By Idris Mohammed
Writing on the issue of insecurity is one of the most difficult and heartbreaking because it is talking about a human being killed under the watch of our so-called leaders. Anytime I place my fingers on the keyboard to analyze and put my opinion on the Nigerian state of insecurity I felt overwhelmed, so frustrated and headache because the country is in serious danger and our leaders seem ruling the country from another planet.
But we will not keep quiet watching things go on the wrong ways without putting in our contributions which might at least bring the attention of key influential and bring reforms in the sector.
Recently, there were calls from some security conscious and minded people from all the corners of Nigeria calling the President to sack the security chiefs over the persistent increase of insecurity in the country.
It is in this situation that Nigerian House of Representatives issued a new warning asking the service chiefs to either resign or be sacked, but the president wouldn’t listen to the house, the security experts and masses who voted him into office.
The concerned citizens have right for doing so because the security atmosphere in the country is always going backwards with the help of some of these service chiefs, which makes their loyalty and patriotism to the country questionable.
Which most security observers are basing their facts in this situation is, the service chiefs especially military generals conspired to perpetuate the Boko Haram insurgency for their unlawful financial gain. Despite massive expenditure by Nigerian government over the last one decade, these security chiefs and their forces recorded limited success in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges such as armed banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping.
This kind of negligence and widespread corruption in the security sector are the reasons Boko Haram, ISWAP, Ansaru and other bandits are operating in Nigeria. When the insurgency first emerged, Nigeria treated it with glove hand and refused to investigate the conflict thoroughly before it launched its first attack in 2009.
Same in the security caucus, Buhari refused to investigate why still the counter-terrorism in the country is failing despite the massive resources invested.
Institute for Security Studies (ISS) Pretoria reported that, from 2010 to 2017, Nigeria spent over N6.7 trillion on the security sector in the name of counter-terrorism operation and other security challenges, this amount doesn’t include the extra-budgetary allocations such as the US$1 billion the government borrowed in 2013 to fund counter-terrorism operations and the US$21 million approved for the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) in June 2015.
The report also doesn’t capture security votes distributed across the country. Despite all these, the country is failing woefully.
Apart from corruption, the country`s security agencies are not cordial in discharging their duties. There are unnecessary rivalry and conflict among the security agencies involved in counter-terrorism operation especially between the Nigerian military and police force. They do have a poor relationship that most a time affects the intelligence gathering, strategic and tactics of operation. What caused this problem is the corruption that affected the sector
It is not surprising, terror groups and other criminals found the country very conducive to perpetuate their deadly act; they have a large operational base in a different part of the country especially in the remote areas of the northern region. Though, recently the Nigerian police have claimed that they killed over 250 Ansaru terrorist groups in Kaduna state but seem the report from the said communities is otherwise.
It is in this context of increasing insecurity in the country that terrorists attacked Auno community, a town which is just 24 kilometres away from the capital city of Maiduguri, burn the community into ashes and nearly wiped it out. The report said there was no any single security agent at that time because they ran away when they closed the entrance to Maiduguri capital city and left the people at the mercy of the terrorist group.
Another terrifying story is that the Boko Haram has good collaboration with some of the people from Auno who frequently provide them with information of motorists’ movements; no any person from Auno community was affected by the attack.
There is need to have good civil-military relationship framework to enable us bridge the gap between the local communities and the security agencies involved in the counter-terrorism operation.
For Nigerian government to win this war, the authorities must investigate the security agencies thoroughly, change the service chiefs and also bridge the gap exist among the security agencies involved in the operation.
Cooperating with border localities especially lake chad basin areas will help in curbing the terror groups activities and finally government should address the issue of explosive population growth, unemployment and climate change, these issues are exacerbating economic anxiety and fomenting lawlessness especially in the communities in northern Nigeria that border with Niger Republic, Cameroon, Chad and Togo.
There is also allegation against the perfection of operation safe corridor; it is an initiative for the deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration of all ex-Boko Haram members.
Communities and some top military officials are not happy with the initiative, to them is like the government is taking care of the ex-terrorists more than the real victims of the insurgency.
This generates a lot of grievances and potentially encourages new sources of violence in the affected areas.
Nigeria can’t afford to lose a huge amount of money, resource, lives and property because of the attitude of some few unpatriotic security personnel. If not Nigeria will remain in surprise worst of President’s surprise!
Idris Mohammed, a lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto, Wrote this piece. He tweets @idris4P