By: Sam Ode
Some Nigerians have just been awakened to consciousness that Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari, would forever remain evergreen in the memory of Nigerian masses among the chronology of our leaders since independence. Mouthing his difference about the leadership of Nigeria failed to convince many skeptics, until he began manifesting his spartan and honest leadership style.
Now, after a long while, millions of patriotic Nigerians are marvelled to notice in a Nigerian leader, the character of one who does not just blow hot air into the ears of the led because he is bent on leadership for pecuniary benefits. This specie of leadership is concerned that whatever he says, should be sacrosanct.
He has steadily, boldly and proudly wrested Nigeria and particularly, the Northeast from the claws of terrorism. What is largely clear to all even the influenced senses of the few sentimental armchair critics and other detractors is the acknowledgment that PMB has famously and effectively serviced two of his most dearest campaign promises to Nigerians effectively and on time too.
The wakeful world is aware that at the peak of partisan campaigns, President Buhari covenanted with Nigerians to end Boko Haram insurgency and battle corruption in public governance to a standstill in Nigeria among other motley of promises. But these two covenants consistently assailed his mind, hence he believed, like any other Nigerian, that the persistence of these national malaises could unarguably mar the fortunes of a country and the success of its administration.
Buhari rightly foresighted that ending these twin evils is the priceless antidote that would launch Nigeria on a sound foundation of accelerated velocity of development and prosperity. In this regard, President Buhari has not pretended to be sweeter than honey to any loyalist.
Nigerians know corruption has been dealt a lethal blow by the Buhari administration and it is wobbling backwards in staggered steps. There are no arguments about it. If there are skeptics or doubting Thomases, they could kindly approach the hundreds of former public office holders convicted, standing trial in courts or those who on bended knees resorted to the plea bargain clause of the EFCC to appreciate point of blisters in the shoes they are wearing currently about corrupt enrichment. But corruption is not the focus of today’s analysis; it’s about insecurity in Nigeria and Boko Haram terrorism.
That Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) have been defeated is no longer news. Nigerians and the world have confirmed it since December 22, 2016, when Nigerian Army led by her Chief strategist, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusufu Buratai invaded and captured Sambisa forest, in Nigeria’s Northeast, Borno state.
It was the final death knell of Boko Haram insurgents and terrorism in Nigeria. The globe is bewildered by this feat in a country hitherto considered a collapsing nation on all indices. Borno state Governor Kashim Shettima has declared December 22 of every year as Sambisa Memorial Day, signifying when the region was freed from years of terrorism.
“Based on Buhari’s announcement, the Sambisa Forest became deceased or dead at about 1.35 p.m. on December 22, 2016,” an excited Shettima exclaimed at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Nigerian‐Army Small Arms Championship in Sambisa. Earlier, the Army Chief, Gen. Buratai had decreed at the capture of Sambisa forest that henceforth, it will serve as a training center for the Army. And in spite of the elaborate preparations’ and publicity accorded the 2017 arms championship event, no terrorist’ was courageous enough to do as little as voyage from neighboring countries to whisper a whistle about his presence anywhere in the vicinity.
To intimate Nigerians that his administration play no games with issues of insecurity, President Muhammadu Buhari approved and launched the Nigeria Army’s conduct of the five-day 2017 Nigerian‐Army Small Arms Championship, (NASAC) inside the Sambisa forest, famed for its notoriety as Boko Haram insurgents safest enclave; an impenetrable mountainous forest, where insurgents congregated in large numbers, train new recruits, planned and unleashed awful, violent atrocities on Nigerians.
President Buhari in abiding assurance declared the opening event in these words: “This championship is a showcase of the clear defeat and degradation of the Boko Haram‐terrorists group, with the destruction of camp Zero here in hitherto Sambisa forest. It will also mark the commencement of our plan to move speedily to make Sambisa and the entire North-East safe again for law abiding citizens.”
Represented by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dam Ali, the President reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to leave no stone unturned to absolutely eradicate all kinds of terrorisms in the Northeast and Nigeria generally. And this is a clear testimony of Buhari’s mindset on security as verified by the termination of the most violent, brutal and barbaric campaigns waged by insurgents.
