By Ibraheem Abdullateef.
I wish I planted something in PMB’s mind right away as he announces the portfolios for ministers to pilot the affairs of the nation for the next four years. Or hope he had the same thoughts as me all along. That, truth be told, Nigerians should not be told ‘to pray to God’ for peace and progress for the nation in his Next Level term.
There’s nothing bad in supplicating to God to be merciful. But Heavens help those who help themselves. And the only way we can help ourselves is to plan and prepare meticulously ahead. It’s no longer enough to pick out the arrays of challenges bedeviling this country. I am sure even those across the seas and shores of this land would tell us effortlessly. What’s most desirable is drawing of detailed plans to tackle the menaces and picking the right men to implement them effectively. That, we hoped Mr. President had done.
The almighty insecurity challenges won’t be surmounted by the Almighty’s intervention. It’s about time we picked the speck and show the eyes. And that is stating the obvious that the Nigerian Army, despite their best efforts have failed to curb the growing fears as a result of incompetent leadership, dearth of sophisticated firearms, poor motivation and remuneration, administrative indiscipline among other reasons. And a fish they say, decays from the head. Therefore, PMB should be circumspect in assigning people to lead the Defence Ministry.
Until and unless we come to terms with the truth that it’s not bland talks and politically- fuelled concerns that, we are hapless and helpless against the pervasive issues of insecurity using the same old, obsolete, failed or failing tactics, and come up with new strategies, Nigeria might just be going round circles while ruefully counting her losses.
One wonders what Nigeria learns from her counterparts. If not tactics and strategies. It is a distasteful comedy that Nigeria, the proclaimed giant of Africa, that has participated in many treaties continentally and globally, loses hundreds of live of soldiers and civilians every week.
It’s imperative that federal government equips the army with improved ammunitions befitting of their cause. There has been several reports indicating that terrorists boast of advanced ammunitions in their ranks compared to our men. That is setting them up on an almost unachievable mission. A soldier’s weapon is his/her life. How do we hope to win a war when they are clearly ill- equipped? And I wonder how many times it will take being repeatedly said before something is done about it.
There is also unascertained level of indiscipline in the army’s ranks. It will be hard for any one with blood and soul in the name of misguided loyalty to defend the fact that the Nigerian Army grows more in indiscipline than in art of warship in the past few years. The Police-Army-Wadume debacle and the emerging revelations is a big pointer to how far things have gone haywire. It’s inconsequential to lounge into history now but it’s worrisome how the usually much coveted thick green khakhi shirts is being worn by immoral and dishonest lots now. The fulcrum of soldiership is discipline. How could there be an army when the men are not upright?
Sleaze, corruption and immorality pervading the society has successfully crept into our security apparatus. The supposed defenders of citizenry now do not only wine and dine with only the ultimate oppressors; the political class, but also the slayers and messengers of the Grim reaper on the streets. How bad a society could degenerate may no longer be mere thoughts because Nigeria is a living example.
And the oddity, travesty and blasphemy becomes so broad, multiplying when you add the amplifiers like ethnicity, tribalism and politics to it.
Little wonder death is the most possible thing in the present day Nigeria. There’s no means of dying despised by our proverbial hen. Suicide, murder, kidnapping, bombing, just name it.
The sanctity of life is no more sacred. The goats and cows stand a chance of safety than human beings. Something needs to be done, not only drastically but strategically.
Therefore, PMB must be ready to take hard decisions. Chiefly among them is checking his fabled body language believed by many to be in support of the ravaging herdsmen. The C-in-C should come to terms with the fact that there are some chaff in the wheat needed to be fished out for God and country.
For God and country, some incapable or unwilling officers should make way for passionate, proven ones for fresh breath to permeate the system.
As there is reward for bravery, there should be stern punishment for erring military officers henceforth. This is not unwritten in the code of conduct of the security forces but Nigeria is about the only country I know hoping for discipline in her security forces without enforcing it. There are dozens of cases bordering on indiscipline, brazen impunity and erratic tendency of security officers that are either covered or forgotten for ‘padi padi’ reasons. I wonder how others are expected to get a hold on their acts when no one gets punished. Nigeria makes no scapegoats of immorality not to talk of injustice.
For country, the president should just do the needful because he knows where the shoes pinches us. That is, if sentiments and politics would be jettisoned for duties and priorities.
I am quite particular on security because an unstable nation can never attain stable economy.
Even the human resources we are blessed with as a nation dwindle in our very eyes to banditry, terrorism and kidnapping. What then is the basis for economic buoyancy, growth and development when there’s no stability, peace and tranquility?
I wish the president knew or someone had told him before it’s too late.
Nigerians should no longer be called upon to pray to God for safety in Buhari’s Next Level.
Abdullateef writes from Ilorin.
DISCLAIMER: All views expressed on our opinion page are those of the writer and do not represent the position of INSIDER or any of its reporters/editors.