Truly, this is not a good time in Nigeria. The country is indeed fighting more internal wars than it did, during the Biafra – Nigeria civil war that lasted for three years. Many have attributed this whole confusion to the double standards of the federal government who the President, Muhammadu Buhari, represents, who truly has not acted as a father of the whole country in solving the multiplicity of problems of security in the country. For a very long time, the Nigerian army has been drawn into a fratricidal war with the Boko Haram and other terrorists groups, operating in the North-East and North-West, and this battle has continued to rage without clear victory in sight by the federal government after spending humongous amount of monies that run into several billions of naira. Surprisingly too, the outgone Chief of Army Staff, who is now a non-career ambassador designate, General Tukur Burutai shocked Nigerians when he said that it would take Nigeria up to 20 years from now to eradicate Boko Haram elements in the society.
If this statement is anything to go by, it then means that the fight against terrorism in Nigeria has just begun. While Boko Haram is unleashing terror in the land, on the other hand, other dangerous groups have also arisen; bandits, who now take people into captivity including women and children for heavy ransom, the issue of incessant farmers and herders clash that usually leaves on its trail, blood baths, the threat by the Fulani herders to take over all the lands in Nigeria no matter the consequences who unfortunately are specially given protection since they cannot be arrested by the law enforcement agents. If you ask round, there is apprehension everywhere and some highly placed individuals in government have also advocated that Nigerians should defend and protect themselves against these invaders before the situation completely gets out of hand.
Unfortunately the development is becoming more complex now that non-state actors negotiate with the bandits on behalf of the government whenever group of people, students of colleges are abducted by the terrorists now called bandits, in our parlance. The visit of Sheikh Gumi to the bandits’ camp and his successful return without any harm meted on him showed that government knows where these mindless people are, and the question is: Why is government treating those who have destroyed so many lives and the economy of the North with kid gloves? The deployment of military hardware both on land and on air including battalion of soldiers in Orlu, Imo State speaks volumes of double standard of this government. Truth be told that the members of the outlawed indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB), do not go about with AK 47, harassing or killing people, yet the Nigerian government is ready to unleash terror on the people of South-East at the slightest provocation even when all the people do not subscribe to what the group stands for.
The formation of Eastern Security Network (ESN), is not unconnected with the apprehension and call by various opinion leaders that Nigerians should defend themselves since we now live in a country where life, like in the Hobbesan state has become short, nasty and brutish. The situation in the county does not call for fighting on different fronts as in the case of Nigerian military that are now everywhere because, no matter how brave and strategic a war general is, it is difficult to fight in two fronts and win. The military presence in Imo state, Orlu in particular is uncalled for, instead efforts of the military should be channeled to where the situation is very precarious which are the NorthEast and the North-West, where the economy too and means of livelihood of the people at present is completely destroyed. We therefore call for the withdrawal of the military presence in Orlu, Imo State by the President but instead extend the olive branch for peaceful negotiation to avoid more apprehensions in the land ultimately for the good of every one.