I eat 1500 naira per day – Chief of Defense Staff

Democracy protects itself


The service chiefs who appeared in the House of Commons last week for sectoral briefings on national security did not disappoint many Nigerians. For the first time in many years, perhaps since the Olusegun Obasanjo era (2007), people saw and heard a military helmsman address members of Congress in a manner that commanded attention and respect.

In the past, especially in the past eight years, military leaders have shielded the operators of democracy from accountability and been quick to condemn citizens who express legitimate distress at misgovernment for unpatriotic acts aimed at overthrowing the regime. I was used to that.

Security agencies, especially the Department of State Security (DSS) and the police, pretend to be more anxious for the survival of democracy than their practitioners. They were learning the art of ophthalmic services and regime protection, rather than the more noble and comprehensive mission of protecting the population.

In the process of helping politicians be too helpful in elections, they often take their eye off the ball. That is when they are not fully conspiring to subvert the will of the voters. Naive and seeking immediate gratification, they fail to realize that elections are an opportunity for citizens to demand accountability and reward good governance.

Security operators would rather support bad governance than provide a level playing field. They support crooked politicians who endanger democracy.

At a higher level, security chiefs exploited ethnic politics and refused to share information in their task of profiling crimes and evaluating intelligence in ways that strengthened overall security.

At the time, insecurity was brewing in the northwest, a situation that could have been contained and alleviated. But they, buoyed by the president’s tribal instincts, refused to call it anything. Muhammadu Buhari is quick to label others as terrorists, but he never did that to the Fulani people who are clearly causing damage to lives and property everywhere.

Thus, apart from the original Boko Haram insurgency, insecurity blossomed and expanded in other variants as well. Banditry and kidnapping have replaced farming and cattle raising as a source of income for criminals.

The other type involves invading communities in the north-central region, killing and destroying farms, and sending natives to internally displaced persons camps. Elsewhere, young people are taking up cultism as a profession, causing chaos for themselves and their communities. Unemployment remains very high, and many people who are not properly protected are resorting to self-help to get through difficult situations.

But last week, current military chiefs hit the nail on the head when they told lawmakers that the main cause of insecurity is a lack of good governance. Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Musa, was accompanied at the social gathering by Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taolid Raghbaha. Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel O’Gara; Chief of Air Staff Air Staff Sergeant Hassan Abubakar and Inspector General of Police Kayode Egbetokun.

The earlier meeting was adjourned to Thursday’s penultimate date because the service chief was unable to attend. They were busy, so they sent a representative, but the councilman’s usual brash but unsubstantiated behavior turned that representative away. The House requested the attendance of principals.

So last week, the military chiefs strolled into the hall and, although they showed the usual courtesy (bowing their heads and acknowledging the authority of the House of Commons), they remained as rude and unsmiling as ever. The truth must be told.

General Musa enlightened the members (as if they did not already know) that the lack of good governance is the main cause of the insecurity gripping the country, and that military and other countermeasures are in the 30s of containment. He argued that good governance is appropriate, although it only accounts for a percentage of the total. Governance can worsen security by up to 70%.

He said: “Wherever there is good governance, insecurity disappears. Security is not just military security. There is food security, health security, social security, education security. If we don’t put these things in place, good governance, we’re going to have problems.

“In the Northeast, we can achieve a lot because there are elements of good governance. We have seen governors who are willing to act to make people happy, and That’s why we have successful examples.”

Lawmakers sat glumly as military leaders lectured on the relationship between good governance and security. For the members of Congress, who often acted like they knew everything and were bossy, it was like a period of redemption. Indeed, members of Congress have the right to be briefed and updated on all areas at any time. Of course, for some of them it was their first time, and it was their first chance to hear directly from the people who keep Nigeria safe.

But the question is: What do lawmakers do with the clarifications they’ve received in each legislative year since 1999? What changes have they made to ensure the safety and good governance of their people? Do they really understand that good governance ensures safety for all? ?

