…Attributes ambushing of troops, sabotage to policy
…Urges synergy amongst security agencies
By Chris Ochayi
ABUJA: A former Assistant Inspector of Police, AIGP, (retd), Dr. Charles Ugomuoh, Friday, condemned the government policy, which allows repentant Boko Haram terrorists to be enlisted into the security agencies, noting the practice was worrisome and dangerous.
Dr. Ugomuoh, who spoke via a statement titled “Taking a hard look at Nigeria’s continuing insecurity”, issued in Abuja, attributed the policy to series of ambushing of troops, sabotage of the operational surprise elements and loss of troops and armament occasioned the ongoing war against insurgents.
Ugomuoh charged that “The government should, therefore, reconsider its re-integration of Boko Haram elements into society especially allowing them to be enlisted into sensitive security institutions.”
Dr. Ugomuoh, who is also the Chairman, BOT, CUG Foundation, reasoned amongst other things that the rivalries within the security agencies prosecuting the war against insurgents, banditry and kidnappers were responsible for abysmal performance against the terrorists.
According to him, “Re-integrating Repentant Boko Haram Members: the Federal Government must re-think its strategy.
“For any government, the widespread rejection at all levels of government and across political lines, of the present security situation in the country must be a cause for concern.
“President Muhammadu Buhari himself has admitted that the state of insecurity and the killings in some parts of the country are disturbing.
“In response to the situation, the president has promised to rejig Nigeria’s security architecture at the same time as he has demanded greater commitment and more productive strategic initiative from the leadership of the security agencies in the fight to reign- in the insurgents and other criminal elements in the country.
“But one major challenge is the insinuation that the Federal Government or some of its officials have become compromised in the war against insurgency.
“A second challenge is that the government is accused of lacking the political will to be firm in its policies on containing Boko Haram.
“The most contentious issue is the manner with which the authorities have handled the issue of the so-called repentant Boko Haram members.
“Soldiers in the theatre of operations have on more than one occasion complained that the so-called repentant Boko Haram fighters who are released back into Society simply rejoin their ranks to kill troops fighting the insurgency. This cannot be idle talk.
“Even more worrisome and dangerous is the policy of allowing these so-called repentant Boko Haram fighters to be enlisted into the security agencies.
“These elements avail themselves of information on operational targets, operational intelligence and time and route which they pass on to their insurgents’ ranks.
“The consequence has been the ambushing of troops, sabotage of the operational surprise elements and loss of troops and armament.
“The low morale which such a situation causes can only be imagined.
The federal government must therefore now realize that the Boko Haram insurgency is sustained by religious justification and indoctrination.
“It is a situation that creates a die-hard conviction and allegiance which few weeks or months of the radicalization cannot wipe out.
“The government should, therefore, reconsider its re-integration of Boko Haram elements into society especially allowing them to be enlisted into sensitive security institutions.
“Furthermore, as observed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself, the pervasive incidents of fatal banditry, kidnapping for ransom, cattle rustling and armed robbery are classical methodology of insurgent groups which they deploy to raise funds for their operations.
“These incidents which are almost enveloping, the country must now be upgraded as insurgency operations instead of simple criminality. That way, they would be treated with the seriousness they deserve.
“To achieve these objectives the leadership of Nigeria’s security agencies must remind themselves that they belong to one security fraternity which can only succeed if there is interagency trust, and respect and collaboration.
“The feeling of superiority especially by the military which is a carryover of the days of military dictatorship must give way to a sense of one family with a common objective.
“Security personnel must also be optimally provisioned both in terms of armament that can overwhelm the enemy and in their welfare and career progressions.
“These steps will shore up the confidence and morale of the operatives and produce the results the nation needs to regain its trust and confidence in the government to protect lives and property.”