Sunday, Jun. 9, 2013

Comprehensive and Sustainable Peace and Security in a Plural Society: Extreme Challenges to Nigerian Internal Security

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June 6, 2013

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Posted In:

 Introduction: 

The two global wars, otherwise called world wars ?€? one and two had been fought
before I was born. Following these global threats to peace and security there had
been relative global quiet (peace and 
security) aside from the occasional regional blips ?€? particularly Korea, Vietnam,
Middle East (i.e. Israel and the Arabs), the Indian sub continent (India and
Pakistan) throughout the global scene. 
2. In this country the earliest known case of the use of firearms to confront a
government and kill fellow human beings was the military coup event of 1966 when a
group of young officers mostly majors took up arms and partially overthrew the
Nigerian government of that time. The country then went through periods of
insecurity and violence, murders and destructions of lives and property which
ultimately led to the Civil War of 1967-1970 when over one million Nigerian lives
were needlessly lost.
3. Since the Civil War violence and insecurity had somewhat become endemic in this
country. At first it was the crime of armed robbery that started soon after the
Civil War. Then series of other sporadic and protracted cases of violence and
insecurity here and there. 
4. The Nigeria I grew up in used to be one Sea of tranquility and placidity. Perhaps
the major insecurity of a regional or national character we knew was the Gboko riots
and the brutal attempts to suppress them. Insecurity at the local level were the
occasional murders arising from disputes over the promiscuous or randy escapades by
some of our rascally forbears over female partners which was sort of rampant among
some Ijaw community (where incidentally I belong) and Ikot Ekpene areas; or indeed
local seasonal clashes over farmlands in Izzi and Abakaliki parts of this country. 
5. Gentlemen ?€? for we are all gentlemen at the bar.
Today the world is in turmoil! The entire globe ?€? North, South, East and West is
in conflict or some other forms of insecurity! 

THE WORLD IN TURMOIL, PRESENTLY?
6. I repeat, the world is in turmoil! Insecurity has become the order of the day.
Where do we start? Middle East, where we had had the Arab spring turned to Arab
autumn and now winter. It all started in Tunisia, Bahrain, Egypt, where Mubarak was
overthrown after 39 years of rule, all by violent action, slightly brushing off in
Algeria then Libya where Moama Gaddafi was overthrown and murdered after 42 years of
dictatorial governance and so on and so forth. Or South East Asia, i.e. Thailand,
Burma, etc. or Latin America, the violent drug wars in Columbia, Mexico, etc. or the
Pacific, East Timor, Philippines, Indonesia, etc. or North and South Korea where the
two, sometime one country, now divided to North and South Korea threaten peace and
security. Iran and Iraq had fought a bloody war in the eighties, then followed the
invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Sadam Hussain by America and some western and
Arab countries and of course the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan wars where
America and some western countries had been locked up in conflict for years over
terrorism. But let us leave all of these other countries and come to our continent
Africa, below the Sahara! There we observe a grim emerging or present picture of
violence and insecurity. 

THE SUB SAHARA AND TERRORISM:
7. When we talk of Africa South of the Sahara the immediate area of concern will be
Somalia, Sudan and lately the violent incursions by the Taureg invaders in Mali. The
Tauregs had never been friends of the Taliban or Al-Qaeda. They and Al-Qaeda/Taliban
are what you will term strange bed fellows in Mali. But the fact is that they are
there side by side in Mali! And have violently taken over the northern part of Mali
and imposed an extremist Islamic dispensation in that part of Mali. France, ECOWAS
and the United Nations have intervened and despatched French and ECOWAS army
including Nigerian troops to Mali. 
8. Sadly, the Malian war may become endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and may spread far
beyond Mali in the future because of the massive desert terrain involved and the
connectivity through the desert of several African and Arab peoples who preach or
practice similar culture, religion, are heavily armed and can provide safe haven for
desert based terrorists and terrorists groups. 

