Buhari’s Khaki And The Contrast With Babariga

By Joseph Atainyang



An army General is currently presiding over Nigeria. Muhammadu Buhari is not only a former army General with records of gallantry. He is indeed, a General who equally served the nation as Head of State during the military era.

Campaigning with three-core agenda, Mr Buhari who failed to become Nigeria’s civilian president after three contests, finally succeeded in 2015. Perhaps his conviction was boosted by a number of factors. But his mission statement was composed in his promise of providing effective security, waging war against corruption and improving the economy.

While matters of corruption and economy have decisively been treated on other pages, today’s message is specifically designed to do a sketch on security under Mr Buhari. It is no holistic attempt, anyway. It scantily zooms and targets random thoughts on some security lapses around the country. It is also a way of interrogating the efficiency of the security agents under Mr Buhari. The incessant cases of kidnappings of security officials, the killings of police officers on duties, banditry and high rate of crimes around the country are threats to Nigerian citizens. Piracy and other forms of criminality are realities that stare Nigerians in the face.

The recent incidents of kidnaps and killings of divisional police officers, DPO’s are unambiguous omens. They are signs that someday, we may all be wiped out. Just last Thursday, gunmen abducted the Police DPO in charge of Mubi North Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Mr. Ahijo Mujeli. Reports have it that the criminals have demanded N50 million ransom. The same Thursday, November 21, armed robbers attacked both a police station and a bank in a coordinated operation in Ekiti State. According to reports, they killed a police officer and another person, carting away over N25 million and some foreign currencies.

The Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Mr Asuquo Amba, announced last Friday that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had ordered a thorough investigation into Thursday’s armed robbery attack on the Oye Ekiti branch of a new generation bank and the Oye Police Division. Amba, however, acknowledged similarities between the recent incident and the manner at which a bank was robbed at Ise Ekiti about two months back. Amba stated that the robbers who opened fire in almost all offices of the Oye Divisional Police Headquarters, may have connived with some of the bankers who were caught by the CCTV cameras packing money. “The Divisional Police Officer was quite lucky because I went to his office, his seat was pierced”, he said.

There was the same scenario earlier in July this year when pirates in Bayelsa State attacked and killed a police DPO and three other police officials in a gun battle. Even the rate at which intra-securiy agencies have had altercations, simply point to the fact that certain people were very determined to sabotage government efforts. Situations in which police apprehended a wanted kidnapper only to be attacked by the army, who rather killed them in the process while setting the kidnapper free, presents itself for open examination.

Although the president is no more in his youthful age, a saying exists that ‘old soldier never dies’. This is a clear way of saying that once a soldier, one would and should always remain a soldier. It implies that the gallantry or bravery of a soldier is always expressed by persons who have been soldiers, though they may be old.

President Muhammadu Buhari has undoubtedly continued to demonstrate the toughness of a soldier. He even told Nigerians after winning his reelection early this year that he would be tough in this moment of Next Level. Nigerians do not expect the toughness to only affect the cost of living, especially now that the value added tax has been increased to 7.5 percent, having attracted the approval of the Senate.

More so, Nigerians are willing to have the toughness transcend to how the country’s security situation is being tackled. They are willing to have the president attempt the ‘ruthlessness’ to how intelligence is being gathered on a daily basis. They expect a president whose orders for thorough investigation of any crime must have a visible result. With the reappointment of almost all security chiefs who worked with president Buhari during his first four years, it is a common thing to presume that there should be measures being taken to improve the situation.

No doubt, Buhari’s first tenure remains a government that has recorded the highest level of bloodshed in any civilian regime. From the religious intolerance of killer herdsmen to ethnic war, Boko Haram, kidnappings and armed robbery, the country became a field of blood. It transported Nigerians to a reflection of a futuristic apocalypse of Armageddon. The nation bled, causing ceaseless tension in the process. In all these, the president remained firm to his choices of security chiefs.

Although one believes that saboteurs may be working hard to discredit the sincere efforts of government, it is sad that a repeat of the old hands is rather regretful. Instead of an improvement, the dimension of criminality and insecurity is rather disturbing. A sad story where gunmen are now attacking police stations and killing officials threatens national security. An experience where gunmen kidnap a police DPO and seek a ransom of N50 million is scary. It is a challenge deserving of urgent government attention. But the question is, what result should you expect when you keep confronting old and new challenges with old strategy?

There is need for this government to show capacity in the war against insecurity. It is no more time for excuses as what we see today may result in something more unbearable tomorrow. At the moment, they are kidnapping police DPOs. In the near future, they may be kidnapping commissioners of police, AIGs and the rest, God forbid. This is exactly why urgent and very stringent measures must be adopted. The Buhari led government must be deep in thinking out modalities to curb the menace. His administration must work hard to break new grounds in the interest of national security, national unity and national cohesion.

In spite of his old age, Muhammadu Buhari must tell Nigerians that once a soldier is always a soldier. He must prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had a lot to offer when he ran and failed the presidency for three times. The president must encourage ordinary Nigerians to understand that regardless of old age, he still has the blood of a soldier running in his veins. Although he now wears ‘abgada’, Buhari must convince the people that he was first in khaki and that his khaki of old can still size him perfectly.

Related Articles

Back to top button