Insecurity and PMB’s position in history

Since ancient times, the dream of each society has been to have security of properties and lives of citizens. The citizens want to live a prosperous and harmonious life and free from any kind of disturbances either internally or externally. The security failures in Nigeria today climaxed to its peak within 48 hours, and whether one likes it or not, the current administration will be judged harshly whenever the history of Nigeria is going to be written. Like each and every ruler, President Muhammadu Buhari, PMB, wants to leave a legacy, unfortunately for him, historians will place PMB in a delicate place when it comes to writing the history of his administration, as the current insecurity and harsh economic situations in the country turned the administration to indefensible.

No doubt that when the All Progressives Congress, APC, and PMB took the nation’s leadership mantle in 2015, things were not good at all in the country. Most, if not all, people at that time pitied both APC and PMB for the facts on the ground in Nigerian leadership situation at the time were too precarious for someone to make meaningful impact on the lives of Nigerians at that time. But most Nigerians had higher expectations and hopes on you because of your past records as General Muhammadu Buhari, former head of state, and former chairman of Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), which you managed satisfactorily.

After May 29, 2015, when PMB took oath of office, it began to turn southward for the nation in particular. It took PMB over six months to appoint his ministers. Not only that, the caliber of people PMB displayed after that delay was not impressive. Other presidential appointments were disappointing as well. Some people were appointed without their consent, dead people were given appointments in some instances.

Steadily, under PMB’s watch, insecurity grew to become one of the worst the country has ever faced, only second to our civil war. Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping for ransom all got worse under PMB administration. With the situation getting worse by the day, what Nigerians were assured every day were excellent statements from either Femi Adesina or Malam Garba Shehu, the president’s spokespersons, each and every time the president is saddened by the situation as well as promises of improvement within the shortest time. By each passing day, Northwest part of the country turned to be the nation’s insecurity quagmire. The ever busy and strategic Kaduna – Abuja road has become immotorable even for the super class citizens. Armed Forces Generals have been forced by the bandits to completely stop plying this road! They retreat to either using flights or the chaotic train hurriedly commissioned for face saving.

With the exception of Kano and Jigawa states, life in the Northwestern part of the country has become the reality of Plutonian description of nasty, brutish and short. Bandits established their lordship in this part of the country by kidnapping for ransom, raping, killing, etc. All kinds of promises have been made to the people, but nothing has materialised. There was a time when it was clear your service chiefs were out of touch with the reality of insecurity in the country, but you stuck to them despite the negative result they kept producing. The whole country was unanimous that they must go, and this despite their over stay in the service and blocking promotions for other officers, but you ignored all. A clear display of one of your good characters. There were times bandits levied farmers to pay them taxes (one of the highest levels of treason; establishing authority within your authority and NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION) before they can access their farms in some parts of Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina states.

Northcentral part of the country also received its share of criminalities. Niger state is also highly affected by banditry and kidnapping for ransom. Plateau state is yet to come back to its feet since the 2000 crisis. Lives and properties are wasted daily. Benue and Taraba states too are not spared.

All these criminalities climaxed when the whole presidential convoy (the president was not in), what is called “Advanced Party” (AP), was fully attacked in the PMB’s home state of Katsina! One can imagine the kind of statement that you would authorise if this happened in Bayelsa state when PDP and Jonathan were in charge of Nigeria, and you were the leading opposition person. For sure, you will call for the end of PDP and Jonathan’s leadership as they failed the nation. This incident must be investigated from bottom to top. Why? because the puzzle does not match here. How did the bandits know the AP team of the presidents are coming? What plans did the relevant security agencies provide for the AP team? For example, do they need additional cover up by security agencies in each state they cross? This incident is pointing to a mole within the president’s people!

Honestly, the Aso Rock Villa needs a security/guard overhaul. This is not the first-time security breach has occurred within the number one person of Nigeria. We vividly remember how for the first-time in our history, the presidential palace was burgled! Burglary occurred at the house of the chief of staff to the president, and it also occurred at the house of the chief of protocol to the president. These are two strategic positions within the president. Finally, the president’s convoy was attacked by bandits! And still all principal security officers in the presidential palace maintained their jobs! Only in Nigeria can this happen and no consequences.

It is high time the Nigerian authorities woke up from their slumber. These security breaches are just out of control and putting the country on the path of state failure, irrespective of their denials. It is pertinent to go to history lanes to look into how some African states found themselves in serious ugly situations. It all started from attacks in village after village. It then strengthened to town after town. It kept growing till it reached the national capital! That is when each and everybody realised that the rag armies battling the state mean business and unstoppable at that point.

The Kuje prison attack should be the real wake up call for PMB and his security and intelligence people. After this attack, these enemies of the state will attack the heart of the Nigerian state of authority. Remember they attacked the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters before. The management of the Nigerian prison system needs to be reviewed right away. Why?

In any security breach of this magnitude, there must be moles within the security management apparatus, thus, digging deeper to identify them is the first step towards addressing some of the security challenges the country is facing. These moles might be a highly coordinated organisation which your government is yet to even know of their existence.

No doubt the insecurity situation the country is currently battling will shape the PMB’s historical context of Nigeria. The administration will be judged based on what happened and or the actions and inactions during his tenure. By what happened and happening, it will be a harsh judgement for the PMB administration personally, particularly looking at his records as head of state in the 1980s. The president has less than 10 months to salvage his image and that of the administration he is leading, one will hope it is doable within this period, if not, one will then say, may Almighty Allah deliver Nigeria and Nigerians from PMB safely. Ameen.

Abdullahi writes from Texas, United States via [email protected]

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