Disarmament, Demobilization & Re-integration! Nigeria Clock Thickens at Golgotha By Okeke Godwin Iyke
“The unfortunate thing was that Goodluck Jonathan did not believe that those girls were abducted or kidnapped for almost18 days. If the president got the information within 12 hours of the act and he reacted immediately, I believe those girls would have been rescued within 24 hours, or 48 hours maximum”. Unfortunately, GEJ have doubt, ‘Is this true, or is it a ploy by people who don’t want me to be president again? I think this is the unfortunate aspect of the whole exercise. “I don’t believe him (Goodluck Jonathan) has performed to the expectations of many Nigerians, not just me,” Obasanjo”
These were excerpt from the interview granted by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on Bloomberg Television Africa on the 28th of May 2014.
General Olusegun Obasanjo is one of the most fortunate Nigerian that has ever lived, serving the country both as an autocrat and a democrat. Many people holds different view of him, but one thing about him is that he is a decisive leader with strong political will to achieve anything he desires. The outcome of his actions might be controversial but he cares less of the consequence. We should not forget that it was through Obasanjos instrumentality that GEJ emerged as President despite the political pressure generated by PDP zoning arrangement. Therefore it is pertinent to note that it was OBJ that farted this leader that polluted the air of decisive leadership. Some of OBJ actions are cruel and he is not a leader many Nigerians will admire his family life because his children describes him publicly as a man with high libido. But let’s not deviate from the message. The messenger is not the topic no matter your view or perception of him but I will never forget to appreciate him for his deregulation of telecommunication sector. Facebook, twitter, 2go and others would have been for elites only if not for his decisive action.
The above statement by Obasanjo was the responsibility that this present administration in Nigeria refuses to admit. We spent 18 good days doubting, suspecting, and blaming each other while boko-haram was swift, coherent and decisive. It is not a criminal thing to doubt but your actions as a leader will clear your doubt. We are talking of over 300 pupils and I’m sure they all are not psychologists. The president ought to have deployed his intelligent team to interrogate all the parents of the missing Chibokgirls and get individual statement from them as well as individual statement of all the pupils that escaped. Their recorded statement will aid some facts. The statement will enable him to know if the kidnap was stage managed or not because 300 parents and 56 pupils that escaped can never be well coordinated to give same statement. Leaders’ acts on facts not suspicion and GEJ failed in that aspect. Unfortunately, while the president doubted, the wife was exerting all her energy quizzing the principal of Chibok School before a national television
Many people were accomplice in this doubt by asking for the names and pictures of these girls. I objected this request because their experience is not what I can wish to my enemies. This is because; their peers are capable of stigmatizing against those innocent victims. The northern CAN released the names while WAEC released the pictures and Emperor Shakau released the video. Some say they are reciting Arabic so fluently after few weeks in the video but those are the reasons why we are always referred to as bloody civilians. Some were quoting Kemi Omololu who once boasted of their sexual exploit with FFK in UK as source to authenticate their disbelief. All those groups are now silence as the search continues.
The information from the presidency was highly uncoordinated and they went as far as polluting the gallant military men. The military was accused of misinforming the government while the military blamed the school principal. This alone will warrant mass sack and retirement in other climes. You do not brief the press if you are not well informed. The Malaysian MH370 flight search and well coordinated press briefing is a lesson for all. I do not want to dwell on the need for Mr President to visit the Chibok scene because I have written much on it.
GEJ might be a good man but you need courage to lead a multi-ethnic country. Every action of the government must not be acceptable to all in as much as you achieved a positive result.
When GEJ was at France making excuses that some terrorist will run into Cameroon and we need authority from Cameroun to arrest them, I was amazed how we lost our might in Africa overnight. In July 13 2003, OBJ singlehandedly reinstated president Menezes of Sao Tome who was ousted by military juntas while he was attending meeting in Abuja. He did same in Guinea Bisau without any external assistance, why are we now panicking to arrest a terrorist that ran into Cameroun?. When the World trade centre was bombed by terrorist, President Bush sent a clear message to the world that he will not spare any country that habors terrorist and the rest is history today.
