As PMB Shun Nigerians Calls Over Insecurities
By Abba Dukawa
This is the relationship between the People of Nigeria and Government as stated in Section 14(2)(b) namely, that: “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”.
In 2015 over 15 millions Nigerians viewed PMB as a liberator of oppressed and depraved Nigerians. A Messiah to the nation’s bedeviling countless socioeconomic and security challenge with expectations that PMB had enough experience in governance. Electorates banked on him but to the utmost surprise of Nigerians expected that he will demonstrate more flexibility in handily country socioeconomic and security challenge but president Buhari’s rigid leadership style has made the country’s problems harder to solve. Because he is not listens to popular views on issues of important matters like 15 million vote of electorates not matter to him. He promised Nigerians that his administration will give our military adequate and modern arms and ammunition to work with and will improve intelligence-gathering and border patrols. Nigeria will return to its stabilising role in west Africa and no inch of Nigerian territory will ever be lost to the enemy because we will pay attention to the welfare of our soldiers in and out of service.
At early stage of the administration its boldly declared that Baki Haram has been technically defeated the defeat not last long as “technical victory”, it is apparent, is fast becoming a Pyrrhic victory with the renewed wave of attacks by the insurgents on soft targets. On same issue of technically defeat of Boko Haram claimed by the Buhari’s administration. The national security architecture has some lapses that have yet to be corrected by the government. In particular, the fact that each security agency works in a silo, we are not seeing the kind of synergy that can produce the results that we desire. People are dying daily, others are being maimed. But the president is surprising while the poor Nigerians are at the mercy of criminal impunity.
Even though Securing the nation is not a matter for the Federal Government alone, it requires the inputs of all stakeholders because security is everybody’s business. To that extent he has not being achieve much on his promise to secure the nation and the reality on the ground is that people are dying at the rate that is not acceptable. Yes the President has achieved what he has achieved, to another extent, he didn’t achieve what is expected of him. He has tried what he can to some extent but in some aspects he and his service chiefs can see that there is deterioration of the security – it has taken another dimension. So, PMB cannot say he has fulfilled or he has failed. He performed where he could perform and he failed where he failed. No single individual can give a total solution to the security problem in the country.
Security issue is not like just try-your-luck, you try this and you succeed fine, you try that and you don’t succeed, you change tactics in fighting militants other security breach. Dealing with militancy and other challenges because it is not like just a war between a nation and another nation where you see your enemy and your enemy sees you, but these are different things all together.
Clearly, the President believes that security has been improving steadily since he came to power hence his surprise at those who are saying security is deteriorating. For anyone in a position of power need to improve governance, need to develop access to multiple sources of information. But in Nigeria the case is reverse because those close to corridor of power are either misleading the president or arrogating himself with know all or those that have guts to voice out generality pain they have been told are enemies by handlers.
President Buhari uncompromising in his attitude to issues of national significance and efforts to make him understand that a diverse polity like Nigeria required recognition and appreciation of differences. PMB then as presidential candidates of APC said if you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF.
He Promise Nigerians that his administration will address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property and establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal clashes, nationwide.
Coming to the main issue of service chief overstayed and lack Synge between securities agencies.
As you may be aware Mr. President, apart from attaining the ROD, the tenures of the defence and service chiefs have since expired, going by the revised Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service (HTACOS) for officers. In Section 09.08 of the said HTACOS, which is the authoritative and official service order in the military, it is stated that, “An officer appointed to the substantive appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of Air Staff will hold the appointment for a continuous period of two years. The appointment could be extended for another two years from the date of expiration of the initial two-year period.” The service chiefs were first appointed in July 2015 and their tenures were extended for an additional two years in 2017, which finally expired in 2019. It has always been the standard practice, since the return of democratic governance to Nigeria in 1999, for service chiefs to be in office for a maximum term of two years, except on a few occasions of discretionary extension by Mr. President, after which replacements are made. The retention of the chiefs stagnates the careers of other senior officers and induces unfair early mature retirements, in the absence of vacancies at the topmost echelons of the services
There is nobody in Nigeria that is not aware of what is going on. Each passing days Nigerians were hearing of various attack perpetrated by insurgents and bandits causing so much bloodshed across the federation while our incapacitated security agencies have not succeeded in improving the security situation. Despite our service chiefs have overstayed whereas their staying in position has put massive pressure on upward mobility within the military high command. Nigerians have been complaining for years that the current military leadership has reached its limits and new ones should be tried but the President has been steadfast in support of them. If he had done similar of what his counterpart by sacking them he would have not been surprise. Nigerians witness how smaller African including Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and the Niger Republic leaders acted sent a strong massage to their citizens about they handling of security crisis in their respectives countries when terrorist attack on military base by fired the country’s top security chiefs. such incidents usually necessitate the replacement of service chiefs under whose leadership there are repeat assaults and losses of lives of troops in the hands of terrorists.
To Mr President as a commander of chief and other concerns Nigerians the service chiefs have run out of ideas having tried their best possible” in the last four years.There is thus the need for fresh hands to pilot the affairs of Nigeria military for better results. Moreover, the current service chiefs now more or less emperors to their surbodinates as their contemporaries have long left the military on retirement.
On part of service chiefs there is no constructive vibrant exchange of ideas can take place in the military since there is a wide generational gulf between the service chiefs and their immediate surbordinate generals. Indeed the continued stay of the service chiefs has stagnated upward mobility of officers which have seriously impacted morale negatively.President attitudes of not heed poor Nigerians crying not helping matters but he can’t alone cannot solve these security problems despite his military experience either his security chiefs but all Nigerians must be listens and contribute toward secure the nation
Additionally, it will be suicidal for the nation, as well as it being a clear failure of leadership on the part of the service chiefs if we are to believe that our military generals are not qualified enough or have not been groomed enough in the last four years to take over from present crop of service chiefs. Nigerians and other security stakeholders would like to see the change of service chiefs in the wake of the growing insecurity in the country, Its seem that President Buhari has a problem of trust… his philosophy is that of ‘the devil you know is better than the saint you don’t know. President Buhari’s inability to listen to voice of reason and retire the security chiefs has not helped matters, as the development has contributed to the stagnation of the career of military personnel besides the obvious fact that their morale in professional duties had been dampened.”
Dukawa, a Public Affairs commentator. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org