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If the President really needed fresh ideas to formulate and implement sustainable policies on security issues, he probably would best look for and find fecund Nigerian intellectuals from ivory towers anywhere in the world who can be prodigiously original in terms of the nebulous concept of security which has curiously been constrained to the hollow regime of uniformed agencies in this country. Elsewhere, the job of security adviser is given to individuals usually outside the constituency of uniformed professions but with strong, visionary implementable ideas about establishing peaceable coexistence among the citizens. Such individuals, being neutral, are usually able to ride the professional squabbles, so characteristic of security agencies, which are found beneath all security sabotage and subterfuge.
But this is not to detract from the qualification of Colonel Dasuki for the job at hand. His choice is even arguably informed, especially relative to the expediency of the sustained intractability of the Boko Haram menace. His appointment is expected to be a magic wand that will soothe the frayed nerves of the belligerent sect and conjure respite for the country. It is also obvious from his initial steps that he has realised the urgency of this expectation. Naturally, since Colonel Dasuki is familiar with the physical, social and sentimental terrain of the troubled region, hopes are high that he would be able to identify most, if not all, the stalwarts of the insurrection and speak to them in a language that would pacify them immediately.
Along the line, it will also be necessary, even important to look behind at the hapless victims of the various violent campaigns in the North and come up with comprehensive proposals to placate them in order to prevent possible eventual reprisals. The ultimate weapon of all insurrections is finance, and if the source of finance is identified and its tap turned off, it will only be a matter of time for the terrorist activities to wind up finally. Apart from the Boko Haram, there are other flashpoints that need attention; the perennial uprising in Plateau state, the militants in Niger Delta, the resurgence of kidnapping and the political killings that usually attend elections in a society where politics has finally been abstracted to be the trough where the country’s resources are shared.
It will be sheer self delusion to think that the security challenges of the country begin and end with the Boko Haram. Or that once the swords have been turned to ploughshares in that section, it will be time to go to bed. Security is obviously more than pacifying political and economic malcontents. It includes all proactive efforts to establish and maintain the peace. Colonel Dasuki will certainly be tasked beyond the Boko Haram impasse, as he is expected to liaise with other experts to advise the President on measures that can quickly stem the tide of unemployment particularly among the teeming educated youth. Those who opine that Nigerian youthful graduates are unemployable may have their valid reasons but they are not being helpful to the cause of peace and security in the country. Unemployment raises the bar of collective angst against the country and it tends to give colour to deprivation while deprivation makes anger against the system and by extension the country fashionable, even justified. It is within the ambits of the security apparatus to consider these variables and bring suggestions to the President on proactive ways to stem the potential strife.
The porous borders have encouraged the proliferation of arms in the country, and these arms are in the possession of the wrong people and those who have nursed grouses against the country. The source of these arms should be identified and the routes closed. For quite longer than it is good and healthy for the corporate interest and existence of the country, the arms market has existed to threaten it and we think enough commitment has not been shown by successive administration for sundry reasons to close it down. The new NSA has the connections, indeed exposure, to deal with this situation from a position of knowledge and experience in the larger interest of the country.
If, according to some media reports, the appointment of Colonel Dasuki(retd) as the NSA after the removal of General Azazi had excited a certain section of the Nigerian polity, it must be because certain expectations are deemed to have been met by the appointment. It would be a big downer if his hawk doesn’t catch chickens after all.Share