On Boko Haram, It is Time for the Security Chiefs to Go By A.S.M Jimoh
With the recent spate of bombings, it appears that Boko Haram understands the art of war more than the Nigeria security apparatus. Having noticed that it can no longer confront the Nigeria military, it has since changed to suicide bombing and detonation of improvised devices as its new strategy to maximize casualty in its murderous campaign. However, it seems the Nigeria military has not moved from its old way of confronting the terror group by waiting for them to strike and thereafter looking for scapegoats.
It may be argued that the new administration is taking its time to evolve an effective plan to confront the group and gives it a final burial, the huge casualty innocent citizens suffer daily due to these bombings is too much to bear. By the time the Presidency finishes drawing its plans, it may find out that there were no citizen to protect again as BokoHaram had wiped us all out!
With the change in tactics by Boko Haram, one expects to see situational measures that would at least reduce the flood of bombings. Such short-term solutions will give an indication that the security heads are now thinking better in confronting terror. So far, there is no such clue; a signal that the current security heads lack strategy to keep pace with Boko Haram’s tactics. That is why the President must change the security chiefs straightaway to give way to people with new thinking in confronting insecurity. Because it appears that whatever the soft-landing the President wants to give them after years of their non-action, denial, corruption and outright failure, they have lost track of Boko Haram sophistication. The President decision to continue to retain them will not help his plan in fighting the terror group and other security related matters.
It may be said that the President is being careful so that he would not be accused of taking revenge for all that the security chiefs did to deny him coming to power, but it is glaringly evident that these guys are inherently impotent. Continue to keep them will only create avenue for the thought that the President himself has no plan of his to fighting insecurity. For them having been so largely incompetent with allegations of corruption, I find it difficult to think how the President sits with them to discuss security matter. While their failure can be forgiven, it cannot be forgotten so soon, especially the nauseating memories it will continue to elicit.
In the Islamic tradition, we have a narration where the Prophet (peace be upon him) forgave the slave who killed his beloved uncle, Hamza. Nevertheless, he politely asked him not to come in front of him because his seeing him evoked the memory of his dear uncle and such would cause him pain. Although he had forgiven him, the prophet love for his uncle is so strong that the memory of his murder caused him difficulty in the presence of his killer. Thus, sitting with the current crops of security chiefs should cause the President the pain for the 213 Chibok girls still in captivities that they did nothing about. It should cause Mr. President the pain for the countless children, women and men slaughtered by BokoHaram that they denied. It should cause the President the pains of numerous women and children still imprisoned by the terror group that they never acknowledged. The horrible memories should cause the President so much pain that he should immediately ask the (in)security chiefs to go.
The directive by the President that all military roadblocks be dismantled is a welcome development. It is a thing long overdue. Countless roadblocks in our cities have not prevented Boko Haram and its ilk unleashing terror on us. The barricades on our roads have only caused untold hardship to innocent citizens through harassment by soldiers and policemen. They hinder free movement and create avoidable traffic gridlocks. Sometimes when one is stuck at these roadblocks, I can’t imagine the casualty that would result if the traders of terror decide to strike. Barricading roads and passages in city centers for several months as a way of fighting insecurity is just one clear indication that our security agencies lack strategy.
The last time I walked past the so-called defense headquarters through radio house and International Conference Centre, I found that all roads, except a single lane, leading to the defense headquarters were barricaded. I shuddered that if a nation defense headquarters felt that so insecure, then any citizens hoping on its occupants were lost to reality. The kind of blockade I found there gave the portrait of a shameless, ineffective and insecure defense house and its occupants.
The President should take further steps to re-organizing our security agencies. One such steps is to sack the security chiefs immediately because they have expired. The department of state security (DSS) who was so much political cum the mouthpiece and terror department for the PDP’s government should be quickly cleared of its bad eggs. Our security ministries, departments and agencies contain corrupt individuals who the President must sack straightaway. Whatever their current pretense of having changed their way of doing things, it will not take long before they go back to their old ways.
The current tactic adopted by BokoHaram tells us that the security apparatus needs to invest more on intelligence gathering rather than just military hardware. Perhaps the Boko Haram is deploying abducted children for suicide bombing. The use of little girls and boys to bomb out citizens shows that the terror group still controls powerful cells to recruiting people to carry out their heinous activities. These cells are what our security should deploy intelligence to finding out and dismantling.
The writer can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.