Kindly Share This Story:•Says service chiefs must go Jackson Lekan Ojo
Jackson Lekan Ojo is a security expert, a certified golden member of the International Security Association, Switzerland and a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. In this interview with Vanguard, Ojo speaks on the current state of affairs in the country and what the government of President Muhammadu Buhari must do to win the war against banditry, terrorism and insurgency.
What is your assessment of the state of affairs in Nigeria today?
We have been so unlucky in this country for a very long time. God has blessed us with material, mineral and spiritual resources but I don’t know if I should say that God has punished us with the issue of leadership. Leadership has been the problem of this country. We have a lot of money here but when you go to some parts of China for instance, they have designed a mechanism which enables them to fumigate a whole street and mosquitoes cannot fly but here in Nigeria, if I see it, I would just think that I am dreaming. That is how far we are from development.
The most unfortunate is that all these western things we are talking about, our leaders go to the western world, but they won’t copy any good thing from there. I don’t want to single out the APC-led government for blame. Question is: which government did well since we attained independence? We have not been so lucky and it is getting worse and some people will put the blame at the door of the president. They have forgotten that Mr. President is just one person. The presidency is an institution that has a lot of people working there.You are a security expert. What is your take on the persistent calls for the sack of the current service chiefs?
In Economics, there is what they call the law of diminishing return. 20 years ago in Port Harcourt, if I see a man with a V-boot Mercedes Benz, I would think the man as very rich. But today, if you gift me a V-boot, I won’t accept it because its time is gone. What I am trying to say is that there is time for everything in life. General Tukur Buratai has come and he has worked. At the beginning of his military administration as the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai relocated the headquarters to the theatre of war. At a particular Christmas, he went to wine and dine with the soldiers.READ ALSO: Insecurity: Obi commends Catholic Bishops
Nobody is saying Buratai is not good. He has tried his best but his best is not enough for us. They should drop him. If Mr. President loves Buratai so much, he can make him Minister of Defence. In the war front, however, Buratai is out of it now.What should the security agencies do to win this war against insurgency?
This is the first time I am going to say this. A lot of us have seen what is going on wrongly. Nigeria should stop publishing and advertising the kind of weapons we have in our arsenal, and there must be internal mechanism to monitor the military through a telecommunication system.
They can bug all the army in the systems that are going to the war front because I believe that some of these boys at the war front that may have one form of sympathy or the other. It could be religious sympathy, it could be tribal sympathy, and it could be social sympathy with the Boko Haram. How is it that when you have planned that you are going to bomb Borno and before you get there, the Boko Haram is already there laying ambush?
How did they know of soldiers’ movement? It means some persons must have been giving them information
I don’t want to believe that the entire Boko Haram fighters are Nigerians. How are the aliens moving and how do they understand the terrain so well? They should bug the security men and unknown to them, bug their phones. If they do that, they will discover that there are a lot of saboteurs in the military system.
The immediate past governor of Yobe state, Ibrahim Geidam recently came up with a bill proposing the establishment of a commission for the rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram members. Do you share the reasons he advanced for the bill?
It was unfortunate that somebody like Geidam ever governed a state in Nigeria. Who are the repentant Boko Haram members? Have you re-indoctrinated them? Have you checked their mental capability? There is nowhere in the world in the history of terrorism that terrorists change easily. They can never change. They will either go back or start fighting or will be giving information to their men on the field.
Then somebody is now saying there should be a commission. If that is the case, the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC should spring up again. If a former governor now a senator does not know what to say or what to do, it is better he keeps quiet.
But I am very happy that there are many senators that have a lot of experience in that zone, many of whom attacked him (Geidam) for coming up with that bill.
Wife of the President, Hajia Aisha Buhari has often spoken out publicly against some policy implementation by government and this has not gone down well with some supporters of the President…
(Cuts in) Aisha is the mother of this country politically. I want to tell you that we have not had it better when it comes to the position of the First Lady or wife of the president in the political history of Nigeria. Aisha’s outspokenness is to enhance a better administration of the husband. It is to discourage evil from this government. She shouts all day not because of her pet project which name I don’t even know.
Former Presidents used to make budgets for the wives’ pet project that later helped them to steal public money. But this woman is completely different. Nigerians should rally behind this woman for all she is doing to make this administration deliver on its promise to the nation.
The wife of the president is supposed to serve as a role model for the wife of governors. If the wives of the governors can emulate her, governance at the state level will improve.
A good number of Buharists actually think the woman’s constant intervention is to draw attention to herself. They believe her anger stems from the President not giving her room to run her pet project like the days of old.
If we want to be sincere with ourselves, I don’t know these Buharists in this country. Buhari is an exceptionally good man; he is not corrupt and he is not materialistic. But those people think differently and that is why they are fighting Aisha.
I know of only one governor, Professor Babagana Zulum of Borno State. Every other governor in the North-East is a pseudo leader. Most of them cannot justify their security votes. But we are seeing practically what Zulum is doing. What else do you want any governor to do that Zulum is not doing?Security outfits are fast springing up across the zones in the country. Are you in anyway worried this could portent danger in the long run?
The governors of the South-West have been there for long. The Yoruba leaders that are supporting them have been there for long. People like us too have been here for long and nobody was talking about Amotekun.
I want to tell you clearly that Amotekun is a function of a loss of confidence in the security apparatus of the state and when the public lose confidence in the state, they will resort to self help. Amotekun is for the protection of lives and properties of those people living in the South-West.
Amotekun is not meant to protect the Yoruba race alone but all those who live in Yoruba land and those traveling within its shores. I am 120 per cent in support of it.