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Terrorism And American Red Flag: What State Governments Should Do By Adewale Adeoye

October 30, 2022

 I asked him a question: between the US and the FG, which counsel on security would you admit?  He kept quiet. He then said the US was out to embarrass Nigeria. I asked him again: What would the US gain by ‘embarrassing Nigeria?' Again, he was silent.

A young man came to my office this morning, a newspaper vendor who is also a student. We discussed the US red flag and the evacuation of her citizens from Nigeria. He dismissed the warning: The Federal Government has denied it, he told me. That is the attitude of many Nigerians even in the gravest circumstances.


 I asked him a question: between the US and the FG, which counsel on security would you admit?  He kept quiet. He then said the US was out to embarrass Nigeria. I asked him again: What would the US gain by ‘embarrassing Nigeria?' Again, he was silent.


Well, this is the way many Nigerians, even some top security officials, are likely to treat the problem at hand: Dismiss the report. This is typical of Nigeria and Nigerians.

For me, I think the signs are perilous, even without a warning from the US. 


Was it not in this country that over 200 armed men invaded the Kaduna Airport runway, invaded Kuje prison, attacked a major train outlet and took over 100 people, attacked secondary schools and kidnapped children?

Are attacks on worship places, kidnapping, terrorism and killings in hundreds, not a daily occurrence?  Was it not in this country that Owo, an innocent community was savagely bombed? General Dambazzau, former Defense Chief said the terrorists are plotting to rule Nigeria. Former Defense Minister, TY Danjuma actually asked Nigerians to defend themselves that the terrorists are coming.


But there are deaf and dumb Nigerians. Some even insist they are not terrorists but ‘common criminals’. How naïve, and shallow-minded can a people be?

I ask: Why should it be strange for any critical mind to believe that terrorists may attack Abuja and other parts of NIgeria? What is wrong with many of us? Are we all charmed that we no longer think analytically? We appear to be fixed on elections, looking at a destination without looking at the thorny routes. A man should not be so hungry to the extent that he does not discriminate against a poisoned porridge.


 We believe everything that is wrong and doubt everything that is possible. If the US and some European countries are evacuating their citizens, the normal thing I expect is for us to thank them for the warning and then work out preventive measures. Are terrorists not operating on Rivers Niger and Benue with large camps and we still continue to doubt? Shouldn’t schoolchildren know that Rivers Niger and Benue are gateways to attacking the South and the Middle Belt? Shouldn’t a rational mind know that billions have been raised by kidnappers and that these funds are going into the procurement of more arms?

If you are told that armed robbers are coming to attack your house, a reasonable person will show gratitude and then take preventive measures not to insult or even doubt the warning. As an expert on conflict prevention, the best I can do is to offer the Governors of South West States and other states some useful suggestions openly. 


We should not expect solutions to come from the states without citizen sacrifices. They should take the following steps:


a)     Create the Ministry of or Department of Home Affairs to raise the population of state-driven security operatives to at least 5,000 per state


b)    Triple the number of Amotekun and other state-driven security operatives in each state. You don’t have the funds? Yes, I know. All you need is creative thinking. You don’t need much funds. What you should do is to redeploy some people and other less busy hands from the existing ministries to the newly created Home Affairs Department.


c)     Each Local Government should also redeploy from existing ministries to the Home Affairs Ministry.


d)     In this case, you are not recruiting fresh hands, yet you are increasing the number of operatives of Amotekun in an innovative way.


e)     The only thing you need to do is to kit and train them which is a one-off project.


f)      With the new increased number of Amotekun or other state-driven operatives, states should be able to police the states better and more effective in terms of information gathering.


 Working with the relevant security operatives, the states will be better equipped to nib in the bud possible terrorist attacks.


g)     Enforce CCTV Cameras on every street in at least urban areas.


h)    Each traditional ruler in his domain must set up a town Community Development Fund or  Social Security Trust Fund to be funded by contributions by indigenes of the towns and villages.


i)       From this fund, each community should raise Community Guards for first aid responses, working with security agencies.


j)       Any traditional ruler that is not able to raise Community Security Fund in his domain but can buy SUV worth 15m or more, and people who throw burial and marriage ceremonies spending millions but can't donate N10,000 for safety, is not worth it. If any community is not ready to defend itself, always waiting for the Government, such a community is not worth living. Make the hay when the sun shines.


k)     To raise funds, the State Governors should work with (GSM) Communication Companies to introduce a ‘Security Trust Tax’ for all phone users. This could be as little as one percent of every call coming from each state. The funds go to each state from whence the states can further strengthen the local security operatives.


l)       As at today, the truth is that the Federal Government is overwhelmed and is not intellectually and practically endowed to deal with the emerging cobwebs of challenges. A stitch in time saves 100.  


m)  The suggestions above are not long-term solutions. The way out of the quagmire is the restructuring of Nigeria as the least minimum antidote to what may be a drift to state collapse.