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Terrorism in the North: Nigerians should not abandon Jonathan
The new wave of hysteria sparked by terrorists’ activities in Plateau and Borno state lately has started establishing the invincibility of the masterminds. Idowu Samuel, in this piece, suggests that this period demands a rousing support for the Federal Government by Nigerians to halt the increasing rampages by terrorists on Nigeria.
THE new wave of hysteria sparked by terrorists’ activities in Plateau and Borno State lately has started establishing the invincibility of the masterminds. Idowu Samuel,in this piece, suggests that this period demands a rousing support for the Federal Government by Nigerians to halt the increasing rampages by terrorists on Nigeria.
Ordinary and innocent Nigerians were initially the cannon fodders for spurious attacks by terrorist groups in Nigeria. But now, the attacks have suddenly levelled into a new phase in which high profile Nigerians are becoming prime targets. It was unthinkable that a serving Senator and a member of the House of Representatives could be mowed down easily by members of a known religious sect in a broad day light during a mild attack in Plateau state.
Few days after hitting the Plateau, the terrorists caused more shock waves in Borno State. Few days ago, they deployed a teenage suicide bomber who almost snuffed life out of the State’s deputy governor and the most respected Shehu of Borno. From indications, the handshake by members of the Islamic Sect is beginning to reach beyond the elbow! Looking at their code of operations, the next antics and the tactics of the terrorists are unpredictable, while no one for now could tell who their next victim would be.
In all, the sect members have gone too far in the act of terrorising Nigeria. The havoc they had wreaked in the past few months has put Nigeria in a grave dilemma, welling up serious doubts about the ability of the country to continue its sojourn in nationhood. It is worst when terrorists began to dictate terms to constituted authorities on national security matters.
It has been bad that terrorists seems to be having a head way in causing disaffection and suspicion among the welters of ethnic groups making up Nigeria. At the instance of religious fundamentalists, cabinet members are even suspicious of one another amid reports that sympathetic colleagues deliberately leaked government secrets to sect members on crucial anti-terrorism plans ahead of execution. These days, ministers do not trust ministers, governors do not trust governors while the security circles appear to have been polarised on national agenda against terrorism. Nigeria seems to be the only country so plagued with inexplicable antics of terrorists which now makes it practically ungovernable.
The national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bamanga Tukur recently made a valid point on fight against terrorism when he called for a national concerted efforts aimed at containing their rampaging influences. It presupposed that Nigerians should have greater compassion on the incumbent President on whose table the buck stops in respect of security challenges the country has been facing. By implication, in the event that President Jonathan succeeds in halting terrorists’ activities across the northern states, it is the rest of Nigeria that would be deemed to have succeeded. Put differently, it is doubtful if 2015 would produce a president with a magic wand to stop terrorism in Nigeria, if the present government is unable to do so now! Simply, Jonathan is not a president Nigerians can leave in the lurch on the fight against terrorism.
President Jonathan, so far, had demonstrated prompt eagerness in unravelling the mysteries surrounding the acts of terrorism in the country. His body language of late has been a tell tale of a President so eager to ferry Nigeria away from the current phase of uncertainty inflicted on it by mind boggling effects of terrorism acts. Acting like a president with listening ears, Jonathan had at one point or the other, reviewed the agenda of his successive security advisers and has been easing them out until he settled with the incumbent, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.
Some analysts believe that Jonathan did not make a wrong choice with Dasuki as his new adviser on national security. Dasuki is a northerner with blue blood running in his veins. His father was once a Sultan who was dethroned on political issues by the late military despot, General Sani Abacha. Besides, his days in the military saw him operating with the top echelon, being an aide-camp to former military President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. Even his academic background seems to support his ableness in succeeding as a National Security adviser. He graduated from American universities, Washington DC and George Washington, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and an Masters in Security Policy Studies respectively.
Dasuki got trained in several military institutions in Nigeria and abroad including the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigerian Army School of Artillery, and U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Ft. Leavenworth Kansas. He could therefore rally forces both locally and internationally in decoding the command flow of terrorists who had encamped against Nigeria, in the event of his preparedness to do a serious job.
Most importantly, efforts by Jonathan, Dasuki and the government at large may be limited if supports are not coming from the right directions. A retired Deputy Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs, Chief Adenigba Francis Fadahunsi, was of the opinion that traditional rulers, most especially in the north need to exploit the ongoing process of consultations initiated by Dasuki towards intelligence gathering to volunteer useful information to the government. The northern governors, he added, should start by vigorously pursuing education policies aimed at converting the urchins who usually litter the streets of the north into useful hands. He expressed full support for establishment of almajiri schools, the model type which President Jonathan recently launched in Sokoto. The governors, he also opined, should see the necessity of creating avenues for youth employment and empowerment as a means of poverty reduction, using agriculture as the first means of enticement.
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has not been sitting on the fence in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria. The Director General of the Agency, Mr Mike Omeri has joined the mainstream of holding consultations with relevant segments of the society on intelligence gathering towards cracking the nuts of terrorism in Nigeria. His advocacy initiative in this regard has touched the media which he believes should appreciate all conscious efforts by the government in combating the menace at the moment. Omeri believes also that ordinary Nigerians should equally be mobilised along for the purpose of volunteering information about activities of terrorists around them at all times. Omeri, Gamji can report, had deployed the machinery of NOA to achieve just that in addition to holding consultations with traditional rulers, religious leaders, market men and women in places he had so visited to spread the catch phrase of NOA, “Do The Right Thing: Transform Nigeria”.
However, an expert in communication at the University of Abuja, Mr Ejue Olympus had said that President Jonathan need to raise the ante in the fight against terrorism by considering a reward agenda in tracking the activities of terrorists. The government, he suggested should set up an anti-terrorism units in all the geo political zones of the federation to be monitored by the Ministry of Defence. Each of the units according to him, would release special telephone lines for members of the public for gathering intelligence. He said any member of the public whose information was useful in tracking down terrorists should be offered appreciable reward to encourage more volunteers.
The government, Olympus believes, could do this while also networking with willing countries from the developed countries for training of security personnel on anti-terrorism. The government, he added, can also deploy more funds in procuring sophisticated weapons for security operatives to boost their confidence in the course of their duties, just as the government concretise efforts in locating the command structure of the terrorists either within or outside the country.Share