The senator representing Niger East senatorial district at the National Assembly on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Sani Musa has strongly indicted the country’s leadership over the precarious security situation in the country. Musa attributed the security challenges facing the country to “leadership failure”, and expressed the need for President Muhammadu Buhari to be “very decisive” in tackling the problem. He also emphasized the need for leadership re-orientation.
Musa, who was guest on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, called on the country’s National Security Adviser, NSA, Babagana Monguno, to resign because according to him, he has failed.
In his candid assessment of the security situation in the country, Musa said “I think the issue of insecurity, when you say it’s disturbing, it’s an understatement. Nigeria is a country that is evolving; I have never seen it like this since after the civil war, I believe. We used to have armed forces that are reckoned with. They fought wars in other countries in order to bring peace to these countries, but today, the whole thing is different.
“My constituency, I would say, is close to the federal capital territory because two of my local governments under my senatorial district share the same border with the federal capital. I can tell you that it’s very worrisome. The situation, since the beginning of this year, is worsening, and the proactive measures that I thought would bring a kind of succor is not working.”
The senator regretted that while the National Assembly, had made several attempts at finding lasting solution to this problem by setting up security committees, holding a retreat with service chiefs and others in order to find a way out, “but it has become very difficult.
“So, the situation is not just alarming, the country is at crossroads. Politics aside, life and blood that we are spilling today, we need to caution ourselves, especially we the leaders. It’s not about party, and it’s not about election coming. It’s about the lives of our constituents; it’s about the lives of Nigerians. Spilling the blood of one single life is like killing the nation”.
Asked why the problem had become intractable, Musa recalled how “last year or early this year, my governor cried out loud that there is an infiltration of Boko Haram terrorists creating cells within Niger State. The same Bukarti (Bulama, lawyer, global security researcher) that you phoned now, had also raised that alarm. I had a meeting with Bukarti in London where he gave me certain facts about the activities of Boko Haram within the North-central Nigeria; that they have cells. And he clearly told me that that intelligence had been shared. What proactive action has the NSA done?
“We have to call a spade a spade. If I am the NSA, the National Security Adviser in this country, I will tender my resignation because I have failed. I have failed. When they (Boko Haram) are creating cells, you do not wait until when you are attacked, then, you act. This intelligence that is being shared is pre-information given to you. At a stage when these culprits have not concluded their motives, their plans, you neutralize them. Is this what is happening?
“When we are talking about these cells, they are real. The Emir of Kagara came to me on Thursday here in Abuja and said we need to be rescued. We heard information that about 500 of these bandits have been seen travelling towards our area; what do we do about it. And I asked him, have you shared this information with all those that are concerned to hear? They did. My own assignment as a senator is to make the noise; it’s to make input into those acts of appropriation that will make it work, and I believe we’re doing it”.
Reacting to the statement by Governor Nassir El’Rufai that President Buhari got to hear from him that terrorists threatened to kidnap the both of them, Musa noted that “intelligence is being shared only by one agency – those that are supposed to look at the security of this country. …The president also, I can tell you, receives security reports every day. And if it is true, going by the saying of Governor El’Rufai that the president was not aware, that singular act is enough for the NSA to be booted out.
“A country is bleeding and you will tell me that, as the head man to strategise how our security should be functioning, you are not aware of this and the president cannot be informed. It is self-indicting”.
Asked why the number of terrorist groups have been on the rise, Musa said “I don’t want to be indicting myself, but I will tell you. It’s leadership failure. At every stratum. What we need to do in this country, we need to have leadership re-orientation. We need to change. The glory of this country can only be redeemed if all of us will reorient ourselves and believe that we do not have any other country but Nigeria. We need good governance; we need direction.
“Our military today, I can tell you, have shown Nigerians that they are overwhelmed. And when the military have shown that they are overwhelmed, what motivation will that also give to those terrorists? It will ginger them.
“So, for me, I believe that we need to restrategise; we need to look at our demographics. If you go to Niger State today, you will see that a lot of IDPs are there. People have left their villages, why? Because these people have taken over these villages. So, what I think we need to do is to go back to the drawing board; it’s not too late”.
Expatiating on this, the federal lawmaker said “I think the situation is that the leadership, the security agencies, the armed forces, either that they have lost that moral ground to stand and accept we can’t do better, or something is really wrong…
“When we want to talk about security in this country, I think we should be honest with ourselves. … Let me tell you why we are having issues with our security. I will tell you. Have we fired any of the commanders? Have we tried to investigate anything that is happening? … Are we going to remain silent and the worst happens? I’m here as a Nigerian.
“I cannot remember countless times that our prisons have been attacked. Have you heard anyone has been sanctioned? Nobody has been sanctioned”.
Senator Musa underscored the need for a change in the country’s security architecture., stressing that “I don’t think it’s difficult. Are we not making ourselves more vulnerable if we cannot look at those countries that have expertise in handling this situation to come to our aid? …We shouldn’t be waiting to repel attacks. We should be seen to do what the Americans did. They went to the door steps of terrorists”.
He said he cannot rule out the possibility of external influence in insecurity “because if these people can still be having the kind of ammunition that they are having, the kind of fire power they have which of course some of our military personnel are even complaining that their own equipment (terrorists’) are more superior than their own, that means somebody is aiding and this is why our Nigerian intelligence agencies need to do more”.