Insecurity in Nigeria has become the new normal, unfortunately. But what is more frightening is how the ruling class trivialises the insecurity challenges the country is grappling with; especially in the North-east.
Military sources Sunday, disclosed that five soldiers were killed by Islamic State-aligned jihadists, while dozens of civilians were kidnapped in a separate attack in the northern region of the country recently. A military convoy was also hit in Northeast Borno on Saturday. And on Friday, December 18, 2020, about 35 commuters were reportedly kidnapped by Boko Haram insurgents in the same region.
In reaction to Friday’s attack of the travellers and many other similar incidences that have become a frequent occurrence on the Maiduguri-Damaturu road, the Borno Governor, Babagana Zulum, expressed disappointment over the Nigerian military’s inability to secure the north despite heavy investment in the war against insurgency.
He said, “So, if the military cannot secure an area that is 20 kilometres away from the state capital, how can they give us the hope that they will defeat Boko Haram?
“I have had occasions to defend the Nigerian military in order to boost the morale of commanders and their troops at the front lines because I know the true picture of things. However, I am really disappointed that despite all support from both the Federal Government and from us in Borno, our military is failing to secure an area of 20 kilometres, which is the distance between Auno and Jakana. And incidentally, majority of Boko Haram’s attacks along this Maiduguri-Damaturu-Kano road keeps happening between Auno and Jakana.”
It would be recalled that earlier in December, Zulum had said that security in the North-east had improved under the Buhari administration, despite the killing of not less than forty-three farmers in the state by members of the terrorist sect. However, his recent expression of hopelessness as regards the security situation in the North-east seems to contradict his earlier statement.
That notwithstanding, Nigerians know better, or assume they do – the numbers tell the stories.
Rather than attempt to mislead the people or trivialise issues that pertain to national security, the government needs to focus on finding more effective ways to address the heightened insecurity in the country and keep its citizens safe and free from fear.