statesman and former Senate President, Ameh Ebute has written the Nigerian
Governors Forum, detailing the reason behind the resurgence of Boko Haram
third republic lawmaker identified lack of political collaboration by majority
of stakeholders in Borno State as reason for the resurgence of the activities
of the terrorists and not military sabotage as believed by some persons.
made this known in a letter addressed to the NGF through its Chairman, Governor
Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
letter said as the Chief Security Officers in the various states, the governors
must own responsibility and not shift the blame to the military because the
military alone cannot execute the task and not in an environment of extreme
sabotage and conspiracies.
added that the military must be encouraged and appreciated to continue to give
in their best in the task at hand.
Full text of the letter below:
in Nigeria: An Open Letter to the Nigerian Governors Forum
this open letter meets you all well. This letter was conceived from a burning
desire to see that Nigeria overcomes its security challenges as soon as
possible. However, there are a few points we would like to raise preparatory to
your meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari and the Service Chiefs in the
country. It must be stated that these points are in the overall interest of the
country and with all sense of commitment to the Nigerian cause.
The Burden of Leadership:
Excellencies, the task of leading Nigeria on the path of progress, has been
placed on your shoulders as governors. We recall that the majority of you, if
not all indeed promised the people adequate security during the campaigns.
While some have matched their words with action, some either by commission or
omission are lagging behind in this critical aspect.
burden of leadership requires that even on bad days, we have a responsibility
to our people to be fair and consistent. We must set the example in everything
we do, every day, and lead every minute of every day through words and actions.
must be stated that if not for anything, Nigerians are desirous of credible
leadership at all tiers of governance and as Chief Executives of States, the
bulk ends at your table and therefore no amount of reasons would appeal to the
people if they continually live in fear.
No Security No Development:
we must be sincere, we must also admit that Nigeria cannot experience
sustainable growth and development in an atmosphere of insecurity. And the
recent upsurge in the level of insecurity in the country should elicit concern
from all stakeholders, including governors who are the Chief Security Officers
of their various states.
The Role of Political Authorities in Borno State:
Excellencies, This brings us to the security issues in Borno State occasioned
by the upsurge in the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, which is
indeed a national concern. If the truth must be told, with the way and manner
the political authorities in the state are treating the threats posed by Boko
Haram, we might experience the worse soon.
our opinion, it is an anomaly to assume that the task of securing Borno State
is the exclusive preserve of the Federal Government alone. This is on the heels
that should there not be any form of cooperation with the Fedora Government
that is the primary custodian of the Nigerian military from the political
class; all efforts would go down the drain, and the innocent women and children
would bear the brunt.
suffices to state that since Boko Haram began its violent campaign in
North-East Nigeria in 2009, all the states in North-East Nigeria were affected.
question now is why Boko Haram is more active in just Borno State? What
happened in Adamawa state? What happened in Bauchi, Yobe and Gombe States? It
is a known fact that Borno State was the epicenter of Boko Haram but that has
changed drastically since the Nigerian military under the present
Commander-in-Chief took the battle to the nook and cranny of the state.
Excellencies, the true answer lies in the fact that the political authorities
realized the importance of supporting and partnering with the military in their
operations and the result is the relative peace and tranquillity witnessed in
states have also done one thing that Borno State is yet to do which is
discouraging their ethnic militias and political thugs from dissolving into
much has not or seen t be done in Borno State under the current leadership. The
military can continue to kill the terrorists but we must know that they labour
in vain if the virus is not treated from the root.
Why Borno State Alone:
Excellencies, the case of Borno state is unfortunate because it has remained
the unresolvable base of the insurgency not because the Federal Government has
not lived up to expectations, but because the current government in the state
has not deemed it necessary to support the military in their operations.
the fact that Borno state has the most significant military personnel in the
whole of North-East Nigeria; yet, Boko Haram keeps laying ambushes for the
military and attacking pocket of communities.
question we beg to ask is what is the state government doing to assist the
military in securing the state? Has the state government been cooperative with
the military authorities towards ending the Boko Haram scourge? These questions
are because all we see in the media is either the state Governor is attacking
military commanders at checkpoints or his Deputy speaking to our selfless men
and women in a very derogatory manner.
military anywhere in the world has been vilified as much as our troops have seen
in the hands of your colleague, Gov. Zulum.
