The President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces has a fundamental responsibility to protect the nation from every enemy “foreign and domestic.” It is common knowledge that the recent bombings around the nation pose a direct threat to national security and to a great extent, the unity and stability of Nigeria.
As a consequence, Nigerian citizens expect swift and decisive actions from the President.Unfortunately, the President has neither been swift nor decisive. Rather, the handling of the security situation by the President has been very puzzling. It has been very difficult to understand what the President is doing, or plans to do in order to stem the growing tide of insecurity, and this has raised questions about the ability of the President, and more dangerously, it is allowing Nigerians politicize the situation. This is dangerous because national security “should not” be politicized.
As the Commander in Chief, the President is the highest military authority in the land, and when soldiers are killed by acts of terrorism, the President is expected to project strength, and stand by his troops. Terrorism cannot be tolerated in any form, and when terrorists attack our military personnel, they have basically declared war on our armed forces, and the Government of a sovereign nation has to use every asset available to destroy such evil elements. If you have accepted the responsibility to lead the military, and possess the authority to send soldiers to war, which they do without asking any questions, you should also have the ability to stand up whenever they are attacked, and at the least publicly make a commitment to the soldiers that the perpetrators will be brought to justice. It is the least the Commander in Chief can do. When soldiers are attacked, the press secretary to the President should not be issuing a statement on behalf of the President. The Commander in Chief is supposed to publicly reassure all military personnel as well as civilians of his commitment to stopping the menace, and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
I refuse to accept the notion that anybody can wake up and threaten the entire country, and we will watch them carry out their threats without anybody doing anything about it. That is not what we elected a President for, and we do not budget 300 Billion Naira on security in order to make excuses and blame people when things happen. We elected a President to keep us safe, and we budgeted that money to enable the President keep us safe. When people threaten the stability of the country, it is the responsibility of the President to deal with them and make sure they are not successful, and when they are "proven" to have engaged in carrying out violent acts, they have to be punished.
Let us look at the big picture. If in 2015, an individual decides that they are aggrieved with the political process, and threatens to make the nation ungovernable, if violence ensues after those threats, are the security forces not supposed to investigate whether the violence is a product of the threats, or a product of some other security challenge that the nation faces? If we cannot determine the cause of the violence, how do we expect to stop a recurrence?
I call on the President to do his job without fear or favor. If the security forces suspect that politicians are behind the violence, then they should be investigated. If they believe that politicians are not behind the violence, then they should let us know, and focus on other possible reasons why we have increased violence in the nation. We cannot allow citizens to speculate on national security, because speculation becomes fact very quickly, and it is very dangerous in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society like Nigeria where politics can directly impact our national security and stability.
We need the security forces to let us know if they believe these bombings are politically motivated or not.