By Kalu Nwokoro Idika
I wish I am a specialist in warfare matters, then I would have observed and accorded you all the necessary military protocol in this letter. Nevertheless, I am very pleased to use this medium of communication to direct you towards a burning issue which has further put a question mark on the partisan nature of the Nigerian army.
Sir, I do understand the fact that since the unlawful execution of Mohammed Yusu, the leader and founder of Boko Haram 10 years ago, the Northern part of Nigeria has seemingly become a veritable hot bed for terror groups. While I acknowledge the good, the bad and the ugly role that the present military architecture under your watch has played so far in order to arrest the growing terror in the North, it will be good you prioritize the security needs of this nation.
Kudos to you also for even invading the home of the fiery leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra, and killed more than 28 armless civilians including his dog. Again, congratulations to you over your amateur gallantry in ordering and supervising the butchering of uncountable number of IPOB family members and Islamic movement of Nigeria beginning from 2015 till 2019. What a flabby Major General who only pride as a local hero in the decimation and slaughtering of armless civilians.
I am not here to point out your sins and bash your legendary in the act of butchery, but just to draw your attention to the lopsided posture and policy miscarriage of the Nigerian military.
There is a consensus opinion among individuals and groups that the South-East and South-South part of Nigeria have relatively enjoyed peace and security when compared to the high level of insecurity being witnessed in other regions of the country. And that is a fact which cannot be pushed out of the picture. Since terrorism assumed a more horrific dimension in Nigeria, the Eastern part of Nigeria has remain peaceful, safe and economically viable. Unlike the Northern part of Nigeria where the activities of Boko Haram has retarded peace and economic development. Yet, I wonder why the whole of South-East and South-South have continually remain more militarised than any part of Nigeria.
Sir, when will the military siege in the Eastern part of Nigeria come to an end? I have not seen any potent reason to substantiate the unending militarisation of a region devoid of terror and banditry. Well, it is now becoming obvious to me that you are just fulfilling the part of the bargain of ‘one Nigeria project’; which is to ensure that the South-East and South-South geopolitical zones are permanently gagged through the barrel of the gun by hook or crook.
It is so disheartening to see how the military boys you littered in the Eastern region have criminally converted all their security check points into a system to generate revenue. Citizens are being shot at ease, our young women are sexually exploited, and motorists are forced to part with specific sum at every security formation mounted by your men. People can hardly travel freely without being caught in the web of military intimidation. Millions of people in the Eastern region now live in fear of the unknown. And this fear is born out of the unconventional modus operandi of your officers. Why?
Sir, to be candid with you, the deployment of military personnels in the Eastern part of Nigeria is misplaced. It is nothing but misdirection of military tactics. It shows lack of technicality and disconnection among the military top brass. What is the need of deploying thousands of troops in a region that is adjudged to be among the most peaceful place in Africa, when bandits, Fulani terror movement and Boko Haram are on top of terrorism in the Northern part of Nigeria? What kind of rule of engagement is that? Does it not look suspicious that the Nigerian army can only show their military prowess in areas where wars are not being fought, but cowardly run like wimps from areas where terror has enough tooth to give a festering bite? Boko Haram is giving your officers a run for their money, yet much is not done to nib the rising temerity of these mindless killers in the bud.
Sir, the actions and policy direction of the Nigerian army under your command has a big question mark. You are somewhat becoming a big hindrance in the campaign against terrorism in the country. By littering your men in the Eastern part of Nigeria when terror groups are killing and displacing thousands from their homes in the North East, North Central and North West, you are making a caricature of what military warfare stands for, thereby dragging the reputation of the Nigerian army through the mud because of ethnic and religious parochialism.
Call off the military bullies you littered in the whole of the East, redirect their energy and expertise in neutralising Boko Haram and other bandits rampaging the North. I assume the police has been overwhelmed by the fire power of these bandits and terror groups therefore creating a huge lacuna for adequate military response. Secondly, all the military check points should be dismantled with immediate effect and personnels who will not be drafted into the battle field should remain in the barracks while the police does its job. Do what is right and stop being partisan in matters that require the application of common sense.
In all, you are short changing the safety of the North in place of self glory. If you should continue with the military build up in the East with its attendant operations like Operation Python Dance 1,2&3 and Crocodile Smile 1,2&3, you might end up creating a fertile ground for a more hydra headed terror movement to fester in the North. Avoid this misplacement of security priority. And perhaps, no army has ever fought in two different war fronts and survived the military maneuvering. Imagine what will happen when a refined force that is deadlier, sophisticated and coordinated than Boko Haram in the Eastern region retaliate the indiscriminate killing of our people by the Nigerian security forces! I pray, many will live to recap the ugly experience. We should not be pushed to the wall. A time will come when you cannot beat the child and also ask the child not to cry.
For the last time, withdraw your poorly trained boys you littered in the Eastern region of the country. Their presence is not necessary and needed. People over here are engrossed in pursuing economic and intellectual prosperity. There is no place for hooliganism because everyone is wise. We prefer running after excellence than settling for mediocrity. And stop creating unnecessary military tension in a place where there is peace and economic viability.
Accept my letter with utmost happiness.
Kalu Nwokoro Idika
Kalu Nwokoro Idika is a political analyst at Family Writers Press