Viewpoint

July 5, 2023

For security chiefs, time to walk the talk

For security chiefs, time to walk the talk

By SUNNY IKHIOYA

There is the perception – yes, perception,  that President Bola Tinubu is doing well, just three weeks in office. It does not matter whether people are starving or even dying, all we have is hope, in the manner of our religious adherents who are ready to suffer, starve and even die to make it to heaven. That is the type of hope people are wearing on their faces; the skeptics are trying very much to puncture this common hope but are finding it very difficult to do it.

The people have experienced real hardship these past eight years and are ready to grab at any light at the end of the tunnel. It does not matter if petrol is selling for N600 a litre or the dollar exchanges for N700 or the electricity bills continue to rise, it will be well with us. It is in such hope that we are looking at the newly appointed security Chiefs as they mount their respective saddle of office.

But first, let’s address the little matter of celebration from the camp of President Bola Tinubu; it is too early to demonstrate hubris. The people are still suffering, while some are dying as a result of the harsh policies being introduced. We can only celebrate when these policies are translated into prosperity for the common man. It is even worse when we see conspicuous display of wastages on the part of government, while you are asking the people to tighten their belts. It is very contradictory, as a message you are sending to the people. Also, this is not the time to play politics, that time is over. It is time to govern and everyone, whether of the ruling party or the opposition, must be taken care of, because it is our commonwealth that is on the table

 Unless our security architecture works smoothly in line with our common goals, every other endeavour will be a labour in vain; you cannot build infrastructures and be unable to make use of them because of the activities of bandits, kidnappers, terrorists and others, as witnessed during the Buhari regime. Security is not one area where you play the ethnic, religious and other sentimental cards, if you do, you will fail woefully. We have over 200 ethnic groups in this country and you cannot defeat all of them if you choose to bring in sentiments and that is why we are putting our focus on the new appointees, that have been given the onerous task of securing our nation.

The whole of them appears to have been accepted by majority of Nigerians, especially with the mix. They have all displayed bravery and professionalism in the execution of their respective duties and have deserved their promotions to new status. From the records, they have all been involved in direct combats in various theatres of war within and outside Nigeria. They have promised to deliver and we hope that they will walk their talk. The Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Major General Christopher Gwabin Musa, has said that “As the CDS, my promise to Nigerians is that we will continue to improve on our mandate of sustaining peace and tranquility in our country…we assure Nigerians to feel safe that the Armed Forces of Nigeria are up and doing. 

We are highly professional and we are going to be there for them. Nobody should doubt our determination to bring peace to Nigeria.” It is reassuring to hear our CDS talk like that and that will be the basis for which we will judge his performance. His ability to co-ordinate the combined armed forces to bring about the desired result. Nigeria must be safe for all to do business and for tourism. For the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla: “The task ahead of us is challenging. We continually face significant threats such as crude oil thefts, prevalence of illegal refineries, unreported and unregulated fishing, piracy, sea robbery, various forms of trafficking and other marine crimes…we are committed to tackling these security challenges head on….and ensure the general safety of our nation and… maritime domain “. 

On his own part, the Army Chief of Staff, Major General Abiodun Lagbaja, said: “I wish to assure you that I shall do everything within my power to improve on the legacy of a proficient, effective, and admirable Nigerian army. I promise that I shall discharge my responsibilities as COAS, with fairness, merit and hardwork will shall be duly rewarded, while appropriate measures will be taken to bring in line anyone that errs”. 

For Vice Marshall Hassan Abubakar,  Chief of Air Staff, his appointment “is coming at a time that Nigerians were expecting the enhancement of the acceleration and actualization of peace and security in the country…commitment will be invigorated in the fight against terrorism, banditry and other challenges bedevilling the country….in conjunction with my colleagues, we will uphold these attributes in line with Mr President’s directive, issued during the maiden National Security Council meeting. We shall also, begin to make additional efforts and evolve measures and approaches that will continue to diminish our challenges and enhance the disposition of our various theatres of operations”. 

These are all good speeches. It is one thing to make promises and another to deliver on these promises. We have never lacked ideas in this country; the ability to bring these ideas to manifestations has always been our bane. We have received all kinds of assurances in the past, but everytime fulfillment of these assurances remain elusive. If we have not been holding officials down to their promises in the past, it is now time for us to start doing so; the times are changing. 

We are more assured of the fact that Mallam  Nuhu Ribadu is now the National Security Adviser, NSA. We hope that he will live up to his own promise, having assured us that: “We will stabilise this country, we will secure our country and will make Nigeria peaceful  because we believe time has come for this country to enjoy peace, restore order and rule of law just like any other country in the world”. And, I say, Amen to that. If we have men of integrity, who are ready to bite the bullet for the country, we can be assured of the much desired change. 

Also worthy of note is the statement made by the Customs Comptroller General, CG, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi. For him: “We are going to be professional in our approach. There are a number of key stakeholders that we are all going to be working together with….we intend to come up with innovations that will carry along all partners and stakeholders. We are going to have technology and innovation, to break new grounds in customs operations “. 

We have heard them all; it is time for them to walk their talk. Our people have suffered enough. 

Ikhioya wrote via southsouthecho