Insecurity: Atiku, Other Nigerians Lambast Tinubu; Commodore George Says Time To Establish State police Is Now

By Lateef Adegbite

The battle line appears to have been drawn between Atiku Abubakar, a former Presidential Candidate during Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration and the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Candidate in the February 25, 2023, Presidential election and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a –one time governor of Lagos state . This time around, the battle line is not on the ballot box but on the later’s insensitivity in addressing the rising   security in the country and collapsing economy since he assumed office.

The former Nigerian Vice President, turned critic of the Tinubu’s Administration, who is not happy with the way he is  running the affairs of the country over the last eight months, has asked him ‘’to step aside if  he can’t  handle  the worsening insecurity  situation of the country. He was said to have lambasted the former Lagos state governor for leaving the country to Paris, Capital of France on a private visit when the state of the nation’s security challenges and the collapsing economy.

Atiku: Wants President Tinubu to step aside over his inability to address Nigerian worsening insecurity situation

An aggrieved Aiku, had made Nigerians to understand that Tinubu is playing fiddle while the country is drowning in the ocean of insecurity. He may have alluded to the several kidnapping cases in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, particular, killing of a nursing mother and grandmother for failing to pay a N90 million ransom   and the recent gunmen attack of Kwahaslalek   and two other Communities along Gindri road in Mangu local government area of Plateau state where over 150 people were said to have been killed.

 The killings of two traditional rulers by gunmen in the south western state of Ekiti when they were returning from a meeting in Irele-Ekiti on Monday, January 29, 24, may have emboldened Atiku to speak out against his arch political rival, President Tinubu. The former Nigerian Vice President was emphatic that ‘’the country needs a 24/7 Leadership to confront the pervasive insecurity and the country’s collapsing economy’’.

Bayo Onanuga, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy and other Aides of the President, may not have found Atiku and other Nigerians criticisms of Tinubu funny as they had said that the former Lagos state governor ’’ is on top of the security situation in the country’’. Onanuga, particular, was said to have told those that cares to listen that though, President Tinubu may be away in France on a private visit, but he is in constant touch with his the security chiefs and has directed them ‘’to stamp out every form of criminality in the country’’.

Lt. Gen. Lagabja: COAS

The Presidential Aide had said that since Tinubu came into office on May 29, 2023, with a promise to tackle the country’s insecurity, including the Jihadists in the north eastern states of Borno and Yobe, criminal militias in the north western region and the flare up of inter-communal violence in the north central states, he has never relented from doing so.

Given what the former Borno state governor is doing to fill the Leadership vacuum left behind by Tinubu who is currently on a private visit to Paris, France, may have  given Ikechukwu Isiguzoro, a Chieftain of Ohaneze  Ndigbo , the apex Igbo  socio-cultural  organisation, to call on Tinubu to  cut short  his visit to France and return back to Nigeria to confront squarely  ‘’the current security, economic  and other pressing  challenges  facing the country’’. 

The Ohaneze Ndigbo, chieftain who appears to have lost faith on Tinubu’s Presidency had said that the former Lagos state governor ought’’ to have transmitted power to Vice President Shettima, in accordance with the 1999 Constitution as amended, to be able to address the prevailing security challenges of the country which is getting worse on a daily basis in the different parts of the country. 

Reno Omokiri, a former Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan may have gauged the mood of Nigerians over the heightened insecurity situation of the country that he has asked the Nigerian President to short his trip to France and return because of the worrisome level of insecurity in the country.

Taoreed Lagbaja,  an Army Lt. General  and Chief of Army, COAS,  may have read the handwriting on the wall   that he has no reason  not to deliver on his mandate to keep the country safe because of President Tinubu’s confidence on him that  he has given a matching order to  the troops ‘’to adopt a more aggressive posture  and stamp out the  Insurgents operating in Borno, Yobe and Bandits   wreaking havoc  in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau  and other state of the Federation.

Many believe that that the troops may find it difficult to crush the hoodlums in Plateau state because of the security dynamics of the state which are complex   due to its political background   as well as cultural and economic sentiments.

Gunmen attack of Mangu Communities in Plateau state

 Notwithstanding the difficulty, Lt. Gen. Lagbaja, the COAS, had said that the troops have no reason not to deal decisively with the gunmen operating the violent turned Mangu Local government Area of the north central state of Plateau.

The COAS, directive may have given the troops, who were said to have been advised ‘’to comply with Rules of Engagement’’   and avoid sentiments in fighting the gunmen terrorizing Mangu communities in Plateau state last Saturday that they had recovered arms and ammunitions from the criminal elements, forcing them to flee as they could not stand the superior fire power of the troops.

Given the worrisome insecurity situation of the country in the recent may have informed Olabode George, a Nigerian AirForce Comodore, rtd, a chieftain of PDP, and former Chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s Administration who had vowed to relocate to the neighbouring West African country of Ghana if Tiinubu wins the February 25, 2023, Presidential election but still I n Nigeria, has dropped his opposition towards him.

Commodore George rtd: PDP Chieftain

As a prelude to getting the country out of the insecurity situation, the retired AirForce Commodore was said to have  appealed to the Nigerian President  who believes that it is his turn to rule the most populous African country  ‘’to invite  Yakubu Gowon, Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdusalami Abubakar, all retired Army Generals and former military  Heads of state  and other elders and military personnel , who at one point or the other had managed the security architecture of the country, particular, the old service chiefs, experience with age and all that, ‘’to help provide  input  to resolving the security challenges of the country’’.   

The Atona Odua of Yoruba Land, who fears that ‘’the country is at the precipice of total disintegration’’, had said that ‘’the time ‘’to establish state police is now’’.  The PDP chieftain who spoke on Wednesday, January 31, 2024,  during a Press Conference in Lagos , the nation’s Commercial nerve center,  as a concerned Nigerian, had said that the first step to take is to get military and other security agencies personnel, particular, officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force, NPF,  under the Leadership of Kayode Egbetokun, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, ‘’ train them and equip them with the necessary  arms and ammunition’’ to be able to crush the criminals and kidnappers terrorizing the country’’ with little or no resistance from them.

Commodore George, rtd, who could not hide his feelings had said that ‘’ too much grammar cannot help anymore because the Bandits, terrorists and kidnappers are everywhere doing what they best killing and kidnapping for ransom.  The retired Air Force Commodore, who could not his feelings was said to have made it clear to the former Lagos state governor that he has to act fast to save the country from the mess, stressing ‘’nobody is secured now in the country’’.  He had alluded to the two Monarchs that were killed recently by gunmen, alleged to be armed Fulani Herdsmen, in Ekiti state.He had said that the insecurity situation in the south west geopolitical region would have been worse if late Olarotimi Akeredolu, a former governor of Ondo state has not established, Amotokun, a local security outfit, urging the government ‘’to weaponise them’’.  Whether President Tinubu, would agree to arm the south west Local security recruits policing the region remain to be seen.  

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