A disclaimer will suffice before I move forward…
I am not a card carrying member of any political party and not a politician for that matter. And calling me a ‘GEJ apologist’ will be very uncharitable and wrong. I did not vote him and have always criticized him. I request you to read with caution and open mind.
Now let’s continue…
The issue of Israeli security experts coming to secure Aso Rock as put in this report has generated a lot of comments and opinions. However, my question to you all is: do you think GEJ deserves all the sticks he gets? Or do you think Nigerians don’t like his personality? Or is he simply grossly misunderstood?” If you think the job of a president (especially in this present Nigeria) is easy believe me you need to have a major rethink. I must confess I don’t envy Jonathan’s job right now and I sincerely pity him.
Let the truth be told. The security operatives we currently have in Nigeria CANNOT fight the budding terrorism in the land! I make bold to say that the Police, SSS and even the military do NOT have the wherewithal to contain the growing rate of terror and insecurity in my dear sorry country. This why in my opinion the decision to bring on board the Israeli security experts is a very good one because they are coming from an environment where they are more experienced about issues of this nature.
However, I have a problem with the report because it said they are meant to be supervising Aso Rock security. Why Aso Rock? The report made it look like our President has sought personal protection and also for his palace. This perception is what was responsible for a lot the criticism from the Nigerian youths on twitter this morning. I say this because some have argued that the next attack target is not known hence the need to protect the Villa. This again, I want to believe in my opinion is not Jonathan’s intention.
My fellow Nigerians, in my humble opinion I do not think Mr. President deserve the sticks given to him this morning as I reckoned he must have been misquoted by the press (and if not, then we are in serious trouble). The sad reality is that our security are ill equipped and poorly trained. It will take time to get our security all primed up to combat terrorism squarely, so should Jonathan sit and fold his hands while Abuja gets bombed or should he get instant measures to safeguard lives while a long term solution is reached? I guess the latter makes more sense. We can’t combat terrorism on our own. It’s a global fight. We don’t even have what it takes to combat it. Being the President, he cannot come out to say the army or police is poorly equipped. However, sad as that is, it is the reality of where we are as a nation. In my opinion, while I admit this man has his short comings, he has been so heavily criticized beyond what he deserves on this particular issue.
In my humble opinion there are some despicable evil forces that are bent on making this country ungovernable just to discredit current administration and we (Mr. President being number one) are all falling for it. One of the wanted Boko Haram members recently declared wanted by SSS, was said to have been arrested and released before, precisely in 2007. Such a person should have been closely monitored since then to follow his every move. We have also heard reports of an Army General allegedly aiding the escape of a Boko Haram suspect. These cases buttress what we already know: the cancerous rot in the system. I do agree that the rot cannot be cleared in the less than 100 days GEJ has stayed in office but we MUST told by GEJ and his security chiefs what is being done considering the billions of Naira being spent daily on Security. Lest we find the whole country is turned into a theatre for bombing war. The rot is everywhere and I believe we all have to work together to fight it.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not against criticising this administration. In fact, some readers who know me very well would be wondering if I have jumped ship to Jonathan’s camp. I have not! Criticisms are healthy for growth, but I’m afraid it is going in an unwanted dimension now in so many quarters. Nigerians have to be aware of some of the systemic rot and know that we have a battle to fight. And not fall for these renegade elements who have resorted to banditry and brigandage all the time.
Terrorism is not the regular armed robbery case. It is very complex, organized and sophisticated. We need technology, expertise and collaboration. Mr. President you MUST make ordinary citizens buy into national security if we must progress at all. This can only be achieved if citizens have a sense of belonging in your government else it won’t work. The complexity and sophistication of these terrors reiterate the fact that we should seek foreign support if that is what will help us nip it in the bud. If it is the Israelis that we need to jump start our fight against terrorism then I don’t see anything wrong in it because if we allow this thing to brew, we will be doomed for a very long time. If we wait for our own security apparatus to “grow up”, I’m afraid we will be in for more bloodletting.
First we need to do a reality check to see what we have on ground and how efficient they are. The security units need to self cleanse to get rid of saboteurs amongst them. Our security personnel need to be retrained and also made to go through refresher courses from time to time. They must also involve ordinary Nigerians in intelligence building. We need to also invest in modern intelligence hardware. We need to seriously and urgently look at creating a proper citizen database. Talking of database I wonder why we can’t develop any of the existing ones – INEC, National ID Card, NCC & Telecom SIM Registration.
Our border is one of the most porous in the world. We need not just competent and trusted security personnel to man them; we also need to use hi-tech surveillance devices. Can our security provide that as we speak? The answer is No! This is the reason why we must all sign-on to national security operatives. Everyone must be a stakeholder. Just the way it is in the developed world.
We need to continue to push GEJ and his administration to do more. However, I believe we have to do it as scholars and not as Politicians. The opposition politicians, including out of favour PDP people are taking advantage of unsuspecting masses. Now Nigerians criticize just about everything that come out of the stables of GEJ. The danger in this is that at some point, the man will develop thick skin and might think – oh yeah, after all, they never see anything good in what I do.
The media have been hijacked by some disgruntled self-serving interests, so instead of proffering solutions and supporting the government, they see it as an opportunity to further discredit the government. We are threading on a very dangerous path! I fear greatly that militants will erupt elsewhere to discredit the next government too because we seem to be sowing a very dangerous seed.
In closing, I hope someone close to Mr. President sees this and relay the message. Nigerians have elected you to govern and provide solutions to the increasing problems of this country and it is only when you have done that or seen to be doing just that, that we Nigerians will start believing in your leadership. It’s time to roll your sleeves and get to serious work. GEJ, I don’t envy you at all!!!
I love my country, Nigeria! I know the potentials of this country and with that I come to you in the belief that this country will be great again.
May God Bless Nigeria.
You can also find me on twitter: @bisiogunwale