Gov Masari’s “Three tier security arrangement”: A Blessing If Well Utilized – By Malam Naini Musa
Masari’s “Three tier security arrangement”: A Blessing If Well Utilized – By Malam Naini Musa
According to a new Katsina Post report on 25th of June 2021, Katsina state has stepped up its war on banditry with a new strategy of “three tier security arrangement” which allows a wide representation of community leaders of faith and traditional institution in collaboration with security operatives. This arrangement was launched on behalf of the governor in Batsari and Danmusa Local Governments by the Special Adviser to the governor on security, Ahmad Ibrahim Katsina. The arrangement will feature the local government chairman, LG DPO, DSS, Nigerian Immigration, NSCDC, District Heads, one representative from Izala and Tharika sect, CAN representative and 3 community leaders of which a woman and youth will be selected by the LG Chairman. The LG chairman will serve as committee chairman. One thing is for sure, no one can argue against the wide representation of this arrangement.
It is quite evident that the way and manner the war on banditry is being conducted must be changed. The issue has not been dealt with as decisively as it should have been, which has led to its expansion and mutation. The recent trend being the targeting of students of all kinds of schools. Education once associated with hope and the gateway to wide arrays of dreams and ambition is in danger of being associated with harm, threat to life and vulnerability. Any move to shift from our current strategy to a better one is welcomed. As the one time Nobel Laureate and arguably the greatest scientist of our time, Albert Einstein stated “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.
The governor must be appreciated for the inclusive approach he has taken. The wide range of representation speaks of itself. Notably, the representation of women, youth and the Christian faith must be lauded. In a land wrecked by menace, we cannot afford to close off channels of solutions. The bandits themselves are indiscriminate in their attacks, it is war on all, and to challenge them we need solutions from all fronts.
The governor has stunned even his staunchest critics. Nigerian leaders are not known for their listening ears. The fact that he is willing to change his position in favor of a liberal and inclusive one must come as a shock to all. We congratulate him on this democratic act. This is the manner in which all leaders should conduct themselves. The power of authority is held by leaders but only to be wielded in the interest of the people. The dictatorial manner in which most principals conduct themselves is appalling.
However, we are not so forgetful. We recognize the good changes implemented and we are grateful for them. We also know that this committee is only the tip of the iceberg, the decisions and power is yielded by a much smaller group. The security committee headed by SSG is nothing short of catastrophic. They have succeeded only in plunging us into circumstances of tragic consequences. Under their guide, Katsina state has grown more and more insecure. True change will come only as far as failure is not rewarded with patience and opportunity. They should be relieved of this responsibility. Capable hands should be appointed in their stead.
There is also the issue of execution. Plans are wonderful, but only to the extent of how well they are executed. The best plan unexecuted is a terrible plan. An average plan excellently carried out will work wonders. We urge the government to secure wins and boost morale in this fight. We cannot rid ourselves of this menace by being reactionary. We must take the war to them. We must foil attacks even before they happen. The goal is to have them on their heels, not the other way round.
Another worrying issue is low number of prosecution of perpetrators of banditry and related activities. Just recently, the district head of Kankara was smeared by allegations of aiding banditry. The allegation was serious enough to get him dethroned but not serious enough to get him prosecuted and jailed. This sort of lackluster handling of matters of this magnitude have only worked in favor of those perpetrating these vices. A serious government would have stepped in to make an example of the dethroned monarch to show its seriousness and to make a statement that will serve as deterrent for anyone contemplating this kind of thing. However, as always, Katsina state government chose to play pacifist and let it slide.
Finally, we want to appeal to the government of Katsina state to put nepotism aside and appoint capable hands to lead us in this war. I cannot comprehend how a former lecture and a career politician can be the focal point of a war on banditry while retired Generals and former high ranking security personnel in Police, Immigration, Custom etc. of Katsina decent play with their grandkids at home. We must tap into this vein of experience and resource. Let politicians fiddle in their field and let experts, professionals and veterans of security handle the issue of banditry. This is not an opportunity to get more bonuses, this is matter of life and death. People are paying for every decision made or delayed.
Mallam Naini Musa
Mallam Naini Musa is a writer and a social critic.
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