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Of Confusion, Politics And National Security



The several killings and heinous attacks on many villages across the country leave one to wonder how Nigeria’s security situation degenerated to this state.

The ongoing attacks being carried out by the Boko-Haram terrorists in the Northeast, and attacks, allegedly by herdsmen are similar in nature, with little or no difference in their strategy and form of attacks.

In recent times, the country has witnessed rising down of villages in some Northwest, Northeast and North -central states, though under different guise. The attacks on Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State and some villages in Maru Local Government of Zamfara State, villages in Taraba State, communities Gwer East and Gwer West local governments in Benue states and just last week, in Barkinladi Ryom axis of Plateau State suggest clearly that the country is far from being secured.

Unfortunately, Nigerians hardly trace the hidden agenda behind these security challenges, rather we are quick to believe the narratives presented to us like a freshly served plate of porridge. To make matters worse, the intelligence community would not help our ignorance by diffusing this erroneous impression for political consideration.

I have read different reactions to the incessant killings of innocent Nigerians, allegedly by herdsmen, under the guise of ‘herdsmen – farmers’ clashes.

While I agree that government hasn’t done enough to apprehend and investigate perpetrators of this evil, I really think these ‘killer herdsmen’ are more sophisticated in their warfare like operations and it requires a more scientific approach to tame them.

The point here is that the terrorists in our midst have changed tactics, but our security operatives are yet to change strategy, if they are not overwhelmed already.

The reason is simple, our attackers have a very good grasp of our territorial landscape, and understand vividly our security architecture. This is evident in their unhindered successive attacks, which have made Nigerians suspect conspiracy with security personnel. This line of argument can rarely be substantiated, as it is practically impossible for heads of all the police and army formation in states under attack to compromise. Rather, since they cannot parade enough officers and men, and the few available are ill-trained with obsolete equipment to tackle modern terrorism carnage, they would simply look the other away while the attacks lasted and return to count lifeless bodies of hapless Nigerians.

Members of the House of Representatives observed this missing link when in June 2017, they summoned the security service chiefs, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, the DG State Security Service (SSS), Lawal Daura, the minister of Interior Abdulrahman Danbazzau to explain government’s strategy to ensure adequate security.

The lawmakers held a four-hour closed door session with the security chiefs and after the meeting declared that they were satisfied. Yet the security challenges continued unabated, so much that in April, 2018, the House passed a vote of no confidence on the security chiefs at the same time resolved to summon President Muhammadu Buhari to explain his efforts in curbing the nation’s security woes.

The House as well resolved to suspend plenary for three days in solidarity with victims of the various attacks.

Similarly, in May, the Senate held a closed door session with service chiefs on security concerns in the country. And by June, both chambers held a joint executive session, where they resolved and passed a vote of no confidence on these security chiefs, among other resolutions.

However, these resolutions were to not be taken seriously, as they were entangled with politics of personal and group interest. It took withdrawal of some Department of State Service security operatives attached to Senate President, Saraki and Speaker Dogara, and the face-off between the Inspector General of Police and Senate President to convey the joint session. Therefore the joint session wasn’t really about security concern for the common man, but political survival of certain leaders.

Although, no government, however irresponsible, takes pride in the mass murder of its citizens. Nevertheless, wicked local politicians seemed to have taken advantage of the age long decay in the security architecture of the country, inadequate political will and distrust among political leaders to send a message that successive administrations are incompetent.

This strategy is still working, Nigerians voted against an administration that could not subdue Boko-Haram, but here we are, with a new form of political blackmail, which will definitely reflect on the voting pattern in the 2019 elections. Will Nigerians ever scratch beyond the surface?