Despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s order on the country’s service chiefs to find tactics to solve the embarrassing security challenges in Nigeria, particularly in the North-West and North Central, the presidential directive is not likely to be accomplish pretty soon.
It appears, some entrenched interests do not want the Buhari administration to succeed in resolving the deep-rooted security mess. It also seems the administration lacks the political will to go after the sponsors of the Boko Haram insurgency months after it was presented with the report.
Already, an outspoken Islamic scholar based in Kaduna, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has ruled out the possibility of containing the security menace with the usual security approach. Gumi wants the bandits to be granted amnesty first as a pre-condition for a cease-fire.
According to him, bandits are going nowhere until the Nigerian government grants them amnesty like it did to the Niger Delta militants. He disclosed this in a post on his Facebook page entitled: ‘Zamfara: The Flaring Of Crisis.’
While citing the incident in Afghanistan, the Kaduna-based scholar insisted that no military, especially of a poor economy, can win guerrilla warfare, Gumi warned that military action against armed herders will worsen the insecurity situation rather than solve it.
“By 2015, banditry has replaced cattle rearing that is becoming nearly impossible. Drugs were introduced into the herdsmen that are known to be illiterates or semi-illiterates.
“Just as we had the Niger Delta conflict resolved with an amnesty which comes with reconciliation, reparation, and rehabilitation packages, so will the herdsmen crisis be resolved. In fact, there is a need for a Marshal plan to educate the nomadic pastoralist so that no citizen is left behind.
“No military, especially of a poor economy, can win guerrilla warfare. The recent victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan is a factual warning for those that contemplate”, the Islamic scholar who recently called on Abuja to grant bandits blanket amnesty said.
However, President Buhari issued the directive during a three-hour security meeting with Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. He reiterated the urgent need to deal with the bandits, who according to the security chiefs, are becoming a nuisance, killing and making reckless pronouncements to solicit attention.
Minister of Defense, General Bashir Magashi, told State House correspondents after the meeting that the government reviewed the situation in the country and concluded that it can resolve the security challenges, especially in Zamfara State and the North Central, which was of huge concern at the meeting, but with the cooperation of Nigerians.
According to Magashi, a batch of six A-29 Super Tucano Jets will arrive in the country next week while the jets in the first batch already delivered are being test run.
The security meeting was chaired by the President with the service chiefs physically in attendance.
The service chiefs were led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor; Minister of Defence, General Bashir Magashi (rtd).
Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Abubakar Malami; and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, were all in attendance.
The meeting with the service chiefs held weeks after the previous one held on August 19 shortly after President Buhari’s medical trip to London. At the security meeting, General Irabor, and other security chiefs briefed President Buhari on recent developments associated with the security challenges facing the nation.