El-Rufai’s Threat To Invite Mercenery To Combact Terrorists: An Omnious Sign—Afenifere … Insists On Immediate Approval Of State Police, Empowerment Of Police And Military
The pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has described the threat by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to invite foreign mercenaries to fight local terrorism as an ominous sign for the country.
This was contained in a Press Release issued by the organisation’s National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Jare Ajayi on Sunday.
It would be recalled that Governor Rufai informed the State House Correspondents of his intention to import foreign mercenaries after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Aso Rock Villa, Abuja on Friday, April 1, 2022.
The governor who was reported to have spoken in Hausa revealed that “I have complained to Mr President and I swear to God, if action is not taken, we as governors will take actions to protect the lives of our people.”
To make it clear that he meant what he said, he added: “If it means deploying foreign mercenaries to come and do the work, we will do it to address these challenges.”
But Afenifere maintained that this coming from one of the closest allies of President Buhari and a top member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) whose state is facing the very grave security challenges presently, “calls for serious interrogation and action on the part of all those who should act”.
According to Ajayi, the fact that Rufai said this immediately after his meeting with Mr. President could be an indication that what Rufai heard from President Buhari who is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces was not reassuring enough. For, were Rufai to be convinced with the readiness of the federal government to confront the security situation, he would not have talked about seeking an alternative action – particularly seeking the help of foreign mercenaries. This point is very important to be borne in mind as we interrogate the security problems confronting us today. For, hiring the services of foreign mercenary is certainly beyond the power of any state governor according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And Rufai knows this so well. So, for him, to assert that he (and a few of his colleagues) will resort to this option could be a pointer to certain things that had hitherto not been so clear to members of the public.”
“Among those could be the possibility that perhaps armed foreigners are already in our midst. It could also be a pointer to the fact that Rufai saw some kind of unwillingness on the part of the federal government to confront this problem headlong hence his desire to seek help his own way – even when the manner of seeking such help is constitutionally beyond his power. But then, his position could be understood against the background of desperation and the need to put an end to the horror going on by any means possible.”
Afenifere spokesman however asserted that the solution to the identified problem does not lie in hiring foreign mercenaries but to sincerely pick up the solutions that are within our reach locally. The first step is for President Muhammadu Buhari led government to be genuinely determined to put an end to the carnage. In this determination should be adequate funding of the armed forces, proper motivation of the forces, a stoppage to the kid glove treatment being given to terrorists and more importantly, immediate approval for willing state governments to set up their own police forces.
There are dangers in bringing in foreign mercenaries by these governors because their antecedents in the recent past do not give us reasons to trust them. They could perhaps use the said mercenaries against indigenous people.
Alluding to the speech made by Governor Rufai last Thursday at a stakeholders’ meeting in Giwa, Kaduna State, in which he called for the bombing of forests and clearance of the same place by the Air Force and the Army, ‘because good people don’t live in the bush’, Afenifere said that such a call exposed the governor as preferring to address an issue on the surface rather than digging deep. Who would pretend not to know that many of our farmers and local people live in hamlets and villages? Would it not be those innocent people who would be so ‘cleared’ especially since fifth columnists are likely to have informed the terrorists of the planned invasion beforehand? This is one of the reasons why the governors cannot be trusted on the issue of importing foreign mercenaries.
Relying on the official sources claiming that upward of N4.27 trillion has been spent on Defence in 7 years, Afenifere expressed regret that in spite of this colossal sum, “the situation is getting worse by the day.”
The organization further recalled the speeches made by Rufai and Mr. Rotimi Ameachi, Transportation Minister immediately after the attacks on Kaduna Airport and on Abuja-Kaduna train by terrorists indicating that they suspected that there might be attack on the rail line. It then wondered why the government waited for the avoidable incident to happen without taking action to prevent its occurrence. “And since the unfortunate incidents, all Nigerians heard from the federal government has been assurances that the perpetrators would be apprehended and punished. This has been the refrain over the years. But rather than abating, the problem of insecurity has been getting worse.”
“Nigerians deserve far better deal from what they are getting from their government presently” the pan Yoruba organization concluded adding that “It is not too late for Buhari-led government to urgently put a halt to the avoidable loss of lives and properties by taking steps suggested above. These include allowing state police, proper funding and motivation of security forces and a stoppage of patronizing terrorists and bandits.”