Nigerians began to witness insecurity before the inauguration of the Buhari administration. Leading to the 2015 elections, Boko Haram insurgency was at its peak. There were regular bomb blasts on several places including the Federal Capital Territory. The United Nations office was also bombed. The insecurity was reaching a crescendo, yet, under President Goodluck Jonathan, the terrorists were restricted to the North East. Many Nigerians saw Jonathan as a weak president who could not end the insecurity and secure the lives and property of Nigerians. Then, the All Progressives Congress (APC) with their candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari offered change. They offered Nigerians hope that given the military background and experiences of Buhari that the insecurity situation in the country would be a thing of the past within months. They eventually won the election and took over the leadership of the nation. The president subsequently declared Boko Haram, “technically defeated”, yet, Boko Haram have been laying waste the Nigerian troops.
Since 2015 when President Buhari assumed office, there has been Boko Haram terror, banditry, kidnapping, Fulani herdsmen and unknown gunmen killing the people and sacking communities. In February 2016, Nigerians woke up to the horrendous massacre in Agatu; Benue state that resulted in the killing of nearly 500 hapless citizens. These spates of killings have been going on across the country with the president either, chosen to be taciturn or ignorant of what is happening. Nigerians have been waiting for the president to employ the full weight of the federal government to secure the life and property of the people but the president has not in the least addressed the country and marshal out action that will quell the chaos and killings already being experienced across the nation.
On a daily basis, on tuning the news, recounts of people killed, fill the airwaves. A country suffering from hunger and poverty should be enveloped with conversations of policies that will better the economy and not to be bugged down by the activities of criminals who are paid ransom in other to save their victims. Although the federal government denies this but reports suggest otherwise.
In recent months, kidnappings from schools have become a new idea to make money, where bandits in a broad day, kidnap students from schools and ransom paid for their release. Some students did not make it alive. The present administration took on the Jonathan administration for their incapability to secure the lives of students in the wake of the kidnap of Chibok girls. Till date, the remaining girls, promised to be found by president Buhari, are still in captivity of the Boko Haram.
Absorbing the repentant Boko Haram
The Buhari administration has been reintegrating the ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists. The terrorists are absorbed into the society. Absorbing these terrorists into the society comes off as appeasement for committing terror.
No bandit has been arrested
Sadly, but little to no bandit has been arrested. If the Buhari administration were sincere in the fight against insecurity, it takes committed leadership to trace and arrest the bandits and the armed herdsmen who have made the country an abattoir of human lives. In 2018, in Jalingo, at the maiden convocation ceremony of Taraba State University, Lt. Gen. T Y Danjuma warned of the complicity of the security personnel with the bandits. He said, “There is an attempt at ethnic cleansing in the state and of course, in some riverine and rural states in Nigeria. We must resist it. We must stop it. Every one of us must rise up. Our Armed Forces are not neutral. They collude with the armed bandits to kill people, kill Nigerians. The Armed Forces guide their movements. They cover them. If you are depending on the Armed Forces to stop the killings, you will all die one by one”. Given the supposed cover by the security personnel, these killer-men are being protected and any form of any reprisal attack by the invaded communities are mostly repelled. Sheik Gumi has been making public utterances that can lead the security operatives to the bandits, none of such has been seen done.
President Buhari is the commander of the armed forces and his reluctance to deploy security personnel against these killers has led to the precarious situation of the country.
Calls for help
President Buhari, in a meeting with the USA Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, requested for help from the USA to tackle the insecurity affecting Nigeria and Africa by extension. He attributed the insecurity to the “existing complex negative pressures in the Sahel, Central and West Africa, as well as the Lake Chad region”. One would think why there is need to call for help when internal security apparatus has not been fully deployed. It remains to know, if the USA will extend such help.
Appeal to bandits
President Buhari through his Twitter account, appealed to the Bandits for the release of the kidnapped students of Greenfield University. He wrote, “I again appeal for the release of the students of Greenfield University & all other citizens held in captivity. We will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that Nigerians live in a country where everyone can move where and when they want—without the fear of kidnapping & banditry”.
With this appeal, does it signal the capitulation of Nigeria’s presidential powers to the bandits? Or employing the use of words rather than action to save Nigerians from the horror of the killings by the bandits?
Calls for option B
When it seems that Buhari administration is reluctant and eventually seem to capitulate to the powers of bandits, Nigerians are being asked to seek option B to protect themselves. Pastor Adefarasin advised his congregants to begin to consider option B. He said, “I bring you greetings from Pastor Ifeanyi who is busy taking care of the frontier of our world and preparing our escape route, if you don’t have a plan B – I know you have faith, but I have faith too but I have a plan B.”
Insecurity has become a worry to all Nigerians because of the handling by the current administration who have been viewed as being weak to respond adequately to the insecurity bedeviling Nigerians. Is president Buhari reluctant or helpless to fight insecurity?
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