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MAGNUS ONYIBE

is an entrepreneur, public policy analyst, author, development strategist, alumnus of Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Massachusetts...

 It would appear that President Mu­hammadu Buhari has had enough of the impunity of terrorist activ­ities in Nigeria, hence he gave the most recent ultimatum to the security agencies to rescue the Nigerians cur­rently in the custody of terrorists and all the others still being held against their will by criminals- be it of the hue of religious insurgents, bandits, violent herdsmen or known and unknown gun men.

And as if admitting the allegations from multiple quarters that the com­mander-in -chief of Nigerian armed forces has hitherto handled terrorism with kid gloves , he has also vowed that going forward, he will become more ruthless with the merchants of death that appear hell bent on actualising their devilish quest to make Nigeria ungovernable.

The resolve to take the war to the outlaws was made by President Buhari during the national security council meeting with the top brass in the se­curity architecture held in Abuja last Thursday.

For too long, the outlaws have had the agenda of turning our country into a gangster paradise.

That is why from the original base of the bandits that is in the Sambisa forest which became a sanctuary for the crim­inals to planning and execution of their devilish enterprise, terrorists enclaves have spread beyond Yobe, Zamfara, keb­bi, katsina to Kaduna states.

Over a decade after religious insur­gency gained notoriety in Nigeria, it is not abating, rather, it has escalated ex­ponentially rendering many Nigerians dead and others either in internally Dis­placed Persons Camps, IDPs and others without livelihood.

Its spread has been so rapid that it is currently threatening to add Niger state and the federal capital territory, FCT to its sphere of putrid influence.

And it is rather embarrassing that the criminal enterprise of maiming and killing Nigerians recklessly that was birthed owing to poor manage­ment of the multi religion and multi ethnic composition of our country has not spared our security operatives. They too have been bearing the brunt via violent invasion of their formations to kill them and seize their weapons.

That is according to the mind blowing set of statistics about the so­ciopolitical and economic activities in our society, including the number of deaths arising from violent conflicts contained in a study conducted by Enough-Is-Enough (E-i-E , an NGO) which has revealed that our country has been a sort of death cauldron for a huge number of Nigerians in the first quarter of this year.

It is astonishing that in a period of three months -from January to March this year, 1,884 lives have been lost in vi­olent crimes, just as a total of 140 men and women in uniform charged with protecting Nigerians were also killed within the same period under review. That is according to Enough-Is-Enough.

In another survey conducted by Fi­nancial Derivatives Company , FDC, it was revealed that in the course of the past 10 years , 87,903 Nigerian souls, are estimated to have been lost due to violent armed conflicts.

In the light of the acceleration of the human carnage caused by the bandits/ terrorists, herdsmen militia or what­ever other name they go by , there is a surfeit of reasons to assume that it is the escalating state of anomieen gulfing our country and rapidly degenerating in to a pandemic dimension, that has ap­parently jolted Mr. president in to taking the action that appears like a last ditch effort to salvage our beloved country from the clutches of the devil incarnates that take pleasure in sending children , women and men tot heir early graves in the manner that locusts ravage cotton crop plantations recklessly.

Giving the forgoing reality, in my reckoning, the threat to president Bu­hari’s presidency is no longer the fear of, or the possibility of his impeachment by the National Assembly, NASS for breach of the constitution or the risk of a vote of no confidence by his cabinet for dereliction of his constitutional duties. But the existential threat of terrorists forming a parallel government is the real and present danger to president Buhari’s barely one year remaining period of his tenure of office or his stewardship in Aso Rock Villa.

As such, if the type of drastic mea­sures that he directed the security chiefs to take during the referenced security council meeting a few days ago are not urgently implemented, his plan of fin­ishing well may be far fetched.

Allow me quickly lay out the under lying reasons for the rather surreal and ominous prognosis that l am making .

Without equivocation, while the aforementioned danger is lurking , it is clear to all that the sole intention of our current leaders in Aso Rock Villa and in the 36 governors mansions across the country as well as those waiting in the wings to take over from the present oc­cupants, is to restrict public discussion in this season of politics to the adoption of direct, indirect or consensus pro­cesses for producing candidates for the 2022/23 general elections.

The only other hot button topic that politicians are currently passionate about is the rotation of presidency be­tween the north and south of Nigeria which has been in practice since 1999, but which is being considered for re­placement with meritocracy, going forward.

While all eyes fixated on 2023 general elections from the selfish and narrow prisms of politicians earlier identified , which is to the detriment of the welfare of Nigerians, particularly about how to ramp up security to save lives and find a panacea to the hunger and starvation wreaking havoc on vulnerable mem­bers of the society; the unthinkable, which is a bolder incursion and possibly usurpation and seizure of power by the outlaws in more ungoverned spaces, is possible.

