After the alert arrives the alarm- Bala Ibrahim
The dictionary has this to say about proactive behaviour- It is a self-initiated behaviour that endeavours to solve a problem before it has occurred. Proactive behaviour involves acting in advance of a future situation, rather than reacting. By definition, reactivity is the opposite of proactivity, or what in our days of Secondary school chemistry we used to call, the condition of being reactive.
In Social science, which is the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around them, poor proactivity has the potential of turning a security problem into a security panic. And precisely that is the theme of this article-Nigeria’s security situation and the perceived poor proactivity of the Presidency. As things stand today, the alerts are frighteningly leading towards the alarm.
Pursuant to the threat issued by terrorists last week, that they are in the process of kidnapping President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, residents of Abuja and environs, have been sleeping with only one eye closed.
The apprehension migrated to nervousness, when news filtered in that, troops of the 7 Guards Brigade, which provides security for the Presidential Villa and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have been attacked by the terrorists. The feeling of unease in Abuja was visible everywhere, because of the fear that something bad is in the offing.
If the terrorists can alert the nation that they are on their way to kidnap the President, and few days after, they have the temerity of ambushing the troops that are guarding the President, while on patrol along the Kubwa-Bwari Road in the nation’s capital, then the position of ordinary citizens is simply precarious.
Although the spokesperson for the Guards Brigade, Captain Godfrey Anebi Abakpa said the attack was successfully repelled by the troops, the fact that it was an incident with fatality, makes the matter dreadfully undesirable. The question is, is the proverbial saying, “after the alert arrives the alarm”, on it’s way to actualization?
Long before now, many Nigerians have been panicking over the continued deterioration of security nationwide. The initial response was that it was the antics of the opposition, whose aim is to discredit the Government, with the hope of gaining political advantage. Prominent amongst those who were quick to speak on the issue were, former president of the senate, Bukola Saraki and Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, who called on the Preside to seek outside assistance.
But the most ominous advise came from a lawyer, in fact a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke, who appeared on Channels Television, asking question as to whether Nigeria would survive another six months, with a recommendation that Nigeria’s political leadership should hand over power to the military, because the country is on the brink of collapse.
When a lawyer, who was trained to recognise and respect constitutional authority, where Human Rights are guaranteed, comes out to say he would rather have the military in charge, one needs not take time to ask, Is the proverbial saying, after the alert arrives the alarm, on it’s way to actualization?
The worst flame to the fear came yesterday, when the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Idris Wase, while speaking on a motion sponsored by Abubakar Elleman, on the need to stop the nationwide planned ban on commercial motorcycles by the federal government, disclosed that the Directorate of Security Service, DSS, had issued 44 security reports, on the members of the Boko Haram, ahead of the attack, and nothing was done.
“You cannot imagine what is happening today in Abuja. I’ll confirm to you that I went through the DSS report — 44 reports were given before the attack on Kuje. I want to say so. I want to confirm to you — 44. I read through all the reports and it all has to do with this. There is no community that one attack or the other will happen that you will not have intel, and this is part of the intel that they had given as to what is exactly going to happen”- Mr Wase.
Forty four (44) security reports to the President, and the Government refused to be proactive? Certainly this is in tandem with the permutation of the social scientists, that, poor proactivity has the potential of turning a security problem into a security panic.
In bewilderment, a friend sent to me the reaction of someone on WhatsApp, thus, “Yesterday, the deputy speaker of the house of reps revealed that prior to the Kuje jailbreak, the DSS had written 44 memos to the president on an impending attack on the Kuje facility. Yet Baba got there and expressed surprise, wondering how this kind of thing could have happened. A radio commentator, while reporting the president’s bemusement asked Mr President why he was asking the questions that we ordinary folks should be asking. What does he want us to ask?
The phrase, a stitch in time saves nine, has a particular ambition, which is, if you sort out a problem immediately, it may save a lot of extra work later.
Yes, the time has arrived for the political leadership to wake up from its slumber, and ponder over the proverbial saying that, after the alert arrives the alarm.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja