By Anthony Kolawole PhD
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Nigerians to give the nation’s service chiefs and security agencies more time to adequately address the security issues bedeviling the country.
The President in his Christmas Message to the people, called on Nigerians to support and cooperate with the service chiefs and security agencies by giving them information on the activities of criminal elements who are bent on exacerbating the security threats in the country.
By this call, Mr. President has succeeded in sending clear messages across that 1) he knows exactly what he is doing about securing the lives and property of citizens, 2) he is not ready to allow people politicise the security situation in the country, 3) he cannot be stampeded into taking rash actions just to please a few 4) that he appreciates the commitment of the current set of service chiefs to the deescalating the threats to security and 5) that he appreciates the contributions of citizens.
To buttress the fact that the President knows his onions, he reiterated the fact that he is committed to securing the lives and property of citizens as he had promised to do before he came to power.
He said, “For me, providing security for all residents in the country remains an article of faith. It formed a vital segment of this administration’s three-point agenda right from inception, and we must follow through with it.
“I cannot in good conscience shirk this cardinal responsibility to secure lives and property. I feel pained each time a breach of peace and security occurs in any part of the nation. I am even more distressed when our youths, especially school children, are the targets and victims of mindless and malevolent elements in society.
“As a parent, I share the emotional torture and agony parents and guardians go through whenever their children and wards fall into the cruel hands of these enemies of decency and good society.”
The President also noted that the problems of insecurity facing the nation is beyond the gibberish being offered by some but requires more than the “simplistic options” being suggested by a few.
These issues raised by Mr. President, take us to the heart of what have been the major factors hindering the complete defeat of insecurity in Nigeria.
For long, various administrations have either been blackmailed or stampeded into taking hasty actions which they later regretted.
The Yar’ Adua administration for instance rushed into clamping down on Boko Haram terrorists in their formative stages when they were operating in known places in Maiduguri, forcing the group to go underground, while the Obasanjo and Jonathan administrations were compelled to change service chiefs too frequently without achieving much.
These have shown that people’s reactions are most times instigated at best by emotions or at worst due to some selfish considerations.
But President Buhari, whose experience and knowledge of security and defence cannot be faulted, understood better and chose not to be intimidated.
He carefully picked his service chiefs when he assumed office and with them has been able achieve much in securing the lives of Nigerians.
In spite of that, any time there’s a security breach, the agitation for the removal of service chiefs would start afresh from certain negating completely the progress being made in that turf.
But if there’s anyone who understands that some of the measures required to wage an effective war on insurgency, terrorism and banditry require time and resources to put in place, it is the President who has seen it all in terms military strategies.
For instance when the Nigerian Army made to purchase the Chinese Rotary Wing AVIC AV500 drone to be able to carry out ISR missions at medium altitude, carry out strikes and stay airborne for nine hours while fighting terrorists, it took a long time to conclude the deal.
When it comes to managing the security situation in the country Mr. President understands these issues better that is why he has received commendation from both local and international experts who have all rated his strategies as top notch.
No war is won in a flash. It requires strategic thinking, planning and coordination and the current service chiefs have shown several times that they know what they’re doing.
They for instance were the ones that changed the story of the fight against insurgency from when soldiers were fleeing from battlefield prior to 2015, to the series of victories being experienced now.
The service chiefs are the ones that made it possible for troops to enter Sambisa Forest and capture Camp Zero and are the ones that recaptured territories seized by terrorists and brought them back to Nigeria.
They’re the ones that stopped the rain of bombs across the country.
Hence the President Buhari administration must be applauded for degrading the terrorists, retaking captured military bases in Bama, Monguno and Gwoza as well as recapturing territories captured by the terrorists including the 20 local government areas that came under the authority of the terrorists.
It should also be hailed for putting a stop to the activities of the terrorists in Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja and confining them to few communities along the Lake Chad, putting terrorists in disarray and making it impossible for them to launch further attacks on communities.
One is not unaware that as Mr. President is busy trying to return the entire country to normalcy, that there are some fifth columnists working against that by arming bandits to destabilize the country. Same people have been busy sponsoring terrorists in the Southeast and other places in order to paint the current administration in bad light.
The service chiefs can sustain these victories for the greater good.
Let’s give the service chiefs and the security agencies a chance just like Mr. President has pleaded, and we will all win the war together as one nation.
Kolawole PhD wrote this article from Keffi.