By Ebun Olu- Adegboruwa (SAN)
Our expectations are high for the year 2022 and this is expectedly so, for many reasons. The year gone by was a very difficult one for many, especially in the area of dwindling economic capacities, given all the variables of inflation, the climbing exchange rate, unemployment and the consequences of the global pandemic. Ordinarily, many are on the fringes, barely managing to survive the biting effects of recession and the economic downturn, even though constant promises from the leadership reverberated to cushion the effect, with little or no tangible results. The major challenge as it were, is the crippling effect of insecurity, which has more or less put the nation at a standstill. The reason why the Constitution in section 14 (2) (b) gives priority attention to security as the yardstick to measure governance is because of its strategic importance to human existence. A society where life is not secure, where living has no guarantee and where the fear of death grips the larger populace would necessarily experience slow development. So, we cannot exhaust discussions on security since it is the primary purpose of the government.
Without any doubt, one of the reasons that led to the ouster of the previous administration was the growing insecurity in the land at the time and the seeming inability of that government to contain it. The emergence of an infantry expert, a war hero and an experienced soldier gave hope to many, but things have not changed much. Even though serious acts of terrorism have been contained and limited to the base of the insurgents, we do not seem to be getting out of the woods, going by spate of attacks in recent times. The nation at large has wondered why the President has not been able to tackle the security challenges facing the nation headlong, given his experience and knowhow, on the subject. On March 24, 2018 during the convocation ceremony of Taraba State University, another war veteran, General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd), shocked the nation when he stated pointedly that the Nigerian armed forces were colluding with insurgents and killer herdsmen, saying that Somalia would become child’s play, should the President fail to act promptly. He called on the people to rise up to defend themselves.
“The Armed Forces are not neutral. They are conniving with armed bandits that kill people. They facilitate their movement. They cover them. You must rise to defend yourselves from these people. If you are depending on the armed forces to protect you, you will all die one by one. I ask every one of you to be alert and defend your country. Defend your territory, defend your States, because you have nowhere else to go.”
As usual, government propaganda went agog, vilifying the retired general, until reason prevailed and the President had an audience with him, after which everything returned to business as usual. We have heard stories (though not verified) of helicopters with military men said to be aiding terrorists and bandits with supplies of weapons and foodstuffs, in line with General Danjuma’s assertions. In answer to this malady, military intelligence can be deployed effectively to combat the connivance, if indeed it is true, or else we may just be going round in circles. Long after the dust gathered on General Danjuma’s explosive revelation, a former Naval officer, Commodore Kunle Olawunmi (Rtd) on August 26, 2021 on national television, stated that terrorists named current governors, senators and Aso Rock officials as their sponsors during interrogation by the military authorities. He said the government had not been able to prosecute the sponsors because it was partisan. You then wonder how low things can go. Let’s hear him.
“I told them that the centre of gravity …