PEACE AND SECURITY:
9. Again, I should recall that in the Nigeria I grew up in, we took peace and
security for granted. A young Divisional Officer (DO) usually white but sometimes a
young Nigerian graduate, was the representative and symbol of government we knew. A
single police officer in smart khaki uniform usually based at the Divisional Police
Headquarters with a small contingent of policemen under his command were the forces
of law and order we saw! But these rather symbolic representation of government
ensured the due process of the law and usually operated in good discipline and were
therefore respected or feared.

 The ordinary folk in the countryside or even in urban
areas hardly saw or encountered (perhaps only once in a quarter) these government
representatives or forces of law and order and did so usually on ceremonial
occasions or when in very rare cases a breach of security occurs. The ordinary
citizens went about their business without fear of molestations or breach of their
human rights such as existed then. Farmers went to farm unmolested, fishermen went
to sea and returned with their catch safely, workers went to their work place
regularly, teachers went to school in full belief that their pupils and students
will be in class regularly, and unharmed.

 Education, was a priced asset although not
all can afford it but it functioned perfectly. Various professionals proudly went
about their practice, commerce and business were conducted in an atmosphere of
reasonable decorum with the usual chatter and clatter. Even politicians went about
their campaigns during electioneering, etc. with only some manageable blip of
razzmatazz and rascality! The ordinary folk went to bed at night and expected to
wake up next morning into a tranquil and normal atmosphere and environment.
Individuals, communities and government took their responsibilities seriously.
Government and public servants and officials were accountable to the colonial master
and, to some extent, the populace. Of course there were miscreants and the
renegades, petty thieves, etc.

 who will break into their neighbours ?€?barns?€? or
houses and pilfer yams, rape or defile some innocents and constitute such
unwarranted intrusions in community life but these odd souls were rare and promptly
dealt with according to law or tradition! Such was the normal order of Peaceful and
Secure society that Nigeria was. Which can only be dreamt of TODAY. 
10. The opposite and absence of such orderly society are the conditions we live in
these days; at the local, national and international levels. And this is the focus
and thrust of this LECTURE. 

RESPONSIBILITY OF GOVERNMENT:

11. The primary responsibility of government in any modern nation state is to
provide peace and security and welfare for its citizens. When there is peace and
good security human beings in every community relax and go after their regular
business. Education, religion, culture, jobs, trade, agriculture, fishing and all
manner of human endeavours blossom freely and mankind is happy and expects
prosperity. In contrast, the absence of peace and security leads to lawlessness,
chaos and anarchy.

HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS/BEGINNINGS OF INSECURITY:
12. But my introductory paragraph may have missed some vital points. For in all our
history mankind had been known to live in an atmosphere of insecurity; even in
Nigeria. History will tell us that human kind had lived throughout in insecurity
starting from Cain and Abel; even to the period of the emergence of settled
communities. The pre-historic inter-communal ethnic wars, the wars of the Middle
Ages, the wars of the Jihadists and even our own local tribal and ethnic wars paint
a grim picture of insecurity and breaches of peace throughout man?€?s history on
earth especially during man?€?s early development.

 However, these trends had been
checked by the emergence of modern civilized states. Modern states needed to have
peace and security in order to embark peacefully in modern trade and commerce and
civilized human interaction. The need to monitor and broker peace and security was
the reason the United Nations Organization (UNO) was agreed and established. 

CURRENT MAJOR THREATS TO PEACE AND SECURITY IN NIGERIA:
13. Threats to human peace and security could be varied and variable. A nagging wife
denies peace and security to her dear husband. So does a bossy and over bearing
husband be a threat to peace and security in the home. Followed down to the
socio-political and state or community level we could readily aver that insurgency
and terrorism including economic terrorism and corruption had become the main threat
to our nation?€?s peace and security. Stretch the averment further and we would
perhaps accept that home grown insurgency in collusion and collaboration with
external terrorism networks constitute the greatest threat to peace and security in
Nigeria. 

THE RECENT NIGER DELTA INSURGENCY:
14. Alas! With the Niger Delta violent militancy which led to loss of countless
lives and damage to huge public and private properties and installations principally
oil and gas installations, the stage was set for a new and sustained insecurity in
this country. Indeed a threshold of insurgency and terrorism had emerged. 

