Politics

A letter to Mr. President by Ghazali Mohammed.

“Dear Mr. President, you and the troops you command, to fight for the unity of our beloved country, have made huge sacrifices, with some paying the ultimate price as heroes. You took an oath to protect the lives and properties of the Nigerian citizenry. The people of the North East will testify that you’ve kept your word and they are forever grateful, as their lives are gradually returning back to normal. So many things will never be the same, but atleast, they are now free to live a normal life. However, it is still incumbent upon the Executive Branch of government, to lead, co-ordinate and implement national efforts to improve public safety and security. This should be complemented by oversight from the legislature. This can also be supported by International partners through multilateral cooperation with security agencies, from countries that share borders with our country — including intelligence gathering and information sharing on the terrorists, be they Bandits, kidnappers, ISWAP and IPOB.

Short term solutions must include the complete destruction of the camps of these criminals (it may involve collateral damage). These criminals have taken over towns and villages, establishing taxes on the villagers, confiscating their foodstuff, Livestock and often times their women and children, drafting the young ones into their barbaric acts. It was just a matter of time and the young ones would find lucrative business in kidnapping and unleashing terror. It has become so bad that women in rural areas have set up shop for them, as restaurants and pharmacies, where they purchase illicit drugs. From villains, they have become heroes in these communities. Mallam Nasir Elrufa’i, the Kaduna State Governor, has said that a typical fulani man is suddenly making millions in a new venture with so many collaborators across the country. They will never stop. This is war and there must be casualties. The herdsmen have merged with Boko haram and ISWAP, escaping from the onslaught of the army in the North East.

Long term solutions include a restructuring of so many component functions of government especially in our defense systems. There must be a redistribution of resources and power. There must be an improvement in our social values, justice, equality, human rights and ofcourse the rule of law. States’ authority should be improved and better positioned to handle local situations, before they mature into monstrous dimensions. Mr. President, sometimes adversity is what you need to face in order to become successful. We develop courage by surviving difficult times and challenges. Like Abraham Lincoln said, “always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than anything else”. My Commander In Chief, this is an all out war. May God protect you as he has always protected you. May he give you the fortitude and resilience to prosecute this war to a logical conclusion.”

The above letter is speaking truth to power by a government appointee. Most of the supporters of the PMB administration are livid and are saddened by the turn of events, as more grave security challenges are being recorded. Banditry and ISWAP/ Boko haram are now one and the same. They have a new theatre in the North West. The recent video released by them confirms their new status and mode of operation. In view of that, there must be a new command theatre in the North West. It must be christened Operation Wipe Them Out. Efforts on the North East must be replicated in the North West, with more firepower and dedication. The military is more equipped and empowered now. Soldiers are no longer complaining of lack of funds, postings, or equipments.

The major and perhaps only outstanding difference between this administration, and the PDP government, is the development of infrastructure. But if the government of the day is unable to defend and protect the infrastructure that they boast of, then it rubbishes it to nothing, or one and the same with the previous government. Critical infrastructure must be protected at all cost. I’d rather have the proper security equipment in place, without unnecessary bottlenecks, than have lives lost, with expensive infrastructure destroyed. Dear Mr. President, you have nothing to lose by bombarding these rogues, and you have all to lose, by going down as doddering over these security issues. I came across a poll, asking Nigerians whether they were more disturbed by the security challenges, or more perturbed by the challenges in food prices and cost of living. Security had an overwhelming 80 percent attention from the poll. What we are most disturbed by and fixated upon are the security challenges. Baba please do something. Time is running out, before this government becomes conscripted into the annals of history as another failed one.

Tahir is Talban Bauchi.

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