Has The Commander-in-Chief being Abandoned???

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

Since the apparently invincible Boko Haram insurgency pounced on Nigeria virtually four years ago, every act of the Nigerian military in its effort to combat and, possibly, subdue it has never failed to dishearten Nigerians in the most bizarre and epochal forms.

Let no one talk about the possibility of the appalling failures of the military to subdue the insurgency as a problem caused by something unfathomable in the realm of secret global military, political or intricate diplomatic intelligence, about which Nigeria must tread with utmost caution in its choice between ‘the devil and the deep blue sea,’ which may have, therefore, compelled the military to compromise some measures of its constitutional responsibility of maintaining security and protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
We are talking of Nigeria – the most reputable black nation in global affairs, a nation that proudly flutters the banner of the most revered military in peacekeeping missions, a nation that brandishes the military prowess of defending other African nations against any crisis akin to the one terrorising it now.

Members of the Nigerian military should know that their prime responsibility is to ensure the internal and external security of Nigeria and Nigerians in situations of the inability of the police and other relevant agencies to do so to ward off any uncontainable threat to the existence the country.

They should know that there has to be a secured Nigeria for them to answer the name of the members of the Nigerian military, let us assume they have not begun to feel ashamed of answering the name.
Why are Nigerians so bizarrely disheartened with the conceited failure of their erstwhile proudly laurel-decorated military to even face the insurgents in a prolonged fierce combat, let alone subdue and banish them from the Nigerian territory?

Aside the unfathomable invincibility of the insurgents, which the depressing string of promises of the military authorities, such as ‘we are on top of the situation’ or “we will soon re-capture Boko Haram’s Caliphate,” the Nigerian military has all along slapped Nigerians with an endless series of disrespectful lies about strategically combating the crisis, in the face of sharply contrasting deterioration of the security situation.

No Nigerian now needs to be convinced that the top echelon of the military has perfected strategies, not of decisively battling insurgency towards quelling it, but of conning President Goodluck Jonathan into disbursing trillions of Naira to finance what it proposes to him as victorious war against terror, to which the president succumbs with a promptness emanating from his Commander-In-Chief and guardian position for Nigeria and Nigerians.

Although some inconsolably cynical Nigerians would always argue that President Jonathan readily makes such disbursements in a trick to mesmerise the soldiers against going anywhere close to the vicinity of a coup de tat, I do not subscribe to that. So far, the president has demonstrated considerable commitment to putting an end to the dastardly insurgency that has, so far, resulted in the mass murder of innocent souls and wanton destruction of places of worship and many properties.

It has since ceased to be any secret among Nigerians that the top echelons of the military have ascended to the class of the richest group of Nigerians, leaving the pitiably frustrated rank-and-file consoling and pleasing themselves with transferring their frustration and anger on the ever-worsening vehicular gridlock at military checkpoints on most of the Nigerian highways and metropolitan centres, especially in the northern states, on the pretext of looking out for and arresting insurgents.

Very ridiculously, Nigerians have never heard of any insurgent arrested at the checkpoints. A mass of hundreds, at some locations, several thousands, of vehicles is usually built up, with the jam-packed vehicles spilling beyond the shoulders of the roads to create several lanes more than the number the roads have been built to contain. These huge mass of vehicles snail-paces to the point where a couple of frustrated and angry-looking soldiers merely wave at them to pass, most times without checking anything.

Conventionally, criminals find it easy and safe to operate at night. In contrast, however, vehicles pass through these military checkpoints freely in a smooth vehicular traffic flow at night with no logjams because the soldiers keeping sentry there would be relaxing, either near the checkpoints or elsewhere nearby, drinking and gallivanting. It would have been very easy for as many insurgents or other criminals as possible to ease their way through the checkpoints in the night hours when no soldier would be around to detect them to any planned location to perpetrate crime.

These military checkpoints have proved to be practically useless, oftentimes, counterproductive, causing economic activities slowdowns in most metropolitan centres with large populations of commuters comprising traders, businessmen and women and workers stranded there for hours. Honestly, these checkpoints have failed to serve their purpose. How would they? Do the soldiers have the facilities to effectively be in charge of the checkpoints? What modern gadgets do they have to detect even knockouts?

Yours sincerely is also worried about the way soldiers are being used in stop-and-search operations in the city, which ordinarily should be handled by the police or para-military personnel. More worrisome is the fact that a reasonable number of the soldiers have been deployed to personal residences of some retired permanent secretaries, retired directors, retired this and that as guards. Why should Nigeria train soldiers only to be used as guards in private houses and companies? For me, unnecessary presence of soldiers and avoidable interactions with civilians diminish their prestige in the eyes of the public, if the Hausa adage, ido wa ka raina, wanda na saba gani (which simple means familiarity, breeds contempt) is anything to go by.

Now, it has since ceased to be any secret that military troops are deployed to the epicentres of the insurgency, ill-prepared with ‘makeshift’ weapons compared to the highly superior weaponry brandished by the Boko Haram militants. No wonder, most times when both combatants come face-to-face, the Nigerian military men flee for their dear lives as would, a herd of gazelles fleeing from an attacking lion in the wilderness.

Face-to-face with the stark reality of the superior weaponry of the insurgents, detachments of the Nigerian soldiers have severally mutinied against being deployed to confront the superior-armed insurgents.

Why are poorly-armed Nigerian soldiers continuously deployed to face the seemingly indomitably Boko Haram militants who delightfully crush them? Most Nigerians now believe this is due to the rather psychopathic tendencies of their military generals who evidently take pleasure in sacrificing them as part of the dual strategy of creating more urgent excuse to attract more funds for terror war.

This situation, most recently, caused a detachment of Nigerian troops to flee from the more powerful insurgents to the neighbouring Cameroon, to which the Nigerian military authorities respond, albeit with the usual bare-face lies, that the soldiers only retreated in a tactical manoeuvre. What an explanation!

The persistent ill-preparedness of the Nigerian military for the terror war has confirmed the observation of Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State, some months ago, that the Boko Haram insurgents have more sophisticated weapons, which is why the Nigerian military cannot subdue them, an impeccable observation the military authorities vehemently denied.

Huge population of Nigerians in the Northeast are exterminated, evidently by Boko Haram militants and seemingly complicity of the Nigerian military in the insurgency crisis, perhaps powered by some unfathomable formidable force masterminding the insurgency.
There is absolutely no time for lamentations. If the Nigerian military authorities are sincere on fighting and quelling the insurgency, they should rebuild their confidence and commitment accordingly, hone their tools morally and spiritually, utilise the billion-naira funds for the terror war in equipping the rank-and-file with the state-of-art weapons that could, at least, match the ones brandished by the insurgents. That is THE HARD WAY, THE ONLY WAY they can effectively deal with the crisis we have at hand.
By
ABDULLAHI GULLOMA

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