BOKO HARAM INSURGENCY:
15. This is ongoing! The difference between Niger Delta insurgency and Boko Haram is
that Niger Delta is political and Boko Haram is religious and ideological! Boko
Haram, an extreme religious sect, having connections with international terrorist
network had now landed squarely in the country as part of what is obviously a
violent network of internal insurgency and terrorism. We must therefore see and deal
with Boko Haram as the local counterpart of Al-Qaeda and Taliban because:
(a) Of the proven international connectivity and affiliations of these
organisations. Let us not forget that the spiritual and inspirational dogma preached
and practiced by Al-Qaeda, Taliban and other Pakistan, etc. based extremist sects
runs through the veins of Boko Haram practitioners and some of our youth of the same
faith in this country, many of who like the young MURTALAB, the would-be plane
bomber were trained in Pakistan, Yemen and such places.
(b) Following the violence in Libya which resulted in the overthrow of the Gaddafi
regime a lot of the arms of that conflict especially from Gaddafi?€?s side of the
conflict have infiltrated into the West African sub-region principally the Niger
Republic, Chad, Mauritania, Mali, etc. and indeed some have found their way into
this country and helped to fan the currently burning Boko Haram flame. 

THE CHALLENGE OF BOKO HARAM:
16. The threat of Boko Haram is the main challenge of the internal terrorism that
Nigeria faces at present. I have said it in previous lectures that Boko Haram which
represents violent religious extremism has been in this country for a fairly long
time. It has surfaced in various forms and guises in the past. Sometime it has come
as mita sine. At another time as kala-kato. We could safely assume that the cells of
these previous groups which had lied low for sometime had re-surfaced and re-grouped
with other related extreme religious bodies to re-emerge as the latest violent
extreme religious group now styling itself as Boko Haram ?€? at least that seems to
be in my opinion the internal terrorist group that is confronting our country at
present. Of course these local extremist groups have now linked up with other
extremist and violent religious groups from outside the country with linkages with
the Taliban and Al-Qaeda which are the international spearhead of violent religious
terrorism. 

IMMINENT DANGER:
Ladies and gentlemen. I foresee an imminent danger. A potentially deadly threat to
our country?€?s peace and security! I fear that the day when Boko Haram ferries its
destructive weapons of terror across the River Niger, that day we can foresee the
spread of violence and terror across the country! The dreaded trigger may be pulled!
For such act of mindless mischief may unleash the retaliatory response of OPC,
MASSOB, MEND, etc. throughout the country and throw this country into endless
carnage. We must all pray for God Almighty to spare the country of such long and
dreary period of insomnia! 

EFFECT OF GADDAFIS GUNS FROM LIBYA:
17. I did say in a lecture to Catholic Men?€?s League about a year ago in Lagos that
Gaddafi?€?s guns from Libya will extend radical and extremist insurgency to West
Africa including Nigeria. I did say then as follows I quote:
?€?We now find these fears expressed rather so soon in parts of West Africa
especially in Mali where our troops are already being dispatched to fight to save
that country. The truth is that the insurgency will not affect only Mali but could
soon find its way to Niger where Gaddafi?€?s guns are already in evidence but also
in Tchad, Central African Republic, Mauritania and indeed also our country Nigeria.
There is clear evidence that Boko Haram is in contact with insurgencies in Mali,
Libya, Sudan, Mauritania and even Somalia.
For immediate mention should be the current Libyan crisis. Because of the negative
posture of its former leader, Colonel Moama Gaddafi towards Nigeria Libya had
usually been a threat to our national security. Among other hostile acts Gaddafi is
suspected to be one of the external sources funding the Islamist fundamentalist
fighters popularly called BOKO HARAM.

 Our national security and intelligence must
have foreseen and should clearly foresee the potentially adverse effect on
Nigeria?€?s security which the conflict in Libya poses to Nigeria. In transmitting
money and saboteurs to Nigeria, Gaddafi and his former officials still remain a
potent security threat to Nigeria. Security/intelligence has to anticipate that
Gaddafi cells for propaganda, indoctrination, training, infiltration and actual
sabotage and subversion have to exist in this country controlled and run by Gaddafi
loyalists.

 Such elements must be quickly identified and rooted out. The media had
reported the large scale movement of former Gaddafi supporters to Niger and Chad
Republic. Some of our national papers have even gone so far to suggest the
possibility that some Gaddafi agents may have infiltrated into Katsina and some
other states of Nigeria. One will hope that these statements by the media are mere
speculations of a free press anxious to spread news, etc. but also hope that our
security and intelligence are alive to their responsibilities in correctly
anticipating and neutralizing these potential threats to our national security.?€? 

WHAT ABOUT SYRIA? WHAT LESSONS SHOULD WE DERIVE FROM THERE? 
18. In Libya the toppling of Gaddafi?€?s regime was relatively easy and on the whole
less bloody than what the Syrian situation has proved to be. The reason was partly
due to the fact that the Syrian crisis started as a mere protest for reform and the
Asad government came down rather heavily on the protesters and actually inflamed the
situation. The Syrian situation must impress all concerned that the mis-calculation
and the mis-handling of any security situation can result into uncontrollable
violence and bloody revolution which the Syrian government had not anticipated! Also
that no government nor regime can deal successfully with a people who having been
oppressed under a bad government and having been forced into resolute violent
resistance can be stopped by further oppressive violence from the authorities. Such
is the case in Syria TODAY. The people?€?s resistance would ultimately consume any
regime almost without exception. We must all accept and learn that the only answer
to the problem of insecurity and violence is justice and good governance and
adherence to the will of the people through the rule of law. 

OFFICIAL RESPONSE TO THE THREATS OF INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TERRORISM:

19. The official response to the threat of internal terrorism in the current time is
happily gaining momentum. The pace of response is picking up and becoming more
positive lately. And I will attempt here to identify the various arms of officialdom
that is dealing with this problem as follows:
The Executive Arm
??? First, the executive arm of government ?€? by drastically increasing the
security vote have made the right move but there are still political actions which
need to follow and hopefully must follow. The last security budget was indeed
phenomenal and the largest any government had budgeted for security in this country.

Resources To Tackle Insurgency:
20. Yes, the last security budget was huge compared to previous ones; but so is the
security problem confronting us at present. However, other aspect of the problem as
I see it is weak political methodology and the absence of effective co-ordination
among political operators and the various arms of the security and defence forces
who are dealing with the problem. Such deliberate co-operation and co-ordination
will be essential for this huge security threat that presently confronts the
country. There must also be proper co-ordination among the Defence, Security and Law
and Order services engaged in these assignments.

 At present this seem to be lacking
and at some point somewhat confused. Take for instance the commissioner of police
Biu incident resulting in the escape of a primary Boko Haram suspect. 
21. The position should be that the collaborating services should be properly
co-ordinated within a joint command arrangement such that they share the same level
of commitment and understanding that will ensure that shared intelligence will not
be compromised, etc. At the political level, the necessary authorizations and
political directives need to be promptly given to assure the services that they have
political backing to deal with every person identified from good and correct
intelligence as being the political sponsors and financiers of the terrorists. What
then remains will be proper psychological re-orientation exercise that will
re-assure the Boko Haramists that they are welcome and acceptable by the country if
they behave as good and useful citizens, deviate from a harmful course that will
destroy the cohesion and corporate existence of the country which is equally theirs
for whether Muslims, Christians or pagans, haramists or extremists, we all belong to
this country called Nigeria. 

