There’s no doubt that the few home truths told last week about the wobbling state of the security architecture in the country by retired former military intelligence director, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi, has seriously rattled the Federal Government and the top brass of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Olawunmi, who is now a professor of Global Security Studies and head of the department at Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, was reacting on a Channels Television programme to the shocking news of bandits’ attack on the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, where the terrorists killed two officers and kidnapped another for whom they have demanded N200million ransom. One week after the incident, the abducted officer has yet to be rescued from the grips of the terrorists.
But as usual, the government and the security agencies have papered over this dangerously infectious leprosy and now labouring at treating innocuous ringworm – it has turned the heat on the messenger, first going after the Channels TV presenters through the supercilious National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), and later “inviting” the retired military intelligence chief himself to “a session” with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), rather than going all out to seek more effective means to urgently halt the worsening security situation.
Of course, over the past six years it has become clear that the Buhari government only has the penchant for slowing down action against the terrorists at a time it should have accelerated; always exhibiting predilection for living in denial instead of mobilising the Armed Forces of which he’s the Commander-in-Chief to take the battle to them in their hideouts.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the Buhari administration, at the moment when it needs to swoop on those fighting hard to destroy the country, has always been dragging its feet. It’s clear it lacks the urgently needed resolve to deal squarely with terrorists euphemistically dubbed insurgents in the North-East, bandits in the North-West and North-Central geo-political zones and killer herdsmen in the South-West and South-South by this administration aided, unfortunately, by the media.
It is on record that none of the previous governments acted as casual and sloppy about the country’s security situation as the Buhari administration.
Olawunmi has only given us one side of the balance sheet regarding the handling of issues of national security by the government and its security agencies, it behoves on the current administration to give us the other side of it rather than witch-hunting him and channels TV for spilling the beans, so to say.
But as usual, the government and the security agencies have papered over dangerously infectious leprosy and now labouring at treating innocuous ringworm – it has turned the heat on the messenger rather than going all out to seek more effective means to urgently halt the worsening security situation
There is no more auspicious time than now for all Nigerians to come to grips with the reality staring us in the face and even mocking us!
In the face of the palpable danger we are all in, it is disheartening that some Nigerians still hysterically condemn those who venture to tell the truth to power and damn the consequences.
People put up inane arguments because of their partisan, ethnic and religious interests without sparing a flicker of thought for the overall well-being of the country.
One fact is, our nation will continue to burn if those we’ve elected into public offices to act continue to merely chase shadows in the face of continued threats to our collective security and well-being.
It is increasingly becoming frightening that the tiny piece of cloth that has held our battered federation together these past 60 years is now being ferociously gnawed at by belligerent forces straining the already worsening security situation, and this should be of utmost concern to the government rather than unleashing security agencies to hunt down dissenting voices alerting Nigerians to the danger in the quagmire we have found ourselves.
Last week’s attack on the NDA by dare-devil terrorists has, no doubt, amplified the problem of worsening insecurity confronting Nigeria. It also boldly underscores the fact that Nigeria’s creaking security architecture is fast falling apart. This is sad! The incident left all Nigerians dazed. But now the waves of realisation are sweeping over us all inspite of our government’s decision to bury its head in the sand in order to continue to pretend not to hear and see the evil barring its fangs and threatening to consume us all. Yet, the 2020 Global Terrorism Index has placed Nigeria as the third most terrorised country, closely tagging along with Afghanistan and Iraq occupying the unenviable first and second positions, respectively.
The ease with which the bandits who invaded NDA operated for hours inside the premises of the premier military training institution without being challenged by any counter force vividly tells a story of failure of the nation’s security system. We don’t really need an Olawunmi to come on national television to yell about this. This is one attack too many; it raises further questions around the Buhari administration’s continued failings in the area of security.
The unprecedented invasion of the NDA by the rag-tag bandits has made a lot of Nigerians, who had hitherto rated the country’s Armed Forces very high, to now begin to think otherwise. Sadly, many Nigerians are now ruing the over-hyped ability of our military to fight terrorism as well as the manifest lack of political will on the part of the current administration to extirpate these vampires terrorising the country’s landscape as insurgents, bandits, kidnappers and killer-herdsmen.
In saner climes, by now the future of those in charge of our military and that of our political leaders will be on the line from which they may not be able to extricate themselves and escape. But this is Nigeria where anything, everything goes.
With that unprecedented violation of the sanctity of our foremost military training institution, the slender hope of this administration reining in insecurity in this country had been shattered into smithereens.
The NDA incident is enough evidence that some citizens are exploiting the existing fault lines within both the Buhari administration and the top brass of the nation’s security architecture.
Certainly, the terrorists are taking advantage of the ethnic politics playing out in Nigeria, a dangerous development that has now surreptitiously crept into the handling of security matters. The granting of pardon to the so-called repentant Boko Haram members may turn out to be the greatest faux pas committed by the Buhari administration. It is nothing more than simply rewarding the terrorists rather than holding them to account for the atrocities visited on innocent Nigerians while their murderous activities with the insurgent groups lasted.
Nigerians can no longer afford to be driven by the usual government grandstanding and threats to the terrorists destroying what is left of the country’s dilapidated security architecture and wantonly killing innocent citizens. Grave consequences await the Nigerian nation if this situation continues. A realistic assessment of the security conditions on ground and the application of result-oriented measures are urgently needed from this government.