By Isaac Ochegbudu
I had never care to know about who the present Nigeria minister of defence is until this evening. After watching the video of his response to the security challenge in the country, I was shocked by his words. After hours of pondering I decided to check his profile.
As I looked through the profile of the minister, from all indications, he is suit to be the minister of defence. He has served in various capacity as an officer in the Nigerian army and retired as the commandant Nigeria defence Academy. He not only served in national capacity but also in the international space too. He served as commander of the 15 Brigade of the ECOWAS Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) mission in Liberia in 1992.
With the profile and experience of the minister, especially with his experience of the security challenges in Liberia, one will hardly doubt his capacity to serve as a minister of defence, especially in a time like this when Nigeria is facing a serious lingering security crisis. It is expected that, the retired Major General will bring in his expertise and experience into the fight against insecurity and bring us to a stable Nigeria. But to my greatest surprise, the mister has commited a great blunder which is not expected of him. He has send one of the foolish and disappointing message into the hearts of Nigeria. It is foolish because, his statement by implication backs the nonsensical killings and the taking of law into hands by some elements of destruction, which has created tension in the country. On the other hand, it is disappointing because it is clear message of hopelessness from the government and simply telling Nigerians they are on their own.
For a minister of defence to refer to those running for their lives as “cowards” and also to refer to the lingering banditry activities which has claimed many lives including countless number security personnel is as “a minor thing” is nonsensical. It is more nonsensical for him to have said that unarmed and hopeless Nigerians to stand against Criminals that our own security agencies and personnels could not withstand and conquer for a long time now.
Although, there have been have been responses to the security challenge which is as a result of the irresponsibility of the government. These response has resulted in the creation of various micro security outfits, which have futher compounded our security challenges, as it has lead to the militarisation of the county and series of criminality and abuses. Also, the irresponsibility of
the government on security has given some persons, the pseudo authority to take law into their hands as a means of self defense and futher causing more harm than good. The recent activities of Sunday Igboho and the resultant effect is a clear example.
I will like to bring to the notice of The Minister of Defense, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd), that it is the responsibility of the government to provide security for its citizens. And that his words are highly irrational and do not depicts the his personality.
I will like to remind him that the country is gradually moving to the state of nature. Government must stop its lackadisity towards security. It must stand up to it responsibility of providing security for its citizens. The nation is gradually moving to the state of nature, where life is brutish and nasty; a survival of the fittest society ;a situation of war of all against all. The government must take action immediately, for security is crucial to the smooth functioning of a society and self defense will lead the society to chaos and anarchy.
In a reasonable and responsible country, the minister of defence will have lost his position for his irrational statement because it clearly shows his incapability to be in that position but I know my country.
Isaac ochegbudu (a freelance writer and social analyst)