The protection of life and property is axiomatic in every modern and civilized society. Governments the world over throw everything in the works to ensure this primary objective is not only achieved but sustained. This narrative is hinged on the reality that insecurity is an albatross to any nation; it stifles economic growth by prevents investments, increases unemployment and dwindles government revenue, among others.
In Nigeria, the hydra-headed security monster that dates back to 2009 resulted in the Boko Haram insurgents over-running, maintaining territories and hoisting their flags in more than 17 local governments of Borno, Yobe and Gombe States. This sad state of affairs persisted unabated to the extent that even the nation’s capital, Abuja, was no longer safe, with the April 14, 2014 bombing in Nyanya where about 88 people were killed, while 200 were injured. A similar attack took place in Saint Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, Niger State, where 44 people were killed and 78 injured.
Anywhere in the world, the nation’s capitals are presumed to be the safest. To the contrary, residents of the Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, were leaving under constant atmosphere of fear and terror.
The situation was that bad before President Muhammadu Buhari took office on May 29, 2015. Except for pre-meditated and delusive motives, no one can deny that milestones have been achieved in keeping Nigeria safe, though a lot more needs to be done to totally eradicate criminal elements from the country. Today, the FCT is safe. All the territories hitherto held by criminals have been liberated. The Boko Haram dreaded leader, Abubakar Shekau is dead. The troops are energised, invigorated and motivated. Attacks on Borno, Yobe and Gombe States have been abysmally reduced.
It is unfortunate and regrettable to use the recent attacks on Sokoto, Niger and a few other places to assess the true state of security in Nigeria today. But like it happened in Borno and Yobe, the National Security Adviser, Gen Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd), is hands in glove, coming up with counterintelligence and countermeasures that will also put the ugly scenes behind us.
As expected, President Buhari has sent a high powered federal government delegation to Sokoto State, to assuage the fears of the people and assure them that this also, like Boko Haram, will fall to the intelligence gathering power of Gen Monguno and his intelligence team.
Like the deft Intelligence Czar that he is, the NSA Mongonu does not conduct intelligence operation in the media. It should have been clear to all by now that Gen Monguno is not the talking type but a man of reasonable action. From 2015 to date, he has acted in his best capacity to recover the local governments controlled by the Boko Haram Terrorist group and ensure that Nigerians put the Boko Haram nightmare behind them. This is the peak of professional competence and it could be said of NSA Mugono to be the best choice of President Muhammadu Buhari for courageously doing his work.
The role of the Nigerian elites has also contributed negatively to the fight against insecurity. Experience has shown that the difference between the situation in Nigeria and other parts of the world is elites concensus. The elites don’t play politics when national interest is challenged. They hold this to be true that “you are a politician because there is a country.” Hence, politicizing everything, including insecurity, is not only a disservice but also a dangerous precedence too corossive for the health of any nation.
In developed countries I have been to, the elites don’t castigate their leaders or pitch them against the citizens through negative comments against the government. Rather, they rally round them through the electioneering process by changing whichever government they are not satisfied with. The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the UN security council are jointly working with Libya, Syria and other nations to quel insecurity in their domain. This is possible because the elites of those countries and the citizens act as one.
Instead of criticisms Nigerians should rally round the president and support all his efforts to preserve the territorial integrity of the Nigerian State. For instance, acquiring the Super Tucano jets and training and retraining of almost 64 fighter pilots and high intelligence body is one of the efforts being made by the Buhari administration to end the killings. The fruits of all these investments are beginning to manifest in the decimation of the dreaded Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists in the North East as well as bandits in the South West and North Central
In retrospect, apart from the quick fixes, by President Buhari which has necessitated the dispatch of the security chiefs to the theatre of operations, one remarkable step he has taken that has unsettled the criminal circles was the appointment of a seasoned security czar, Gen Monguno as the National Security Adviser. Combining efficiently with the President and coordinating all the nation’s security architecture effectively, Mongonu and his men have beaten terrorists to their game, while strategies are being mapped out to totally annihilate criminal elements.
As the top security chief of Nigeria, President Buhari has through the NSA demonstrated his commitment to safeguard lives and property of Nigerians. As part of the commitment, in the last six years, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has gotten its biggest upgrade. Also, the Nigerian military has taken delivery of a total of thirty-two (32) brand new aircraft, with the latest being the 6 A-29 Super Tucano jets, with the first batch of a total of 12 arriving in Nigeria on Thursday, July 22, 2021.
Against this backdrop, the elites in Nigeria must keep their political, economic and social differences aside in order to salvage the country because in the final analysis, you can only aspire in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
Ibrahim is the director, communications and strategic planning, Presidential Support Committee (PSC).