Ending inter-agency rivalry among security agencies

Finally, President Goodluck Jonathan has clarified that replacement of service chiefs is not connected to seeming inter-service rivalry among security agencies. He made remarks while commissioning the Air Force Comprehensive School in Yola, Adamawa State. He nevertheless urged a synergy among the nation’s security agencies, given that Nigeria is exposed to “cancer” of insurgency.

Few days earlier, suspected Boko Haram members were reported to have attacked churches and mosques, killing innocent citizens in Borno and Adamawa states. The recent attacks might have been triggered to dissuade the President from visiting the home-state of his new Defence Chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, who is from Adamawa.

Immediately after Badeh’s appointment, the Nigeria Air Force reportedly attacked and killed a number of suspected insurgents at the Cameroonian border with Nigeria. Badeh, a former Chief of Air Staff, had promised to crush terrorists by April, 2014.
We should not lose sight of the fact that the military has so far succeeded in restricting and cornering Boko haram insurgency to few states in the North-East. Few years ago, terrorists were having field days in other parts of the country including, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto and few incursions in other states including the Federal Capital Abuja.

The Nigerian military has recorded tremendous success in its war against insurgency. The relative peace so far recorded in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe before the recent unfortunate development even in worship centres, is attributed to the gallantry, determination, sacrifice and relentless struggles of the Nigerian security agencies. Even though it has continued to lose its finest personnel in several coordinated attacks against terrorists, it has remained undaunted and more committed to ending acts of terrorism across the country.
Without doubt, we still have a long way to go in banishing terrorism from our dear land. More re-organization, strategy reviews, policy alteration, shake-up, alignments and re-alignments are part and parcel of what to expect in positioning the Nigerian military for optimum performance.

It is the wish and prayer of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religious, ethnic or political aspiration for Nigeria to overcome its security challenges as soon as possible. The human and material loses so far recorded are too massive to be quiet about. We cannot continue to act as though those precious lives we keep losing in separate attacks are not precious to us. We have every reason to be worried about this sad occurrence. Every soul lost in any of these attacks should be a source of concern to any Nigerian. All the government requires of us is full time cooperation and understanding as it goes about making necessary changes in the nation’s security make-up to overcome challenges posed by insurgent groups.
We all desire to see that peace and normalcy returns to all trouble spots across the country.

The successes so far recorded in the war against insurgency must be sustained. We need not allow unnecessary primordial and clannish issues distract us from consolidating on the gains so far recorded. Even members of the international community are happy with Nigeria’s modest achievements in its efforts to end terrorism in the country. As Nigerian too, we should cooperate with the security agencies in providing necessary supports and information for the protection of lives and property.

The new heads of these security establishments should seek to breakdown the wall of mutual suspicions and inter-agency rivalry among their chiefs and their personnel. They should make effort to share intelligence. They should all realize that they have common goal of ensuring that Nigeria is safe for both Nigerians and her visitors. The government should not tolerate any unnecessary competition that will bring retrogression to this country. They should work collectively in harmony to ensure that the nation overcomes her security challenges.

Fatima Goni,
Kofar Dukawuya, Kano

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