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How to win the battle against terror

By Bayo Ogunmupe
27 October 2021   |   3:27 am
Normative logic is an epistemological system of analytical reasoning and cognition. Applied to Nigeria’s fight against terror we find insincerity, ignorance, corruption and leadership failure.

Normative logic is an epistemological system of analytical reasoning and cognition. Applied to Nigeria’s fight against terror we find insincerity, ignorance, corruption and leadership failure. For insincerity, you can never be insincere to others without being insincere to yourself. That’s why scientists could create the lie detector machine. Thus, as you practice insincerity, it gradually becomes ingrained in you as a habit. Which is why insincerity is undermining our quest towards winning the war against Islamic jihad we insincerely call kidnapping, banditry and Boko Haram.

A cursory look at kidnapping, banditry and Boko Haram in Nigeria within the past year, we find many mass kidnappings of school children, attacks on policemen in the East and the kidnap of bigwigs in the North such as the Emir of Bungudu in Zamfara State: kidnapped along Abuja-Kaduna highway. The father of LG chairman kidnapped in Bayelsa State. Gunmen kidnapped 73 students of Government Secondary School, Kaya, Zamfara State. Children of Katsina SSG kidnapped and the closure of schools in Adamawa, Katsina and Zamfara states.

To make a convincing case for absolute insecurity in Nigeria, let’s probe further: ‘Bandits abduct monarch in Taura LGA, set palace ablaze. Former chief judge of Abia State Nnenna Oti kidnapped. Deputy Provost’s three sons kidnapped in Katsina. Pastor’s wife and children kidnapped in Abuja. Pastor and 27 others kidnapped in Kwara. Gunmen kill two and abduct 60 others in Sokoto. Anglican priest killed for inviting soldiers to stop the raiding of a school in Imo state.’ This state of insecurity has been foisted on us by leadership failure at both presidential and gubernatorial levels in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Worse still, four educationally disadvantaged states have had to totally shut down schools in Northern Nigeria. More worrisome is that the situation has degenerated to the extent, as was alleged by the U.S. Wall Street Journal, that the Department of State Security had to bribe bandits with N20 million in order to stop them from shooting down the President’s plane in Katsina. It was in this same state that the former President of the Court of Appeal, Mamman Nasir, 90, and blind now, a traditional ruler was kidnapped, dying shortly after he managed to escape in 2019.

In Ekiti State, Olusola Fagbarusi was kidnapped for 21 days by people whom he said spoke Fufulde and French, who boasted of exploits as far as Mali, Sudan and Cameroun. When he was eventually released after a huge ransom payment, not a soul from DSS, Defence Intelligence Agency or Directorate of Military Intelligence debriefed him or interrogated him for information. For the South South which is relatively peaceful among the six geopolitical zones, a lot of sea pirate hijackings are going on unattended to in the Gulf of Guinea by its shores.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army believes that after an additional six Tucano fighter jets arrive in Nigeria by the end of October, the fight against security would gain a boost. This would improve both surveillance and the raiding capacity of the airforce. The new approach where state governments and community leaders buy guns to fight back. We have now realized that sitting and waiting for the federal government to act is a waste of time. Therefore a way forward is for communities to buy weapons for self help.

However, the problem is that there are very many arms in circulation and that with guns and kidnapping, you are on the fastest path to riches. Which is why rogues have turned these arms against the people as kidnappers and looters. Certainly the 18 months remaining are enough to make a lasting legacy by President Buhari. This is where Professor Ibrahim Gambari has to act forcefully by offering good advise to the President. Social media painted Gambari’s predecessor as the collector of $30,000 bribe to become minister; enabling him to fix many of his cronies as ministers.

Gambari should advise a cabinet reshuffle bringing into the cabinet new ideas and new ways of doing things. These many and continuous jail breaks smacks of incompetence and corruption. Let Federal Government create The Nigerian National Guard as police guards, guarding the federal roads, institutions and acting as informants to the police. Let FG allow Presidential Liaison Officers at the zones create regional guards as well. As it is Nigeria is underpoliced with the DSS, the National Intelligence Agency being unproductive. We cannot see what they’re doing. They aren’t working.

The onus is on Gambari to exert his influence by making a paradigm shift in governance. Let him advice a change of routine in Aso Villa. State police is too expensive. Since a majority of Nigerian states are economically unviable. Thus, a way out is for the zones/regions to replace the LGA as the second tier of government. Let the regions guard and police their areas with their regional guards. It is the regions with their local units of armed guards that curtail the impunity with which bandits now operate. The regional guards will be able to track the bandits with drones and ensure they do not enjoy the booty they are after. Nigeria now pins her hope for security on Ibrahim Gambari’s ingenuity. Nigerian politicians are just after the perquisites of office. They are not interested in making names for themselves.