The presidential order had found its way rightly into the list of news that made the headlines on Friday, April 22, 2022.
Apart from the uniqueness of the date, even the news item was very unique, emanating not just from the presidential villa, but from the President and Commander-in-Chief, being the aftermath of a high-powered security meeting held the previous Thursday between the Comander-in-Chief and all the service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Alkali Usman Baba, whose state Yobe, has turned a grazing place for bandits as they consistently invade and brazingly kill innocent citizens like animals and audaciously cart away their property without any resistance. This is very painful indeed.
Such unwantom attacks and killings around the country warranted the summoning of the service chiefs after a series of such presidential directives, which, to many Nigerians, looks as if the presidential order had fallen on deaf ears, despite noticeable evidence of military incursions into the enemies’ stronghold, including the bandits. These service chiefs have met with their Commander-in-Chief more than five times and it has become a routine security meeting, not the type resembling the scenario of a student that had woefully failed his promotional exam and after collecting his report card suddenly developed cold feet and became dumbfounded, not willing to return home to face his father whom he knows would be very furious.
The reports are glaringly embarrassing.
Nigerians are not happy with daily happenings as regards their personal security.
They believe the service chiefs and IGP have not done enough to protect their lives. They wonder why the Nigerian Army that is recognized for its professionalism when on every United Nations foreign mission assignment outside the country is not able to end the terror war under its jurisdiction for over a decade.
It is the same with the police who still dispatch men and women on foreign missions when Nigeria is under terrorists’ siege. Of what importance and value is it for a man to send his able-bodied sons to help his neighbour quench a fire when there is a greater fire devastating and consuming his family home and property?
They base their ratings on the daily reports in the media. They are in tune with happenings around the country and via the social media. On his part, the President cannot be said not to be aware of the full implication of what a country that is bedeviled of insecurity connotes. After all, he has been in the presidential saddle for over seven years and no one can tell him about the feelings of the people, a people who loves to talk more than taking to the streets like the Tunisians that love to carry placards whenever they are angered by their government.
President Buhari understands that Nigerians are loquacious homo sapiens who are very understanding, intelligent and not too radical. No wonder he couldn’t hide his feelings since he also wears the same shoes with then and knows where the shoe pinches.
The decision of the President said it all when the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, disclosed: “The President spoke about his sadness in respect of recent security challenges and developments we have had in the country, in particular the incident in which several Nigerians lost their lives with many more taken into captivity by criminals and bandits.”
“Not just those that were captured during the last Kaduna-bound train incident but those that have been in captivity in other parts of the country.
“The President has directed all the operational and intelligence elements to rescue all of these innocent people immediately and unhurt. This is the basis on which other issues were discussed.
Stating further, that about 3,000 people were killed and almost 1,500 kidnapped across Nigeria in the first three months of 2022.
More intriguing is the disclosure of Mongonu when he told journalists, “I submitted a memo to council and my recommendations are being looked into by the President. My recommendations are wide-ranging and they touch on all aspects of security, starting with the level of security of our land borders as well as within the country itself.”
Monguno said decisive steps are being taken to secure all the land borders of the country, in order to address the threats coming from outside such borders. He said the threats have now shifted from the north-eastern part of the country to the North-West and the North-Central but even that must be contained.
“It has to be contained collectively by both the armed forces and constabulary forces but the intelligence agencies have also been directed to enhance the acquisition of intelligence,” he added.
He noted that the present situation in the country calls for collective efforts by all, not only those that have been charged with the responsibility of physically securing the country.
“Unless the wider society, right down to the local governments, are willing to give the type of information needed in order to block the activities of these criminals, this situation will continue to linger beyond whatever time frame we are looking at towards ending this problem.”
The security adviser to the President was talking as if he was recently appointed. Here is a major-general who was appointed seven years ago with the last service chiefs that were relieved of their appointment yet he was left behind believing that he still has new ideas to advise the President. Instead, the situation has worsened, yet Mongonu did not deem it morally right to throw in his papers. In other climes, no one would advise him to resign. He ought to have gone with the last service chiefs.
There must be something fishy that Mongonu is not telling Nigerians. Since he has a hidden timetable when terrorism in the country would end, may we jointly request that the ending days of terror be fast-forwarded to avoid more shedding of innocent blood in the country?
CP FCT Sunday Babaji’s security advice
• Be extra careful and vigilant at all times
• Report suspicious activities around you immediately to any security agency
• Inform your relations when going out and be specific of your movements.