On year after, Buhari delivers on security
By Chukwudi Enekwechi
It is natural that after one year in office, many Nigerians will evaluate President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in the various sectors. It is also common knowledge that he premised his ascendancy to the presidency on three key planks of security, economy and corruption. For the purpose of this piece, let me dwell on the issue of security. The reason is not far-fetched in view of the fact that all other factors are dependent on a secured environment to thrive.
Therefore, in evaluating President Buhari’s achievements in this sector, it is important we recall where we were, prior to his assumption of office. The county was literarily on edge based on the terrorist activities of Boko Haram. The three North East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe were completely under siege. Though the marauding activities of Boko Haram were mainly in the North East, the negative impact reverberated throughout the nation. Hence we all became victims, notwithstanding how distant the incident occurred.
President Buhari in his wisdom realised that a nation beset with rampant insecurity can hardly advance on other fronts, hence he started tackling the problem headlong on his assumption of office. Prior to his coming, Boko Haram was conquering territories, attacking communities and military formations without let or hindrance. There were also isolated attacks in Abuja, Kano, Kaduna and Taraba. President Buhari’s first approach was to relocate the military command and control centre from Abuja to Maiduguri being the main theatre of warfare. Additionally, the morale of the soldiers was rejuvenated as they saw in the new commander-in-chief a renewed hope, confidence, determination and commitment.
Presently, the Boko Haram terrorist group has been decimated, and degraded that they are unable to launch attacks and overrun communities. What this translates into is that peace has finally returned to the North East and by the extension the entire country. The internally displaced persons are gradually returning back to their villages while economic activities are once more booming. In fact, the real estate business in Maiduguri is now witnessing a boom, and prices of land and properties have increased phenomenally.
Therefore, it can safely be said that President Muhammadu Buhari has substantially fulfilled his promise of restoring security to the North East and Nigeria as a whole. Agreed, that there remained a few cases of brigandage in some areas, yet the major catastrophe afflicting Nigeria, which was Boko Haram has greatly receded on account of President Buhari’s purposeful and committed leadership.
Security as we all know is a prerequisite for the economic development of any nation. Once there is security of lives and property, then the enabling environment would have been created for rapid economic development.
Boko Haram held Nigeria hostage since 2009, and the inability of the previous governments to rein them in gave rise to the total destruction of several communities, schools, churches, mosques and other public institutions.
Similarly, President Buhari has taken the challenge to confront other emerging security challenges such as the herdsmen attack on farming communities across the country. Though not a large scale like Boko Haram, but his vision for a peaceful country has informed his decision to quickly contain the threat posed by the herdsmen by issuing clear instructions to the military to immediately check the activities of the herdsmen.
Therefore, after one year in office. Mr. President can be assessed favourably in the area of security, especially if we consider the diverse nature of the country. Despite this, he has kept the various security agencies on their toes, and this has resulted in more synergy and efficiency in their operational patterns.
Even in the case of dreaded Boko Haram, we have witnessed an unprecedented record of achievements by Nigerian military as they have rescued thousands of hostages including women and children from the Boko Haram. The operational capacity of the terrorists has also been greatly decimated as the military have utilised aerial and ground operations to destroy their bases, weapons and shut their supply routes.
Perhaps, it is important to note that the leadership role President Buhari played in rallying the Lake Chad countries to support Nigeria fully in combating Boko Haram. Countries like Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Benin Republic have not only pledged their support, but have contributed troops to the multi-national joint task in the war against insurgency.
What these efforts have translated into is that owing to President Buhari’s commitment and strategic partnerships with regional and world powers, a once dreaded terrorist group on the verge of overrunning our entire nation has today being pummelled, decimated, and on the run.
It is indeed remarkable that President Buhari has been able to keep his promise of restoring security to the North East within a period of one year in office. This feat goes to show that the apparent inaction of the past administration in confronting the menace of Boko Haram contributed in their ability to develop into a monster that nearly consumed the entire nation.
Since his involvement in politics, President Buhari has never wavered in his belief that security is central to the overall development of Nigeria. This has propelled him to place emphasis on securing our homeland by seeking global support in the war against insurgency. Today, many counties such as USA, UK, France, Germany and many others are offering concrete assistance towards ensuring the defeat of Boko Haram.
The United States which played ostrich in rendering help under the past administration is today in the forefront in proving needed support and logistics in the war against terror. Of course, this change of approach is traceable to the sincerity of purpose of President Muhammadu Buhari in doing what is necessary to defeat the world’s common enemy Boko Haram.
Under President Buhari, we have seen a proactive security approach in averting possible terrorist attacks, as most of their kingpins and arrowheads have been arrested. Obviously, this approach has enabled the security operatives to stay ahead of the Boko Haram sect by preventing attacks.
In conclusion, Mr. President has sufficiently proved and fulfilled his promise in the area of providing security. The mere fact that he accomplished this onerous task in less than one year in office should indeed attract accolades from all Nigerians. Presently Nigerian troops are deep inside the dreaded Sambisa forest smoking out the remnants of Boko Haram, and this calls for celebration. With the signing of the 2016 appropriation bill into law by Mr. President, in no distant time Nigerians will begin to witness the promised and desired change in all sectors.
Chukwudi Enekwechi, journalist and politician writes from Abuja and can be reached via email@example.com