PSC redeploys promotes AIGS, 37 CPS

The failure of the military to completely decimate
the Boko Haram sect ad directed by President
Muhammadu Buhari has continued to elicit debate
across the country. Politicians have since joined
the fray, which prompted a group, Concerned
Professionals’ Congress, CPC, to address the
media on the imperative of removing politics from
national security issues. Assistant Editor, MIKE
ODIAKOSE x-ray issues raised by the CPC

The December 2015
deadline given to the military
by President Muhammadu
Buhari to end the activities
of the Boko Haram sect has
come and gone but the group
is still operating like guerrilla
fighters. Opponent of the
administration, especially
the political class, are already
making political capital
out of the deadly activities
of the Boko Haram sect.
Unfortunately, this ugly
trend started during the
administration of former
President Goodluck Jonathan
when his opponents celebrate
every time the Boko Haram
sect strike. For political
reason, it appeared that
those who vowed to make
the country ungovernable
during the Jonathan
administration, embolden
the insurgents, as they never
condemned the insurgents,
until they almost overran
the entire North East zone.
Even the then opposition
APC used the activities of the
insurgents to label the former
administration as clueless
for its inability to obliterate
the group from the map of
Nigeria. However, the table
has since turned as the APC
is now bearing the heat for
the failure of the government
to deliver on the December
date it promised to end Boko
Haram activities in the country.
However, the CPC, like most
concerned Nigerians hold the
view that the military deserves
the support of every Nigerian
in the war against terrorism
in the country. A journalist,
development activist and the
Chief Media Strategist and one
of the promoters of Concerned
Professionals’ Congress
Mr. Emeka Nwankpa, who
recently had an interactive
session with journalists in
Abuja was of the view that
the greatest disservice anyone
could do to the country and
the military personnel who are
in the firing line is to politicise
the battle to incapacitate the
insurgents and other security
challenges in the country.
He emphasized that every country has institutions and
monuments that, by their
sheer existence signal core
values that instantly translate
to national strength and pride.
“Our military is such. In
CPC (mind you this is not
the political party) we are
students of history, and
professionals, united by a
sense of concern, patriotism
and common identity, for
solutions to our issues.
We shall draw attention to
epochal moments in our
history and the lessons for us
as a people.
“We shall x-ray our crises
and compare by peer review
with epochs elsewhere that
produced today’s world
super powers. This is the meat
of my U.S story. Our soldiers
have amply demonstrated
conspicuous gallantry in the
multiple military operations
they are involved across
the country especially in
the Northeast where they
have worked under very
strenuous conditions. They
deserve our commendation.
We owe them a debt of
gratitude for their sacrifices.”
He lamented that unlike
most countries where the
citizens honour the military
for their sacrifices, the same
honour is not extended
to their peers in Nigeria.
“But we can do more. Five
months ago, Boko Haram
used to move around
brazenly with 12 to 15 Hillux
jeeps from one territory to
another. On one occasion, they
bombarded Bama, chased the
Emir away, hoisted their flag,
declared their caliphate and
started collecting levies, taxes
and what have you, from the
conquered territories.
In Borno State alone, 21 out
of the 27 LGAs were under
Boko Haram. It was a horrible
blight on our sovereignty as a
nation. But thank God that
today all that nonsense has
stopped but not without a
heavy price by our military.
A new crop of officers with
the passion, patriotism,
commitment and zeal are
now in charge. I had expected
that our citizens would roll
out the drums to appreciate
our soldiers. We thank the
active Minister of Defence,
Brig. Gen Muhammad Dan-
Alli for his Christmas lunch
for our troops which he gave
in Maiduguri in the company
of the Chief of Defence Staff,
General Ayobami Olonisakin,
a first-class professional
officer who seldom talks, the
cerebral Chief of Army Staff,
Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai whose
village has been attacked
twice apart from two failed
assassination attempts on him,
and the brilliant Chief of Air
Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar
Sadiq. Our troops have
regained their rhythm because
they have never had it so good
since these guys came on board.
This is leadership magic.”
The CPC Media strategists
bemoaned the celebration of
pockets of isolated attacks by
some Nigerians and agreed
with President Buhari that the
insurgents have been degraded.
“Boko Haram can no longer
hold on to specific places to
launch their attacks. They
