When will Buhari show leadership and end the killings?


By Seun Awogbenle

After going through the major news headline on the front page of most newspapers today, I had only one conclusion, that the President is unaware of the scale, consistency and ferocity of the killings happening in the country, particularly the northern region!

Most of the headlines read inter alia, “Buhari orders rejig of the nation’s security architecture”. For a second, the headline did not only come off as a broken record and a rehash of similar old and discredited tale, it is also a reflection of President Buhari’s aloofness with the scale of unwarranted killings going on across the country.

Today, of the 19 states in the North, only Kwara and the FCT can boast of relative peace, the northern part of the country has not only become a killing field, it has become a theatre of violence and murderous crimes. From Banditry, Kidnapping, Cattle rustling, abduction, murder, invasion and all forms of crime have now become the hallmark of northern Nigeria, the region is besieged, terrorized and completely under the gun.

Nigerians should never have to live under this level of exacerbated tension and fear of their own lives, clearly whatever the president is presently doing on insecurity is just not working, this is wholly and squarely a failure of leadership that is not tenable and should never be allowed to continue.

While it is true that we recorded gains in the fight against insurgency immediately after the 2015 election, particularly by reclaiming all the local governments that were previously under the grip of Boko Haram, one thing we can all agree on today is that the level of insecurity in Nigeria has never deteriorated this bad before. In 2015, Nigeria was only managing insurgency in the North East, today the North West is besieged with all forms of killing, violence and banditry, the North Central is also dealing with frequent communal and farmers herders clashes, including reprisal attacks, kidnapping and abduction!

The security chiefs have reached the pinnacle of their career and have now run out of every idea that can put us ahead in this fight. This is in fact demonstrated in the style of the military, who now resort to repelling attacks rather than launching offensives and stretching the insurgents and bandits.

The military and police have since lost the capacity to manage the emerging security challenges, but have in turn mastered the art of counting body bags long after the carnage and horror had been done. There has also never been a more divided and belligerent military before in the country, military officers are protesting openly and have become more rebellious than we have ever witnessed in our democratic history, clearly the officers are dampened and have lost morale in the fight against insecurity.

Despite outrage and popular demand for the sack of the security chiefs, the President has continued to keep the security chiefs in the position even after the national assembly has called for their sack. This is a complete disregard for the lives of our peopleand a blatant disregard for the mandate that was given to the president again in 2019.

The constitution is clear that the security and welfare of Nigerians shall be the primary responsibility of government, any government that fails on this constitutional mandate is nothing but a catastrophe and disaster!

Peace is a major prerequisite for economic prosperity, there can never be development where there is no stability, I believe the President should know this better than anyone else as a former military general.

The president on whose table the buck stops must take responsibility, that the security chiefs have overstayed their time and should subsequently be allowed to go!


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