Tukur Buratai, the Nigeria Chief of Army Staff, has indirectly blamed Nigerians for the inability of the military and police force to contain terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and so on. He made this accusation on Monday 20 July, 2020, when he visited the President to give him updates on national security matters. Buratai told journalists that it is up to Nigerians to decide on whether they want insecurity to end or not.
Buratai said “If Nigerians want it to end today, I can assure you it will end today if everybody joins hands because these bandits are not outside Nigeria. They are not from foreign land.” Furthermore, he said, “Like I said, if we want it to end, the totality of the people’s effort must be put into it to see that insecurity in this country is reduced to the barest minimum.”
I don’t know exactly who these “Nigerians” the Chief of Army Staff is referring to, but I hope it is not the common man that wants to move around the country freely. From what he said, people that don’t live in Nigeria will think that we are enjoying the high rate of insecurity in the country. People are losing their lives and properties daily. Farms have turned into settlements for these people. Villages have been sacked. And many Nigerians have become refugees in their own country. So who exactly is Buratai blaming for the incapability of the people we trusted to fight insecurity? Or is he saying Nigerians should find weapons and join the battlefield?
It is possible that the army chief is indirectly telling Nigerians that they are harbouring these people and shielding them from security personnel. It is possible that he believes that these villagers that are killed in their numbers know where these men hide but wouldn’t divulge the information. It is also possible that he believed Nigerians willingly allowed their children to be recruited by these bandits and insurgents.
If the army chief is blaming us for aiding and abetting insecurities in this country, I believe they have those that gather information for them. Shouldn’t he have gone for that? He also made mention of the army setting up surveillance for these bandits; isn’t that for finding who these people are and where they hide? If they are having problems locating these insurgents and their hideouts, he should say so, so that whistleblowers will do their jobs.
Another possibility is that Buratai may not be blaming ordinary Nigerians but the elites, especially the political ones. It is possible that he is indirectly telling us that certain people are frustrating his works. We have seen videos of Nigerian soldiers complaining about lack of weapons with which to fight insurgency. We have heard of probes concerning the misappropriation of funds meant for the purchase of weapons. We have also heard that corruption thrives among the top military officials and elites. Of course we don’t need to talk about politicians and public servants. So could it then be that Buratai is asking these groups of people to say “yes” so that insurgency will end?
I truly don’t know who is delaying the containment of insecurity in this country but that person or persons need to be contained immediately. People that have seen these bandits said that they are ordinary civilians with guns. We have heard that these people are no match for our military men, so what is actually the problem? Imagine untrained men ambushing and killing many trained military men; or even engaging our soldiers in duels and winning. This just comes to tell you that something is seriously wrong somewhere. And honestly, unless that hole is blocked and the thing that causes it is removed, insecurity will overwhelm us in the nearest future.
We need to encourage our Chief of Army Staff to do more in his battle against insurgency. We shall ask him not to relent in his efforts towards protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians. As for whether Nigerians wanted the insurgency to end, we say a big “YES, we want insecurity to end today”. As for where those people are hiding, let us tell him to start from our farms. We are tired of being captives in our own country.