have been degraded, scattered
and in disarray. Their center
can no longer hold. In other
words, it is no longer at ease
for them. You now find them
sneaking into towns, villages
and settlements, forming
sleeper cells, adopting funny
antics to lure innocent people
at soft targets to kill by suicide
“This is where you and I
come in. The troops under our
committed, courageous and
highly passionate commanders
are doing a wonderful job.
And that is why we are
witnessing many successes in
the epicenter of war. I am not
a soldier but as a journalist,
observation is a good tool. It
enables me to see what many
cannot see. Check out the
excellent chemistry between
the Army and Air Force Chiefs
both of whom I hear are
always with the troops on the
battlefield. For them, holidays
are a taboo. They have proved
that the President made a good
choice of their appointments.
While politicians are accused of playing game of chess with
security issues for pecuniary
gains, some Nigerians across
the divide have been expressing
support for the military. Some
have even gone to the extent of
opening pages in the social media
to canvass support for soldiers
in the battlefield and honour
the fallen heroes. However,
some critics have lampooned
those canvassing support for
the military and some even
went to the extent of describing
them as military apologists.
However, Emeka Nwakpa and
members of the CPC are quick
to distance themselves from
being apologists but are not
losing sleep over this labelling.
His response, “Military
apologists? Please count us out.
But if by appreciating our troops
we are military apologists, then
so be it. For crying out aloud,
we love these soldiers for
their bravery and courageous
gallantry. We have no apologies
whatsoever. History will judge.
Altitude responds to attitude.
You know that since these guys
came, it has been not been
business as usual at the battle
front. Our military has done
a good job to actualise Mr.
President’s deadline.
In fact, I learnt that the
President actually gave the
military high command a
timeline and not a deadline
because the military works
by timelines, not deadlines.
I do not know how timeline
became deadline, maybe the
press substituted it. You know
you media guys have a way of
imposing your preferences on
the system. And that is why
we considered it fit and proper
to bring our message first to
Lagos, a global media center.
The timeline was actually meant
to guide the service chiefs on the
President’s objective. Timelines
are subject to review. But in this
case, the objectives have been
largely met.
The Information Minister,
Lai Mohammed, quoting top
military briefings, has said
that much. You may have also
observed that Boko Haram
has not released their hollow
video and audio messages for
some time now. That was only
possible before. A thoroughly
decimated, degraded and
disoriented group that has been
reduced to a fleeing ragtag force
cannot think of any video or
audio recording now. How is
that possible?
Rather than playing politics
with security matters, the CPC
said it is about time Nigerians
appreciate efforts and sacrifices
of the military in ensuring
that today some displaced
Nigerians are returning
to their ancestral homes.
“All these have been achieved at
a price. We’ve lost officers and
men. Their families will carry
the pain and agony forever.
Some are permanently
maimed. It is a pity. They
have paid a huge price. May
their souls rest in peace? The
question now is how Nigerians
can begin to show more support
and sympathy to our military
so that they can continue to
keep the country safe and
secure. Some of the multiple assignments they have
undertaken across the country
include operations against
smuggling in the entire South
region, illegal oil bunkering in
the Niger Delta area, oil
pipeline and electricity cable
vandalisation, kidnapping
and many others not to
talk of election-related
“Some of them have not
seen their families for many
months, even years. Some are
deployed to the theatre of war
as soon as they return from
international peacekeeping
assignments. They don’t
deserve the unnecessary
distractions they are getting in
some quarters. We appreciate
the challenges that come with
fighting insurgencies of this
nature. Yes, people’s rights
and liberties may suffer for
the moment but we need
some patience because it will
not be for too long. The entire
citizenry including the media
must play their roles in an
integrated manner.
“The message is that we have
come to the point where we
need to realise that everybody
has a stake. This nonchalance
by the public must stop. Our
psyche must change. It is
everybody’s war, not for the
military alone. Either you a
citizen or a friend of Nigeria,
you have a stake. Why won’t
we support our soldiers when
people abroad describe our
military as one of the best
and brightest. The war is not
about religion, region or race.
This blood-letting must stop

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