23rd January, 2012
The call on President Goodluck Jonathan to sanitise his cabinet has become too urgent for him to ignore in the light of the worsening security situation in the northern part of the country. He has to do away with the fifth columnists working against him now.
Since the president announced to a bewildered nation that the dreaded Boko Haram sect has infiltrated his government, the security forces, the judiciary and the legislature, Nigerians now appreciate the dilemma in which the President has found himself in the face of the havoc members of the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect have continued to unleash on the people of this country. The extremists are having a field day across Northern Nigeria because of the backing of fifth columnists in the corridor of power as the President himself told the nation. These fifth columnists and their foot soldiers are trying to destabilise his government. Yet the President’s men, those who are perceived to be loyal to him, are busy chasing shadows and playing the ostrich. Deploying soldiers to Lagos whereas more troops ought to be sent to Borno and other havens of Boko Haram, is a distraction that has not helped matters in the wake of the Boko Haram bombings.
It is laughable that soldiers are deployed on Lagos streets while Boko Haram are bombing churches, police headquarters and other security installations in the north. Does it mean Nigeria lacks intelligence personnel to keep up with Boko Haram? Experts believe that last Friday’s coordinated bombings in Kano that left over 162 people dead was not carried out by neophytes. They also did not rule out foreign support for the group. The latest attack has put security chiefs, especially the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, on the spot once again, with Nigerians calling for the immediate sack of the police boss.
Ringim boxed himself into a tight corner when his men allowed a prime Boko Haram suspect and the alleged mastermind of the Christmas Day bombing of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Madalla, Kabiru Sokoto, to escape from their custody. The latest bombings, the most deadly so far by Boko Haram, in Kano are enough reason for Ringim to quit, having failed woefully to protect Nigerians and their properties.
Security agencies should stop talking tough without matching such empty assurances with adequate intelligence gathering. Those who call the shots in the corridor of power should stop fiddling while the nation is burning. Deployment of soldiers to Lagos is a huge distraction for President Jonathan at a time there is a more pressing national security challenge. If it was his advisers that sold him that idea, he should have thrown it into the garbage can.
Boko Haram has become too much of a threat to national security for the minister of defence to preoccupy himself with justifying the deployment of soldiers to Lagos. Why should the federal government be scared of harmless protesters in Lagos when Boko Haram is unleashing terror everywhere in the North? Our security forces have a lot of work to do to prevent Boko Haram from plunging this nation into a civil war.
Since President Jonathan knows that the extremists are in his government, he should expose them now.