By Lateef Adegbite
President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General, appears to have bowed to pressure from well- meaning Nigerians including Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate’s advice to seek external support from other counties both within and outside the African Continent to restore peace in the country and chart a way forward without using Nigerians as victims.
The Nobel Laureate, who had initiated the call on the Katsina state born Nigerian President to seek foreign help to tackle the Nigeria security Challenges may have opened the door way for the Opposition People’s Democratic Party , PDP, chieftains, who have never seen anything good in this All Progressive Congress, APC, government , over the last five years to speak out.
Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy Senate President, who will never forget his experience in the hands of aggrieved Nigerians in Germany, had joined Soyinka to also ask the Buhari led APC, government ‘’to seek foreign help to fight the country’s insecurity challneges on Tuesday, April 27, 2021.
Bukola Saraki, a former Senate President , who had a frosty working relationship with the Nigerian President during his first term in office which was said to have worked against his re-election bid in the 201019, general election, was said to have told his erstwhile estranged enemy not to be ashamed to seek foreign help to tackle the insecurity challenges facing the country as he has been ‘’overwhelmed by it’’.
But Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, popular, the Jagaban, and national Leader of APC, who had visited the retired army General , recently, in the face of the rising insecurity in the country, says ‘’the situation requires serious evaluation and management’’. The tough –talking Jagaban may have Calmed because of what he has seen on ground, stressing that ‘’the Buhari Administration requires cooperation and understanding of Nigerians at this time to tackle the security challenges facing the country
He noted that , ‘’every nation will go through these curves and difficult times’’ but what matters was how the political, religious and Community Leaders, communicate problem to the people to make easier to bear.
This may have informed why he has asked Joe Biden, the North American country of the United States, US, President, ‘’ to consider relocating the Ccountry’s African Command , AFRICOM, from Suggart, in Germany, to Africa, where it could effectively support Nigeria in tackling its security challenges.
The Nigerian President was said to have made its feelings known on Tuesday, April 26, 2021, during a virtual meeting with Anthony Blinken, the US, Secretary of State. The Nigerian President had said that ‘’the support of an important and strategic partners, like the US, was actually needed in Nigeria now more than ever as the consequences of insecurity challenges in the country will affect all the neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon.
True to his words, it had spread to Cameroon, Niger and Chad, which was said to have caused the death of Idris Deby Itno, a Marshall and the country’s President, why Commanding troops in the northern region of the sahel country, to stop the rebels, armed with stolen weapons from the neighbouring Libya, from entering N’jamena, the country’s Capital.
He was said to have repeatedly demanded from the US government during the virtual talks with Blinken, the Sercretary of State that ‘’there is need for concerted Cooperation and collaboration of all nations to address the insecurity challenges of Nigeria’’.
His appeal may have struck the right chord as the US, Secretary of State had said that ‘’the security challenges in Nigeria remain of great concern to the country as it has impacted more negatively in the west and central African sub-regions, including the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions’’.
Security experts believe that AFRICOM, would make more positive impact on the Nigerian crisis because of its mandate to partner with other countries to Counter Transnational Threats if it is relocated to the African Continent instead of still stationing it in Europe.
The retired Nigerian army General,who could not hide his feelings had said that if the Command could be relocated to Africa, it would go a long way to strengthen ongoing efforts by the Nigerian government to Check mate the country’s security situation, which had been worsen by the activities of the Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram and the Islamic State of West African Province , ISWAP, insurgents, in the north east states of Adamawa, Borno, Yobe and the Bandits operating in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna, and Katsina, Buari home state and Niger, a north central state, that had produced two former Nigerian Leaders: Military President and a Head of State .
The duo were retired Generals Ibrahim Babangida, who served as a Military President for about eight years and Abdulsalami Abbakar, who served as a Head of State for about seven years, showing that the two Nigerian Jackboot Leaders had ruled the country for almost 16 , years, which was the exact number of years that Olusegun Obasanjo, Late Umaru yar’Adua, and Goodluck Jonathan, all elected Nigerian Presidents, under the Platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had ruled the country.
In spite of the fact that Babangida and Abubakar, the two former Nigerian Leaders were from Niger state with its tight security, Bandits, who are battling to causing a major upset in the north west states of Zamfara, Kaduna and Katsina are still pushing and their BokoHaram Counterparts, to take over the state with the displacement of the residents of the IBB Primary School, in Minna, the state Capital, and where the two former Presidents were said to be living.
. The security situation in the state is so bad that Abubakar Bello, the governor, who is one of Buhari’s strongest political ally and arch supporters, in the state, could confirm that BokoHaram insurgents, in the Kanuri Communities of Shiroro Local government Area have hoisted their Flags in the overrun Communitis, an indications that’’ they have taken over’’. They are said to be working currently with their own locally appointed Leaders who have shown their loyalty so far to them to be retained.
An aggrieved Governor Bello, had said that the hoisted Flags had inscriptions written in Kanuri language in the 20 Communities allegedly Conquered in the Shiroro Local government Area, including the IBB Central Primary School, Minna, the state Capital, where the Bandits had already displaced the residents.
He disclosed that there are over 3,000 displaced people in Munya and Shiroro Local Government Areas of the state at present from the Communities that have been displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents and the Bandits.
Perhaps, more worrisome was the message he has passed across to Nigerians that the Bandits, had resorted to demanding ransom ffrom Communities to avoid their people being Kidnapped. He cited the five million naira ransom demanded from the people of Kmpana in Shiroro, Local Government Area, to bail themselves from being kidnapped, stating that the people were able raised the money and handed it over to them” to avoid being kidnapped”.’’. A Bad precident, an analyst said.
The Niger state governor may have foreseen a big threat posed to Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, by the insurgents and Bandits, that have taken over the 20 Shiroro Local Government Area, Communities and others that are controlled by Bandits which is a few Kilometers away from the City, that he has summoned up courage to warn the terrorists, particular, tthat had made the the Kanuri Communities their home and Headquarters to return to their traditional Sambisa forest home in Borno state which is several Kilometers from Abuja, insisting that the new found home would be too hot for them to operate.
The Niger state, Buhari political ally, who could not hide his feelings had described the insecurity situation in the country ‘’as very critical and terrible’’, noting that ‘’it is high time for a well-coordinated actions to be taken to address the problem’’.
Aggrieved members of the Femi Gbajabiamila, led House of House of Representatives,who lost their patience over the rising insecurity in the country have piled up pressure on the Nigerian President to immediately declare ‘’a state of emergency in the country’’. The Lawmakers believe that this will go a long way’’ to fast-track all the laid down measures that have been outlined towards restoring peace in the country’’.
An informed source told The Value News that the call formed part of the resolutions that was adopted at a closed door session ‘’ to discuss the insecurity situation in the country and other pressing national issues that had made life unbearable to Nigerian last tuesday. Angered that BokoHaram and tISWAP isurgents, Bandits and armed Herdsmen, have become a dominant threat to the Nigerian state, the lawmakers were said to have mandated the House security Committee ‘’ to Commence a Comprehensive Audit of all military and Para-military assets and arms around the country and report back within four weeks’’.
the country has been battling insurgency in the north east states for over a decade with billions of dollars gone done the drain, arms ordered but not supplied and over 36,000 peole killed and thousands of others displaced by the Criminal elements.