Every member deserving of the nomination should not have to wait to have this innuendo thrown in their face in a very innocuous but caustic style. In warmer climates, such harsh talk can make you blush. But these lawmakers don’t blush. They are so preoccupied with matters of personal comfort and luxury that they fail to understand that the metaphor is clearly harmful.

In the midst of an economic crisis, lawmakers hurriedly passed a supplementary budget with little consideration for the people with two months left until the end of the fiscal year. Rejecting the plea of ​​one of them to undertake the payment of WAEC fees on behalf of their constituents, they are not particularly enamored with concepts such as good governance, much less encrypted and condescending conversations. It does not demonstrate the ability to identify.

But that’s the reality. Politicians are to blame for the insecurity that has been part of Nigeria since the military withdrew in 1999. They should be told in clear terms that they have a responsibility and should start addressing it.

Military leaders also cited the challenges of porous borders and the judiciary’s bizarre role in granting bail to terrorist suspects, which ends up increasing security risks. The same goes for correctional facility staff who leak information.

They lament that evil forces are indiscriminately planting IEDs that are extremely deadly to humans and machines. Finally, they said that the minimum wage for infantry fighting criminals in the bushes and forests is not up to N50,000. There is little incentive for the great sacrifices they are making.

Some headlines in the coverage of the meeting made it sound as if security chiefs were shifting the blame and abdicating responsibility. That can’t happen. What happened was that it was the first time the soldiers looked the politicians in the face and made the facts clear. When it is misconstrued as buck-passing, it misses the point. They just say, “Let’s have good governance.” Let’s make democracy work and leave jobs to those who are lazy and less criminally inclined.

The challenge raised by military leaders was to ensure that members of Congress were not under suspicion. It’s about enacting laws that keep more kids in school, more health care, and more food available to Americans. No one needs fake crocodile tears like the last time when over 40 rice farmers were massacred in Zabarmari in Jere Local Government Area of ​​Borno State in November 2020.

When the report reached the Diet, members of Congress shouted and threatened to impeach him. They called President Buhari and came to explain the massacre. Mr. Buhari, as usual, ignored the MPs and they became indifferent. Have no guts.

This is where National Security Adviser (NSA) Malam Nuhu Ribadu comes into the picture. This man has assumed the role of image maker for this government, but at the time many people did not trust what government officials were saying. Ribadu is not a typical Nigerian politician, but rather a technocratic government socialist. He is still reliable.

He said insecurity had significantly reduced under the Tinubu administration. He said crude oil production improved from 1.1 million barrels per day to 1.7 million barrels per day. And in three months, there have been no security breaches in the Niger Delta. He claimed that the number of attacks and killings had decreased significantly in the South-East and North-East.

As Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ribadu was dedicated and passionate and refused to compromise the commission’s original standards. He was the only EFCC boss who showed courage to investigate the deposed governor in 2007. He was also a convicted governor. However, he was unable to complete the mission and a large gap has arisen since he left. Politicians annoyed him.

This disconnect contributes to the lack of good governance and widespread insecurity in the land. After Ribadu’s departure, governors and legislators no longer consider the EFCC. The agency has become a big joke. Politicians, civil servants, and military commanders began hiding money in septic tanks and freezers.

Governors began spending without restraint. After finishing the assignment, they run to the bank. The state is bankrupt and in debt. There is no money for health, education, agriculture, and well-maintained roads. There are no jobs. Corruption has robbed this country of peace.

Ribadu should take a cue from the service chief. Let him find out the relationship between bad government and security and force politicians to confront the truth. they are guilty. He should not be allowed to be used by them to peddle some distant and hopeless hope. Lai Mohammed performed such a farce, but it had no effect.

Producing 2 million barrels of oil per day does not create security. Allowing money to work for people will reduce anxiety and outlast democracy.

Source: guardian.ng

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