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Saturday, April 13, 2024

An Open letter to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) On How The Scourge Of INSURGENCY Can Be Scientifically Tackled In Nigeria



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Your Excellency sir,

I am very hopeful and confident that this letter will get to your attention. I am writing you as a citizen and in my capacity as an Independent Advocate of Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR) I am a patriotic commoner who has been researching on how to use non-kinetic approach to Preventing organised crimes in Nigeria, to make the Job of a sitting President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of The Federal Republic of Nigeria(C-in-C) Effective and Efficient; which by the grace of God you are. This epistle becomes imperative as I believe in your capability, capacity and intelligence to move Nigeria forward.

Your Excellency sir, there is no doubt that your administration is committed to ending the insurgency plaguing the country today, going by the round peg in a round hole appointments you made in the security sector. I can say for sure, there is no iota of nepotism in this critical sector on appointments your Excellency made. The combined effort of the security agencies in tackling insecurity in Nigeria has yielded and still churning out results. However, the effort can be complemented by non-kinetic approach to containing and fighting the monster.

Going forward, it is important we look at how United State of America (USA) responded and still responding to Organised Crimes (Insurgency) after 9/11 terrorist attacks that left about 4,000 Americans and non-Americans alike dead; as a guide to understanding the issue at hand. There is no doubt that when it comes to use of Technology in fighting crime, USA ranks probably number 1 in the world. In fact, American believe in fighting insecurity with Technology, brought about what I call “Technology can do everything Delusion” of Americans. It is an established fact that they, Americans automatically cured themselves of this delusional inclination that Technology can do everything, after 9/11 terror attacks. The then President, George W. Bush Junior, even lamented the shortcoming of the use technology in containing terrorism.

Your Excellency sir, you are not short of intellectuals around you in Aso-Villa.  You can detail some of them to get you comprehensive report on why Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was established despite plethora of security agencies at the disposal of USA. The result Google showed me on the reason behind the formation of DHS is this: “The Department of Homeland Security was formed in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as part of a determined national effort to safeguard the United States against terrorism”. Now, it will be seen that the term, “Safeguard” as used here denotes a precautionary measures warding off impending dander or damage or injury etc. In other words, DHS was established to take preventive actions towards making USA safe.

Your Excellency sir, Google further revealed five major mission areas of Department of Homeland Security. These are, preventing terrorism, securing borders, enforcing immigration law, safeguarding cyber systems, and ensuring resilience when disasters occur. If we interrogate further, the reason behind the establishment of DHS in USA, despite all the security agencies in the country, it will be seen that there was clear absence of inter agency collaboration, as well as lack of central security clearing house or security hub. So, DHS was established as security coordinating hub, combining 22 different federal departments and agencies into a unified, integrated cabinet agency. Your Excellency sir, if USA can reassess its security architecture, after 9/11 attacks, I think Nigeria should emulate their footstep in this regard.

Perhaps your Excellency may want to know that the issue of human intelligence, in place of signals intelligence, re-echoed fifteen years after 9/11 terror attacks in US. Matt A. Mayer who incidentally was a senior official at DHS, in a detailed research report, published in the website of American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on June 16, 2016; made an interesting submission. In his report, entitled, Enhanced Human Intelligence Is Key To Defeating Terrorists, he has this to say in the first paragraph: “As the barbaric attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Brussels, and Orlando have demonstrated, we need to enhance our capabilities to detect and thwart terrorists as they plan attacks. With the proliferation of off-the-shelf encryption technologies and other operational security measures, terrorists are becoming harder to find by traditional technical collection methods such as wiretaps and signals intelligence (SIGINT). Meeting this threat means investing in human intelligence (HUMINT) capabilities at home—not just at the federal level, but also at the state and local levels”—.Your Excellency, Matt A. Mayer’s research report speaks to the heart of the proposal on Scientific Intelligence Gathering System (SIGS) I am writing to you about.

Your Excellency sir, as you know, there are basically two types of Insurgency, asymmetric and symmetric variants. In the case of USA, the main threat confronting it was/ is terrorism and they; USA seems to know the source. And so, America is battling symmetric Insurgency. In Nigeria situation, we are talking about asymmetric Insurgency. A brief definition of Insurgency will suffice here. It is defined as: “An organised rebellion aimed at overthrowing a constituted government through the use of Subversion and Armed conflict”. We can see that in both symmetric and asymmetric Insurgency, two factors stand out, and that is subversion as well as armed conflict. US was successfully subverted from within before the 9//11 attacks. But US knew or were able to identify the terrorists, that makes 9/11 terror attacks a symmetric one. Your Excellency sir, Nigerian variant of Insurgency is at best, asymmetric in nature, and that makes it difficult to be effectively tackled by the security agencies. While America believes the 9/11 terror attacks was masterminded outside America, but planned within, the terror attacks in Nigeria are planned within the country, masterminded right in Nigeria as well.

