Reactions have continued to pour in concerning last Sunday’s comments by Gen. Obasanjo on President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and on the security situation in the country.
The reactions has been varied and widespread. Many people and critical organizations have expressed conflicting views on the issue within the past three days or so. Many are of the view that Gen. Obasanjo’s comments were biased and in bad faith as well as uncalled for and should therefore be ignored. Others however believed that it was moderate and should be looked into by Government.
The Presidency has already responded to the comments describing it as baseless and outrageous. The Nigerian Army has so far kept a dignified silence over the issue. It will be recalled that last Sunday Gen. Obasanjo had six page letter addressed to President Buhari attacked the current administration with his comments on many issues related to the nation’s economy and even the nation’s security.
After they have listened to what Obasanjo said, some people were of the view that though Nigeria is still facing security challenges the situation has improved greatly. They cited the degrading of the Boko Haram elements and opined that the high level of Boko Haram activities has been drastically reduced after the insurgents have been pushed away by the Army.
According to many indigenes of the North East, unlike before, people in the affected areas have now started carrying out their normal duties as they were used to while schools and other places of learning could now also operate their normal activities.
According to the view of Umoru Dan Maiyaiki from Kaduna state the comments of the former President were diversionary and should be regarded as an instigation from an aggrieved person. Madu Kura from Yerwa, near Maiduguri, was of the view that Obasanjo might have been un-willfully playing the role of a rival political party. Also, when this writer went home about three months ago I discovered that the area is much safer now as compared to five years ago.
The determination of the Buhari government and the single-minded approach by the Gen. Buratai administration coupled with the efforts of his men on the ground, Borno state and indeed the entire North East is a much more safer area now security-wise than it was four years ago. I agree with this assertion based on what I have seen and heard with my ears. People in the area could now sleep with their two eyes closed according to one of my media colleagues Mallam Ismaila of the NTA who was on a working visit to the area recently.
Many people also spoke about what they expect the media to do in relation to the ongoing war being fought in Nigeria today against the insurgents. They have argued that some media men should be more patriotic and nationalistic in the reportage. Talking about the role of the media brings me to the issue of the relationship existing between the Army and the media. I am of the firm view that the rapport between the two groups has been worthwhile and encouraging.
This is because the Army under the current Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Buratai has witnessed an improved relationship between the soldiers and the civilians with the institutionalization of a whole department to coordinate the civil/military relationship.
The introduction of an Army Call Center just like it exist in some few places like the FCTA has greatly endeared the Nigerian Army to the civil society. This action did not come as a surprise to this writer with Gen. Buratai as a leader of the Army.
He has been described as a leader selected among leaders.
He is an articulate soldier and one that listens attentively before taking any action any day and anytime. Though soft hearted, he is disciplined to the core. This is indicative in his actions inside or outside the office. He has a way of warming his way into the hearts of his troops and even people around him.
This could be seen from the prompt response and action taken by the Army recently when its budget was requested for by a civil society group. It was an act of good faith from a General that is known to Nigerians for his hard work, honesty, sincerity of purpose and dedication to duty. Gen. Buratai and his men are on record as soldiers who are determined more than ever before to bring to an end the ongoing war against insurgents in the country.
Biu sent in this report from Abuja.