As the Financial Derivatives Com­pany, FDC, survey report earlier cited pointed out , our country is suffering from a youth bulge. That phenomenon could be a blessing, if the opportunity is harnessed as was the case in China when their youth population of 269 million was empowered with jobs by providing the funding for the self em­ployment of youths.

Conversely, the same youth bulge could become a curse if , the youths are unproductively occupied and close attention is not paid to their plight.

 That is apparently the case in Nige­ria where unemployment rate is very high at 15% and youths who constitute about 60% of our population are idle.

The unfortunate incident of #SARS nationwide protests by our youths that degenerated into street riots is a verita­ble indicator of the potential damage that any unmanaged or mismanaged youth bulge could cost our country.

Going by the conventional wisdom: an idle hand is the devil’s workshop, susceptibility of our youths to being recruited by Boko haram religious in­surgents-pushing for the introduction of sharia system in the north; and re­sort to join in gun known gunmen in the south east trying to make that region ungovernable; or getting sucked into the struggle for Independent State of Biafra, IPOB-aiming to form the state of Biafra due to marginalisation, can not be discountenanced.

That is not ignoring the ability of herdsmen militia currently rampag­ing all over Nigerian forests like locust worms, leading to herders-farmers armed conflicts, to also attract the youths.

By the same token, it is easy for our youths to be equally attracted to the ac­tivities of armed robbery and kidnap­ping gangs-in light of the handsome gratification receivable from robbing banks and receiving ransoms payments that are proving to be more lucrative than engaging in mere cattle grazing or being idle and unemployed.

The truth is that in a political system, operated by politicians with altruistic intentions and less cavalier motives, de­grading the capacity of the identified criminal elements in order to stabilise the polity and forestall the perceived risks that the recent brazen display of bravado and disdain for constituted au­thorities by terrorists portend; should have been occupying the front and center of public discuss and engaging the attention of the managers of our se­curity, who by now should have a laser focus on preventing any thing untoward in this very critical period of political transition .

But the highlighted ideal delivera­bles that could ensure the continued existence of our dear country up to and beyond 2023 general elections, are presently in abeyance.

The folly of the current situation whereby everything else, apart from politics is standing still, and not even security is being paid priority atten­tion that it deserves , poses a risk to our country security-wise , as it is the easiest moment for the outlaws to strike a devastatingly catastrophic blow.

As such, instead of security to be relegated to the the back burner, our security forces should be vigilant until the elections for 2023 general elections have been lost and won.

Lessons from the hijack of two passenger aircrafts by terrorists which they slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, and Pentagon in the USA in September, 2011 are instructive to our security appa­ratchiks to learn.

It is therefore recommended that while Politicking is going on , policy ac­tions about the protection of the lives of Nigerians and ways and means of reducing hunger should also be occu­pyingthemindsof ourpoliticalleaders pari-pasu.

In broad terms ,governance is about organizing society for progress and prosperity of its members in an orderly manner with law and order as underly­ing principles.

Given the foregoing definition of gov­ernance, if Nigeria as it is presently con­stituted were to be properly assessed, no matter how hard spin doctors try to hair-brush the situation, governance in Nigeria, especially in the security space is currently comatose or is nearly col­lapsed. As such, it can be concluded that leadership in the security and economic spheres are currently in shambles in our country.

That is simply because how to re­structure the political system so that all members of the Nigerian union would have a sense of belonging and also the introduction of state police to enhance the protection of Nigerians from being wantonly killed by terrorists, which should be in their dashboard as priori­ty, have been neglected in the past seven (7) years.

Without a scintilla of doubt, l am convinced that those in the corridors of power are fully apprised of the fact that the security and safety of lives and properties of citizens are right now on tenterhooks, while hunger is wrecking the lives of vulnerable Nigerians .

And l am dismayed that our leaders are unwilling to take drastic actions to stem the growing tide of insecurity and hunger in the land which have seen our country racing to the bottom of human existence, which a Hobbesian state of living, reflects.

How worse can it get when prac­tically everybody in Nigeria knows someone that was killed, maimed, kid­napped, raped , or whose homes have been destroyed, farms burnt down, as well as unable to eek out a livelihood either via farming or other artisanal endeavors, courtesy of the low tensity war ravaging our country.

It is heartbreaking that despite all of the crisis situation, politicians are butting heads in the contest of how to perpetrate another state capture via 2023 general elections. That is even as the ungoverned spaces in Nigeria is enlarging in geometric progression, while government capacity to steer the ship of state safely to shore from the troubled water is waning.

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