What makes asymmetric Insurgency worrisome in Nigeria is that the insurgents don’t seem to spear men of the security agencies in their attacks. Your Excellency sir, a rough statistics shows that in every 10 Nigerians killed from organized crime like kidnapping, at least, 3 of them are policemen. Similarly, for every 10 Nigerians killed from Unknown Gunmen attacks, in fact, 10 of them are policemen. The military men are no speared by Bandits in the northern part of Nigeria. In these instant cases, it is a no win situation for anyone.

Your Excellency sir, the truth remains that no country in this world has won the war against Insurgency on the battle field alone. It has always being a combination of kinetic and non-kinetic approach. The country that had nearest to what we are experiencing in Nigeria is the Philippines. When Philippines was under hostage by Luis Taruc-led Hukbalahp Insurgency group, the then government of Elpidio Quirino, elected to deploy kinetic approach to crouch the insurgents, but could not succeed. But when Ramon Magsasay took over from Quirino, he decided to engage General Edward Lansdale who was an expert in counterinsurgency. General Lansdale was regarded as the best expert in the world. After taking a critical look at issues in Philippines, General Lansdale advised President Ramon Magsaysay to, among other things, bring his government nearer to the people of the Philippines. Magsaysay followed Lansdale’s advice to the last and HUK guerilla movement became a thing of the past. Your Excellency, the point I am trying to make here is that, when a country is fighting insurgency, the best and easy way to contain it, is by mobilising and deploying the Collective Will of the citizens, as Philippines option had shown. In fact, this option was later used by General David Petraeus in Iraq and it worked perfectly well.

You will agree with me, your Excellency that when you were the executive Governor of Lagos State, your administration eliminated insecurity in the State. The strategy your Excellency adopted in fighting crime to submission was simple.   As the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of the state, you summoned the then Commissioner of Police (CP) Sir Mike Okiro to Alausa, the seat of power. You told him of your government’s determination to end insecurity in Lagos state. You further asked him to tell you what the Police needed to effectively fight and contain insecurity. The first thing CP Okiro demanded was daily fueling of Police operational vehicles. Your Excellency responded by creating fuel dump in Alausa. The next was provision of more operational vehicles to augment the existing ones. Your government wasted no time in providing those vehicles as well. And of course, your government motivated the Police as well. And when Police demanded support from the military, Lagos state government under your leadership, gave standing order to provide military support to the then GOC. This too, was done. Your Excellency sir, when your supporters were saying you fought insecurity to stand still as Governor of Lagos state; many doubted it, until Sir Mike Okiro gave a graphic detail of how your government wrestles Lagos state from criminals.

Your Excellency, as CSO of Lagos state, you never went to Europe or USA to buy AK-47s and RPGs for the Police to end insecurity in Lagos state, you simply boosted the operational capacity of the Police in your state, and the great feat was achieved. Now that your Excellency is both the Chief Security Officer (CSO) and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of The Federal Republic of Nigeria(C-in-C); the strategy of fighting crime has not changed. What has changed is dimension of crime. In Lagos state, the Police was dealing with unorganised crimes, now Nigeria is dealing with organised crimes, also known as insurgency. The insurgency we are talking about here is a complicated one because of its asymmetric nature. Just as I said earlier, both military and policemen are victim of this variant of insecurity. Even if they are not victim, force of arm alone has never defeated asymmetric insurgency anywhere in the world that this writer knows.

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In the course of my research, I  discovered that because of Democracy and Human Rights issues in Presidential democracies, policies and programmes have never been developed anywhere in the world to Enhance or make the Job of a C-in-C Efficient and Effective. And that is the greatest problem confronting Presidents in Presidential Democracies, in attempt at tackling insurgency, particularly, the asymmetric type in a multi-ethnic country. Your Excellency, as it is now, only you as the C-in-C of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria can lead the charge to end insurgency in Nigeria. The current protocol situation where the service chiefs come to brief you on progress in the fight against insecurity alone, cannot solve the problem totally. Your Excellency, there is the need for you to strategically mobilize and deploy the Collective Will of Nigerians to contain the current insurgency in the country via Scientific Intelligence Gathering System (SIGS).