In effect I would wish to emphasize that side by side
with whatever security or political operation to quell the insurgency, a proper
reorientation and publicity programme should be launched forthwith to bring the Boko
Haramists back into the mainstream of Islamic beliefs and practices. 
The Legislative Arm
??? The legislative arm of government must also express its pain and anger firmly
and openly by condemning terrorism, extremism, religious fanaticism and those behind
it. They should make stiff laws to curb violence and extremism. 
The Judicial Arm
??? The judicial arm, in particular, has a major duty to perform in this matter. The
dispensation of justice is on the shoulders of the judiciary and the least one would
expect from the judiciary in the matter of violent terrorism, economic
?€?terrorism?€? and corruption, is to emulate the action taken by their Indian
counterpart, a commonwealth country like us, to set up special courts to deal with
these dangerous cases that are capable of destroying our country. It will be
recalled that following the gang rape of a twenty-three year old young lady by six
Indian youths, the judiciary in that country has designated special courts to
rapidly dispense justice in that outrageous criminal matter. In my opinion so should
the Nigerian judiciary do by immediately designating special courts to rapidly deal
with persons under trial in these matters! 

SAFETY AND SECURITY OF JUDGES AND JUDICIAL OFFICERS:
22. But there is a new challenge facing the judiciary. The safety of judges and
judicial officers embarking on these dangerous and risky assignments. These
functionaries must be adequately protected by the state. The Legislative and
Executive arms of government must take immediate action to ensure the safeguard and
protection of Judges and other officials engaged in the dispensation of justice by
making fresh laws and providing adequate safeguard and security for judicial
officers. They must do this urgently to confirm their commitment to the cause of
justice. 

THE LAW & ORDER, DEFENCE AND SECURITY SERVICES:
23. I have confirmed while researching for this lecture that it is universally
acknowledged by public opinion that the SSS and to a good extent its sister service,
the NIA who operates in secret have performed extremely well in the task to rein in
the threat of Boko Haram. Well, I cannot be surprised. I trained those chaps and
started the NIA from scratch! And I should like to hope that like the SSS and NIA
all the other services engaged in this struggle to keep Nigeria safer will raise the
level of their performance such that we the ordinary citizens will relax more and
shut our eyes when we go to sleep. 

STATE POLICE OR NOT:
24. The issue of whether or not the process of law and order enforcement will be
best served by the institution of state police under a new or amended constitution
had become a hot topic for discussion in various quarters. The governors?€? forum
made a statement through their chairman that it is their wish and have placed it on
the table for constitutional amendment. I would like to sound a word of caution on
the issue of state police.

 Many of those especially those at the helm of affairs and
of political leadership may be wishing for state police to serve some selfish
interest. So far as I know during the political debates conducted by the House of
Representatives and the Senate to seek public opinion on the proposed issues for
amendment, the proposal to create state police was roundly rejected by all but a few
states! Bad as the present centralized Police Force may be the truth is that the
ordinary policeman under the present dispensation is there to protect the average
Nigerian citizen.

 You do not need to go far in order to confirm that even at this
stage of our national development there is a tendency of the strong to use the
police to oppress or suppress the weak. Such excesses are so far generally checked
by the fact that the police is monolithic with its hierarchy stretching up from the
community/village level to the Abuja national headquarters where an IG superintends
its affairs.

 Therefore the average aggrieved Nigerian citizen while trying to sort
out his case can start by dealing with the constable in his village or community and
without much cost, bring his matter to the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), from the
DPO to the area command, from the area command to the state commissioner of police,
from the state commissioner of police to the zonal AIG and eventually to the IGP. He
does all of these at only the cost of the piece of paper in which he writes his
complaints or the transport cost which will take him to all of these places to
verbally lodge his complaints.

 The Nigeria Police may be accused of being plagued by
a nest of corruption but especially because of its hierarchical arrangement offers
some of the best opportunities to the under privileged Nigerian to make his case and
be heard and indeed to ultimately receive justice. 
25. Judging from what the new breed of politicians have so far enacted since 1999 to
date, it will be interesting to note that the tendency has been to consolidate power
in their own hands, not the institution of government at their levels, and in so
doing they give less and less room to the ordinary citizen to express himself and
exercise his God-given rights of citizenship.

