By Idoko Ainoko
One issue the opposition use to campaign against President Muhammadu Buhari in the election that held in March this year is the issue of security. They cited continued Boko Haram threats, commercial scale kidnap for ransoms, banditry, ritual related killings, ethno-sectarian strife, and other forms of criminality that undermine the safety of life and property in the country.
It is a fact that President Buhari inherited some of these security breaches from the previous administration while others arose from situations that were created and nurtured by past administration. He however owed it to Nigerians to address the problem because tackling insecurity was a major plank of the manifesto that got him elected for his first term.
While he did much to tame Boko Haram and other security threats in the first three year of his first term, the months leading to the election were harrowing for Nigerians because of noticeable degeneration in the security situation. This development was later discovered to have political undertones. The opposition was not successful in dissociating itself from sponsoring the security breaches in order to use them as campaign props against President Buhari. The Federal Government has, at the peak of electioneering, accused the opposition of contriving the security breaches.
President Buhari’s victory in the election meant that the opposition, or those behind the security crisis, never bothered to deactivate or decommission the killer groups they unleashed on the country. Even if they had tried, like a golem, the killer groups had taken on lives of their own such that they would not heed the commands of their creators to demobilize. A new wave of security threats was this born, one that pro-opposition analysts had predicted would consume the Buhari presidency.
But in 100 days, President Buhari has proven that he is the master of restoring security even in the most hopeless of situations. Between being sworn in and now, he has been able to reel in the bandits, Boko Haram, high way kidnappers and diverse characters who had participated in the electoral process clandestinely were on the verge of by metamorphosing into higher levels of threats.
As it was in his first term, Mr President again relied on his trusted military chiefs to arrest the decline instigated by those that would rather see the country in tatters. But the military responded differently in proof that they have the capacity to respond to whatever mutations the sponsors of the security breaches decide to come up with.
The Nigerian Army, as usual, was able to promptly and effectively respond to the attempt to blanket the country in various forms of insecurity. As of the time of writing the bandits in the north-west of the country have been supressed below their pre-election activities, which was of course in conjunction with the governments of the affected states. Boko Haram had again been reduced to mostly operating from across international borders. Kidnappers have been arrested in high numbers while extremist elements have been kept off the streets.
Other services of the military, the Nigeria Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS) have all been brought into a collaborative effort that have put criminals in their place. They could make attempts to appear relevant but all such actions are met with the deserving response from the state. This has left little space for manipulated security breaches to grow in the country.
These concerted efforts at taming the security situation were not without resistance from those that created the crises in the first place. Each time the military makes progress against terrorists and bandits there were attempts to paint the government as being in the wrong. But President Buhari’s commitment to Nigerians and the security chiefs’ dedication to their duty has ensured that there was no laxity in addressing the problems being created by the enemies of the country.
One must thus appeal to President Buhari with his security team not to slow down on the tempo that delivered this kind of improvement in a mere 100 days. If this much can be achieved in 100 days then one can imagine what would have been put in place in the next two years.
In conclusion, Nigerians must recognize that they have roles to play in scaling up the impressive results that have been recorded in these 100 days. The elections are over and the next three years plus should see us all tackling security challenges and other national issues as “a people” instead of dwelling on differences that have not done much to uplift the country in the past. President Buhari has done his part in taming insecurity and Nigerians must now do their own part by standing against those things and people that aggravate security breaches.
Ainoko wrote this piece from Kaduna.