Boko Haram: Between Jonathan And His Nat’l Security Advsier, Who Do We Believe?
When a government rescinds decision based on the demand or cry of the people it governs, that government can be described as a responsive government whose policies are designed by public opinions. But when a government takes different positions on an issue within the same period of time, then it has began to show that its decisions are either mere expressions to assuage the people or it lacks the requisite capacity to take decisions on behalf of the people.
It is a well known fact that insurgent groups, especially members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, have in the past years laid siege in the North-Eastern part of the country. This group have attacked military and police facilities, worship houses, drinking joints and civilian settlements and in the process brings to tragic end, the lives of thousands of many Nigerians, while properties whose values cannot be quantified are destroyed.
The attacks being carried out by this insurgent has however not come unchallenged. Nigerian security forces have succeeded in killing countless number of their members with several caches of weapons and armory recovered.
However, the use of force employed by the Nigerian armed forces since the beginning of the insurgency has not been able to put a stop to their carnage, despite the gains recorded against them. Rather, the insurgents glowingly get sophisticated in their weaponry and styles of attack. As a result, several concerns have been raised on the need of the government to look beyond military measures alone in tackling the menace. Although, the government in recent times tried to engage the group in dialogue hoping that it will help bring an end to insurgency in the country, a lot of people still believes that more needs to be done to tackle the root problem that makes it easy for the growing numbers of the insurgent to be recriuted.
When on March 18, 2014, the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Sambo Dasuki announced to Nigerians that the government is rolling out a soft approach countering terrorism that will prevent people from becoming terrorists in the first place, it was generally believed that the government has heeded to the call of all concerned.
Although the approach will not be a solution achievable within a short period of time, it will help in dealing with the problem from the root. Under the soft approach, the NSA announced four basic streams that will be employed and this include addressing the economic root causes of terrorism, building and institutionalizing capacity to better communicate national values, using the society approach by mobilizing family, cultural, religious and national values and de-radicalization of convicted terrorists, suspects awaiting trial and those who might be freed by the court or want to engage government in negotiation. But just when Nigerians were beginning to praise this move by the government, President Jonathan whom it is believed approved the new approach as announced by the National Security Adviser, made a rubbish of what we were told.
The president in far away Namibia, during a bilateral talk with President Hifikepunye Pohamba said his government will now be more forceful in the fight against terror, admitting that it has all the while handled insurgency with kid gloves.
“Initially, we handle it (terrorism) with kid glove, but now we have decided to be a little more forceful because we must thrash out these terror groups. We must not allow it to continue to slow down economic growth in that part of the country,” Jonathan said.
While there is nothing wrong if the president chooses to be more forceful in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria, the concern is that contradicting the positions taken by someone in the same government gives n idea that there are either no cordination as far as policy formulation is concerned or that the government is actually not serious in the fight against Boko Haram.
The fact is that one is confused on which of the two policy statements to take. Do we believe the National Security Adviser and his new approach or do we believe President Goodluck Jonathan and his new resolve to employ more force in dealing with BokoHaram?
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
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