On June 22, 2012 President Goodluck Jonathan sacked the national security adviser, and appointed Col. Sambo Dasuki as the new national security adviser, in a bid to curb the problems of insecurity in the country more effectively, but it should be noted that since the appointment of Dasuki on June 22, 2012, at least 5 major terrorist attacks have occured in the country.
Goaded by palpable fear of insecurity in the land and unrelenting threats to stability from terrorists, President Goodluck Jonathan has directed his newly appointed National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, to fight enemies of national unity.
“Combat various security threats,” Jonathan ordered.
It was learnt on Friday, that this was the President’s tall order to his new NSA, even as terrorists had struck at least thrice since he was appointed.
Also, Dasuki was directed to reinvigorate the nation’s security apparatus in order to make it more effective and enjoy the much-needed public confidence.
According to the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati,
Abati said, “He is expected to reinvigorate the security architecture to make it more effective and combat various security threats and renew public interest. “The new NSA is expected to inject new blood into the security system.
“His assignment has been clearly mapped out for him by even ordinary Nigerians. His appointment was driven by a lot of public expectation.”
It was in line with these expectations that he began troubleshooting missions to Yobe and Maiduguri States on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
While in Damaturu, Yobe’s capital, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam begged Dasuki and the Federal Government to deploy troops in the area for the citizens to have a breather.
“I wish to appeal for the deployment of more troops in the state to complement the efforts of those on the ground,” Gaidam said.
According to him, “There is (now) a clear change of strategy in the fight against insecurity as promised by Mr President.
“There is an indication that our hopes, pride and dignity as citizens of this great country would be restored.”
Damaturu has been one of the flashpoints since the Boko Haram insurgency began.
But Gaidam’s request has provoked mixed reactions from Northern political elite, including a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon.
In a telephone interview with a national newspaper, Gowon said while it might be proper to send the troops to tackle the immediate security challenge, negotiation too with the insurgents was not out of place.
He said, “I think sending troops to the place is to deal with that particular problem. If such a request is made by any part of the country I think it should be done. The proper thing is to try to deal with the problem, whatever it is.
“But if the presidency says it wants to negotiate, why not. It was done in the case of the Niger Delta militants some years ago. Has it not been producing relative peace in the region? So whatever it takes, for me the point is that we should try to avoid this unfortunate loss of innocent lives.
“Let us try and see if we can get the situation under control by whatever means. If it has to be done by force, then it has to be done by force.
“The militants accepted the offer of amnesty and it was done for the good of the country. I hope the other side would accept offer to see how the problem can be resolved.”
However, a former Minister of Steel Development in the Second Republic, Dr. Paul Unongo, said it would be counter-productive to send the military to the trouble states.
Unongo said, “I don’t think it would solve the problem. I think government should combine that with the willingness to negotiate and that has to start with consultation.
“Government should use the carrot and stick approach and should be able to separate the combatants from the poor innocent people.
“The people in this region think that government is draconian; they feel that they are not all Boko Haram members, but they are all being punished.”
Similarly, the Convener of the Concerned Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said although the governor had the right to invite the military, their presence in the state would be in the interest of peace.
He said, “He has the constitutional right to call for more troops to provide security for lives and properties in the state. Unfortunately, their presence will not solve the problems.
“If they (government) think they can catch them, let them go and catch them but my feeling is that they cannot catch Boko Haram.
Their leadership structure is still intact, their funding is assured, and they have better coordination than the security services. They may be misguided, but certainly, they are more determined than the military or police forces in doing what they are doing.”
He, however, added that Boko Haram members would not be able to vanquish the Federal Government; therefore, they would be willing to negotiate.
Evidently, about four attacks that involved bombings and gunfight with security agents had occurred since June 22, when Dasuki was appointed. See them below
–Explosion in Abuja, June 22
A blast at a popular nightclub – Crystal Lounge in the Wuse II district of Abuja, destroyed five cars.
–Yobe jailbreak, June 24
Terrorists invaded Damaturu prisons and freed 199 inmates.
Gunfight and bomb attacks in Taraba, June 26
Suspected terrorists numbering over 30 attacked three banks, a police station and a brewery, killing three persons, including a policeman in Wukari area.
–Multiple Bomb blasts in Kano, June 27
The Kano State Police Command said it killed 17 suspected gunmen who attacked the police post at Dala with multiple explosions. A police man died in the attack, while another was injured.
–Attacks in Damaturu, June 27
In Damaturu, gunmen attacked a police outpost in Sabon Pegi ward and killed two civilians and injured a woman and her child during a 30-minute gun duel with the Joint Task Force. Two of the suspects were killed by the JTF. The battle spread to the campus of the Federal Polytechnic in Damaturu.
- Gunfire, explosions rock troubled Damaturu (vanguardngr.com)