Your Excellency, permit me to explain what I mean by strategic mobilization and deployment of the Collective Will of Citizens of Nigerians to contain insurgency. Everybody in the country believes that “security should be and is everyone’s business”, but no one has put up a realistic and sustainable way Nigerians will be involved. It is easy to say Nigerians should report the kidnappers and bandits to the security agencies, but the real issue remains, how the safety of an intelligence supplier will be guaranteed afterwards. The TRUST problem between citizens and lead security agency, Police, is the greatest obstacle here. Only recently, the current Chairman of Police Service Commission (PSC), Solomon Arase, at an International Symposium On Countering Organised Crimes in Africa, themed, Drug Crimes, Terrorism, Arms Trafficking, Marine Crimes, Environmental Crime, and Auto Theft; which was organized by the Centre for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch; said, Citizens must fight against those threatening Nigeria’s sovereignty. These were his exact words: “As a people, we must rise and stand firm against those who threaten the sovereign integrity of the Nigerian State, as no security agency can deliver on its mandate without the support of the people”. Arase’s address touches on citizens’ involvement in containing organised crimes.

Unfortunately, Arase failed to answer the simple question of How? Nigerians should rise and stand firm against those elements he talked about in a realistic manner; bearing in mind, the vexed problem of TRUST between Police and citizens when it comes to offering intelligence on crime. To this writer, citizens can only fight realistically if Nigerians are to be allowed to bear arms, and that will only mean incubation of anarchy in the country. Even if Nigeria elects to embrace State Police, it will still not solve the problem of insurgency because it is mostly political in nature, which is why it’s an organised rebellion aimed at overthrowing a constituted government.

On 14th April, 2014, your Excellency twitted on your X handle as citizen Bola Tinubu thus: “Nigeria’s security outlook is depressing. The unending attacks suggest a failure of intelligence. Government must rethink its strategy now”. Clearly, there was failure of intelligence, exacerbated in part, by issues of Democracy and Human Rights. Also, there was no creative strategy the then government can possibly put in place, probably because the President in power doesn’t know in practical terms, he was also the C-in-C of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria, as such, he was duty bound to strategically mobilise and deploy the Collective Will of Citizens of Nigeria to end the bloodletting. Perhaps, the President then didn’t know that the most important reason a sitting President is called the C-in-C of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic Nigeria is that, he is the Supreme Commanding Officer particularly, in charge of the Operational Component of all the Arms Bearing Security Establishments in Nigeria. Your Excellency, it is only when you take over the operational component of Police as the Supreme IGP of Nigeria, by the virtue of being the C-in-C, that you can rethink security strategy, as far as asymmetric insurgency is concerned in Nigeria.

Under the immediate past President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, the issue of intelligence failure cropped up. When the President visited the scene of the unfortunate Kuje correctional centre terrorist attack, he blamed it on failure of intelligence system. Your Excellency, it could be seen that the two Presidents before your Excellency apparently failed in the area of “intelligence System management”. And the reason for their failure is simple – treating insurgency induced insecurity as conventional insecurity. They also forgot that insurgency is an organized rebellion involving subversion before conflict manifestation. It was the realization that terrorism is an existential threat that made President George Bush Junior-led government to establish DHS to PREVENT further terrorist attacks in America. In Nigeria of today, there are dimensions of organized crime: Kidnapping, Banditry, Unknown Gunmen etc. These crimes are carried out by more than one person and involve long time of planning and coordination.

Your Excellency sir, the easiest and most effective way to strategically mobilise and deploy the Collective Will of Citizens of Nigeria to contain insurgency is through Scientific Intelligence Gathering System (SIGS). Under SIGS, Data will be generated and it can be verified by your Excellency as the Supreme IGP in charge of Police operations, right inside Aso-Villa. Your Excellency, SIGS will greatly enhance your Job as the C-in-C, as you will mention simultaneous presence in every community in Nigeria. This automatically implies that all intelligence supplied on organized crimes by Nigerians from all the communities in the country, will be available to your Excellency in Aso-Villa in real time. It will interest your Excellency to know that SIGS is made possible by the Data Harvesting and Management (DH&M) component of Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR). Your Excellency will agree with me that Kuje correctional centre terrorist attack wouldn’t have taken place if there was Scientific Intelligence Gathering System (SIGS) in place because the C-in-C then, would have gotten all the intelligence supplied before the attack. Honourable Idris Wase, the Deputy Speaker of the 9th House of Representatives, disclosed after Kuje correctional centre terrorist attacks that DSS frontloaded 44 intelligence reports to relevant security agencies for action.

