Overcoming Security Challenge for Nigerian military – By Muhammad AjahArmed Forces, Articles, Columnists, muhammad Ajah, NNP Columnists Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
By Muhammad Ajah | Abuja, Nigeria | July 4, 2012 - Whatever happens in Nigeria, the military should NEVER allow religious sentiments or extremism to infiltrate the barracks. Soldiers and security personnel are such as physical security from God for mankind on earth. That is why they should never allow religion to play a decisive role in their operations. If that is allowed, then the country is finished. May God forbid!
This is not to discourage the freedom of religion among Nigerians. Though there has been a latent struggle of supremacy between Muslims and Christians in the security outfits, that tendency should not be displayed during operations for the interest of the entire nation. An unconfirmed report that a soldier was betrayed by his co-soldiers on religious grounds during the recent Kaduna reprisal attacks on innocent citizens does not signal well for the Nigerian military. The said soldier who was of an opposite religion among the many soldiers was identified, caught, tied up and murdered in cold blood in the presence of his colleagues. A quite horrific betrayal!
A critical analysis of all the happenings in Nigeria shows that religion has been a readily destructive tool employed by people who have found how extremist some Nigerians are to matters of religion. Go to places of work. Go to even markets. Go to schools. Nigerians mock their fellow citizens. “These Boko Haram people”, is severally used to mock innocent Muslim faithfuls. Words such as “nyamiri” and “arne” should cease to be part of the lexicon in the barracks because they are used to jeer fellow citizens. And nearly every violence in Nigeria is intertwined into one religion or the other.
Many qualified citizens have been denied admission and recruitment into the security outfits on religious grounds in the areas where a religion is in minority. Nigerians now carried religious tags in search of jobs. It is commonplace the intrigues in securing a slot in the NDA for instance. And so it is in most government agencies. That is a task the security chief must overcome to give all Nigerians the true sense of belonging.
Most of the security problems in the country as of today have religious undertone. There is need to enforce enhanced moral instructions in the nation’s security. The military is a well-established institution that is well respected because of its maintenance of high level of discipline and loyalty to constituted authority. They have defended the nation’s integrity and democracy. They have assisted the police in maintaining law and order.
These Nigerians have proved patriotism and need not to preach religious bigotry amongst themselves. They should, therefore, focus on effective and efficient enforcement of democratic governance for peace, stability and development of the country. They cannot afford to mortgage their togetherness, respect for law, discipline and national interest for religion. If this dangerous trend is not checkmated, the effect of insecurity in the nation could be more devastating when the civilians are completely undone.
During the recent crisis in Kaduna, it was reported of how some Muslims and Christians saved their counterparts without regards to religion. NEMA’s Search and Rescue teams received members of the Christian faithful who took refuge in some Muslim homes just as it evacuated some Muslims that were harboured by their Christian neighbours. It was also reported in Port Harcourt where followers of both religions marched against religious violence.
The highest echelon of government should practically display religious indifference in their dealings to move the country forward. By so doing, the insurgence by Boko Haram, kidnappings by the misled citizens, militancy, massive corruption and bribery scandals could be mitigated. Boko Haram has created confusion and threats to the nation unity. But as many strongly believe, it will be over when it will be over.
In his national issue discourse number 346 titled, “The Christian Answer to Boko Haram”, Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde, held that the circle of cowardice among the Nigerian elites in facing the reality can continue forever except Nigerians find a way to cancel the negatives and arrive at a positive digit. The fact is that retaliation could only serve as a deterrent for a short while. It often produces a vicious cycle of violence. Christians in some communities carry out war crimes against Muslims. Boko Haram says it retaliates but under the hidden tactic of bombings. Then Christians retaliate in areas they too think Muslims are weak. Both do it against innocent citizens, against places of worship, against God, though purportedly in the name of God.
Christian leaders and opinion shapers have appealed to Muslim leaders to use their weight to restrain Boko Haram. But sincerely, which citizen would restrain any Nigerian that carries arms today? There is none. In the same vein, I have heard many Berom leaders saying that their youths are beyond their control. When some chiefs of Niger Delta tried to stop its militants from terrorist activities in the mid-nineties, the youths accused them of complicity and murdered them. Right now, Nigeria has a high deficit of willing martyrs among its leaders.
