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Buhari, Security And The Rest Of Us

By Frank Ijege
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The insecurity in Nigeria has been here for a while. It took a new turn in 2009 with the creation of boko haram. The sect unleashed mayhem and havoc on the country. Previous government could not flush it. As a matter of fact, it has grown into a full blown monster. The Yar’Adua government tried to flush it out, but couldn’t. President Jonathan also tried but failed.

The persistent failure of the past administration, especially that of Goodluck Jonathan rid the country of these terrorists, led to killings, kidnapping and chaos in the country. Nigerians were disenchanted and lost faith in the ability of government to protect them. They therefore, needed change!

There was also the political angle. The then opposition party capitalised on the failure of the ruling party to end the activities of insurgents. It promised to end it within months in also made some promises common with politicians.

Like a damsel who is confused on who to choose between an existing boyfriend and a prospective suitor, Nigerians went for the opposition party because they felt it would implement some of its promises upon been elected

To take advantage of the situation, the then General Muhammadu Buhari made security the cornerstone of his campaign. He even called on the president to resign for failing to protect the lives and propertied of Nigerians.

Under his as president, the situation has gone from bad to worse. From 2015 to date, there have been an exponential increase in the activities of bandits; they now operate in different forms ranging from boko haram, which is still present in the north east and has become more embolden now, to armed banditry, cattle rustling, kidnappings, clashes between farmers and herdsmen. In fact, more Nigerians have died from 2015.

The president has not done anything to tackle these security challenges. For someone who criticised previous administrations for their lackluster approach at tackling insecurity problems, one would expect him to be different by being proactive. Unfortunately he is towing the same line, and is worse off than former presidents!

Presidential reaction
The response of the president to these issues leaves much to be desired. The president is laid back instead of being proactive.

Service Chiefs who have clearly run short of ideas on how to end the activities of these bandits still enjoy the confidence of Mr. President. We have lost countless number of soldiers to these bandits. Our men are outnumbered, outgunned and outran by the bandits. Most soldiers fighting this war do not have motivation.

There were recent reports where the president was said to have warned these bandits to desist from carrying their criminal activities or they will face the wrath of the law. That this is how we are responding to the thousands of lives that have been lost due to the activities of these terrorists, leaves much to be desired and it says a lot about our determination to bring an end to it.

The continuous ineptitude of our president is emboldening these bandits. They seem to be operating with fun fare. From carrying sinister attacks, they have grown to the level of attacking, maiming and killing people in broad day light.

Protests and the response of the Presidency
The situation is so dire that people can no longer look the other way, pretending that all is well. Tired of making excuses for the president, people, especially northerners started talking. Northern Elders voiced out their concerns and called on the president to sit up and end the killings.

The response that came from the presidency to this call by the northern elders leaves much to be desired.

Northern youths also staged protests. The presidential response was to curse the youths and arrest their leaders.

One only wish that the president would be this swift in responding to banditry and killings of Nigerians.

Being a public officer holder is beyond the pecks of office but comes with responsibilities. One of such responsibility is listening to the truth regardless of how it hurts. If the present occupants of public offices (who have clearly failed to discharge the responsibility attached to their offices) do not want to hear the truth, they should throw in the towel.

Government has a responsibility to protect the lives and properties of citizens. President Buhari’s government is abdicating on that responsibility.

For how long shall we be at the mercy of bandits?
Frank Ijege - [email protected]