Appropriately, leaders anywhere, who are truly inspired by the divine summons of leadership, play no games with adherence to oath of office. In America, from where Nigeria is assumed (because it’s doubtful, whether the confederating states in America are in such internally-instigated mess, as Nigeria) to have copied its model of presidential system of governance, leaders pay inviolable allegiance to the words and spirit of their oath of office. Abusing any part of it is assumed tantamount to public self-proclamation of a verdict of guilt on the leader.
The experience in Nigeria, sustained over time is that those privileged with leadership at all levels observe the oath of office more in aberration or more as a mere routine ceremony and in outright breach of its dictates. It is accountable for the illegal powers most chief executives wade in Nigeria, abusing every law of public governance and projecting their personal and selfish interest uppermost.
President Buhari has proven that he is a different leader from the chronology of Nigerian leaders since independence. The President does not trivialize his oath of office, especially on securing the lives and property of Nigerians at all times, which is prime, paramount and innocuous, but which determines the effectiveness and triumph of every executive leader in any country.
Thus far, there is no doubt that the funeral of the once dreaded Boko Haram terrorists has been officially conducted and Nigerians have every reason to celebrate and pay glowing accolades to Mr. President and the Nigerian military. However, it is risky for saboteurs’ or terrorists agents to downplay the nexus of the Sambisa forest event and the sacred resolve of President Buhari never to allow any territory of the Nigerian state to be held in bondage in whatever guise by miscreants and outlaws under his watch.n Those who previously doubted Buhari’s resolve are now stampeded with the manifestations of Mr. President’s vows to end insecurity in public interest.
To this extent, Buhari can rightly be described as a President whose shadows on security are followed by the Nigerian military and Nigerians have not only been assailed with the military’s knowledge about this mindset, but the military have all demonstrated good knowledge of his covenant with the people of Nigeria, which Nigerians savour now.
Today, Boko Haram insurgency is over, and truly abiding by the oath of his office to secure every part of Nigeria against satanic forces, President Buhari has to his credit successfully pushed back the meaningless menace of the twin evils IPOB/MASSOB. Clairvoyant Southeastern Nigerians, especially youths are into the voluntary vanguard of appealing and cautioning members of these twine irritant groups to give peace a chance, as Mr. President sleeps and wakes up daily with the interest of all Nigerians at heart in accordance with his mandate, as lubricated by his vows, covenants and oath of office to Nigerians.
For narrow-minded critics, who play the ethnicity card in advancing national discourse in a nation with nearly 300 ethnicities or beg nepotism or religious favoritism to swim in shallow waters, President Buhari quieted them a long time ago. The manner Mr. President handled and disarmed the Iranian-backed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) (a branch of ISIS) or the violence- prone Shiites Islamic sect domiciled in Kaduna, with appreciable tentacles in Northern Nigeria, by deploying the highest amount of civility as a leader reveals his inner voice about security; but much more, his stable character in leadership of the country.
And the message to the Shiites, hypnotized by these foreign, destructive extremist ideologies they imbibed before his ascension to democratic power is crystal clear. It keeps reverberating that Buhari is a leader of Nigerians, as against any ethno-religious sect and would prefer to see them repent to embrace the liberal ideals of democratic freedom as dictated by the laws of the Nigerian federation.
President Buhari is passing a lucid message. That the internet henchmen, who delight in heating up Nigeria, for devilish ends, whether fronting for terrorists, or the dingy secession agitators in the Southeast, or militants of the Niger Delta or the criminals’ clothed as armed bandits and cattle rustlers in the Northwest or the mercenary herdsmen in the North central of Nigeria or elsewhere, time is ripe for them to either quit Nigeria or repent of their evil against their own country.
And the presidential message has sank in creditably as attested by the tranquility in parts of the country hitherto embroiled in senseless violence, gruesome killings, maimings, arson and resentful conspiracies to perpetually keep Nigeria on the furnace, instead of peace. The unalteredn desire of President Buhari today about Nigeria is to leave a legacy of total reformation of Nigeria, a country all Nigerians would see reasons to proudly boast even in foreign climes as the land of their birth.
Ode , Participant of SEC 39, 2017, contributed this piece from NIPSS, Kuru, Plateau State.