Excellencies, we trust that you would demands answers to these questions in all
sincerity. It is our considered opinion that indeed questions must also be
asked as to whether the level of poverty in Borno State could be a factor
responsible for the festering of the activities of Boko Haram in the state.
What about majority of Borno politicians who engage in illegal businesses such
as smuggling through the Lake Chad route? What has the state government done
towards addressing the threats posed by these groups too?
Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa and Bauchi:
Excellencies, that the threats posed by Boko Haram have been curtailed in Yobe,
Gombe, Bauchi and Adamawa states are not a function of magic, but rather
collective efforts between the political authorities in the states and
institutions of state and we must not fail to commend them as well as encourage
others to tow the same path in the bid to addressing the various security
challenges not just in North-East Nigeria, but also other parts of the country.
Banditry and Kidnappings:
issues of banditry and other forms of criminalities are also worrisome. As
Chief Security Officers in the various states, you all must own responsibility
and not shift the blame to the military because the military alone cannot
execute the task and not in an environment of extreme sabotage and
conspiracies. We fear to say that it is the military that is not engaging in
bridge-building across ethnic and religious lines. We fear to insinuate that it
is the military that has not empowered our youths who became political thugs
prior to the last elections and now taking to criminality.
sad as this might sound, any state that is experiencing insecurity is a
function of lack of cooperation from the political authorities in those states
with the relevant security agencies. The southeast Governors in handling the
threats posed by IPOB as dangerously as it has shown that as Chief Executives,
Governors have a lot to contribute to the peace of the country by coming
together to proscribe the IPOB as a terrorist group.
is the line of action that all Governors must tow as a sign of seriousness and
signal to the terrorists that there would be a sacred cow. We consequently
wonder how we can then expect tangible results in terms of security without
The Invaluable Efforts of the Military:
Excellencies, we must realize that the military has been stretched in all of
its operations across the country and the least the expect we all expect is
nothing more than cooperation and not castigation and rebuke.
would serve no meaningful purpose but further dampen the morale of the troops
and bolster criminal activities. It is unfortunate how discourses on this
important subject matter have been allowed to degenerate to punishing the
Service Chiefs who are being castigated in some quarters for simply refusing to
lend the military to political agents during the last general elections.
must also be stated that the military can only carry out kinetic operations but
cannot embark on rebuilding processes such as youth empowerment and other
endeavours hence the need for cooperation from the various state governments
which by and large is not forthcoming.
The Role of Other Stakeholders:
Excellencies, as leaders of the people, more engagement with stakeholders are
required especially in embarking on alternative dispute resolution mechanism,
ensuring fairness and justice in conflict between communities and providing the
enabling environment for all citizens to cohabit with one another without any
fear of molestation.
must also provide leadership at the various levels, including the local
governments and communities to ensure that political thugs who were armed
during the last elections are disarmed and deradicalized as quickly as
possible.Governors must also ensure that those militating factors that are
responsible for fueling conflicts in their states are addressed as a first
before the military comes in for the restoration of peace.
as partners in Progress: Your Excellencies, there is also an urgent need to see
the military as partners in progress and not competitors. You all must
recognize the invaluable role of the military in the sustenance of peace in
their various domains and their sacrifices in ensuring that the country is safe
governors of Yobe, Bauchi, and Adamawa and Gombe states have indeed set
examples worthy of emulation for their continuous support towards ensuring
there is no resurgence of Boko Haram in their domains. This they have achieved
by working day and night with the military. Governors as Chief Security
Officers are aware that resources are needed in security operations. As such,
they must advocate for more resources for the military to aid their operations.
military must be encouraged and appreciated to continue to give in their best
in the task at hand. The psychological implication of these cannot be
Excellencies, as you meet with Mr. President to discuss issues of national
importance, please be circumspect, take responsibility and proffer solutions
task of ensuring peace and tranquillity in Nigeria is a collective endeavour.
We wish you fruitful deliberations, and we desire that the meeting would indeed
prove valuable to all and sundry.
is our last request that you also share a copy of this letter with MR.
Ameh Ebute CON Former President of the Senate