by Nasir Suwaid
But, the most shockingly sad spectacle is the appearance of the same Air Marshall Badeh at the National Assembly, for the budget defence in the beginning of the week, where all manner of questions were asked, about the impotency of the Nigerian military, the man could only respond with an accusation against other security agencies for the evident failure of his men.
For any keen observer of the current happenings within the polity, it would be conservatively safe to say these are not ordinary times, not only in the fact that what is reasonably rational does not make much sense to those who had sworn to guard our sanity, in the form of giving leadership to the collective followership, protecting the structures of the institutional state and ensuring development to the citizenry as a fulfillment of a national social contract. Indeed, if anyone had dared to have questioned my statement, such an individual would never have found an answer in the happenings of the past one month. A period where the Nigerian government finally set modalities for the invoking of a national conference, which creates an avenue for the citizens to discuss and agree on the problems that are threatening our unity as nation, surely an admittance that all is not well with the Nigerian project, in terms of the dual mandate required of a normal working state, which is all about the cordial mutual relationship between individuals and groups of a single united entity and the other harmonious pact between a citizen and an institutional state.
As of now everywhere one looked, it is a tale of dissatisfaction and open complaint about the inadequacy of the structures and personnel governing the Nigerian state. The most surprising revelation of the month though is that by its end, the nation or at least most of the crème de la crème of the elites had gathered in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, to celebrate a centenary of unity, where great speeches were made about the solidity of the Nigerian enterprise as well as the perseverance of the national project to withstand the challenges of division, insurrection and open revolt against the country. But how could any person or individual display such crass contradictory stance on a single matter, which has not been affected by time or other influences as to cause a change in circumstance thereto non-existent before. The answer is simple, those who mostly act that way are usually politicians not gentlemen and their characteristic trait is to always speak from both sides of their mouth, insofar as it would ensure the optimization of votes garnered in the next coming elections, they wouldn’t care less.
However, were such a confusingly contradictory stance to be exhibited by an officer and gentleman, Nigerians should be seriously worried and concerned, because and usually, the word of an officer is his bond, his honor and qualified his integrity. Although in Nigeria of a few months back, everywhere one looked the picture is almost the same, as the battle weary soldiers were running and conceding the fight to the fanatical insurgents but this was not so pictorially glaring or at least, it did not reach such an extent, where the civilian population had began to relate folkloric renditions of their failed expeditions, which is mostly described in cowardly terms, in fact, they have now resorted to depicting the military response to the conflict in comedic narratives. Though, this was actually not the case, until the recent change in the leadership of the three services of the Nigerian Armed Forces, but most especially, the highly impulsive statement of the new Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Sabundu Badeh, where he gave the end of the month of April, as the terminal date for the end of insurgency in the North-East.
Pertinently, even though he quickly recanted, when the press sought clarification on the probable effect of the ultimatum, unfortunately, the damage had already been done, as the later explanations by the Director of Defence Information Major General Chris Olukolade, could not obliterate the threatening gauntlet thrown at the fighters of Boko Haram, which galvanized them for a fight to the finish. Meanwhile, for the rank and file as well as the officer cadre of the security forces, it seems no arrangement was made for them, in terms of being more equipped to tackle the heightened activities of the murderous insurgents, thus, the rebels were able to go to villages upon villages and multitude of towns, to inflict maximum damages to the communities without being challenged. But, the most shockingly sad spectacle is the appearance of the same Air Marshall Badeh at the National Assembly, for the budget defence in the beginning of the week, where all manner of questions were asked, about the impotency of the Nigerian military, the man could only respond with an accusation against other security agencies for the evident failure of his men.
It is important to note that the way he acted of not taking full responsibility, it is just like how Major General Kenneth Minimah, the Nigerian army chief did, when he appeared for the same purpose, promising success in some near undefined future. Perhaps, the main reason which had forced the members the Nigerian Senate, to order him for a relocation to the battle zone, pending the easing of the conflict to a more manageable level, not knowing that theirs could only be an advice, not an order, as constitutionally, he can only be ordered by his commander-in-chief, who in this case is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The simple truth is that every military anywhere in world, always acts at the urgings of its principal commander, if he is serious about tackling any conflict, he leads from the front, not from issued directives from afar but from his supervising presence in the desolate existence that is today’s North-Eastern Nigeria.
This article was published with permission from Abusidiqu.com
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.