…May discuss constitutional amendment, healthcare, others Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja The first Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) meeting is currently underway in the State House Conference Center, Abuja. The meeting which started at 9:00pm is being presided over by the NGF Chairman and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari. The meeting is meant to get briefings from the…
In security circles, locally and internationally, the appointment of Lt. General Tukur Buratai as Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Nigerian Army by President Muhammadu Buhari is viewed as one of the best security appointments since his administration wrested power from the past administration. Many believe that it was only in Buratai’s appointment that a lot of security consultations were carried out before decision was made by the President. Reason being that Buratai’s appointment tallied with the political agenda of the President, which is to end terrorism and corruption.
No wonder his insistence that no “Jupiter” could thwart his appointment of the head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
If the US counter-terrorism report should be assimilated and acted upon as they would want Nigerians to accept, then one should be careful to note and underline the main motive of those behind the report. The question is, are they so competent to ascribe such status to themselves? Who made them a judge over Nigeria to warrant them wanting to score our security examination result? The Nigeria Army is a force to be reckoned with, our only undoing is the unnecessary political influence in the administration of the military.
When this writer was in Haiti on an official assignment, a meeting with the head of the United Nations in Haiti was an eloquent testimonial of the two Nigerian contingents in that part of the world. They were highly rated, respected and adored over and above all other contingents from other countries of the world. The meeting made me proud of being a Nigerian. It is on record that the US military outing in lraq, Syria and Afganistan are far from showing them as exemplary to be dictating corrections to other countries. Why should we not argue that it is because the Nigerian government announced to the world that it has “technically” defeated the insurgents, since their perception and belief is that the war on terrorism can never be won? So, for a Black country to raise its head and claim such glory should be dampened.
The surprise that the US has for Nigeria being audacious is by expressed by sending such a “damning” report to some overzealous Nigerian media platforms that are not circumspect on security issues as they concern the country.
The belief is that, despite the claim of government that Boko Haram has been decimated, it is still arguable, since the terrorists are still operational. It is for that reason that this latest report was issued to give the impression that the claim cannot be authenticated, after all, the Boko Haram terrorists are still operational.
There is no gainsaying that the military indeed decapacitated the insurgents. According to the Borno State police commissioner, Mr. Damian Chukwu, in an interview with this reporte, “In fact, it came to a time when you hardly travelled from Maiduguri to any part of the state in whatever direction for 20 kilometres without meeting them, either by way of jamming them and you cannot move further or running into an ambush of the terrorists. Maiduguri to Damaturu road to Biu, they took over. From Maiduguri , Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, they took over.
“They were holding 80 per cent of the state. Today, the entire story has changed, with the Buhari administration and we must thank our indifatigable military for regaining back all the territories.”
I think It is such affirmation that the US does not want to hear. Maybe they want the war to continue so that their new government can start selling their military hardware to Nigeria as they did in Saudi Arabia?
This writer was in Sambisa forest, and also travelled to many of the former strongholds of the Boko Haram sect, yet the Americans never saw the need to compliment and commend the military. When the military ensured that displaced residents of the North East could return to theri communities to commence their normal life, the US did not see any reason to applaud the efforts of our military, instead they looked the other way. All they wanted Nigerians to hear was that houses are not being constructed, as if that is the job of the military; yet both the federal and state governments have been making concerted efforts to address the accommodation problems of the returnees with thousands of houses being constructed and handed over to these war victims.
Once, I was on the entourage of the COAS when he visited the Bama IDP camp to donate tonnes of drugs. After reading the US report, I went back into records to find out if the Americans ever provided drugs and reconstructed houses for war victims in the countries they went to war. It was a zero finding; so why would the Americans think that the Nigerian Army should not assist their fellow distressed Nigerians? They don’t need the prompting of an outsider to do the needful. The recent isolated attacks being carried out by a few of the misguided insurgents is not enough to completely erase the gangantum gallantry of Buratai and his men. It is a fact that the recent onslaught on the ISIS stronghold in Syria, Libya and Sudan must have triggered the fleeing of some members to neighboring countries in the north that has resulted in recent pockets of bombings in some parts of the North East. Such was the situation in Iraq when the US was executing the war there.
Despite the report, the military has not been resting on its oars. Today, Buratai can heave a sigh of relief that even when the US is castigating Nigerian military, there are other world leaders who are closely assessing his efforts and did not take the path of the US but have come out to applaud and recognise the gallantry of Buratai and his troops, and have awarded him accordingly.
On April 25, 2017, for instance, the Brazilian highest military award of Order of Military Merit was presented to Buratai. He also got the Multinational Joint Task Force Medal from the head of the mission and executive secretary of Lake Chad Basin Commission, Engr. Sanusi Abdulahi, in N’djemena, Chad. Such complimentary applause is what the troops need to further boost their morale, not reports that would dampen their psyche. The Nigerian military knows that there is a presidential command to stop insurgency and flush away any trait if terrorism in the country. Such presidential command cannot entertain frivolities neither can it accommodate insinuations capable of shifting their focus.
This is a war that must be won and every Nigerian must collaborate with the military to ensure that terror is stopped in the country. This is a sovereign state and our destiny is in our hands, not in the hands of any foreign country. (Concluded)