Finally, President Goodluck Jonathan has confirmed the reason for the replacement of service which he blamed on the inter-service rivalry. Speaking while commissioning the Air Force Comprehensive School in Yola, Adamawa State, Jonathan urged a synergy among the nation’s security agencies, adding that Nigeria is already exposed to “cancer” of insurgency.
Few days before the visit, suspected Boko Haram members were reported to have attacked churches and mosques and killing innocent citizens in Borno and Adamawa States. The recent attacks might have been triggered to dissuade the President from visiting the home-state of his new Chief of Defence, Air Marshal Alex Badeh who is from Adamawa.
It should also be recalled that immediately after the announcement of the new Chief of Defence Staff, the Nigerian air-force were reported to have attacked and killed a number of suspected insurgents at Cameroonian border with Nigeria. Badeh who was former Chief of Air Staffs, had promised to crush terrorists by April 2014.
Meanwhile during his recet visit to Yola, President Jonathan described Air Marshal Alex Badeh as a good manager of resources who he had observed over the years, adding that other service chiefs were carefully selected because they are close friends and thoroughbred professionals who believe strongly on national unity and cohesion even in the military. The new service chiefs are Major General Kenneth Tobaih Minnimah (Army), Rear Admiral Usman Jibril (Navy) and Air Vice Marshall Adeshola Nunayon Amosu (Airforce).
Apart from the obvious inter-agency rivalry amid stiff and daring military operation, ethnic warlords and tribal champions have accused the system of plotting to retain some of the military chiefs to prosecute the 2015 general elections.
We should not (lose sight of) the fact that the military has so far succeeded in restricting and cornering Boko haram insurgency to few states in the North-East. Few years ago, terrorists were having field days in other parts of the country including, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau, Kogi, Niger, Sokoto and few incursions in other states including the Federal Capital Abuja.
Politics aside, the Nigerian military has recorded tremendous success in its war against insurgency. The relative peace so far recorded in the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe before the recent unfortunate development even in worship centres, is attributed to the gallantry, determination, sacrifice and relentless struggles of the Nigerian security agencies. Even though it has continued to lose its finest personnel in several coordinated attacks against terrorists, it has remained undaunted and more committed to ending acts of terrorism across the country.
It is undeniable the fact that there are security hiccups that are not peculiar to Nigeria alone. Big, independent and advanced nations like the United States of America, France, United Kingdom, China, Canada among others have their own fair share of security challenges. The aforementioned governments have continued to reel out plans, strategies and programmes aimed at overcoming their individual security challenges which appeared to have hampered their progress. Change in strategies, plans and complete overhaul of the security apparatchik just to ensure success are at some point very necessary in such countries. Citizens of such countries believe that changes within the security sector are tailored towards guaranteeing their safety, so they hardly question them when implemented.
Without doubts, we still have a long way to go in banishing terrorism from our dear land. More re-organization, strategy reviews, policy alteration, shake-up, alignments and re-alignments are part and parcel of what to expect in positioning the Nigerian military for optimum performance.
It is the wish and prayer of all Nigerians, irrespective of tribe, religious, ethnic or political aspiration for Nigeria to overcome its security challenges as soon as possible. The human and material loses so far recorded are too massive to be quiet about. We cannot continue to act as though those precious lives we keep losing in separate attacks are not precious to us. We have every reason to be worried about this sad occurrence. Every soul lost in any of these attacks should be a source of concern to any Nigerian. All the government requires of us is full time cooperation and understanding as it goes about making necessary changes in the nation’s security make-up to overcome challenges posed by insurgent groups.
We all desire to see that peace and normalcy returns to all trouble spots across the country.
The successes so far recorded in the war against insurgency must be sustained. We need not allow unnecessary primordial and clannish issues distract us from consolidating on the gains so far recorded. Even members of the international community are happy with Nigeria’s modest achievements in its efforts to end terrorism in the country. As Nigerian too, we should cooperate with the security agencies in providing necessary supports and information for the protection of lives and property.
The new heads of these security establishments should seek to breakdown the wall of mutual suspicions and inter-agency rivalry among their chiefs and their personnel. They should make effort to share intelligence report. They should all realize that they have common goal of ensuring that Nigeria is safe for both Nigerians and her visitors. The government should not tolerate any unnecessary competition that will bring retrogression to this country. They should work collectively in harmony to ensure that the nation overcomes her security challenges.