S’East will be like Sudan if Biafra’s actualised – Retired general


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Brig.-Gen. Jonathan Temlong (rtd), first Commander of the Multi-National Joint Task Force in the North-East, says the South-East will be like war-torn Sudan if Biafra is actualised.

The Plateau State-born retired general said that this would be a result of a “crisis of legitimacy of leadership simply because those who are going to take over leadership are not those who have been groomed in the aspect of leadership”.

Temlong, who sought the governorship seat in Plateau on the platform of ADP, stated this in an interview published by Saturday Sun while commenting on the security challenges currently bedevilling the nation.

He said it was worrisome that those leading secessionist agitations in the South-West and South-East were not known leaders while the known leaders have mostly kept quiet.

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Temlong said it was high time all right meaning leaders and citizens rose to their responsibility and checked the “slide to anarchy that is going on in this country”.

He said, “The security of a country is the responsiility of the state. Chapter 2 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, states that the primary purpose of the state is to provide security and welfare for the citizens.

“Agitations are not bad unless they become violent. Anybody who studies conflict knows that conflict is not bad but rather gives you symptoms that something is coming, but if it is allowed to reach the status of violence, then it is bad.

:So agitations themselves should be something that give the government an understanding to analyse that yes, people are agitating because of certain things.

“Then you will begin to look at those things. If true, can they be corrected? What measures can you take to correct them before they get to the point of crisis?

“Now, If you look at what has been happening, I think there has been a problem in this country, that leadership at all levels seem to have failed the citizens. When I say leadership at all levels, it doesn’t mean that you must be in government.

“Now, how do you of a sudden hear names of Sunday Igboho whom none of us has ever heard of? He has no pedigree.

“We have known the Yoruba to have had very educated people and respected leaders that we know and yet all of a sudden, those voices are silent. The same goes to the Igbo land.

“You hear of Nnamdi Kanu making noise, sitting down and dishing out instructions and insults, abusing the sensibilities of all the known Igbo leaders that we have known and suddenly there was a culture of silence, which is quite dangerous.

“Even if today, mark my words, if they give the IPOB what they want, what is happening in Sudan will re-enact itself in Igbo land.

“There will be serious crisis because there will be crisis of legitimacy of leadership simply because those who are going to take over leadership are not those who have been groomed in the aspect of leadership.

“If you see some of their pictures, you will cry for this country. That is the same thing happening even in the North here. Those who are leaders of the bandits are the ones making all the noise; the leaders of the kidnappers, it is these people you want to subject yourself to them or the leaders of the Boko Haram.

“Are these the people you want to subject yourself under their authority? Therefore, all right meaning leaders and citizens must rise up to their responsibility and check the slide to anarchy that is going on in this country.”

Temlong said it was not right to blame all the security challenges in the country on President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 state governors alone.

“It is not just the responsibility of the government alone, there is no way you will blame all the challenges on Buhari and the governors.

“They have their own share of the blame but there is no way they will sit down and do all these things. Yes, as leaders, they need to give the direction for us to come together, but then there are situations where citizens will take responsibility for their security and come together and take a direction to put a stop to all these things that are happening.

“It’s not just a matter of the security architecture but it’s a matter of governance and responsibilities of citizens. It’s a Nigerian problem, not a Buhari’s problem and it’s not the governors’ problem,” Temlong said.

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