February 5, 2018

At this epoch in the life-span of our great country, we are bleeding with concern and high suspicion that a grand conspiracy to ensure that the Federal Republic of Nigeria becomes a failed State is being inadvertently or consciously played by sinister forces in the country as our security institutions seem neither capable of protecting lives and properties or protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.

It is now taken for granted that each morning, Nigerians are woken up with at least one gory story of mass killings, wiping out of an entire community, and un-printable carnages with monumental loss of lives and properties. Many free citizens are now refugees at home; some are permanent residents of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps without access to portable water, food, clothing, medical facilities while school age children are deprived this right. To compound the grime scenario, the economy keeps nose-diving with no palpable hope of getting out the woods soon. Yet, the nation has become a sort of Tower of Babel bedlam where neighbours do not understand each other or make attempts to do so. While some are clamouring for resource control in the Niger-Delta; others are demanding for self-determination with battle cry of “to your tent oh Israel” as is the case of the Biafra agitators in the South East; the echoes from the South-West is restructuring and regionalism; the North as a generic geo-political space is a house divided against itself with Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East; the Fulani Herdsmen marauders from the North=West provoking violent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the middle belt. It is an extremely sickening condition.

A critical interrogator of the state of affairs in the country would believe that indeed just as predicted by the United States and some European allies, Nigeria is on the precipice of collapse. In the East there are cases of rebel forces from Cameroun incubating itself on our shores. The arms in the combined chest of the Biafra and Niger-Delta self-determination agitators are enough to prosecute a second civil war, yet these arms and ammunitions are never produced in these country, they were purchased from the same advanced countries who predicted the disintegration of Nigeria. The Boko Haram and Herdsmen hordes are officially claimed to forces outside the country from Chad in the case of Boko Haram and instigated by Islamic State Fighters (ISIS) in the case of the Fulani Herdsmen.

Characteristically, the Nigerian State in order to curb these spates of belligerent antagonisms has always resorted to military options. The Army between 2015 to date has launched several operations in this regards, these include Harbin Kunama I and II, Crocodile Smile I and II and Python Dance I and II.  Recently, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while appearing before the Senate Committee to defend the 2018 budget proposed by the Nigerian Army lamented that poor funding, security operation across troubled spots in the country is crippling the Army. Paradoxically, the Army has in its plans the launching of Harbin Kunama III, Crocodile Smile III and Python Dance III in this year

It is instructive to note that the Army, just like the Navy and Air Force, is designed to defend the country from external aggression while the Police is for internal security. However, over the years particularly during the long interregnum of military aberration in the governance of our country, the Army has come to play more than its constitutional roles in internal security. We strongly believe that under a constitutional democratic rule, the civil police and other security agencies should enhance their capacities and collaborate to tackle security threats but the Army, Navy and Air-forces should be left to concentrate on their traditional duties.

As much as we call for the institutional development of the police, Department of State Security and other civil para-military bodies to be allowed to take control of the degenerating internal security situations in the country, it must also be pointed out that the managers of our state affairs must wake up to effective discharge of their duties as patriots and leaders. If the yearnings and aspirations of the citizens are meant by the State, there would be less if not zero resort to violent self-help. More importantly, under this lope-sided socio-economic system, military options can never resolved the various questions of social injustice and inequalities been thrown up by this systemic failure.

The country needs to accept the reality that thoroughfare system change is imperative if we as a nation must avert the gloomy prophesy of sliding into a failed state.

Debo Adeniran

Executive Chairman, CACOL


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