A Presidential Committee On Insecurity Remains The Only Option – By Sanusi Muhammad

Despite the efforts of the Mr. President to defeat security challenges bedeviling Nigeria, those on whose shoulders rests the task, seems to be incapacitated, deceitful and insincere in handling the task.

Most of the states in the north eastern part of the country are under different forms of security threats ranging from insurgency, ethno-religious crisis, kidnappings, armed and pen robberies while development suffers.

For instance, the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe have been under terror attacks in the last 10 years from the dreaded Boko Haram insurgents and the Islamic States of West Africa Province (ISWAP) from what started as a minor skirmish between the Nigeria Police and Boko Haram (Jama’atu Ahal Sunnah Lid’diwa’ati Wal Jihad)in Maiduguri, Borno state.

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The two terror groups have carried out hundreds of several terror attacks on specific targets and killed tens of thousands of innocent persons, displaced over two million others from their homes, destroyed schools, burnt down mosques, markets, churches, police stations, private residences and military formations.

Since the eruption of the crises, from the records, over 100 schools were either destroyed or burnt to ashes with thousands of teachers killed and thousands of children sent out of schools. Many children were turned to orphans and women became widows. In early June, over 130 people comprising civilians, vigilantes, soldiers and aid workers of the global body, United Nations were massacred in different terror attacks by Boko Haram and ISWAP. The attack on Tuesday, June 9 left at least 84 innocent people dead with a village, Faduma Kolomaiya in Gubio District of Borno state completely razed down. In separate attacks on Saturday, June 13, Boko Haram insurgents gunned down 38 people and another 15 including nine soldiers in Goni Usmanti village and Munguno, a key army base and garrison town where UN and other aid workers are based.

While people of the north-east are grieving as a result of the persistent terror attacks, Mr. President seems to have refused sacking the incapacitated service chiefs for non-performance and glaring failure to actualize his desire of defeating the insurgents. He most likely believes in the cook and bull stories periodically delivered to him by those charged with the responsibility of restoring normalcy in the embattled areas.

For Mr. President to understand the real situation on ground, it is advisable he appoints a Presidential Security Committee to take charge of all security related matters within a given period. The said Presidential Committee should operate independent of the conventional security agencies to separate the chaff from the grain.

As Nigerians call for the sack of the security chiefs, Senate President, Ahmed Lawal on Sunday, June 21, insinuated that the “security situation might have worsened because security agencies lack enough equipment to confront criminals”, when only in April, the Nigerian Army reportedly acquired 17 military vehicles consisting of VT-4 main battle tanks and two types of self-propelled Howitzer to fight the insurgents.

It was also reported that the army procured and commissioned 55 Buffalo 4-wheel vehicles to facilitate their operations. Only in 2019, the federal government claimed that it paid $496,374,470 for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft for the Nigerian Air force in a direct government-to-government transaction and other military equipment worth $380,513,950,71 for Navy Lynx Helicopter making the total amount involved on the procurements to $876,888,428,7.

The question is, if truly all the procurements said to have been purchased for the military were actually true, why is it difficult for the military to end the insurgency and banditry bedeviling the country? The failure of the government to change the service chiefs for their inability to stem the tide of terrorism and banditry indicates that something is wrong somewhere; or is it that some people in government or in the military are benefitting from the worsening security situation?

It is time the governors of the affected areas should come together to find a lasting solution to the incessant terror and banditry attacks in their areas. A Presidential Security Committee under the chairmanship of a tested retired military General remains the only option to proffer solutions to worrisome situation or we should learn to tolerate the bad situation while few are making fortune out of it.

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