Boko Haram: Top 8 Worst Decisions Of President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigerians are beginning to realize the "Change" promised by the All Progressives Congress may NOT be far from a "pocket change" meaning the old game of personal interests. This accounts for why national party leader Bola Ahmed Tinubu after gaining full political control over Lagos state for the past 16 years is ready to replicate the same feat at the national level. The kind of ''Change" which entails Senate President Bukola Saraki liaising for the support of the opposition party, People's Democratic Party to win the senate presidency race. And also, the kind of ''pocket change'' that entails chartering a private aircraft for a whooping sum of N66 million or even N3.9 million by the House of Representatives Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara just for a trip to Delta state in a country where about 110 million people are living below a dollar in a day.

Now, to the subject matter of this article, President Muhammadu Buhari vehemently criticised the past administration led by ex President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan during the presidential election campaign for failing in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Nigerians were cajoled by his former status as a military General which created the mental image of a King leading his village to victory in a war as we had in the olden days.

The best proactive steps ex President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took was the usual condemnation of Boko Haram attacks via press statements and in over 30 days, President Muhammadu Buhari isn't far from that line. The President at the age of 72 right now must be realizing we only stop learning when we die; it’s easier to be a spectator or commentator than being the game player. Now that Nigerians have mandated him to operationalize his visions on curbing the Boko Haram sect, he has realized the heat the Cook endures at the kitchen while the master impatiently awaits his meals in the comfort of the living room.

Below are the 8 top worst decisions of President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of insecurity in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria:

(1) Nationwide dismantling of all military checkpoints:

On the 22th of June, 2015, Buhari ordered all military checkpoints in Nigeria to be dismantled. We all thought it was a viable strategy with a backup plan as the check points reduced the proliferation of light and heavy arms. This increased the attacks instantly that the Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong had to defile the order of the President as he installed all the military checkpoints after the twin bomb blasts that hit the city of Jos on the 6th of July, 2015.

(2)  Starting a probe of the Nigerian military on extra-judicial killings on the request of Amnesty International:
The decision by Buhari to launch a probe into the case of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian army as tabled by the Amnesty International was a wrong call. Soldiers were dying at the war front to save lives, families were losing their breadwinners and the greatest incentive a president could use to boost their morale was awaiting trial. Buhari is too experienced to be cowed by the antics of the international community. Wasn't this the same Buhari that stood his ground against the International Monetary Fund, IMF when they wanted to coerce him into obnoxious loan terms during his tenure as the Head of State from 1983 to 1985?

(3) Relocating the Nigerian Military Headquarters to Maiduguri:
The question I wish to ask anybody frowning at this view is that what has been the impact of the relocation of the military headquarters to Maiduguri which is the stronghold of the Boko Haram sect? The attacks have increased with the sect sticking to their old ways of massive suicide attacks since the relocation. This may be coming too early but Boko Haram's dynamism in strategies keeps beating the intelligence of our highly trained and overpaid security operatives. This is an anomaly.

(4) Retaining the Service Chiefs that failed ex President Goodluck Jonathan for over 30 days:

Going by the pattern of the ''blame game'', as Buhari faulted ex president Goodluck Jonathan over his poor handling of the Boko Haram sect, it is safe for Jonathan to blame the service chiefs namely Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh; the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Kenneth Minimah; the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu which he appointed, as they were directly in charge of the operations against the sect. Buhari did the unthinkable by retaining the same set of failing service chiefs in his administration for over a month and was mapping security strategies with the same set of people. The same sets of methods are bound to yield the same results. This questions the president's military credentials.

(5) Romance with the United State of America that is bent on compelling him to legalize same-sex marriage.

As a political scientist, I belong to the realist school of thought that believes the international system is a game of interests. It is not a community built around love and freebies. Buhari's intimate romance with the United States of America on security issues will lure him into taking decisions that conform to the interests of America and this mayn't cope with local realities. The United States Assistant Secretary of state for African affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield's recent statement of the U.S 'compelling' Nigeria to accept same-sex marriage is another case at hand. Who knows what America will ask for in return? Our sovereignty is on the line. Remember America spied of several French Presidents, Jacques Chirac, Nicolas Sarkozy
and Hollande, even listening to their phone calls despite the fact that U.S and France are allies.

(6) Exclusion of Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on issues of national security:

On two occasions, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was locked out of meeting with security chiefs on the order of President Muhammadu Buhari as reported by the media. This gives us a feel of the dictatorial past. Osinbajo is a great intellectual asset in Nigeria that Buhari is yet to exploit. Osinbajo's economic views are stellar and I believe he can cover up for the excesses of Buhari on security issues.

(7) Negotiation/Amnesty for the Boko Haram sect:

An ardent follower of President Muhammadu Buhari will tell you he has virtually gone back on all his campaign promises which the leadership of the All Progressives Congress have termed as propaganda. APC national party leader and former governor of Lagos state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the presidential election campaign suggested an amnesty programme for the faceless Boko Haram members which Buhari fiercely opposed to. I was impressed by Buhari's stand despite dead allegations that he is linked to the sect. Of recent, I was shocked to the marrow of my bones when Buhari told the press that he is open to a negotiation with the Boko Haram insurgents. We should recall the insincerity of the Boko Haram sect in negotiations which mocked the past administration of Goodluck Jonathan. Even if we want to negotiate, what will be Boko Haram's terms? Do they have a cause? Releasing their top leaders which they suggested in the past is like sharing your weaknesses with an opponent.

(8) Relocation of Boko Haram prisoners to the Ekwulobia prison in Anambra:
I am not against the Federal Government's directive or relocation of the 47 Boko Haram prisoners to any part of the country but why would Buhari sanction the relocation of high-level prisoners of the Boko Haram class to the Ekwulobia prison in Anambra state that is not even a 'maximum prison'? This poses a huge security risk due to the sect's records of successful jailbreaks in the past. The response of the Igbos was predictable to avoid undue attention of insurgents who have the financial power and military capability to orchestrate a collateral attack on any security facility.

In conclusion, my highlighted list is borne out of a desire for change in the poor security approach to Boko Haram in Nigeria and not hatred for President Muhammadu Buhari whose campaign train I joined from the first day he signified interest in the presidential seat.

I am only doing my job as the Village Town Crier.
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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