Letter to President Buhari

“You can’t let your failures define you. You have to let your failures teach you”- Barack Obama.

Your Excellency Sir,

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, as a citizen and die-hard supporter who is not supporting you blindly, I write to convey you this message with the hope that it will reach you in peace. The essence of this letter is to notify you in order to rectify your lapses on the fight against Boko Haram Insurgency, as Canadian Writer; Robin Sharma said “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes”.

Recall that early this year, Daily Trust published a report titled “FG is Running Out of Excuses”, revealing that Boko Haram’s Islamic State in West Africa Province [ISWAP] faction had seized six towns in Kukawa local government area of northern Borno state, on the shores of Lake Chad, stressing that, it was the biggest setback suffered in the war against insurgents in recent years.

To me, that report was just the naked truth as the lawmaker representing Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok federal constituency, Ahmadu Jaha, who is also a member of your party (APC) recently revealed at the House of Representatives that the radical Islamic sect are currently occupying eight of the 10 local government areas in Borno state. He lamented that the war against Boko Haram has not been transparent.

To prove his point a village in Chibok local government called Mife was recently attacked by the insurgents and Gubio LG was also severally attacked which led to the demise of the leader of the Civilian JTF called Maradona.

The recent attack along Maiduguri-Damaturu, Damaturu-Biu roads as well as Tarmuwa LG on Saturday, October 5, 2019, led to the closure of Government Girls Science Technical College, Dapchi in Yobe state. GGSTC Dapchi is the school where 104 students were abducted last year.

On the same day, the palace of Mai Jajere was attacked in the same state (Yobe). All these, Your Excellency, are pointers that the insurgency is still with us.

I visited Bama, Damboa, Chibok, Konduga, Askira-Uba and Kaga LGs of Borno state and honestly, the situation is worsening by the day. The residents are living just like caged animals without gaining access to most of the social amenities. The truth is that you cannot travel freely for more than three kilometers outside some of the aforementioned towns/villages to the bush, including some local governments in Yobe and Adamawa states without being attacked by the insurgents.

I feel sad whenever I remember that most of the residents of these areas are vulnerable and less privileged that rely mostly on farming as the only means of livelihood but cannot now access their farmlands as a result of the insecurity bedeviling the region.

In May 2019, the Senator (Borno South), Mohammed Ali Ndume, decried the inability of Nigerian security agencies to put an end to the lingering Boko Haram crisis. He said Nigerians were fed up with the usual military propaganda of ‘repelling or degrading Boko Haram’, rather than exterminating them for peace to reign.

In fact, most northeasterners were confident that you will end the Boko Haram Insurgency immediately you emerged as President and not only on your first term but including your second term “Next Level”. Even though we believed that it is only with the support of Almighty God that this insurgency will end (“Victory is from God Alone”, says the Nigerian Army) but the truth is, we have started losing confidence in the efforts of the military in the fight against Boko Haram, considering how people are lamenting on social media tagging it with the comment by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, that terrorism and terrorist groups could not be eliminated alone by the military unless religious bodies and organisations  come to the “forefront of this spiritual battle.” This assertion came after several declarations by the federal government and the Nigerian Army in particular that Boko Haram is “technically defeated”. What an irony!

It could be recalled that, the present Army Chief met the fight against Boko Haram Insurgency in the most worsening situation in last 4 years and later renamed the Theatre Command from “Operation Zaman Lafiya” to “Operation Lafiya Dole”.

The code name was derived from Hausa language, which literally translates “Peace by All Means.”

The Army Chief announced this while addressing troops of the 103 Battalion in Konduga, headquarters of Konduga Local Government Area of Borno emphasizing that the objective was to transform the army professionally as well as fast track the war against the Boko Haram terrorists.

 There’s no doubt the Army Chief has tried his possible best considering how he met the battle with numerous unfortunate situations and was able to tackle some rampant attacks during the time but still there is need for change of tactics in confronting the battle. In my opinion, why should the Nigerian Army not change the nomenclature of “Operation Lafiya Dole” to another name since there is no place in the history of the whole world that peace restored by all means?

Your Excellency Sir, we are aware that you have appointed our sons from the region as your security aides who we thought will lead the battle, be the Chief Security Adviser and Chief of Army Staff from Borno State and the Chief of Air Staff from Bauchi but alas! Things have not changed as expected.

I have these questions on my mind that needs concrete answers. The questions are; Are you aware that some people are saying the INGOs are complicit in the ongoing conflict? Are you really aware with the situation of the IDPs in their various camps? Are you aware that some of the IDPs ventured into begging and other abhorrent behaviors as a result of poverty? Are you aware that most of the IDPs are complaining that they chose to go back to their various ancestral communities they were forcefully displaced and continue with their normal life despite the supports they are getting from humanitarian bodies and other government agencies?

On our own part, can we say some of our people in North-East region are enjoying the peak considering how it touches their life positively more especially the INGOs/NGOs workers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), beneficiaries of the humanitarian supports, INGOs/NGOs vendors, INGOs/NGOs contractors?

It is hoped that you will redirect the concerned authorities to change pattern and tactics in the fight against Boko Haram Insurgency and also the citizens to give proper supports, cooperation, advices and provide credible information on how to completely defeat insurgents.

Thank you, I remain a law abiding citizen. May you succeed in your entire pursuits, May Allah guide and safeguard you.

Gulani writes via

[email protected]il.com

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