By Kabiru Ibrahim Dallah
There is no doubt that Africa and indeed West Africa, in particular, has witnessed a massive rise in insecurity challenges post-Gaddafi era in Libya.
Several reports by reputable media organizations have linked the proliferation of small arms and ammunitions plus the rise in terrorist activities in the Sahel of Africa to the collapse of Libya.
Most of the arms and fighters used in the fights against Gaddafi and subsequent battles for the control of Libya have found their way into several neighbouring countries.
This has caused great destabilization in these countries. Mali comes in readily as an example of the effect of the collapse of Libya. Many countries including Nigeria have had to battle the resultant effect of that event in history.
Nigeria has had its fair share of this international dimension of the insecurity challenge. The hitherto local terrorist organization have been bolstered and supported by former Libya fighters who trooped into the country in droves, alongside and with their arms and ammunitions.
The entire essence of the above narration is to acknowledge that the pervasive security challenge being experienced is not peculiar to Nigeria alone, definitely not!
The only difference, however, is that from Maiduguri to Otuoke, from Badagry to Kaura Namoda security is a big deal to politicians for several reasons. For some, it is the genuine desire to see lives and properties secured. Others, meanwhile, it is a tool for propaganda against opponents. Whereas some are just after the big financial war chest expenditure available in the battle against insecurity.
Insecurity in this part of the world has now been considered big business. That is why I took the time to explain earlier some of the real intrigues and international dimensions to this serious challenge of insecurity. Despite how real and serious the task of securing lives is, many people here still see it as a means of making money and enriching their cronies.
The many calls by some so-called activist for the sack of the service chiefs have now become big business to them. Many of these characters are cashing out daily from this call.
This brings to mind a Sahara Reports report on the 15th of March 2013 where one Samuel Chinedu accused Ikenga Ugochinyere of being behind the registration of a pseudo All Progressive Congress APC then. The plan was was to thwart the registration process of the APC. Ikenga was accused than to have collected a lot of money from some big shots in the PDP for that mission.
Such is the life of some of these “activists”. They predate on critical life issues to make some quick cash. Characters like these are the ones leading the daily call for the removal of service chiefs. Those of us who know Nigeria understands how things work here. Once you see people of such shady character feeling uncomfortable with some process or certain people, it is imperative to take a deeper look and you will find that their reasons for discomfort is most likely not what they complain about but their desire to milk the system to their advantage.
Today we have service chiefs who will not attend political meetings in the night. We have men who are professionals to the core, whose only ambition is to secure the nation. We have service chiefs who would not play ball backed by a president with impeccable character and integrity. This cannot be palatable for the business as usual guys.
They have to now seek their source from those I call the enemy of the state. People that consider the well being of their pocket as more important than the wellbeing of the country.
Some see this insecurity as the new oil. An all-comers affair. They can’t let go quickly of the days where a government official will dole out $2.1billion USD without necessarily following any due process, they probably miss the days when everybody was an arms contractor.
The campaign to remove the non-conformist service chiefs has seen all shades of people with questionable characters being engaged to do the battle. Men with shady characters leading calls for the removal of professionals who have proven their mettle in the discharge of their duties.
Men who have sacrificed all to make sure that we can sleep with both eyes closed. Yet at any slight incidence this “remove service chiefs “ gang will hit the airwaves with their usual rants.
The president who is a matured man understands clearly that everyone is needed at this critical time, he also understands that you don’t change your winning team during the battle. These men have helped stabilize the nation at different critical times. Some of us will not forget in a hurry what the situation was before the appointment of these current set of service chiefs. We won’t forget quickly how terrorist were hoisting flags indiscriminately on our soil, how whole local governments were completely overrun by terrorists.
Those with a better memory will appreciate why Mr president is a bit more cautious and not yielding to the campaigners. Mr President more than many of us and infact more than many of these so-called campaigners is very much abreast with the real facts of the matter. So he takes far more informed decisions than many of us will imagine because he has got the real facts of the matter.
It is time for these shady characters to consider finding another hustle as it appears this may not yield any results. It is important for us to support the service chiefs as they continue to make giant strides in our quest to have every inch of this nation secured.
Dallah is a pro-good governance activist and development expert based in Lafia.