The truth, he says, is that when it comes to violence, the answer lies with the law and nothing else. The law it is that can cancel those negatives. It is the instrument that stripped all citizens of the right to possess firearms… Muslims, as I have maintained, should, in the absence of any interest to bring the criminals that have been perpetrating crimes against them to justice locally, refer the matter to the International Court of Justice. They must be prepared to walk the ladder to its top. Armed with hard evidence like the ones we mentioned earlier, it is inconceivable that they will not be offered justice there. So the question of their retaliation is cancelled, ab initio.
Christians on their part must also resort to the law and support it. They must ensure that the law enforcement agencies that they control have risen to the challenge. They must also be patient with them until they succeed without complicating matters through retaliation. And Nigerians would remain together long after the guns of Boko Haram and those of Christian fanatics are put to silence.
Legislators in Akwa Ibom and Delta state Houses of Assembly have asked President Goodluck Jonathan to identify the sponsors of the Boko Haram sect and deal with them accordingly. In a resolution at a joint session of the Assemblies presided over by the Akwa Ibom Speaker, Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon and his Delta State counterpart, Rt. Hon. Victor Ochei, the lawmakers said the call became necessary to protect the corporate existence of the country.
In her column of Wednesday, June 20, 2012, Hannatu Musawa, under a title “They don’t really care about us”, argued that towards the end of 2011, the presidency announced that he knew who the sponsors of the Boko Haram offensive were and that some were in government. “But till this day, we have not seen those people exposed and brought to full justice. Instead, the one man who the world has identified to have been instrumental in igniting the initial conflict with the original Boko Haram, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, appears to enjoy a sort of presidential protection”, she claimed.
Sharon Faliya Cham in his article, “As the Church slept…The Trilogy”, expressed a firm conviction that the problem bedeviling the church today in Nigeria is rooted in the church’s neglect of the first teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew chapter 5 verse 9 which says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” She believes it has come to full display in Nigeria. “This Scripture is a loud call to the church to be a just and firm arbitrator on all matters of dispute on earth, be it on the economy, education, land disputes, marriage, trade disputes and political disputes.
Ed Silvoso, great man of God and sound teacher of the purpose of the church, in his book titled, Transformation, said, “We usually do not approach the world as peacemakers. Quite the contrary, we tend to preach a gospel of condemnation. However, every time we bring an end to a hostile situation in the world by accessing the power of God, whether that situation be sickness, problems in marriage, oppression, systemic poverty, or financial challenges in the workplace, we are recognized as peacemakers, because that is what peacemakers do – they put an end to hostilities.” When I read this passage it occurred to me as if Ed Silvoso did an in-depth study of the church in Nigeria. The failure of the church to act as an unbiased peacemaker was very glaring in the 2011 general elections where a greater portion of the church took sides, even at a time of great political dispute over the zoning arrangement”, she posited.
Cham asserts that he who sows love will reap love, and in the same manner he sows hostility will reap hostility. According to her, it is a divine law and there is no way God can shut His eyes and ears or take away His hands from the fulfillment of His own laws. That is why the quest for peace, she said, is much more than prayers to God for peace, rather it should be worked for. “The Bible says faith without works is dead. So praying for peace without working for peace is vain and dead; it becomes a mere exercise in futility. Christians in Nigeria are well known for praying for peace, but almost absent on the field of ensuring justice without which there cannot be peace.”
Muhammad Ajah is a writer, author, advocate of humanity and good governance based in Abuja. E-mail email@example.com
- Nigerian army ‘destroys’ Boko Haram camps in north-east
- Between Inordinate Ambition and Good Governance -By Akintokunbo Adejumo
- What do Hobby Bloggers say Today who made Obasanjo their Punching Bag? – By Frisky Larr
- Is Gov. Orji Intending Reconciliation with the Probe of Kalu? -By Odimegwu Onwumere
- Emergency Rule: Soldiers block major roads as residents flee their towns
Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=22716