Nigeria: Security Guru Tears Down Buhari’s Gov’t, Regrets Being ‘Part of Process That Enthroned Buhari as President’
The tsunami that brought President Muhammadu Buhari to power in 2015 was orchestrated by different stakeholders, as it was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, the most populous black nation in the world.
Joining the political class, the civil society, and most Nigerians, these behind-the-scenes stakeholders spoke in unison to stop the reign of then-President Goodluck Jonathan. The epoch-setting mobilization saw a sitting president losing massively to an opposition candidate, Mr. Buhari of the All-Progressive Congress (APC). The slogan then was that Nigeria was in dire need of the kind of “Change” being preached by Mr. Buhari's APC party. Nigerians bought into the bait and dinged the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP).
However, following the enthronement of “Change”, the people did not even get a honeymoon period to savor their expectations. The country's socio-economic and political situation far from remaining the same, quickly got worse than before the coming of Buhari and his APC party.
Reports across the country show high level of corruption, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, attacks on policemen and police stations, jailbreaks among others have become the order of the day. The societal menace has spread to all the six geopolitical zones of the country, no region is spared.
In its report, SBM Intelligence, a geopolitical research intelligence group, revealed that no fewer than 590 people were killed across Nigeria in series of attacks in the month of April 2021 alone.
According to the SBM report, these killings took place in 31 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with recorded 160 instances of violent attacks from April 1 to 27. The report says the northern part of the country recorded 76 percent of fatalities within the period under review.
The question now is why are these bandits so difficult for the security agents to arrest so that all these senseless killings could be stopped?
“To be sincere, we all know where the bandits are, but the question is why don't we go there to smoke them out?” Dr. Kunle Olawunmi, a renowned security expert, who had worked in different capacities in the Nigerian intelligence community and now teaches Criminology and Security Studies at Chrisland University, Abeokuta in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria, wonders aloud.
The Security Experts goes on “One of the reasons we cannot solve this problem has to do with the political will of people at the helm of affairs to put a stop to this. If they tell us that they are in control of things, we need to see that in action, we need to see that they are putting their feet on the ground, and we need to see the results.
“Whatever we are going through today is not a challenge to our military, not a challenge to our security outfits. They know what they are doing, and they are capable of solving this. What is lacking, however, is the political will”.
Dr. Omowunmi Exchanges with the Press
He told his audience at the 4th Annual Public Lecture Series of Integrity Reporters newspaper, which was held in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria recently that politicians in the country had resigned their duty to protect the people. His Lecture was titled “Security Challenge and Implication on National Development”.
Dr. Olawunmi, backed by his 35 years of experience in combat military intelligence, and who had the opportunity to work with seven Nigerian Heads of State, among whom were General Ibrahim Babangida, the late General Sani Abacha, Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan, the late Umaru Mussa Ya'Adua, and General Muhammadu Buhari, says “What has gone wrong in Nigeria is leadership, we have not been gifted with the kind of leaders that could do the right things for us.
“No matter how we talk about insecurity, Fulani herdsmen’s menace, Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, Niger Delta militancy, and others, it all comes down to the poor leadership that we have,” he says.
On the way out of these problems, he posits that “There are various ways to solve these problems. We can solve the problem kinetically, in other words militarily. But I must warn that we don't solve insurrection and asymmetry cases like these with kinetics. What I think we should do is to introduce soft power, and the way to, at least, solve these problems is for the Nigerian government, I mean the leaders, to understand that the main reason they are in government is for the safety and welfare of the citizens, in other words, the political will should be there for you to solve these problems.
“It is high time we come out to say that we are not going to see the killing of our citizens, we are not going to see the pillage of our land, and destruction of properties. Enough is enough. If it is the dialogue we need, let us have that dialogue. If dialogue is not working, then we need to do something else. It is unbelievably bad to see us doing nothing in the face of all these problems confronting us as a people”.
The Security Expert also points out that the administration of President Buhari had not done enough to tackle the myriad problems caused by insecurity in Nigeria, insisting that the country no longer seemed safe for the citizenry.
“This government has not demonstrated the political will to tackle this problem and I will blame the civil society for joining hands to bring the government to power, which I am inclusive…I want to blame the civil society for not doing enough because it is obvious that the political class is no longer interested in the welfare of the citizens. So, my advice to civil society is that in the next election in 2023, if there will be one, we must vote the right people to positions of power, both in the executive and the legislature…We can only get to the level we want if we have the right people at the right places,” he advocates.
The embittered Security Expert goes on “I could remember that Nigeria started together in 1963 with Brazil and even India to produce arms. Unfortunately, we are not just serious. If we go to Kaduna where we have our production line for military hardware, I think we are good at that place to produce cutlasses, while others that we started together with like Brazil and India have gone far…This is so sad. Nigerians have been bringing bad leadership to power leading to a high level of political corruption.
Dr. Omowunmi goes hysteric and apologizes for helping elect Buhari as President
“I must confess that I regret being part of those who put this set of leaders in power because the first time I voted in my life was to vote for Buhari in 2015. I have never voted before because as a military officer it is always difficult to do this all the time. I voted for Buhari because I believed in him, and by this, I was part of the process that brought him to power and the second person I voted for was the Governor of my state, unfortunately, the person is not performing.
“You can see my regret that I voted for somebody who has disappointed the whole nation. You can see that my judgment was poor,” Dr. Olawunmi concludes in utter frustration.