“It takes a man of courage, patriotism, and altruism to go all out to preach the gospel truth on how to end insurgency with our own local or native intelligence to the government”.

Over the past couple of weeks I have examined the current efforts of government to combat the book haram insurgency particularly in the light of the visit to the President by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the company of officials from Colombia, a country which has been contending with insurgency for decades. My comments, in which I suggest that Boko Haram is a Nigeria problem which must be tackled with a Nigerian solution has continued to attract powerful and persuasive comments from readers within and outside Nigeria. I am constrained to publish only one from Pastor Mark Debo Taiwo, JP due to lack of space.

“Re:    Insurgency: Lessons From Abroad [2]

It is imperative for me to write a rejoinder on the topic mentioned above, written on the back page of Nigerian Tribune of Thursday 22nd October,2015,a column own by no other person, but an iconic and erudite lawyer, a strong pillar of law in Nigeria, a voice to be recon with globally, Chief Aare Afe Babalola, OFR,CON,SAN,LLD,D.Ltt.

I had been reading many discourses from Chief Afe Babalola in his column,” afeonthursday” providing many logical and rational advices to the Nigerian governments as alternative solutions to the myriad of problems facing this nation without charging any kobo.

He has deliberated on major national issues as regard to how to clear the rots in our education system, health sector, just to mention a view. In all his writings, he has become a point of reference to many of his fans who are intellectually savvy and dispose to read his column on every Thursday, because of his style of calling spade a spade without being immodest.

To be honest with him, this one on insurgency overwhelmed me, because it takes a man of courage, patriotism, and altruism to go all out to preach the gospel truth on how to end insurgency with our own local or native intelligence to the government.

It is very parlous that we are over dependent on foreign countries for solutions to our national intricacies. We love to deceive ourselves, instead of doing the needful.

Theodore Roosevelt once said “This country will not be a really good place for any of us to live in if it is not a really good place for all of us to live in” and Abraham Lincoln also said “ The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, in their separate and individual capacities”

The government needs to face the reality on ground and act decisively to terminate this rampaging insurgencies before it consume the entire nation. Enough of rhetoric approach and face the issue headlong. If the government wants to borrow from America, Canada, Colombia, Israel or United Kingdom as mentioned by Aare Afe Babalola, the social needs of these people should not be trampled upon. The government should starts to see every Nigerian as a potential nation builder and not treating people as squirts. Every Nigerian should feel the sense of belonging, because the country belongs to all of us, and not very view of them.

In America, the government is there for the good of the citizens 24/7. Job creation rate is very high; education is made available and accessible to all, with provision of basic amenities of live. The economy is growing and conducive for participation of all. Power outage is foreign except during storms and will be restored within hours. Hard-squabbles incidence is almost nil, with effective transportation system, plus functional security network. Job satisfaction and good remuneration makes the people to believe in their government and even ready to die for the sake of their country and they are very proud of doing just that. All these makes intelligence gathering very easy and makes it very difficult for insurgency to thrive.

But in Nigeria, the police are seen as agents of brutalization and extortion, while all armed forces are been put at arm’s length. No social relationship with the masses, hence the masses see them as agent of oppression and repression. Thanks to some army medical team that took medicine to some communities recently to show the people that they also care and not only kill.

In Nigeria, poverty is so pronounced and governments are just there mainly to better their own lots and their cronies. The people do not trust the government, because of flamboyant lifestyles of many public officers and government officials which is killing. There is a sharp disconnection between the people and the government.

Unemployment rate is not abating and no security for the future of Nigerian youths and cost of doing business in Nigeria is alarming when government is not assiduous in providing conducive environment for the business and economy to grow, which made many companies to close shops and relocate outside the shore of the nation, creating more idle hands which are ready made tools in the hands of the devil for insurgency.

The government needs to look seriously into our internal security architecture and equip the solders well with latest weapons of war to meet the local challenges and international standard. They need to boast the morale of our security officers by making them enjoy the dignity of their labour.

If the security men have pride in discharging their duties, it will trickle down on how they will relate with the masses and this will build a line of confidence in the people and make it difficult for any insurgent to have any hideout or people collaborating with them.

In Minneapolis, MN, U.S.A., the Somalis are having their largest concentration there. Not minding many of them who are fanatical, yet the Americans still accommodate them. The government provides them with cheap accommodations; place them on social security programs and making education free and accessible to their children, because if they are not properly trained, they will become nuisance to their society in the future.

With this approach, many of them have become graduates and earning decent and legitimate income, paying their taxes and contributing meaningfully to the economy of Minneapolis. Many times, I saw majority of them in departmental stores working as cashiers, many becoming employers of labour with some going into medical and legal professions.  But in Nigeria, it is not so. You are on your own.

I close my rejoinder with these quotes from John Maxwell “R+R-R=R+R i.e. Rules and Regulations minus Relationship equals Resentment and Rebellion” and Abraham Lincoln “A drop of honey catches flies than a gallon of gall” The government should be proactive in providing for the needs of the neglects in the society.

Pastor Mark Debo Taiwo{J P}, Safejo/Ikoyi Road, Ogbomoso.”

 

I thank Pastor Taiwo and others for their comments. I remain optimistic that soon Nigeria will achieve the objectives of its founding fathers.

 

AARE AFE BABALOLA SAN, CON

 

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