JONATHAN AND THE SECURITY CHALLENGE
Sir: The spate of insecurity under the Jonathan administration has been alarming. Most Nigerians will agree that the president lacks the capacity to ensure the protection of lives and properties of the citizens besides Dr Jonathan does not have the solutions to the myriads of problems facing Nigeria. Obviously, the present administration is overwhelmed by the spate of kidnappings and bombings in the land since the first attack of October 1, 2010. Dr Jonathan is clueless as to curtailing this madness.
President Jonathan might be a PhD holder. That does not translate into proffering solutions to the problems of Nigeria. He has handled the security challenge the same way past governments have handled security matters with the highest votes going to the ministry of defence and police that has not justified the huge amount to them to ensure the protection of lives and properties of the Nigerian citizens.
Past governments may not have experienced the Boko Haram insurrection. But previous security strategies cannot help to stop individuals that are bent on destroying a country that has survived for over fifty years after independence.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) sometime called on the federal government to invite the United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Genocide, Dr Francis Deng to investigate the faltering state to offer solutions but the Nigerian government ignored these call allowing terrorism to become deeply rooted.
If the Nigerian government had consulted global experts on terrorism - we would have been closer to solving the problem of Boko Haram. Their expertise would have saved us the persistent kidnappings, killings and wanton destruction of properties. What president Jonathan did was to dance to the tune of power brokers who did not like the late Rtd General Owoeye Azazi's guts. The aftermath was the appointment of Sambo Dasuki who many Nigerians described as a man coming into government from the cold, instead of engaging the services of counter-terrorism experts that have helped countries around the world.
Unfortunately, Dr Jonathan decided to toe the line of his advisers who would rather politicize the issue of security than ensure the defence of the country and their people. Over ten incidence of bombings have been recorded under Dr Jonathan's watch as acting president and president-elect. Though uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Dr Jonathan and the security chiefs are definitely not on top of this security challenge. The national assembly is yet to come up with a bill that will ensure death sentence or life imprisonment of any individual caught in the act of kidnapping and terrorism. This is most unfortunate. Rather they have allowed the international community take charge of the issue of kidnappings and terrorism due to their ineptitude.
Everyone in the corridor of power including the president and his ministers are now crying for help from the international community. One wonders why they have to wait until the world turn its attention to the problem of kidnappings, killings, bombings and terrorism in Nigeria.
This is hypocritical and it is has been the character of most people in government. As the country face this security challenge, the first step in solving the Boko Haram insurrection is to stop the politicization of the issue. Nigerians are tired of the persistent kidnappings, killings and bombings and the international community can't help but wish this come to an end. Nigerians are in support of a move to deploy global experts on terrorism as long as this will help curb and if not, stop the Boko Haram menace.
President Jonathan and his team have not handled the series of bombings and the recent kidnapping of the chibok girls in a way that would restore confidence in the citizens. The president does not care just like one of the parents of the kidnapped girls aptly put it. And this is the reason the international community is more concerned than the federal government, the government of the North-Eastern region and the security agencies.
It is obvious that the security apparatus in Nigeria has failed on account of the inability of the ministry of defence and police to clamp down on the activities of Boko Haram. The federal government don't need to defend its actions or inactions on this matter. Nigerians now know that our leaders are ineffective. These problems have been with us over the last few years and our government has achieved nothing with their policies. President Jonathan has less than a year to redeem his image in the eyes of the Nigerian public. He needs to prove to Nigerians that they did not make a mistake in electing him as the president in the 2011 general elections. He will have to answer to the Nigerian electorate in the coming 2015 general election by telling them why he deserves to be re-elected for a second term in office after the series of bloodshed, bombings, kidnappings and the destruction of properties.
Bolaji Samson Aregbeshola is the author of a new book titled: Nigerian Political Parties and Politicians: Winding Road from Country to Nation.