EXECUTIVE Secretary of the 19 Northern states Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Prof Dan Babayi, yesterday opposed calls for the sack of National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd) over alleged poor handling of security challenges unleashed on the polity by Boko Haram.
In a statement, Babayi, a former chairman of Adamawa State CAN, said the task of ensuring security was the responsibility of all citizens and regretted that “by the very nature of their work, our security agencies are judged only on their failings rather than their successes.”
Noting the complexity of the challenges thrown up in tackling Boko Haram’s unrelenting bombing, he said the reasons for the violence were numerous and the vehicle through which the campaign was being orchestrated and waged was nebulous.
His words: “Like much else in our country, the operations of our security services have been systematically denigrated and as such, the level of preparedness for tackling Boko Haram has been exposed as grossly inadequate.”
“The security agencies have been left to play catch up in an effort to come to terms with what for Nigerian is a new genre of threat altogether,”‘ he added.
While coordinating responsibility for security matters clearly lies with the country’s National Security Adviser, it is clear that the whole can be no better than the parts from which it is constituted. For every bomber that gets through and explodes an incendiary device, several attempts have been frustrated,” he added.
Quite rightly, what makes the news and grabs attention are the ones that get through and we must never relent in demanding greater vigilance and victories from our security agencies. We must however be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
“While one can empathise with the sense of frustration and anger at bombings during the high point of Christian festivities (commemorating our Lord’s birth, death and resurrection), it is neither accurate nor helpful to describe the NSA as a “decoration”. To do so would be to perpetuate fallacies that are espoused by those that would rather have a pliant NSA.”