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Insecurity: Government’s subtle surrender?


Nigeria military. PHOTO: REUTERS

There is a new twist to the spate of insecurity in Nigeria, which before now has assumed a truly worrisome dimension. Rather than the federal government showing total disapproval of the activities of the insurgents through tough actions strong statements, there now appears a likelihood of sympathy for the terrorists group, which for several years has unleashed untold mayhem on thousands of people entangled in the troubled regions. Or could it just be an evidence of Nigeria’s federal government gradually backing out or showing signs of subtle surrender to the terrorists? What seems as the government eating the humble pie is continually manifested in shocking pronouncements and questionable actions, which in a way suggest an underdog pleading for leniency in a turbulent encounter with a superior force.  Is there a possibility that the federal government is now being cowed into accepting defeat and is searching for ways to appease the insurgents? For if anything, the terrorists have shown that they are far from being defeated and indeed would never accept any defeat. And to prove that, they have been unrelenting in their continual attacks on even military formation apart from the continuous attacks on defence less civilians, each time leaving sizeable casualties in their trail.


From the look of things, it is doubtful if Nigeria’s military is not in disarray and in a way totally intimidated by the continuous deadly attacks by members of the Boko Haram, and if given the opportunity, whether most of the soldiers would not prefer either leaving the army or getting posted elsewhere. What is more, there has been a major complaint of inadequate weapons with which to prosecute a war which the federal government by its action obviously is not doing enough to win. To start with, the morale of the nation’s combatants is continually dampened by government’s insensitivity. For a while now, there has been repeated clamour for a change of service chiefs and the injection of fresh blood into the fray but in its wisdom, the federal government has simply chosen to remain intransigent

Perhaps the government feels it would amount to a sort of ingratitude if it asks the service chiefs to take a bow having fulfilled a tasking mandate of reclaiming all territories formerly under the dreaded group and returning earlier displaced people to their homes and lands. Indeed it was a feat that deserved much commendation from everyone. But the fact of life teaches that it is impossible for anyone to do it all, and others should be given the opportunity to prove their own mettle as well. Having won the first aspect of the war by reclaiming all territories formally lost to the insurgents, the second most important stage is how to sustain the tempo of success recorded and that is better handled by people with fresh ideas and strategies. But by refusing to change guards, the import is that the same strategy is being deployed while the soldiers on the field are more than frustrated and barely managing to keep up in line with the oath of defending fatherland they had already taken.


Before its invasion of Chibok, the dreaded group we must recall had broken into a school at the thick of the night, slaughtered many of the innocent children and also abducted so many of them.  Even before that, what appeared as a signal of trouble was the 2011 Christmas day bombing of St. Theresa Catholic church at Madalla Abuja, in an unprovoked assault masterminded by a notorious villian by the name Kabiru Sokoto where about forty four people lost their lives and more than seventy worshippers critically injured. So dastardly has the group always been in its highly barbaric operations that no one would ever have thought about any consideration of amnesty under whatever excuse or guise for any of its members rounded up by the state. Which is why almost all Nigerians seem to query the rationale behind the continual setting free of arrested members of the insurgents. Not only that, the situation is more confounding that a bill has even suddenly emanated at the upper legislative house seeking to establish an agency for rehabilitated members of Boko Haram and then another plan to send them abroad for education. Well if the bill is targeted at those forcibly recruited into the dreaded group against their wish, it could be understandable. But terms such as de-radicalisation, rehabilitation re-integration of former members of Boko Haram suggest that those being released are actually people who were deeply involved in the different rounds of criminality that have pervaded the entire nation in the last decade The decision of the federal government to toe the line of amnesty to the arrested terrorists an action which is generating so much public outcry is actually difficult to understand except perhaps to suggest that the government is throwing in the towel and simply showing signs of subtle surrender to the terrorists. What most people seem to expect is for the government to have been able to gather enough intelligence reports from those arrested which could have gone a long way in assisting in combating the heinous crimes against humanity being perpetrated almost on a daily basis. While this has not been the case, what the government is now coming up with is completely different from people’s expectations and it’s suggestive of the fact that there’s more than meets the eye in the whole issue. The government’s action becomes quite curious considering that most of the displaced people in the troubled regions are yet to get adequate attention and the stories making the rounds are those of utter neglect and intense sufferings, how then can a responsible government turn a blind eye in such direction only to begin giving more focus to the major cause of the a problem that is gradually becoming somewhat insurmountable?


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