While it is the responsibility of the military and other security agencies to ensure peace, the citizens have a greater role to ensure a peaceful society TARKAA DAVID writes.
While insecurity has continued to spread across the length and breadth of the country sending chills down the spines of many, the President in his usual manner charged Service Chiefs to evolve new strategies and tactics to end selective abduction and killings across the country.
The President had in 2015 during his campaign promised to address insecurity and fix the economy. But six years down the line, citizens live in fear with many killed while thousands are made homeless seeking refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps.
According to Human Rights Watch, abductions, suicide bombings, and attacks on civilian targets by Boko Haram persisted in 2018.
“At least 1,200 people died and nearly 200,000 were displaced in the northeast in 2018”
These attacks are still experienced in different parts of the country.
Also, the decades-old communal conflict between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in the Middle Belt intensified in 2018 and further exacerbated the security situation in the country.
“At least 1,600 people were killed and another 300,000 displaced as a result of the violence,”
While political instability, citizen alienation, terrorism, and violence define the Nigerian crime scene.
According to Statista, Nigeria is currently ranked by the global peace index as one of the countries with the least peace.
“It is the 17th less peaceful state.”
Nigeria is also the third country most affected by terrorism, based on the Global Terrorism Index, and the second country in Africa with the highest risk of genocide and the sixth worldwide.
The Sultan of Sokoto HRH Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 111 in his remarks at the 2020 LEADERSHIP Conference and Awards in Abuja said God did not make mistake bringing us together and so we must accept our religious faiths.
He said on occasions of this nature “It is important for us to look at these issues that really bind us together, then the little ones that separate us because so many of us have become close to one another.
“One wonders if we are to go our one million ways, how do we survive but God almighty Allah can never make mistake so whatever he has done that is his will and must be obeyed. So bringing us together as Nigerians is not a mistake and that is what God wants.
“So we have to accept our religious beliefs as good Christians, as good Muslims, as bad Christians, as bad Muslims we all know we are from one source, one creator,” he said.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to close ranks and help one another in the face of these security challenges.
The traditional ruler recounted that he alongside Cardinal Onaiyekan were recognised by the LEADERSHIP Group in 2012 for their work to make Nigerians realise that religion is an individual race.
He said since we started we have not stopped “working together trying to bring everybody together, to make Nigerians realise that religion is between you and Almighty God.
“You don’t worship God for me because when you die and go to Almighty Allah, he will not call me to answer your queries.
“Religion is an individual problem,” he said
The Sultan said those trying to fan the embers of hatred through religion will not succeed.
“For those trying to fan the embers of hatred, division and whatever through religion will definitely fail because we’ll not succumb to their atrocities, we’ll not give in and will continue to work for the betterment of our great country Nigeria,” he said
He said all Nigerians must rise in unity to face the challenges of insecurity which has continually threatened the unity of the country.
“We must rise together as one people to face this challenges of insecurity, no one person can do it alone.”
He said the issue of insecurity must not be left to the Commander in Chief, the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, and the heads of other security agencies.
“We must rise to see the issue of insecurity as our own personal problem, we can all and we must contribute to the challenges of insecurity in this country and if we do that in the next couple of days, weeks, months, years we’ll be sleeping with eyes closed,” he said
The Chief of Defence Staff General Lucky Irabor since assumption of duty has been engaging retired senior military officers across the geopolitical zones to find a lasting solution to the insecurity ravaging the country.
The Director General, Nigerian Army Resource Center (NARC) Maj.-Gen. Garba Wahab (Retd) has said Nigeria did not learn lessons from the Maitatsine crisis and the civil war, adding that the causative factors are still surfacing.
He emphasised the importance of understanding history in the planning and execution of military operations.
He stated this at the Maiden Annual Nigerian Army Military History Seminar in Abuja with the theme: Relevance and Prospects in the 21 Century”.
He said that the seminar was in recognition of the importance of history to individual lives, organisations, and communities as well as future planning.
Wahab lamented that history as a whole was not given the prominence it deserved in Nigeria, saying that the subject was even removed from the primary and secondary curriculum at some point.
He said that effort must be made to go back to the drawing board by giving more prominence to history.
According to him, it is believed that if we have learnt from what happened in Nigeria like the civil war and the maitatsine crisis and their causative factors.
“There is no nation that has developed without people understanding where they are coming from. If you don’t know where you are coming from, you cannot plan where you are going. These are the development indices that are lacking in this country and like I said if you don’t take what happened in the past and analyze it critically and bring out lessons you will continue to be in the past.
“If we had analyzed the maitatsine crisis very well and even the Nigerian civil war, yes no victor no vanquish but what were the causative factors? Those factors are still germane today and that is why we are having these problems. So we need to look at what caused these crises and when you understand the causes you can find solutions to these causes.
“Military men are required to understand military history because planning for a war, battle, or any event begins with understanding the past event and come up with strategy and plan on what to do,” he said.
The Minister of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Retd) who was represented by the Coordinator, Peace Support Operations, Ministry of Defence, Maj.-Gen. Sani Mohammed said it was important for an organisation to emplace a credible platform for the collation of its history and activities to obtain useful lessons and avoid pitfalls of the past.
He commended the Nigerian Army for the establishment of the Military History Institute under NARC to document its past legacies.
Magashi said the institute would provide the analytical tools for the development of functional homegrown doctrine for its professional efficiency.
According to him, the Nigerian army has a very rich history spanning over 158 years dating back to 1863.
“Some of the activities of Nigerian army cut across the participation in peace support operations in the advancement of its foreign policy down to the various internal security operations such as counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism conducted to keep Nigeria as a nation.
“The contributions of the military to nation building are also invaluable and worthy of documentation.
“The historical memories generated by these operations are evergreen and need to be documented.
The minister said that the seminar would be used to relish the memories and draw useful lessons to solve present challenges and guide their future activities.