Your Excellency sir, since every Nigerian, from the security circle, to ordinary man on the street, believes that the key to defeating insurgency in the country is for citizens to come together to contain the menace; what is lacking is a realistic strategy on How? Nigerians can come together to achieve this task. Your Excellency sir, only you as the C-in-C of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can strategically mobilise and deploy the Collective Will of citizens to End INSURGENCY in the country. In doing this, Your Excellency may order Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to establish a Community Based Strategic Security Ecosystem (CBSSE), within which Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR) will be complementing other existing intelligence gathering channels in every community in Nigeria. AMICR is an intelligence gathering system aimed at preventing organized crimes in every community in Nigeria. AMICR will complement the efforts of: Traditional Rulers, Community Leaders, Religious Leaders and other stakeholders in security management in our various communities in Nigeria.

CBSSE will automatically mean that no community in Nigeria can genuinely complain of organised crimes induced insecurity again. CBSSE can automatically stop or drastically reduce Kidnapping, Banditry, Unknown Gunmen and other organised crimes in Nigeria. Why would any community in Nigeria complain of insecurity when they can directly or indirectly supply information on crime to Police under CBSSE? With AMICR, every community in Nigeria will have a full complement of information supply system (direct or indirect) intelligence supply system. The good aspect of AMICR is that your Excellency can monitor it from Aso-Villa because it is a Data based programme. “Exact primary Data, they say, don’t lie”. Your Excellency sir, AMICR complemented CBSSE represents a classical case of thinking out of the box, as far as fighting the current asymmetric insurgency in Nigeria is concerned.

Your Excellency, history supports a king Hieron of Syracuse in Sicily using exact primary Data to prove to his subjects that his goldsmith stole his gold while turning the gold bar given to him to a golden crown. When the goldsmith delivered the crown, the king suspected his gold was stolen by the goldsmith, but could not prove it. The king then turned to his friend, Archimedes to help him out. Archimedes took up the challenge. It was in the bathroom that Archimedes stumbled on the solution to king Hieron’s suspicion. According to Archimedes, “when I got into the tub, my body displaced a lot of water. Now there must be a relationship between my volume and the volume of water that my body displaced-because if I weren’t so big, less water would have spilled on my floor”. Archimedes thereafter questioned – what if he put the crown in water? How much water would it displace? And could he apply this to prove that the crown was made of pure gold? Archimedes realized that the crown’s density was the key. In a nutshell, Archimedes was able to proof with Data that indeed, the goldsmith stole king Hieron’s gold. What is known as Archimedes principle today was brought about by the king’s quest to democratically prove his case. Your Excellency sir, as the Head of State (King) of Nigeria, by virtue of you being the C-in-C of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, AMICR affords you the opportunity of using Date to complementarily prevent and fight organised insecurity in Nigeria.

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It may interest your Excellency to know that the task before you under AMICR, as the C-in-C and the Apex Chief Security Officer of Nigeria, is simple, ask Police authorities Data based questions and demand answers. Your Excellency sir, AMICR is so well designed to make your job as C-in-C effective and efficient. Based on the design of AMICR, your Excellency is to establish situation room in Aso-Villa for monitoring, analyzing and evolution of Data harvested from the programme. Your Excellency may appoint a Data analytic expert who will be availing you update on how Police is handling and processing intelligence they gathered on organised crimes from every community in Nigeria. The situation room will be equipped with a giant smart television or projector. Good enough, Nuhu Ribadu-led ONSA may coordinate the Data Harvesting, Management and Evaluation component of AMICR, for efficiency and effectiveness.

It may interest your Excellency to know that Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR) is a hybrid version of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in US and National Council for Crime Prevention (NCCP) in Sweden. As I have already explained, DHS was established in US to among other things, Prevent terrorism which is an organized crime. AMICR however, has some advantages over DHS. In the first place, the President of USA has to depend on what DHS gives him as intelligence report without verification, but in AMICR, your Excellency can verify every intelligence supply to the Police on organized crimes. Secondly, DHS is excessively bureaucratic in nature with 240,000 employees; such will not apply under AMICR.

Research by statista.com on Trust in Police by country shows Denmark, Netherlands and Sweden as the top three (3) countries in the world. The citizens of these three countries have high Trust in operation of their Police. In Sweden, however, it was discovered that the country has National Council for Crime Prevention (NCCP). The Council’s mission is to reduce crime and improve levels of safety in society by producing data and disseminating knowledge on crime and crime prevention work. It also produces Sweden’s official crime statistics, evaluates reforms, conducts research to develop new knowledge and provides support to local crime prevention work. This is exactly what Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR) under ONSA will be saddled with. Like DHS, NCCP is bureaucratic in nature and the Prime Minister of Sweden has to depend on report from it for action, unlike AMICR where the C-in-C can verify every report on organised crimes, if he so desires.

