By By Stephen Ubanna
Hakeem Baba – Ahmed, Spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum , NEF, is not a happy man. Baba-Ahmed’s source of unhappiness is the violent killings in different parts of the country. His worries was that President Muhammadu Buhari,, popular, PMB, a retired army General, do not seems to understand that Nigeria has a serious security challenge at hand that needed to fixed as quickly as possible.
He had alluded to what the Katsina state born Nigerian President had told former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2013, due to the rising insecurity in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe ,where the Islamic Fundamentalist Group , BokoHaram, founded by Abubakar Shekau, had laid siege. He was said to have told then President Jonathan that if he cannot fix the security challenge facing the country country, another person, referring to himself, can do it. His loyalists including the service Chiefs, both past and Present, had said that the retired General is Committed to solving the security challenges facing the country.
But an aggrieved NEF, spokesperson , who could not hide his feelings, would not agree with them. He would want to know the outcome of the Nigerian President’s Commitment to restoring peace in the country. Hear him: What is the result of all what he has been doing to restore peace in the country? According to him, we don’t see the results on the road when we travel, in our homes or the farms where the poor people go.
He lamented that the north, particular, has become a very dangerous region to lie because of the activities of the BokoHaram insurgents and the 2016 splinter Group, the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, which had become more dangerous that the original BokoHaram Group as they ambush and attack soldiers and military bases in the north east.
The situation in the north east states of of Borno and Yobe appears to have become more worrisome that Kashims Shettima, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigeria and a former governor of the troubled Bono state, and who is a diehard loyalist of Buhari, and ready to pay with his life may have had a rethink on their relationship , as he has become of the arch critics of PMB’s efforts in tackling the insecurity situation across the country, stressing that’’ his efforts are not good enough’’.
An aggrieved Shettima, who was said to have attracted the sharp tongue of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, from Lagos state , had accused him of castigating the Nigerian President as a member of the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP. He had told his Co-Senators that ‘’there is a need to assess the efforts of the Nigeria military in combating the insurgency in the north east state.
The former Borno state governor’s anger had confirmed what the TChadian soldiers, who are helping out Nigerian soldiers in the anti-Jihadist war that they cannot fight like them but only busy themselves in driving around with big cars, which may have informed why they cannot to really move fast in the battle field to crush the insurgents.
Even Babagana Zulum, a Professor, and governor of Borno state, expression when a delegation from the Presidency visited the state speaks volume. The Professor, had asked the delegation to take back a message to the Commander –In –Chief , C-In-C, to reconsider bringing back the South African Necessaries to participate in the Counter-insurgency war, which clearly shows his loss of Confidence on the Ibrahim Attahiru, a Lt .general and Chief of Army Staff and his soldiers that they cannot on their own win the war. But the COAS, had told those that cares to listen that they are Committed to winning the war at all costs.
Mohammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, a retired Brigadier General and the Sultan of Sokoto, may have further sent a message to the Nigerian President, to rejig his security network, as the Bandits operating in the north west Geo-political region ‘’are becoming more audacious and fast overrunning the northern parts of Nigeria’’.
The Sultan, who is the Spiritual Leader of millions of Muslims in Nigeria had had said that’’ the security system in the region has Completely Collapsed, which had made north the worst place in the country as at today’’. He lamented the killing of 76 people in a Community in the state in one day . He noted that the Bandits are no longer scared of security operatives on the streets ‘’ as they go around the villages , households and markets, with their AK 47, and nobody is challenging them’’.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he disclosed that ‘’they stop at the market, buy food items, pay and collect change, with their weapons openly displayed’’. These are facts, I know because I am at the centre of it’’, he had said. An aggrieved Sultan of Sokoto may have given his piece of mind to the retired army General and the service Chiefs that something needed to done to find a lasting solutions to the security challenge facing the country or’ ’Nigerians will find themselves soon in a situation where they could no longer sleep’’ , because of the activities of Bandits, insurgents and other Criminal gangs across the country.
In spite of people’s anger over the rising insecurity and killings in the country, that Baba-Ahmed, the NEF, Spokesperson , had described as’’a national pastime’’, he disclosed that people are dying more in the north than other parts of the country .
But Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, popular, Jagaban, and former governor of Lagos would not agree with Critics that Buhari does know the enormity of the country’s insecurity situation or working round the clock ‘’to fix it’’. The Buhari Loyalist, who has a Presidential ambition in the forthcoming 2023 general elections on the platform of the ruling APC, and who needed the support of the incumbent President had said that ‘’Nigerians will feel safer under Buhari’s government’’, insisting that’’ the country will overcome its security challenges’’.
The former Lagos state governor and the National Leader of the APC, recalled that in 2015, when the retired Army General, was first elected as an Executive President of Nigeria, he had promised to fix the country’s security challenges, the economy and the power sector.
Bukola Saraki, a former governor of Kwara state , and the immediate Senate President, may have hit the nail on the nail on the head when he said that Buhari had been overwhelmed by the insecurity situation of the country as he has no answer to it which he has not abandoned.
Many believe that PMB, may not have fulfilled his 2015 and 2019, electioneering Campaign promises, particular, fixing the insecurity Challenges facing the country because he had lost control of the country’s security , which may have informed why the country’s insecurity seems to have worsened in the recent time .
This may have informed why Olubumi Adetunnmbi , a Senator, Representing Ekiti North, on the platform of the APC, had asked the Politicians who may wish seek elective office in the 2023 , general elections to forget it for now, until the worsening security situation in the country has been fixed.
Adetunmbi, would want the politicians ‘’to suspend the issue of focus on 2023 but focus on how to salvage the country’’, urging the people who have the capacity, knowledge , vision and the solution to solve the insecurity problem to assist as the situation is getting out of control. The Ekiti state Senator believes that the PDP, Politicians are waiting in the wings ’’to use the country’s insecurity situation as a means of electioneering Campaign strategy of edging out the ruling APC, IN 2023’’.
As a prelude to fixing the insecurity Challenge in the country, the PMB, led APC, government has approved the establishment of the National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons, NCSALW, in the country. He was said to have appointed AM. Dikko a retired army Major General, from Katsina state, as the Pioneer Coordinator.
Zakariya Usman, Head, Strategic Communications, in the National Security Adviser, NSA’s office, said ‘’the decision to set up the NCSALW, is part of the ongoing restructuring of Nigeria’s security architecture’’, to effectively address the emerging threats and strengthen the regional mechanism for the control, prevention and regulation of SALW’’.
Abdulsalami Abubakar, a retired army General and a former military Head of State had said that there are over six million SALW, circulating in the country , twhich had fallen into wrong hands. The fallout was the result of over a decade of insurgency in the north east, human trafficking, organised Crime and insurrections in other parts of Nigeria.
The office of Bbaga Munguno, a retired Major General and the NSA, had said that the NCSALW, ‘’will be fulfilling the requirements of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Moratorium on Import and Export , manufacture of Light Weapons as well as the United Nations, UN, Plan of action to prevent , combat and eradicate illicit trade in SALW’’. Indeed, there is need for PMB to spread his security appointments to the country’s six Geo-political regions to give all Nigerians a sense of belonging.
Now that the Department of State Security, DSS, under the close watch of Yusuf Bichi, have concluded arrangements to clampdown on the agents of anarchy in various parts of the country, security experts would want the agency to work closely with the Service Chiefs and the Acting Inspector General of Police, IGP, to identify the Leaders and sponsors of the Bandits operating in the north west and the north central state of Niger including the sponsors of BokoHaram and ISWAP, insurgents,particular, to win the confidence of the other ethnic groups.
Matawale Bello, governor of Zamfara state may have gven a clue to where the sponsors of the Bandits, particular, live to fund them in their hide out in the bushes. The Zamfara , governor said they live in the cities. The DSS, personnel, may have to beam their searchlight on the major cities in the north to fish out these agents of anarchy and arrest them.
Taking the Campaign to the south east to fish out the Leaders sponsors the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOD and the members of Eastern Security Network, ESN, or the Omotekun Corps memebers, which is security network, formed in each of the six states of the south west Geopolitical region may further heighten the insecurity situation of the country.