By Stephen Ubanna
President Muhammadu Buhari appears to have agreed with the Opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that terrorism in the north east, armed Banditry and kidnapping in the west and other parts of the country have assumed grave dimensions in the country going by the speech he delivered at the 14th Summit of the Organisation of Islamic Countries. OIC, in Makkah, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, June 1, 2019.
He had used the opportunity provided by the OIC meeting to speak about Nigeria security challenges. ”We now grapple with serious security problems, presented by destructive activities of terrorists, violent extremists and armed Bandits , which is applicable in many OIC member countries.
H e noted that the situation has been compounded by a series of political crises , which had continued to affect some member countries. It is not surprsing why the Katsina state born Nigerian President supports the various interventionist efforts by the OIC, in resolving the conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya , expected to control the smuggling of arms into the country which fall into the waiting of the terrorists and other criminal elements in the country and other African OIC member countries in crises.
Appealing to the OIC member countries that the Nigerian situation requires a serious and Coordinated approach, he stated that it is the only a lasting solutions could be found to the Nigerian problem. There are indications that Salman bin Abdullaziz Saud, the Saudi Arabian King who has picked interest on Buhari because of his Commitment to the OIC, may accede to his financial request to procure more equipment to sustain the war against the Insurgents.
Note that the President had said during his one-day working visit to Borno last May that ”expansion of education facilities in the state was the best response the Insurgents action to stifle education , especially that of the girl-child. The President who could not hide his feelings mintains that that ”education is the only wise response to counter Boko- Haram Insurgency in the north east.
But Tukur Buratai, a Lt. General and Chief of Army Staff, had blamed the sustenance of the terrorists operations in the north east to the Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, which had been providing ”humanitarian support” of food and drug supplies them. Buratai was emphatic that the war against terrorists is being sabotaged by the NGOs operating in the region.
While the Nigerian President was in far away Saudi Arabia soliciting for the support of the OIC member countries to fight the terrorists and the armed Bandits operating in the northern part of the country, the Islamic Fundamentalists, popular BokoHaram attacked a Mosque in Sajeri village, at the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno state Capital.
Eyewitness account said the Insurgents had opened fire on the Worshippers who were observing their prayers ,injuring scores of them, thus sending a signal to the President that they are back to the trenches . Babagana Umara,, a Professor and the state governor, who was just sworn in about four days ago ,did not wait to get security reports about the incident was said to have visited the Community to see things himself.
He had condoled the victims , assuring that the government would do everything within its powers to beef security in the Community. Security experts see the attack on a Mosque in Sajeri village by the Insurgents as welcome party to Umara, the All Progressive governor , APC, governor, who has given assurance that the priority of his Administration would be to give priority to address the ”root cause of BokoHaram Insurgency in the region”. The Professor opined that it is only by addressing the root cause of the problem that the decade old crisis could be finally put to rest.
Note that for the eight year years, that Kashim Ibrahim Shettima, ruled the state , it was in pains because of consistent attack on flashpoint Communities by the Insurgents including kidnap of Chibok girls. the Kidnap of the Chibokk girls was said to have brought Hadiza Bala Usman, the current, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to limelight as she had teamed up with Oby Ezekwesili, a minister in former President Olusegun Obasanjo Administration, to float an NGO, ”Bring Back Our Girls”, to champion the cause for the release of the kidnapped Chibok secondary school girls.
The security situation in the state was so bad that Shettima, the former Borno state governor was forced to lead some elders of the state to the Presidential Villa to plead with the President to intervene before the Insurgents retake over Kukawa local government area which was lost to the them between 2013 and 2014 but liberated by the military in 2015. The visit may have encouraged the President to reassure the governor and the elders of the state of his resolve to equip the military to overcome the Insurgency in the north east.
They had left the Presidential villa, with a message about what the President had said that the collective safety and security of the people of the state would continue to remain paramount in the Administration’s strategy to restore peace and stability in the state and the north east geo-political region in general.
He had boasted then that as Commander In-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, he would raise the standard of the military and get the resources to encourage them to do better than they are doing now. But that was how far he could go as the Insurgents are still making incursions into the outskirts of Maiduguri with the intention to enter the city
At present, Maiduguri, the state Capital appears to be the only major town in the state that is safe because of the tight security provided by the soldiers and members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF, which has an operational base the city.. The Insurgents were said to have made several attempts in the past to penetrate the city but were thwarted by the soldiers forcing them to flee.
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