Your Excellency sir, I know you are a leader that has ear, eye on the ground for any creative proposal that will make your administration successful. You demonstrated this in Minna, Niger State, not too long ago as presidential candidate of APC. During your campaign interaction in the state, with agricultural stakeholder for the development of agricultural policy for the Renewed Hope Agenda, your Excellency took everyone by surprise with a decision you made. When the governor of Kebbi state, Atiku Bagudu, finished his submission on Agricultural Roadmap, you took to the podium, but instead of giving your submission, you simply said there was nothing to say again, as Bagudu’s roadmap had taken the shine out of your own. There and then, you ordered a committee be setup with Bagudu as the Chairman to coordinate Agricultural policy of APC.

Your Excellency sir, I know your  Government will not shy away from any  SCIENTIFIC solution that can help in ending organised insecurity in Nigeria, on the basis of this fact, I propose that Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR) be adopted as auxiliary National Security Policy immediately. AMICR is purely Intelligence Gathering Action Plan that seeks to make every Nigerian a Whistle Blower on Insecurity in the country. It ensures the safety of any Nigerian offering intelligence on crime in his community; as their identity will not be known. It is designed to prevent organized crimes in our various communities in Nigeria. It is non kinetic in nature. It ensures equality of access to intelligence offering process in Nigeria. It gives the Chief Security in command (CSOs), the President and C-in-C, at the national level and Governors at the sub-national levels, gilt-edged opportunity to oversight Police managers via Exact Primary Data. It is capable of enhancing professionalism in Policing in Nigeria. It ensures the safety of Policemen, in and out of duty, as they will be harvesting intelligence on crime on 24/7 because it is anchored on Sun Tsu’s maxim: “if you know your enemy, in hundred battles, he will be defeated”.

AMICR will eliminate Misinformation around insecurity like Insecurity tag & Profiling, Hate Speech and Fake news. Most of, if not all the reports linking Kidnapping, Assassination, Banditry etc to activities of Fulani herdsmen, are not entirely true, but because Nigerians don’t have the opportunity of utilizing a Secured and Protective intelligence gathering channel, to report criminal activities within their immediate environments; ethnic profiling has become the order of the day. When AMICR comes on board, Nigerians will have the opportunity of divulging accurate information about Insecurity Masterminds and Perpetrators unhindered. This will render Hate Speech, Fake and Hate news purveyors irrelevant, as they will be ignored for good.

The Fundamental reason behind AMICR is Trust:  It appears the mindset of Nigerians on Police is that of mistrust. This Trust problem leads to apparent lack of Confidence in the police in the area of supplying information on criminality. Confidentiality Hazard: In effort at offering intelligence via phone, the problem of trace back to source occasioned by wire tap and hacking becomes another impediment. Fear that useful information supplied may be swept under the carpet or complainant becoming an accused; generally militate against effective policing in Nigeria.  Thus in AMICR, NIPOST will serve as Intermediary or go-between the citizens’ and Police towards intelligence gathering for crime prevention and fighting in Nigeria. In terms spread, NIPOST and Police run neck and neck, as far as presence in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria is concerned. With NIPOST having about 5000+ outlets scattered all over Nigeria, and with Police having even more outlets, hence the imperativeness of AMICR.

Your Excellency sir, work on AMICR is 98% completed.  I have interfaced with both Police and NIPOST, in line with directive from OSGF, and report on the interface had since been submitted to Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF). The remaining 2% work left on AMICR has to do with Your Excellency issuing an Executive Order on AMICR. What is needed now, Your Excellency is for Mallam Nuhu Ribadu-led ONSA or any other office of your choice, to coordinate this final part of AMICR action plan. Once Executive Order was issued, AMICR will automatically become law in Nigeria. This will galvanize the interest of Nigerians on the programme. An Executive Order proclamation on AMICR will also give meaning to FG-led Community Policing, as every Nigerian will automatically take charge of security within their community. I sincerely believe that AMICR a Scientific Intelligence Gathering System (SIGS) needed in Nigeria now. The realistic missing link in, Nigerians should unite, come together, speak with one voice etc, against insecurity is SIGS!

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I wish you the best in your endeavors for the betterment of our beloved country.

Emeka Oraetoka,

Is an Independent Advocate of Anonymous Mail-in Crime Report (AMICR)

09039094636, 08056031187.

E-mail: giltsdaimesion@gmail.com.

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