A very dear friend of mine who once lived and worked in Zimbabwe while Robert Mugabe held sway as ruler; he was there with his family and even had one of his children there. Sometime last year, I think during the period of activities marking the burial ceremony of the late Zimbabwean strong man, we got talking on phone comparing and contrasting Zimbabwe under Mugabe and Zimbabwe under the incumbent, Emmerson Nnangagwa. According to him, as the one who experienced the country, things were better under the much maligned Mugabe! I can remember we talked about electricity and their currency. I even wanted him to help tell his Zim experience; hopefully he will someday.
Let us not forget that Mugabe was forced out of power with the hope that things will get better afterwards. Did things get better?
Please, be reminded that once upon a time, a certain Saddam Hussein was head of state in Iraq, officially from 1979-2003 before he was ousted via an international conspiracy championed by the United States of America and Britain. He was accused of stockpiling weapons of mass destruction and also of operational and coordination links to a terrorist group al Qaeda. Time really has proving both allegations to be false. Hussein was later executed in 2006. And what is the current state of the country Iraq? It is in a mess, in some subjection to Iran. So, has the ouster of Saddam Hussein made the country better? Let the international and local conspirators give the answer.
Muammar Gaddafi was in charge as Libyan leader for around 42 years. After coming to power, his government initiated a process of directing funds toward providing education, health care and housing for all. Public education in the country became free and primary education compulsory for both sexes. Medical care became available to the public at no cost. Under Gaddafi, per capita income in the country rose to more than US $11,000, the fifth highest in Africa. The increase in prosperity was accompanied by a controversial foreign policy, and there was increased domestic political repression.
In the quest for political freedom, local opposition figures took advantage of the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ to revolt against the government. The intervention of an international coalitions force paved the way for Gaddafi’s ouster and subsequent assassination in 2011. And what is the state of security in Libya, currently? That is a mess.
I can go on and cite several other examples where citizens and their foreign collaborators attempted or forced regime change and eventually caused bigger mess. That is why the call by Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe for President Buhari’s resignation is at best a political grandstanding. Abaribe has been around long enough to know that Nigerians don’t just resign even when they had to. His action at best will only succeed in heating up the polity. To be fair to Mr. President, I believe he wants a secure Nigeria and loves to work towards it. He should be given all the encouragement and assistance needed by all individuals and institutions to secure our nation for effective management. The National Assembly is headed in the right direction by choosing to give more attention to decisive tackling of our security question; this should not be a time for partisan political stunts if there is sincerity of purpose.
As we all join hands to tackle this menace, citizens trust needs to be won. The authorities need to carry all along because you need everyone on board so as to enhance intelligence gathering. Criminals are not spirits, they mostly live among other people but many are scared about the confidentiality of the information volunteered to law enforcement agents and officials of government. Unfortunately, the love of money in our society is not making the fight against insecurity easier. So, many want their own share of the proverbial National Cake, however it comes. Have we forgotten the case of Hamisu Wadume, a kidnapper whose arrest was thwarted by solders!
It is a risky business negotiating with bandits, terrorists and other criminal elements with money exchanging hands; this sends a wrong signal that the government will give attention to armed criminals on the one hand; it also paints a picture of a weak government on the other hand. That is why the peace in the North West has not been lasting. When you give money to bandits and other criminals, you are simply making them more powerful but when you cut the fuel as posited in The Cashless Policy can help solve Nigeria’s Security Challenges, the engine of violent crimes will be grounded.
The funds used to ‘settle’ bandits and other criminals can be deployed to empower law abiding citizens willing to add value to the society, this is a better strategy. This fund can be deployed in building infrastructure so as to create an enabling environment for profitable engagements by our teaming population. Security votes should actually be invested in people; from social security to employment generation and capacity building.
The process of community policing should also be fast tracked: the hand writing is all over the wall. We also need to avoid expanding some ancient fault lines of ethnicity, religion and the likes.
The political class should also know that their excessive earnings also breed insecurity. When a few Nigerians allocate so much to themselves whether in the executive or legislature in the face of pervasive poverty, they should know that insecurity will surge.
Insecurity in a country can both be local and internationally stoked. In the case of Nigeria, we can at least point to ISWAP, and some states have been accused of sponsoring terrorism for the international side. However, our politicians who arm thugs are also guilty in this matter. Can they please desist from this dastardly act? We still remember the controversy of allegation against a former governor now a senator who had an incredible arsenal of 1000 AK47 riffles and 4,000,000 bullets handed over to the police; he had denied the report, though. But what is undeniable is the fact that politicians supply arm for criminality both knowingly and otherwise.
Another dangerous practice by politicians, especially opposition elements is to call for international intervention in national affairs at the slightest opportunity. My advice to them is that it is not always a happy ending when these big boys intervene in other countries. They have their own national interest, don’t forget. Are Libya, Iraq and Syria after the international community’s intervention better off?
So, back to where we started, forcing a popular leader like Buhari out of power will only worsen Nigeria’s security just as we have had in the above cited examples. More so, when the President has severally assured of his handing over at the expiration of his tenure and invested so much in the fight against insecurity. Even the impeachment of Donald Trump and the attempt to remove him from office is dividing the United States and it is a security risk. Politicians should admit their complicity in this insecurity headache, rally the citizens and stop grandstanding. I hope Abaribe and his likes will be more serious!