You’re right — Afenifere, Ohanaeze, PANDEF
Emir cautions Nigerians against distracting security agencies
You’ve no excuse to fail, Buratai tells special forces in Katsina
By Clifford Ndujihe, Anayo Okoli, Kingsley Omonobi, Dapo Akinrefon, Dennis Agbo & Chioma Onuegbu
THE Emir of Daura, Katsina State, Dr Umar Farouk Umar, has raised alarm over what he described as multifaceted security threats facing the nation, saying what Nigeria is experiencing now is worse than civil war.
Dr Umar, who is the emir of President Muhammadu Buhari’s community, solicited for prayers, advice and goodwill of all Nigerians, especially elders, traditional and religious leaders in the country, to overcome banditry and other security challenges the way the civil war was overcome with such prayers, without sentiment.
The emir’s views were shared by Pan-Yoruba Socio-Political Organisation, Afenifere; umbrella body of Igbo socio-cultural organisations, Ohanaeze Ndigbo; and the Pan-Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF.
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While Afenifere said Umar’s view tallies with those of many prominent Nigerians, Ohanaeze said Nigeria was in an unofficial civil war.
PANDEF added that Nigeria’s security architecture is no longer in a position to address the nation’s security challenges, stressing that it must be overhauled.
These came on a day Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, asked members of the special forces deployed to Katsina State not to relent in their fight against banditry, warning that they had no excuse for failure.
Don’t distract security forces, Emir urges Nigerians
The Emir also cautioned Nigerians against “undue interference in security matters to avoid distracting the security agencies, more so since the President is a former war-tested general and a two-time head of state, who knows the military more than any civilian.”
Speaking when the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, on operational visit to Army formations in Katsina State, visited him, the emir called for the same approach used in tackling the civil war to tackle the raging insecurity in Nigeria.
He noted that President Buhari took over the reins of power at a time Nigeria was on the verge of collapse, adding that the current situation is like that of spectators who see all the faults in the players but cannot do better if given the chance.
While advising the Army Chief to remain resolute, focused and shun distracting comments from any quarter, the emir commended the Nigerian Army and its leadership for the commitment and untiring efforts to contain the myriad of security challenges in Nigeria and in Daura Emirate of Katsina State, in particular, since he took over as the COAS.
Dr Farouk used the occasion to thank the Nigerian Army for setting up a Forward Operating Base (FOB) and a battalion in Daura town, to enhance response to security threats in the area and surrounding communities, which had so far commendably assisted in providing the required peace and security in the areas.
While praying for the military and all other security organizations in their operations aimed at securing the nation, the monarch emphasized the need for people to consistently support the military and other agencies by providing useful information on movements and activities of suspicious persons in their communities, for them to succeed in providing the necessary security for the people and the nation.
Lt. Gen Buratai was at FOB Daura and the 171 Battalion Daura, where he was briefed on the operational state of the Army formations to checkmate banditry and associated insecurity in their area of responsibility.
Gen Buratai assured the emir, the emirate council and the people of Nigeria of the renewed vigour and determination of the Nigerian Army to tackle the security challenges in the North-West and the country as a whole.
He said his visit is in response to concerns occasioned by recent bandit activities in different parts of the region and Katsina State in particular.
“Already, the Nigerian Army has commenced reorganization of its operations across Nigeria and that senior officers of the service are in the state to fully implement the clear directive of President Buhari to effectively checkmate the security challenges in the country,” he said.
No excuse for failure, Buratai tells special forces
The Chief of Army Staff asked members of the special forces deployed to Katsina State not to relent in their fight against banditry, saying they had no excuse for failure.
Speaking during a dinner with members of the special forces on Sunday, Buratai said the army is ready to address challenges being faced by the forces. He added that additional weapons, equipment, and manpower would be added to support the fight against banditry.
“This type of conflict is very fluid. It is unpredictable. In this context, the best way is to approach the adversaries with special forces,” he said.
“That is why you received special training. You know the terrain is very wide and the task challenging. But you have a very sacred responsibility to our nation to safeguard it and her people.
“You have no excuse for failure. You are professionals in your field. We are hopeful that the security challenges will soon be over. Whatever challenges you have, we shall address them.
“We are bringing additional weapons; we are bringing additional platforms and we are bringing additional men. In fact, some of the equipment has arrived in Bauchi while some are even here already. Some of you may be moved to other locations to get things right there.”
He asked the soldiers not to be discouraged by negative propaganda but to commit to ensuring that the country is safe.
He said: “We want normalization of activities. The President and Commander-in-Chief has expressed concern that farmers may not be able to go to farms this rainy season because of activities of bandits, but we have assured him that farmers will return to their farms very soon.
“It is the desire of the president and that of every Nigerian to have a peaceful country.
“Do not be influenced by people with negative tendencies. Your loyalty must be to the country and the Commander-in-Chief. Do not be distracted by negative propaganda through social media.”
We’ve been persistent on insecurity —Afenifere
Agreeing with the emir on the level of insecurity in the country, Afenifere said other notable Nigerians have also been warning on the dangers inherent in the country’s insecurity level.
Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said: “Other prominent Nigerians have said that what we are going through in terms of insecurity is worse than the civil war period. They all cannot be wrong.”
We’re in unofficial civil war – Ohanaeze
In like manner, Ohanaeze said it completely agreed with the Emir of Daura that the level of insecurity in Nigeria was, indeed, equal to a civil war.
Ohanaeze Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Mr Chuks Ibegbu, said: “The emir is right. We are not in an official civil war but in an unofficial civil war.
“Insecurity in the country is so scary and it is so devastating. The only difference between now and the civil war is that this one is unofficial, that’s all. It’s unofficial but it’s tantamount to war.”
Level of insecurity unacceptable – PANDEF
In his reaction, National Chairman of PANDEF and former military administrator of Akwa Ibom State, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd), said the Emir of Daura was trying to tell the Federal Government that insecurity in the country has worsened, noting that civil war and insecurity were different.
His words: “I am sure he (emir) knew what he meant and why he made the statement. But the issue there is that insecurity and the civil war are two different things. Perhaps, if you look at the civil war, we knew why it happened, how it happened and how it is to be stopped.
“Because of poor governance the whole country is experiencing insecurity. But it is not to compare, the level of insecurity with the civil war. The point is that there is insecurity in the country today and the sooner we tackle it the better for us, and the people in government should stop deceiving Nigerians.
“So, to that extent, he (Emir of Daura) knows what he is saying and might be right. Coming from Daura, perhaps, it will be meaningful and sensible for President Buhari to really sit up on the issue of insecurity in the country”
Nkanga frowned at a situation where advisers of government would deny that the country is insecure whenever Nigerians lament the insecurity situation in the country.
He said Nigerians expected that the government should sit up and stop living in denial now that insecurity had spread to all parts of the country, even to certain areas that one would not have thought would have insecurity.
“We have gone from the insurgency of Boko Haram to Islamic State of West Africa, ISWA, and today, we are seeing banditry, kidnapping. Today it is everywhere. This is not service chiefs matter, but the level of insecurity that comes out from clear discontent by the people of Nigeria because of bad governance.
Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Chief Ken Robinson, added that the service chiefs have overstayed their welcome and should be sacked.
“I completely agree with the emir. The service chiefs have overstayed their welcome. There is need for rejigging and reorganization of the security architecture. Nigeria’s security architecture is no longer in a position to address our security challenges.
“The President needs to sack the security chiefs and bring fresh people with fresh ideas. The level of insecurity is not acceptable. It is not acceptable for the president’s state and emirate to be under attack by bandits and it is happening across the country. Security has collapsed. It boils down to leadership. There is a need for leadership change in Nigeria’s security set-up.”
Anglican Diocese laments worsening insecurity, rise in rape case
Also, the Enugu Diocese of the Anglican Communion yesterday lamented what it described as worsening security situation in Nigeria and called on the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of protecting lives and properties of citizens.
The church also decried the rising cases of rape, defilement and other gender-based violence against the girl child, young girls and women in general, saying it was a negative life trend.
Rising from its 3rd Session of 17th Synod held at Christ Church, Uwani, Enugu, the diocese lamented the rise in criminal acts such as kidnapping, banditry and killing by rogue herdsmen.
A communication issued after the Synod said the Synod “feels greatly disturbed by the worsening security situation in Nigeria, particularly as it relates to rising cases of banditry, kidnapping and killing by suspected Fulani herdsmen and members of the Boko Haram.
The Synod also noted with “dismay the state of violence, killings and insecurity in the country despite the huge investment in the security sector.”
The communiqué, signed by the Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Dr Emmanuel Chukwuma, the Registrar of the diocese, H.B.C. Ogboko and the Synod Secretary, Dr Stanley Nweze, further expressed dismay “with the indulgence of men in rape, defilement, sexual and other gender-based violence against the girl child, young girls and women in Nigeria”, and condemned what it called “the new trend of life in our polity.”
It noted President Buhari’s rebuke of service chiefs over their poor performance and called on him to “abide by his oath of office by ensuring the protection of lives and properties.”
It urged him to “ensure the replacement of all the service chiefs with competent and capable hands.”
The Synod equally frowned on the “continuous violation of the presidential order on inter-state movement by Northerners, despite the number of COVID-19 checkpoints on the highways”, and also condemned the “invasion of the South-East zone by suspected Fulani jihadists and Almajirai, despite the restriction order on inter-state border movement, and blamed it on “security personnel at the checkpoints who are mostly from the Northern part of the country.”
The Synod consequently demanded the immediate withdrawal of security personnel from the northern part serving at various checkpoints in the South-East zone and called on the States and Local Governments in the zone “to be vigilant to avoid being overrun by these intruders.”
The communiqué also urged the Federal Government to scale up efforts in the fight against corruption and lauded the President for assenting to the Local Government autonomy law and called for its effective implementation to usher speedy development in the rural areas.
The church commended the Federal Government for the ongoing rehabilitation of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, and urged the contractors to adhere to approved specifications just as
they commended the South-East governors for their effort to ensure that the airport project is completed.