the president in his decision to carry on with his current service chiefs as he is well informed the military structure in Nigeria better than most of us and thus knows the right men for the job. The removal of the current service chiefs will only be to the advantage of the terrorists and the unscrupulous agents sponsoring them. Sacking the service chiefs is far from the solution. We all have to work together and tackle the underlying issues that have bred the demon of insecurity in Nigeria.
On this note, President Buhari has solicited for more time to be given to the service Chiefs and security agencies to do their Job to the letter.
Let’s give the service chiefs a chance just like Mr President as pleaded and we will all win the war together as a Nation.
Ekpe is a security expert and wrote from Abuja.