 During the period when in the
south-south zone, for instance, the cult and youth militancy largely sponsored by
local politicians inside governments who prompted most of the ugly gunfights,
killings and operation of cult members and other forms of youth violence that took
place under the full glare of authorities, no meaningful action could be taken by
the police and other security agencies because:
(a) The heads of the services and formations who should deal with the matter had
been intimidated or bought over or brought under the corrupt subjection of the local
political leadership in those states where all these crimes were openly taking
place.
(b) These enforcement and service authorities were intimidated by the real or
implied threats or inducements of one form or another etc. and so connived, turned
the blind eye or totally ignored their duty to the state and citizenry.
(c) Even the media which during the Abacha era rose up stoutly in defence of the
interest of the citizenry were for whatever reasons, for almost three years, unable
to effectively expose these ugly crimes and incidents of killing, maiming, etc.
which were taking place extensively in some of these states and so the country and
the outside world were kept almost completely in the dark throughout the early
stages of these ugly criminal developments.
(d) This is what we should expect when we succumb to the demand for state or
regional police in our present state of development. 
26. But come to think of it, the series of crises and violent eruptions since 2007
resulting in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram, etc. including the potential for possible
tribal, ethnic and religious crises could not be easily handled under state police
without the sceptre of accelerating the predicted break-up of the federation of
Nigeria in 2015 allegedly predicted by the Americans. It is important for all and
sundry to carefully consider this matter especially the governors, some of whom are
at present at the forefront of the advocacy of state police. Let me remind them that
some of them may become the victims of state police by the very individuals whom
they may have installed as their replacement as governors but who may become
thereafter their political opponents and bitter enemies and may like to have them in
jail. 
27. To assuage some of the fears of the advocates of State Police, I will recommend
that the Police Act be reviewed. The complaints about the current system of
political influence and partiality from the federal government where some states and
commands are alleged to being unjustifiably denied the deployment of needed
personnel to carry out effective policing, etc. can be solved by placing the
operational control of the police under A Police Council made up of truly
distinguished Nigerians of integrity including former police IG?€?s who retired
meritoriously and without blemish. 
DANA AIRLINE:
28. Allow me to digress slightly from the main flow of this lecture but still on the
issue of peace and security! I would like to introduce the issue of continued Dana
airlines operations in Nigeria. I do not think this gross irresponsibility that cost
so many human lives should be allowed to stand, especially if many of the reports
such as the fact that the very air craft which was involved in the accident was
reported even by some management staff of the air line to have been defective.
Inspite of which the air craft had been allowed to continue to operate until the
fatal accident. This shows complete criminal negligence on the part of this airline.
I rather think that the air line operator should be prosecuted for:
(a) Criminal negligence and
(b) The families of the victims should sue the air line collectively or respectively
and claim severe damages for the loss of their dear ones.
(c) That the airline?€?s operating license should be withdrawn forthwith through the
appropriate authorities and the airline banished from the Nigerian airspace even if
it attempts to come back in another name. 

THE IMPUNITY AND THREATS FROM PERSONS INVOLVED IN CORRUPTION, ECONOMIC INSURGENCY
AND TERRORISM:

Pension And Fuel Subsidy Fund Saga!
29. Pension funds totaling approximately N120 billion have been blatantly and
brazenly stolen. Many of those who stole these funds have been identified. The
notorious theft of fuel subsidy funds had been pretty well documented. But, there
may be attempts to distract public attention from some of these issues! FEMI OTEDOLA
and Senator FARUK who ought normally to command respect and admiration had had their
case (if any?) in the cooler until lawyer KEYEMO threatens to initiate private
action! One or two former governors, suspected to have grossly and notoriously
abused their office with regard to the mis-use of public funds and corruption are
reportedly writing or have written books castigating everybody else and justifying
their alleged mis-deeds. Just wait and see what IBORI will ENACT when he is free
from prison and returns to the country! And so on and so forth! In the words of
Judge AJIBOLA.

