The sacking of four Military Chiefs and their immidiate replacements with new ones on Tuesday by Mr President, Mohammed Buhari have generated mixed reactions among Nigerians. The removal of Lt General Tukur Burutai in particular could actually be what most Nigerians wanted at this moment having regards to the seeming controversies that trailed his uneventful tenure as Chief of Army Staff.
The stunning action of Mr President immidiately after he accepted their resignations letter of the former military Chiefs was that he thanked them for what he regarded as ‘their overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country’. While some Nigerians hived sigh of relief over their unexpected sack, some who probably couldn’t see beyond their noses as regards the current dangerous security situations in the country blindly argued that their tenures should have been extended towards giving them more chances or opportunities to perfect more practical solutions in thrashing myriads of security breaches facing the country. I want to believe what probably could have been the driving force behind Mr President’s sudden action could be the present imbroglio in Ibarapa areas of Oyo where a Yoruba militant group led by Sunday ‘Igboho’ bluntly gave Fulani herdsmen marching orders to vacate the areas owing to their alleged atrocious activities. It is no more news that the vast forest reserves in South West have become havens for criminal elements whose offensive activities are extremely becoming difficult to handle both by Police and military. The truth is that, through discrete intelligence gatherings and investigations, some Fulani herdsmen have been fingered as brains behind high levels of kidnappings, armed robberies and banditry activities in the six Southwest States of Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Lagos and Osun.
It is preposterous, to say the least that while the greatest numbers of our teeming citizenry groan in unimaginable pains and terrible fears in the face of rapidly growing rates of kidnappings, killings, rappings, arsons, armed robbery, banditries in all nooks and crannies of this country, it is highly disheartening IGP, the Service Chiefs and heads of other security agencies are toothless bulldogs who cannot bite but could only bark having not able to make meaningful attempts at nipping in the mud these menaces. It is very sad that the erstwhile Army Chief, Burutai, though a highly exposed and experienced military officer, demonstrated lackadaisical postures in crushing the Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in the last six years is because his own troops lacked proper motivations through extensive reliance on obsolete or outdated military hardwares and equipment which couldn’t match the sophisticated weapons of mass destructions possessed by the insurgents and bandits like AK 47 said to have been supplied to them by enemies of the State. It is due to this ugly prevailing circumstances that led to the killings of hundreds of our soldiers.
The current faceoff between Fulani herdsmen, acknowledged as masterminds of heinous social crimes in the South West and a section of Yoruba freedom fighters led by Sunday Igboho in Oyo is a pointer to the fact that the country’s security apparatus is in comatose and that the South West have become havens for men of the underworlds who carried out their atrocious activities in the region with reckless abandon. It is glaring that, the Presidency, through its dispositions and body languages have been sympathetic to the cause of the Fulani herdsmen rather than taking proactive steps at curtailing their nefarious activities. The lukewarmness or inactions on the part of Police, Military, DSS and other security Agencies in apprehending or bringing all culprits or perpetrators of criminal acts to book could have fuelled this speculation.
Now that Mr President has appointed another northerner, Major General Attahiru as new Chief of Army staff, I have cause to believe, the war against Boko Haram insurgents, armed robbers, bandits and the Fulani herdsmen terrorists in the country is being handled with kit gloves. If Mr President is very serious about winning the war against these criminal elements operating in all sections of the country, appointment of Army Chief of Staff shouldn’t have political or ethnic colourations owing to the fact that a northerner who would show extreme discretions, strong biases or partiality in exterminating insurgency and banditry activities in Nigeria oughtn’t to have been appointed as chieyf of Army Staff. The President hardly learnt valuable lessons from the past that a military officer from the north, no matter his experience or knowledge in military intelligence wouldn’t have the temerity, strongwillness and resourcefulness to fight the war against terrorism to its logical conclusion.
It is my considered view that changing the Service chiefs at this material time and their replacements with new ones is definitely not an end in itself but a means to addressing holisticaly the dreaded security situations in the country once and for all. The President this time around should waste no time in restructuring the Police, the Military, DSS and other security agencies towards making them respond effectively and efficiently to emergency security situations. In doing this, the new Military Chiefs should deploy all available efforts at equipping the ranks and files of their personnel through procurements of modern weapons of mass destructions that would outwit those sophisticated weapons possessed by the insurgents, armed bandits and robbers while military hardwares including better armoured vehicles that can withstand war situations at all times should be procured to replace the obsolete ones in use as soon as possible. While we have heard reports of certain top military officers syphoning funds earmarked for procurements of military hardwares, efforts should be be made to monitor military procurements or spendings towards ensuring transparency and accountability. The absorption of the so called repentant Boko Haram insurgents into the army by this Administration should stop forthwith in view of the fact that they are bad eggs who would frustrate all visible efforts at defeating the insurgents and bandits in the country. I want to believe, through total determination and commitments among military personnel- Army, Navy, Airforce, Police, SSS and other security outfits coupled with provision of modern weapons, equipment, war aircrafts, naval warships and other necessary facilities, the total war against Boko Haram, armed robbery and banditry most importantly kidnappings in the country would be won hands down.
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