Nigeria is a country blessed with intelligent people. It is a country where every man and woman likes to express himself or herself loud and clear.
Nigerians anywhere in the world like to hold their heads high. That was when the economy was booming. But even now, Nigerians despite the economic situation are the same, proud and always assertive.
The nation is besieged by a murderous group from within and outside, further compounding the already bad economic situation in the country.
The security challenges facing the nation have relegated the need for more focus and attention on the economy to the background. It is about how to secure the country. While Boko Haram has taken hold of the North-East, kidnappings and other heinous crimes have taken hold of the South-South and South-East.
Ritual killings is now rampant in the South-West and in the Middle Belt, communal clashes and rampaging Fulani herdsmen have combined to bring about a reign of terror on the people.
In all of these, untimely death is visited on the ordinary Nigerians. Those in position to stop these messengers of death are engaged daily on blame games.
Many are feeling that the government is not doing enough to curtail the situation. No responsible individual in power who sees the kind of carnage, the kind of macabre murders taking place in Nigeria will be mindless not to care. This situation has overwhelmed the capacity, the thinking faculty, ability and experience of top security personnel. They indeed need help and the support of those who understand the present circumstance.
Nations face challenges every so often. Whenever such challenges are daunting and beyond the capacity of those in charge, they call for help. The present set-up in the military is not trained to fight terror. They probably know only conventional war. War on terror globally is more of intelligence gathering, information sharing and effective communication of position of the suspected enemies of the state through effective monitoring. As it stands, intelligence gathering machinery of the military, police and DSS seem very weak. War on terror is not about the superior weapons used by the enemy, it is the element of surprise in the attack that makes the difference.
This administration should swallow its pride and arrogance as it needs men and women with the requisite expertise in intelligence gathering, as well as experts in communication to help and teach Nigerian security forces. Here is where the reserve army is needed. There are Nigerians who were patriotic enough to help keep Nigeria one during the civil war. Some of those military experts are still alive, there are those who are retired but not tired who can help. The benefit of the wisdom and experience of these retired generals who see Nigeria as an entity is needed now.
Nigeria, however, does not need the services of retired generals like Murtala Nyako who is retired and tired. All what these tired people like Governor Nyako see is doom and sectionalism. Boko Haram is not a phantom thing, it is real. The families that have been affected by the insurgency cut across tribe, religion, state and region. Boko Haram is not just a North-East problem, it is a Nigerian problem. We need men and women who think in Nigeria to help solve this problem. It is not a matter of playing the blame game, it is not a party affair, and Nigerians must rise above this parochial thinking to tackle the evil that has befallen the nation.
The President must take the first step by calling those who can help to a round table and seek their cooperation. This is the time for the President to be firm and show that he is in charge and has the capacity to defend the rights of every Nigerian no matter where he comes from. The President must call for sober reflection on what has been happening and put his finger on where he has not acted as a President. The President must muster courage to face whoever stands in the way of progress in the country. He must as a man, look at every woman who is doing the wrong thing in the face and say stop or get fired and if such a woman refuses, should be fired.
Developed democracies are where they are today because leaders in those countries are accountable. They stand to say no to evil. They stand and allow institutions to fish out criminals and punish them. When people know that if they do wrong they will get caught and duly punished, crime and criminality will reduce.
The reasons in democratic practice why majority surrender their sovereignty to a few elected officials is that government is responsible for the safety and welfare of citizens and any time the citizens are being killed or their welfare is being abused, government must take some kind of action. What is happening now in Nigeria has gone beyond the stage of blaming government and politicians. Some Nigerians have come to believe that Boko Haram is politically-motivated, some say it is religiously-motivated; the question is, if it is religious, why should Muslims be killing Muslims and not just Christians and non-Muslims?
Nigerians must now realise that “Boko Haram is now out to prove that it can kill and get away with it. It has gone beyond religion, politics and ideology. It is a belief: ‘I can kill people and I can get away with it and let me show you I can do it.’ That is what it is now”. Nigerians must rise up to the occasion and face this one challenge in unison.