 Are we indeed safe? These acts, reactions and intimidations are
what my Ibo friends will refer to as ?€?ona wanya? meaning in Broken Englis DE OPEN EYE!?€? Interesting, isn?€?t it? But these are clear cases of economic
insurgency and terrorism! Those who had boldly looted our treasuries have now turned
round to point the gun at us! The anti-corruption agencies thankfully appear to be
taking some action on the fuel subsidy matters. Let us hope to have results on these
and other actions soon. But taken together the actions of these fellow Nigerians
must constitute Economic Sabotage and Economic Terrorism! Those who loot the
treasury deprive the citizenry of employment, welfare and development opportunities.
Many of our citizens suffer from such disappointments and die in their misery. The
pension funds and fuel subsidy thieves similarly deprive the citizenry of funds
meant for their welfare, employment and development and many die while suffering
these deprivations and waiting for their unpaid pensions! What does the terrorist
do? They kill people for ideological reasons! What does the economic and corrupt
terrorist do? They cause the death of people ?€? indeed thousands of pensioners and
ordinary folk who had been deprived by the mindless acts of these alleged fraudsters
had died before their time! So it is in the overall national interest that while the
Defence, Law and Order and Security Services battle the ideological terrorists the
anti graft agencies and government should do their best to battle the economic and
corrupt terrorists. 
ARE WE SAFE?
30. A few weeks ago I read my friend Prince AJIBOLA ?€? I think it was in The
Nations newspapers; where he said if an ex-convict is the benefactor of our
president etc. are we safe? Although I do not share the totality of Prince
AJIBOLA?€?s views, I fear that the moral equilibrium upon which all good governance
and laws are founded are collapsing in this country! In days gone bye any one in my
community, and I believe in most other communities throughout the country, who goes
to prison even for a couple of months, even on flimsy issues like flat rate income
tax evasion; flimsy because in this country until recently most people evade tax
payment dismissing it as a colonial instrument of oppression! The position was that
even such person who may have served merely one or two months, upon release from
prison finds himself isolated and so goes into voluntary hibernation.

 His children,
his relatives, etc. cover their heads in shame! In contrast, these days, those who
loot the treasury are the ones confronting and threatening fire and brimstone upon
the rest of the population in order to intimidate society. That society must shut up
so that they can freely swagger around in their ill-gotten gain and dominate the
rest of us! IBORI could have walked free from most courts in this country! But the
British have done us a favour by sending him to jail for money laundering etc. Money
from Delta State Public Treasury.

 Yet IBORI is still being paid huge pension from
that same treasury! Same goes for other similar travelers like IBORI who had been
discharged from jail or should have been in jail but for the unwarranted magnanimity
of our judiciary and law enforcement agencies who had let them loose to move around,
threaten and intimidate the very people they had robbed so ruthlessly. 

THE CANCER OF CORRUPTION:

31. It has been suggested by many that this country has not sincerely addressed the
issue of corruption. The inactions or deliberate ?€?mis-actions?€? over the issue of
corruption had adversely affected our national security and brought about some of
the most embarrassing revelations in our polity. Corruption cannot and should not be
treated selectively but holistically! But one can only say here that corruption had
actually developed into a serious cancer in our body politic, in spite of the zig
zag effort to address the issue! Let me however acknowledge that some good progress
is being recorded lately by the anti corruption agencies. We as citizens of this
country must acknowledge the recent efforts of these agencies and encourage them. 

SOLUTIONS:
32. There is some recent public opinion that in the fight against terrorism we
should receive help from the USA. Hillary Clinton the US Secretary of State had
infact promised such help. The United States obviously has wide experience in
counter insurgency and counter terrorism and of course Nigeria can make good use of
her experience and her assistance. What we need from the Americans will be more of
technical gadgetry and sophisticated devices and international liaison type of
collaboration and intelligence support. We do not need United States Defence and
Intelligence presence locally.

