Editor’s note: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen Tukur Buratai, has spoken about security problems Nigeria currently faces, saying the country under a democratic system of government, has had to contend with serious security challenges that have continued to deteriorate by the day.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Herald.
Read the full statement below:
Very sane and lawful society maintains a well designed and deliberately structured system of governance that guarantee smooth administration of the society and a security architecture that ensures the safety of lives and property of the citizens from both internal and external threats.As a country, Nigeria, under a democratic system of government, have had to contend with serious security challenges that have continued to deteriorate by the day.
From the menace of Boko Haram that has ravaged most parts of the Northeast, the threat posed by heavily armed Bandits operating in parts of Northwest and Central and the wave of kidnapping and herdsmen attacks across the southeast and west and literally all over the country, it is very clear that the country is at best under siege.
However, with a poorly funded police force to contain internal security challenges and maintain law and order, the once glorious Nigerian army has been dragged out of barracks to help in managing the internal security of the nation, with Gen Turku Buratai at the helm of affairs.
Unfortunately, many observers now believe that rather than the security chief that is desperately needed to address the myriad of security challenges confronting the nation, Buratai has become one of the major security threats to the nation.
Since assumption of office years ago, Buratai has continuously shown high level intellectual ineptitude that has cost thousands of lives of both civilians and military men, have cost the nation billions and serious reputation issues before the global community.
In some unfortunate instances, the military are the ones unleashing the mayhem on the people they supposedly go out to protect.
Whereas most of the threats to the security of the country comes in form of terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, armed robbers and armed herdsmen, the threat from Buratai presents itself in form of gross incompetence and pathetic cluelessness and a rather tenacious cling to a seat he obviously no longer has the capacity to handle.
Buratai’s misjudgment, or rather deliberate mistakes, have already done so much damage that one would have expected him to honorably resign and make way for a more vibrant, contemporary and Knowledgeable army Chief to savage the damage he has done due, probably, to factors he has no control over. One of the areas that Nigerians now detest the army chief is his role during elections, especially the last general election.
The brutality with which the military men posted to conduct elections treated the people and the obvious impunity with which they manipulated the process in clear favoritism to certain interests can not be forgotten in a hurry.
As a strictly top to bottom operation agency, one would have every cause to believe that they were operating with directives from above, resulting in what Nigerians witnessed.
The Operation Python Dance in the South east has done so much damage to the civil military relationship in that region that, it may take divine intervention for the people to ever feel free with the army again.
Under the clueless command of Burutai, the operation python dance caused the deaths of over seventy innocent Nigerians, at a time the terrorist organization Boko Haram was unleashing mayhem in the Northeast and all hands were needed to combat it. Instead, the military mogul focused his attention more on soft targets and used the unarmed innocent Nigerians’ lives to showcase his military prowess (cowardice).
Like the Operation Python Dance, the Ayem A Kpatema 1 did similar, if not worse, damage to the lake Chad basin states of Benue, Taraba and others. In these states, the residents repeatedly alleged that the military were confiscating even cooking knives and indiscriminately arresting virile and agile young men to make way for the marauding killer herdsmen to cone in and do damage.
This is in addition to molesting young ladies in their areas of operation and outright stealing from people’s homes in the guise of searching for weapons.
The rate at which the terrorists have unleashed onslaught on military establishments and personnel, leading to the deaths of thousands call to question the ability and capacity of the COAS to manage to security architecture of the states.
Between 2015 and now, more than two thousand military men have been lost, killed brutally during attacks on military bases or during ambush personnel. The situation deteriorated to the extent that some of the military guys had to run away from the insurgents.
It is rather shameful that, rather than addressing the concerns of these personnel, the army has chosen to trial them for cowardice and other related offences.
In most recent times, the military exhibited the highest level of ineptitude with the proposed Nation wide positive identification exercise. The exercise, which was killed on arrival due to national outcry over its baselessness was, in its entirety, designed to inflict unnecessary hardship on the populace without any probable possibility of yielding any positive result.
This ,at best, showed just how hopeless and bereft of ideas the army boss has become in handling the ever dynamic security challenges of the nation.
It is little wonder that a former military boss Gen Theophilus Danjuma recently called on the people to either wake up and protect themselves as the army in his words were “colluding with criminal elements to cause ethnic cleansing”.
The recent incident where military men shot and killed members of the elite IRT unit just to free a notorious kidnap kingpin Bala Hamisu Wadume and the revelations that followed, shows the extent to which the Nigerian has deteriorated under the watch of Gen Buratai.
As someone entrusted with the security of the nation, Buratai has become such a huge security threat that, his continued stay on the seat is now a greater threat than the Boko Haram, bandits and all the other criminal elements put together.