When U.S Senator John McCain suggested that he will not seek the consent of Nigerian government to go after the terrorist to rescue the school girls, some citizens saw it as an affront but my history tells me that In April 2011, President Obama ordered a covert operation to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. On May 2, 2011, the White House announced that U.S. Navy SEALs had carried it out, killing him in his Abbottabad compound in Pakistan. Obama did not seek the permission of Pakistan to go after Osama. Therefore, John McCain was speaking based on precedence that nobody has ever challenged. Cameroun cannot deter us from going after the terrorist. Terrorists do not deserve any protocol to crush them. On May 29th, I listened to President Jonathan’s democracy day speech and I was well motivated when he directed the military to declare full scale war with the terrorists. But my joy was interrupted when he came with the idea of Disarmament, Demobilization & Re-integration. This means that Amnesty door is open for boko-haram and the minister of youths Mr Boni Haruna confirmed this. It took Reuben Abati almost 48hours to retract this statement by Boni Haruna and this further justifies how uncoordinated the Presidency is. Who is Boni Haruna speaking for? What does GEJ meant by Disarmament, Demobilization & Re-integration? How can Mr President achieve this objective with a price tag on the head of boko-haram leaders, with international drones searching for their heads, with a national law which outlawed them, with a UN resolution which formally criminalize them? At this present stage, GEJ either adopts stick or carrot approach. Both cannot work at this stage of the crisis. GEJ can adopt the dialogue approach like America whose truce with Taliban militants in Afghanistan on Saturday 31st of May 2014 handed over an American soldier Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held prisoner by the Taliban. The handover was the result of a swap deal that freed high ranking members of the Taliban held at Guantanamo prisons. Qatar was reported to have brokered the deal. Or we adopt Osama Bin Laden approach. No matter which way GEJ adopts, there must be critics but decisive action is what we needed most.
The statement by the defense headquarters that they have discovered the location of the girls was more of Man’O War or boys scout behavior. It falls below every military standard. This same military formation once lied that they have rescued all the girls and later apologize. What else do we need to launch the final onslaught against these cannibals after locating them? Dark cloud! GEJ government must as a matter of urgency deregulate Nigerian Army too. We need standing Army and Voluntary Army. If the women of Chibok can step into the evil Sambisa forest without any ammunition to search for their daughters, I strongly believe that Voluntary Army can help in periods like this especially recruiting men who are familiar and conversant with the terrain. A local hunter hunting in Sambisa forest might have useful information but we have a very poor information/intelligent gathering mechanism.
On information management, some citizens are worried that foreign media has invaded our land. There view is understandable but I dare to ask, were they dumb when every politician in Nigeria and even some citizens will be bragging that they don’t read Nigerian newspapers or news because the journalists are working for opposition. Even citizens’ opinion is always classified as opposition view. The interview by Isha of CNN with Labaran Maku was more of mental torture rather than interview. It was an embarrassing moment for Nigeria. This is because while, Labaran was busy misinforming and distorting facts in Abuja, CNN went to Chibok to gather first hand information. When confronted with facts, Labaran ended up saying he will investigate. No Nigerian journalist no matter your rank dare question Mr Maku that way but I am happy that everybody is eating from this pot of mess. This is unpardonable yet GEJ is indecisive.
Finally, the recent news of molestation by paid thugs of #BringBackOurGirls campaign advocacy group at Unity Fountain Abuja in presence of Nigerian police calls for sober reflection. The groups’ weapon is their sitting mat and plastic chair energize with their voice. Sponsoring thugs might not be the end but sustenance of the sponsorship. This was how sponsorship of boko-haram started. We might witness Abuja-Haram when these recruited thugs are hungry. The advocacy group is non violent yet, the government has sworn to destabilize them through molestation. The earlier the government concentrates on the search for the missing Chibok girls, the better for them but legitimate citizens must not be pushed to the wall…..the gentle stride of a tiger is not a sign of cowardice……. to be contd
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