By Lateef Adegbite
Not many people were surprised when President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, gave nod to Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation to attend the Intra-Religious Meeting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory FCT, to find solutions to the high level of insecurity in the country.
. The Katsina state born Nigerian President may have sent the high ranking government official to the meeting because Sa’ad Abubakar, a retired Brigadier General and Sultan of Sultan of Sokoto and Supo Ayokunle, the Secretary General of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and other religious Leaders who were at the meeting.
The Intra-Religious meeting may have become necessary because of the security challenges facing the country where the north east based Islamic Fundamentalist Group, BokoHaram, and the Islamic State of West African Province, ISWAP, including the Bandits operating in the north western states of Zamfara, Kaduna,and Katsina, Buhari home state and Niger, home state of Ibrahim Babangida, a retired Army General and former military President are making life miserable for the people.
Also in the south east part of Nigeria, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, supported by their militant security wing, Eastern Security Network, ESN and other Criminal elements across the country were said to have taken advantage of the insecurity situation to take the Laws into their hands as they raid people’s houses and kill mercilessly, which may have forced Sa’ad, the Sultan of Sokoto to cry out that ‘’the insecurity situation has worsened in the country.
The insecurity situation in Jos Capital of Plateau state, appear to have become very worrisome that many states, including the neighboring north western state of Kaduna, have evacuated their people, mostly students, like the North American country of the United States, USA, which had evacuated 48,000 people out of Afghanistan to beat the August 31, 2021, deadline given to the Joe Biden’s government by the Taliban to do so.
Although, the states that had evacuated their students from Jos and other parts of Plateau state may have done so not because of any deadline by the Plateau state government for non-natives to leave the state but due the killings in Bassa, Barkin Ladi, Bokos, Mangu, Riyon, Unversity of Jos, Yelwa zagam, Jos North and Jos South.
An aggrieved Samuel Lalong , the state governor, after a recent meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, at the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday, August, 24, 2021, over the insecurity situation in the north central state had made the Katsina state born Nigerian President to understand that ‘’ it has enjoyed peace over the last six years’’.
Appealing to states who are in a hurry to evacuate their students from tertiary Institutions in the state that there was no need for it as he has given a guarantee that they will be protected but that was how far he could go. This is the unknown gunmen are still on rampage in the, forcing the state House of Assembly to give a two weeks ultimatum to the governor ‘’to find immediate solution to the recurring killings in the state since August 14, 2021, and now, and restore peace according’’.
Many believe that the kiliing in Plateau state may have become worse because Bandits operating in Kaduna and the neighbouring Niger states including BokoHaram and ISWAP, Insurgents who had penetrated the ranks of the Herdsmen had entered the state through the forest with the intention to turn it to another Zamfara, believed to exporting Banditry across the country, Kaduna and Niger states.
It is not surprising why the Lawmakers have asked the Local governments, traditional rulers and Community Leaders to brace up and defend their people from further killings by ‘’reinforcing their Community Vigilante Groups and hunters’’. They were said to have also urged the people of the state ‘’to defend themselves from further attacks instead of running away from the unknown gunmen’’, an indication of a breakdown of Law and Order in the state.
The Plateau state Lawmakers may have shown that they are ready for the unknown gunmen as they were said to have ordered the Local Government Chairmen in the state ‘’to suspend all planned recruitment of ad-hoc staff but go ahead ’’to recruit 200 Vigilance personnel in each Local government Area to boost and augment local intelligence gathering’’. The House was said to have called on Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, ‘’to arrest and prosecute those behind the killings in Jos’’.
Saleh Zazzaga, a Chieftain the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, in the state, had told those heaping blames on Lalong, the state governor, for not bringing an end to the killings to do a rethink, stressing that he could not do anything because he do not control the security agencies and Heads of such security outfits.
He noted that even governors who had attempted to tackle the high level of insecurity in other states of the Federation by summoning the Heads of the security agencies in in order solicit for deployment personnel were said to have been disappointed as the timely intervention did not come because the security agencies Heads still need to get the approval of superior officers to act. This confirms what Dennis Amachree, a Deputy Director, department of State Security, DSS, had said. It is not surprising why the crisis in Jos has degenerated in the recent time.
Amachree, the DSS former Deputy Director, believes that ’’if the security and intelligence agencies personnel are doing their job as it ought to be done in order to bring an end to the crisis rocking the country without being hindered by political factors from carrying out their traditional duties , the insecurity problem would have been a thing of the past.
He did not take away the fact that’’ the Nigerian intelligence Community is very solid but maintained that what impedes them in carrying out some of the jobs they had wanted to do is politics’’, describing it as a ‘’big problem’’.Amachree , who could not hide his feelings averred that ‘’if these agencies are independent on their own, they would do a better job but being under the direction of the political Leaders that are not forthcoming or who do not think seriously about the unity of the country, it remains a problem’’.
He may have shocked Nigerians when he revealed that’’ some suspects have been arrested but not prosecuted in any Court of Law’’, let alone being jailed’’. This may have informed why he had said that ‘’the whole country is under siege ‘’, citing attacks and kidnappings in the north and other parts of the country which occur regularly.
He insists that until the government solve these fundamental problems of Insurgency, Banditry and other forms of Criminal activities and other unpatriotic acts exhibited by Nigerians
leading to secessionist agitations in the south east and south western part of Nigeria, the insecurity situation would remain very worrisome.
According to him only 37% of Nigerians are patriotic based on a survey carried out which he had said was not’’ good enough for the country’’. This is a bad advertisement for the Nigerian government.
Mustapha, the Secretary to the government of the Federation who had attended the Intra-Religious may have opened his eyes to the realities on ground that he has come to the conclusion that the only way out to solve the high level of security challenges facing the country is through’’ a deeper Collaboration between traditional ruler, political and religious leaders, in the country’’.
He believes that there is no way the Nigerian President who is concerned about the insecurity and high cost of living in the country and working round the clock on’’ how to resolve the issues in the shortest possible time could do it alone without the support of the religious leaders and traditional rulers ’’.
Notwithstanding the fear being expressed by Nigerians about a possible breakup of the country, Olusegun Obasanjo, a former Nigerian President and an elder statesman who has been a strong critic of the Buhari Administration had told those that cares to listen that ‘’Nigeria will continue as a nation’’.
The former Nigerian President who has been working behind the scene for’’ the peace, security and unity of the country’’ may have taken advantage of the book Launch and 85th Brithday of Sunday Mbang, the Prelate of the Methosit Church of Nigeria, held at the Admiralty centre, Naval Dckyard, Victoria Island, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre to peak out.
He had said that’’ there are people who do want the country’s continued existence as a nation’’, stressing that ‘’they will fail’’.
He may have sent a message to those fighting for the break up of the country that ‘’the cost of staying together is cheaper that the cost of dividing’’ in order to force them to do a rethink and embrace peace. He may have alluded to Nnamdi Kanu led IPOB, fighting for the Biafran nation and Sunday Igboho, who is at the forefront for a Yoruba nation.
Recall that Buhari and Babangida, a former military President had said that Nigerian unity is not ‘’Negotiable’’. Babangida, the former military President had said that ‘’separatist agitations across the country could be assuaged’’ if the Leadership makes the people go into meaningful ventures and the states made to manage their resource for the development the states and the country in general.