Insecurity: Buhari’s marching orders and emerging silver lining

In presidential democracy, the president is the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The implication is that he is the chief security officer of the country and takes responsibility for all the security challenges. That is what President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated with the latest marching orders to security chiefs to flush out bandits and kidnappers from not only Katsina state, but the entire Nigerian territory.

 The renewed vigour in the fight against insecurity in recent times has brought untold pressure on the Boko Haram and ISWAP hierarchies to the extent that the security agencies can beat their chest to say the end of the Boko Haram horror in the North-east and banditry in the South-west is in sight.

 As a General himself, President Buhari has demonstrated that he has the capacity to safeguard the territorial integrity of Nigeria. Today, the leader of the most lethal terror group in the world, Abubakar Shekau, and his group are in disarray; hungry and have resorted to soft targets for daily bread. News even emerged recently that Shekau wept in a new video and was begging for Amnesty.

How else would a leader demonstrate capacity? The required resources needed by the security agencies are not in short supply. Why won’t they deliver? President Buhari’s resolve is that all shades of criminality must be rid of. He has authorised the commencement of a major military operation to sweep bandits and kidnappers out of Katsina state. This is a charismatic and welcome development that will once again position Nigeria for sustainable growth and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

 In the words of the president, “A major proactive operation by Special Forces, which details are being kept secret, is now in progress to replace the reactive strikes against insurgent camps.

“To give a full effect to the exercise, a planning team is already in the state selecting targets and making preparations for the execution of the unprecedented operation.”

To President Buhari, the task of putting an end to the menace of cattle rustling, kidnapping and banditry is a zero resolve, which means that it is no retreat no surrender until the mission is accomplished. The insecurity has come at a very huge economic and social cost to the government and the people, and responsible government will not fold its hands and watch anarchy evolve.

 Thank goodness, President Buhari’s effort at tackling insecurity is receiving commendation from opinion leaders, critical stakeholders and civil society organisations. I expect nothing less because results are visible for all to see. From Borno to Katsina, from Niger state to Zamfara and Kaduna states, bandits, kidnappers and cattle rustlers are running in every direction as the military increases fire power. With the president’s directive, the Nigerian troops are now like cannons overcharged with double cracks.

 These remarkable achievements wouldn’t have been possible without the incontrovertible contributions of the security czar, the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen. Muhammed Mongonu (retd.), whose track records, service experiences in the intelligence community is unparalleled, a record that effortlessly implicates him for excellence.

 Having held sway as the nation’s security chief for almost five years, one can conveniently look back and say you have done well. From the daily bloodshed, occasioned by farmers, herders’ clashes, we are now in an era where Nigerians have practically forgotten that once upon a time we were daily confronted with the menace of the loss of our loved ones, which was no longer a phantasmagoria but a pain in the throat of every Nigerian.

Normal life has since returned to the once troubled states. The farmers and herdsmen, who were hitherto at each other’s throat, are now their brother’s keeper. The intermittent ethno-religious violence on the Plateau did not disappear out of miracle, but through the magic wand of Gen. Munguno.

The last vestige of Boko Haram-held territory in Borno state was liberated not up to a year after Gen. Monguno assumed office. Since then, government has turned its attention to reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation of the North-east region with the establishment of the North East Development Commission.

The kidnapping that reached its peak, especially along Kaduna-Abuja road which almost became a national embarrassment, bowed to Gen. Monguno’s intelligence gathering acumen. That led to a permanent solution to the kidnapping on that road.

Before Gen. Monguno came on board as the NSA, resources allocated to the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) is seen as a share of national cake, Gen. Monguno has brought to bear the best known culture of probity, transparency, and accountability in management of security allocations. As a man born, bred and nurtured in the culture of contentment, Gen. Monguno, throughout his record of service has never been associated with corrupt enrichment.

 He is a man who talks and does not fail. For instance, following the apprehension that trailed the run-up to the last general election, Gen. Monguno promised the security of lives and properties before, during and after the elections. He kept his promise. No major untoward incidence was recorded. The election was adjudged to be the most peaceful, only after the June 12, 1993 election.

As Richard Paul Evans said, “Broken promises are like broken mirrors. They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at fractured images of themselves.” That is why Gen. Monguno, a true soldier will not break his promise. His second pledge to Nigerians before the last general election was to ensure the neutrality of security agencies. He delivered as expected, as Nigerians, irrespective of political leanings were free to express their God-given political right without intimidation.

A golden opportunity to end insurgency is here! It is laudable and we have seen the country’s economy, security and infrastructural development grow steadily. The recent attack on the Boko Haram insurgents by Nigerian troops has rekindled a fresh manhunt for the terrorists and their sponsors, who have fought to no avail to create chaos in the nation’s political system in a bid to tear the country into shreds like what happened in Syria, Iraq and Libya.

We can all see how serious the Buhari-led government of Nigeria is making sure that that not only is the Army re-equipped as necessary, but to ensure that the insecurity problem we are having all over the country are tackled not only with well-trained personnel but with the required equipment. With the directive of the president, coupled with the intelligence gathering and advice of NSA Monguno, Nigerians will soon be witnessing what many suspect could be the beginning of the end of the almost 10-year-old war against terror in the North-east.

Not a few observers believe that with humongous figures of Boko Haram terrorists being neutralised, it is indeed sunset for the sect and its foreign affiliate, the ISWAP, and it is high time Nigerians started to support the president’s security architecture in the final fight.

…Ibrahim is the director, communication and strategic planning, presidential support committee (PSC)

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