 Such involvement will very easily internationalise
the Boko Haram issue and invite other United States adversaries or terrorists from
all over the world, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, etc. to also come to this country to combat
the Americans here. That will make Nigeria a fresh theatre for international
terrorist and insurgency inter-play and promote international religious conflict
here. Such will very readily escalate our present situation. 
33. What we further need to do to neutralise the threat of Boko Haram and other
violent organizations in the country is justice and good and effective governance at
all levels; good international co-operation and collaboration. Nigerian Defence and
Security Services should join genuinely friendly liaison channels, not those who
seek to exploit us to swell their intelligence Banks, exploit and dominate us. 
(i) We need good external liaison.
(ii) Re-orientation of the home-grown insurgents.
(iii) Map out clear political action plan and policy to stave the threat of violence
and ensure close collaboration among the judiciary, police, security, defence
forces/services.
(iv) The legislature should enact fresh and stiffer laws to strengthen the hands of
the anti terrorist (ideological and economic) forces.
(v) Expose, denounce and where appropriate prosecute politicians involved or
connected with violent extremist groups. 
(vi) Enact stiff laws to deal with violence and insecurity.
(vii) Good, open and responsive governance is the best answer to deal with
subversion and terrorism. 
34. We need to re-orientate and assure Nigerian born Boko Haramist and reinstate
them fully back into society as citizens of this country. Do justice in the case of
their slain former leader. But in the case of external elements what we also need to
do is show them instant justice!?€? 
Border Control & Security ?€? The Chinese Example:
35. In modern times all nations seek to ensure a well defined and secure border as
their first line of defence against foreign attack or hostile infiltration. We
therefore need to secure our borders from hostile infiltration and penetration. A
country without secure and stable well-protected border is calling for easy access
by hostile elements to violate its security. 
36. Our fears that these insurgencies will spread to various parts of West Africa
including Nigeria is well founded and backed by clear evidence. We must therefore do
our best to closely restrict the movement of external terrorists through our several
illegal border entry points and make it impossible for their gaining any further
presence in this country. How can we do that? Strictly control our legal border
entry points and practically block the several illegal entry points between us and
the terrorists?€? enclaves! The Chinese did so effectively and within a fairly short
period emerged with the China we see at present with strong political and economic
renaissance! I am not saying we should impose a bamboo curtain as the Chinese did
but we should firmly restrict entry of subversive and terrorist elements into this
country. 

Re-orientation and Re-education:
37. Speaker after speaker says Islam does not preach violence and therefore what
these chaps in Boko Haram preach is contrary to mainstream Islam. So re-orient and
re-educate them that Islam preaches peace and tolerance not violence. We must
impress that the extreme Islamists in our country and some other parts of the world
are wrong. Here is more work for His Eminence the Sultan and the Ulamas, and Imams
in addition to so much that they are already doing. Perhaps more publicity to their
effort will be helpful. 

CONCLUSION:
38. We started this lecture by saying ?€? Nigeria, nay the world is in turmoil.
There is insecurity everywhere! Sadly we are going to conclude by confirming our
earlier position. We must conclude that terrorism and violent extremism is now at
our door step. Mali is actually next door. The fall out from Mali is bound to
directly affect this country. The economic woes of the western world will of course
also impact on our country. 
39. On the world scene we must recall that the two world wars arose soon after
western economic depressions. I am tempted to predict that we are perhaps likely to
face such global security crisis again. Perhaps the fact that the Americans have
returned OBAMA to the White House, a cool-headed realist, may prolong global
conflict for a while, however the seeds of major further global conflict cannot be
too far away! With the scepter of Israel versus Iran; the emerging development in
the China Sea over some new found mineral rich islands that both the Chinese, a new
super power and Japan and other western allied countries claim, the flash point
between China and Japan in particular are heightened; the unresolved Korean
situation; and the continuing Indo Pakistani dispute over Kashmir; all of these
continuing developments must remind us that the drums of global war are still
beating and can be ignited once more, any time! 

On the Nigerian scene we must accept
that Boko Haram and violent militancy will stay with us for a while, yet. But we
must not loose hope. Timely, appropriate and properly co-ordinated political,
defence, security and law and order actions may bring the country back from the
BRINK. 

Thank you. 
A Keynote Speech Delivered By Chief A.K. Horsfall Ofr At A 2-Day Peace And Security
Summit On 30th-31st January, 2013 At Abuja Under The Auspices Of The Nigerian Bar
Association (NBA)

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