OVER the penultimate weekend, Nigerians woke up to one of the most scandalous and outrageous photographs which made the front page of many newspapers and went viral on the social media.
Governor Aminu Bello Masari, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, was seen in a group photograph with the leader of the so-called “bandits” who was clutching an AK-47 assault rifle.
Unfortunately, there was a Nigerian Army officer in the photograph who stood unarmed and gazing vacantly into space.
That picture was reportedly taken after the governor held possible amnesty negotiations with the foreign “bandits” who are also styled as “armed herdsmen” in the Middle Belt and Southern parts of the country.
It instantly told the whole story of how our security agencies are gradually failing in their sacred constitutional responsibility of defending the country from external aggression and internal insurrection.
Even if dialogue with these criminal elements who have massacred and abducted thousands of innocent Nigerians in the North West can be remotely excused, allowing their leader to wield a gun while our own soldier posed empty-handed in front of an elected governor depicted the unconscionable and unacceptable abdication of our security institutions to the superior firepower of these foreign invaders.
Many questions are begging for answers here. What has been the outcome, on our security well-being, of countless operations launched by our security organisations in the last few years?
Up North, why have the governors suddenly decided to beg the outlaws to accept amnesty and publicly giving them heroic treatments?
Another question that the Nigerian authorities are yet to answer is whether it is true that some politicians had brought in these armed foreigners to fight their battles only to abandon them once they achieved their political objectives, whereupon they turned to crime?
We cannot understand why these bandits have defied all reported efforts by our military to flush them out.
Why have the mighty Nigerian forces which successfully kept Nigeria one in the civil war of 50 years ago and achieved serial exploits in the West African sub-region suddenly become ineffective in securing our country against rag-tag bandits?
Could the recent bust of N600 million reportedly stolen from the GOC of the 8 Division of the Nigerian Army fighting the North West bandits, Major General Hakeem Otiki, by his own soldiers be a confirmation that some bad eggs in the military have been profiteering from these military operations?
The Federal Government must flush out all foreign invaders and reassert the full sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over every inch of our country.