EVEN though there has been some decline in Boko Haram activities in the past five years, the Islamic terror group and the newcomer, the Islamic State in West Africa, ISWAP, continue to claim the lives of our soldiers through deadly ambushes.
Soldiers, civilians and aid workers are routinely abducted and executed by the terrorists. The North East remains unsafe and peace remains elusive there.
Also, in the past five years, a third leg of widespread insecurity – herdsmen terrorism and land-grabbing – is another threat to peace in Nigeria.
They have been running riot all over the four geopolitical zones of North Central, South East, South-South and South West.
They kidnap, kill, rape and forcibly settle on people’s lands. They have thrown fear into farmers, and the state security agencies to date have failed to rein them in.
The worst part is that despite the Fulani militias being ranked after Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram and Al Shabbab in the global terrorism index in 2018, the terrorist group does not seem to be officially recognised by the Muhammadu Buhari government as a security threat.
Their attacks on hapless communities are officially described as “farmers/herders clashes”, and no action is taken to protect the people.
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How can an army chief whom President Buhari recently told (along with the rest of the Service Chiefs): “your best is not good enough”, come out and give himself such a pass mark? How can a service chief whom the two chambers of the National Assembly and the general Nigerian public have serially called for his sack over perceived incompetence have the temerity to say that Nigerians now live in peace?
Where is the decorum required of a military professional when an officer gives himself a pat on the back in the face of obvious failure? Anyone who is allowed to mark his own examination papers will always score straight A’s.
It is unbecoming for a service chief to resort to the cheap antics of Nigerian politicians who award them pass marks even after being written off as failures.
If the prevailing atmosphere of general insecurity is seen by Gen. Buratai as peaceful, it means the nation will never know the real peace for as long as he and others remain in charge.
They could never deliver Buhari’s agenda of securing the nation.
Change is necessary to restore the confidence of Nigerians in the capacity of the armed forces to protect them, even if in the short term, and shore up confidence and morale in our gallant troops at the various war fronts.
Over to President Buhari.