The Oasis Reporters
March 26, 2018
A statement credited to former Chief of Army Staff and former Minister of Defense, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma at the inaugural convocation ceremony of Taraba State University a few days back, is currently trending in the media. The statement urges communities under attack particularly in his Taraba State from Fulani jihadist terrorists and other sundry criminal gangs to defend themselves by all means possible (emphasis mine). The retired General was constrained to have spoken in this manner in the light of repeated failure by the nation’s security architecture to provide security to the myriad of communities all over this nation from Fulani terrorists jihadists forces having a field day killing, maiming and burning down their communities in this country.
On the face of it for such a prominent personage and elder statesman to have made statements such as that, calls for introspection by the leadership in this nation at the highest level.
The ongoing attacks on communities in this nation have gone on for far too long a time without a deliberate policy of putting an end to them. Worrying too, is the blank cheque the terrorists jihadists have clearly demonstrated they hold as they are putting down one community after another. For a long time, these attacks have been carried out in many states of this country without those whose responsibility it is to secure us pretending not to notice.
Now the attacks have become widespread and matters have now come to a head prompting Gen TY Danjuma to speak out. Those at the head of the security architecture have all along played the ostrich pretending as if all is well with the nation. Shocking is the fact that these same characters have been consolidating their hold on power when they should have been sacked for failing to secure the nation.
The Boko Haram imbroglio started in a similar fashion as the Fulani terrorists jihadists attacks and people played politics with it until everywhere in the nation was threatened. The way the security situation in this country stands, even the worst skeptic must now believe the narrative of a well planned conspiracy against the corporate existence of this country as one entity or much worse a sinister agenda pursuant of ethnic cleansing much in line with the Rwandan experience.
Why must a particular faith be so much of a threat to others in this country? The Constitution of this country provides for freedom for every Nigerian to practice his/her faith but that is only on paper as this particular faith is seeking to supplant others surreptitiously. The vuvuzelas in this government will cry foul but this is the truth playing out in our nation today.
Under normal circumstances, an elder statesman and General all in one, in the class of TY Danjuma will never have contemplated making such statements.
Nobody in his/her right frame of mind will attempt to dismiss the General’s viewpoint. Doing so will amount to being complaisant and not bringing facts to bear on our national predicament. A number of dirty incidences and reckless statements have conflated to the scenarios Gen Danjuma may have alluded to. First, he sees some level of complicity by the Nigerian military in some of the attacks wrongly in my view, blamed on herdsmen. The truth being that this nation has silently been invaded by Fulani terrorists jihadists gangs and thus far there has been no concrete action yet by either the security forces or the government for that matter to contain the invading Fulani gangs further giving strength to the narrative alleging government complicity. When the terrorists jihadists were having a field day wrecking death and destruction in Southern Kaduna unchallenged by anybody there were the allegations to the effect that helicopters were sighted at different times supposedly delivering logistics to the terrorists jihadists. Such allegations needed to have been investigated but who could have ensured this took place since the President was away on medical vacation. The IGP did visit the area once but he brought nothing that could be of help rather he got himself entangled in arguments regarding the number of persons killed. Close as Southern Kaduna is to the seat of government at the Federal level, the Minister of Interior never deemed it necessary to visit the area even for once but when there was a similar incident in Kajuru the Minister of Interior rushed to the area at the head of a Federal government delegation. His action clearly depicted that he had his preferences which were not in favour of the Southern Kaduna people. In the circumstances, all is not well for this nation since the population is looked at differently or from different prisms. Does this manner and style of leadership not put us as Nigerians asunder?
Given the apparent failure to secure Nigerians and to provide for their security, what then is the responsibility of government? At the summit of Northern Groups which took place in Arewa House on 24 Mar 2018, the groups lamanted and decried the continued deterioration with regard to insecurity, poverty level and what at best can be described as political rascality on display as governance. Whilst our military and other security agencies are toiling to secure all of us their efforts are not complemented by good governance on the ground. Killers, cattle rustlers, armed robbers, kidnappers and other sundry criminal gangs have dominated the open spaces around us.
What explanation would anyone give for example for the kidnapping of the authentic acting Chairman of the APC Kaduna State Chapter by hooded armed criminals at a Mosque in the early hours of 24 Mar 2018 when he went for morning prayers? The incident does portray the level of desperation of those criminals in the government of Kaduna State seeking to perpetuate themselves in power. After forcing him at gunpoint to append his signature on a paper the kidnappers gave him even while blindfolded, they later dropped him off somewhere around Zaria.
How for God’s sake can this criminal government be deserving of our votes when they are pursuing all means to retain power? In their desperation, the criminal kidnappers have demonstrated that they have no respect even for places of worship.The security forces are hereby put on notice that should any document bearing the signature of Alh Danladi Wada ( the authentic APC Acting Chairman Kaduna State) be presented anywhere, those presenting such documents must be immediately arrested and charged with kidnapping Alh. Danladi Wada.
When people pursue power through such violent means, how can such a criminal government respect the rule of law?
Whilst the courts of the land are listening to legal arguments with regards to the leadership issues within the Kaduna State Chapters of the APC, some criminal elements deep in the government are bent on subverting the course of justice. Under these dangerous circumstances, one cannot help but agree with Gen T Y Danjuma that communities under attack should defend themselves by all means possible as they have nowhere else to move to. Doing this would lend a helping hand to the obviously overstretched security forces dangerous, as this may be.
A state of emergency would need to be declared so that government can mobilize both human and material resources toward securing this nation. This is a panacea to avoid going the way of either Somalia or Rwanda.
Written by Gora Dauda.
He’s a retired military personnel and writes from Kaduna, north west Nigeria.