The Senate and Service Chiefs

(By Onyiorah Chiduluemije Paschal)

 Now, come to think of it, this crucial interaction was called and organised as a closed-door meeting, in which case it was held away from the prying eyes and burning desires of the press to cover it and give back to the public all that transpired. Incidentally, the reason for this seemingly secret session being that the issues involved were apparently deemed to be classified (?). Funny enough, it boggles one’s mind why these issues were taken to be secret and to be discussed as such, bearing in mind that the Senate itself allegedly harbours men suspected to not only have been sponsoring the Boko Haram, but also appear to be members of the sect. At least it is common knowledge that Senator Ali Ndume is still standing trial charged with role in the activities of the Boko Haram sect. This may just be one instance, among others, that underscores the crux of the matter.

THE recent closed-door meeting reportedly held on March 26, 2013 between the Senate and senior security personnel of the country, otherwise known as Service Chiefs, bordering on the seemingly unabated insecurity of lives and property in the country, especially coming against the backdrop of the wanton bombings of luxury buses filled with passengers in Kano State, certainly signifies a lot.

   No doubt, not a handful of people are wont to think that by their invitation to Service Chiefs to the hallowed chamber, the distinguished members of the Senate have, consciously or unconsciously, shown themselves to be identifying with the suffering of the Nigerian masses that always fall victims of Boko Haram attacks.

   Quite understandably, this line of thought might not in part be unconnected with the truth, at least superficially viewed. Overall, this perception is hard to stand the test of all the truth associated with this action of the Senate.

    Interestingly, to reason that the Senate was equally, if not fundamentally, concerned with serving its interest by their invitation of the Security Chiefs to the hallowed chamber may not be too far a tenable conclusion.

    For sure, there is no doubt, that the Senate may have been somewhat jittery over the ethnic-cleansing dimension of the growing activities of the Boko Haram sect, following the bombing of luxury buses filled with passengers from the southern origin—mainly the South East. However, if the media reports coming in the wake of its crucial meeting with the Security Chiefs are anything to go by, then one wonders why Senators went as far as attempting to seek from the latter their opinions on and/or disposition towards amnesty for members of the Boko Haram as was reported in the media.

   One wonders if it is not clearly known that the same military, having lost scores of their colleagues to the useless activities of the bloody sect (in addition to thousands of civilians that have suffered the same fate), would naturally be totally averse to such belated and ignominious capitulation to these forces loyal to a fraction of Northern elite (their benefactors) whose only claim to relevance in their parochial politicking and politics of religion lies in their continuous propagation and inculcation of the false idea of being born to rule in the minds of the vast majority of their ignorant population.

   This, perhaps, accounts for why observers are tempted to think that the Senate’s invitation of Service Chiefs before the hallowed chamber was merely a self-serving attempt to probe and feel the psychology, mentality and pulse of the military concerning the Kano bombings and the possibility of granting amnesty to the members of this bombing gang and serial killers. Otherwise, how would human beings in their normal sense ever consider pacification and /or the compensation of common criminals and terrorists as a panacea for the so-called restoration of peace and order in the polity?

   Now, come to think of it, this crucial interaction was called and organised as a closed-door meeting, in which case it was held away from the prying eyes and burning desires of the press to cover it and give back to the public all that transpired. Incidentally, the reason for this seemingly secret session being that the issues involved were apparently deemed to be classified (?). Funny enough, it boggles one’s mind why these issues were taken to be secret and to be discussed as such, bearing in mind that the Senate itself allegedly harbours men suspected to not only have been sponsoring the Boko Haram, but also appear to be members of the sect. At least it is common knowledge that Senator Ali Ndume is still standing trial charged with role in the activities of the Boko Haram sect. This may just be one instance, among others, that underscores the crux of the matter.

    Expectedly, the Senate, rising from this meeting, told us that they were satisfied with the performance of the security personnel in the fight against terrorism, as if they could afford to say otherwise. In any case, the thrust of the issue is that Nigerians do not need to hear it from the Senate before they can, on their own, accurately evaluate the performance of the security personnel.

    Surely, it is not the intent herein to ridicule the commendable efforts of the Senate in their bid to perform their constitutional responsibility. Nonetheless, it is time to stop this cycle of inviting the Security Chiefs before the hallowed chamber to probably study their psychology each time the Boko Haram sect unleashes a gruesome assault on the innocent and unsuspecting citizens, all in the guise of an attempt to discuss top security issues in a closed-door meeting. In fact, what is happening mainly in the North-East and North-West geo-political zones is nothing short of their own chosen brand of civil war. In essence, any measure to be adopted towards containing or resolving it must not fail to include high intelligence gathering and sheer use of naked force on the rebellious combatants.

   This viable approach does not, in any way, contemplate the Niger-Delta kind of amnesty for these terrorists nor should it embrace any form of pacification. The reason being that to insist on killing and maiming people and destroying properties on the false pretence to be struggling for the imposition of Islam on the country is clearly tantamount to declaring and war against the secular entity called Nigeria. Therefore, whatever that constitutes the “multi-faceted approach” in the estimation of the Senate as was widely reported in the media must not be allowed to undermine the work of the military and others operating in the axis of evil in the country.

   As we know or should know, to preserve the secular composition of Nigeria is a task that must be done. Thus, the military and other security agencies must be allowed and encouraged to carry out their duties in this challenging time.

 • Paschal, a Journalist, wrote from Abuja.

“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”

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