By Idoko Ainoko
I am one of those that have expressed reservation when some supposed social commentators castigate the administration of President Muhammdu Buhari as having failed in the protection of lives and properties in Nigeria since he assumed leadership of the country.
I recall in numerous forums I have vehemently disagreed such posturing, which in my opinion cannot be substantiated because I know for a certain that the Nigerian situation of today with regards the security of lives and properties cannot be compared to what we had pre-2015, where scores of deaths were recorded in the country, where it was a routine for policemen and soldiers to be deployed to churches and mosques to protect worshippers.
We are also quick to forget that in the Federal Capital Territory, some major roads were closed to traffic because of heightened insecurity; media houses also deployed extra security measures as well as other critical government institutions within the Federal Capital Territory.
This was indeed a period of the mass exodus of people from the Federal Capital Territory for fear of the unknown because nobody was sure of when the next bomb was going to be detonated. But fast forward to today and be the objective judge.
Still using the FCT as an example, that we can go about our normal businesses is a testimony of the great effort by President Muhammadu Buhari in ensuring that the security of lives and properties takes center stage in his administration. This much has been stated in numerous forums and has also attracted accolades from wide and far.
I dare to say that in the history of the democratic dispensation in Nigeria, I do not think there has been a president that has demonstrated an unalloyed commitment to the development of the country as well as the security of lives and properties. I stand to be corrected on this because, as a historian, I have had cause to examine the various administration in the country using different indices and trust me President Muhammadu Buhari came tops in all ramifications.
Taking the example of the Nigerian Army. Some might say the noticeable changes within the operations of the Nigerian Army are simply because President Muhammadu Buhari himself was a former Army General. As such, it is expected that he would give the operations of the Nigerian Army special attention.
I somewhat agreed with this postulation and also disagreed because no right-thinking and serious-minded president would allow such a revered institution as the Nigerian Army to become politicized. And one lacking in professionalism, which has been the case in times past.
This is on the heels that the capacity of any nation to defend her territorial integrity is always a function of its military strength, manifest in professionalism, military hardware as well as the morale of the troops at all times. And interestingly, this is the case of the Nigerian Army of the present, where total and absolute professionalism has been entrenched.
If this is not the case, have we wondered why the Nigerian Army had been called upon to always provide cover for the civil police in times of crisis? Have we taken time to understand the reason why the Nigerian Army conducts military operations across the country simultaneously? Have we forgotten the invaluable contribution of the Nigerian Army in the recently held general elections in the country?
There are indeed many more instances where the Nigerian Army had indeed risen to the defense of the country, even in areas that are outside its operational purview. And they have carried on with finesse to the admiration of all and sundry.
Coming down to the Boko Haram insurgency, we must admit that before the coming of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Boko Haram terrorist had indeed made a feast of our troops in North-East Nigeria. Daily, scores are killed, and properties destroyed. The morale of the fighting troop was at its lowest ebb, which was mostly due to the absence of credible leadership.
In some instances, we were witness to situations where soldiers of the 7 Div. in Maiduguri opened fire on the convoy of its General Officer Commanding. That was how hopeless the situation was at the time. This is aside from the fact that over 16 local government areas were at the time under the control of Boko Haram and their quest for the establishment of their caliphate was increasingly becoming a reality.
We must admit that the coming on board of President Muhammadu Buhari changed this narrative, and our military was able to make substantial progress in the war against terrorism. Today, there is no single Nigerian territory under the control of Boko Haram. The operational headquarters of the Boko Haram group- Camp Zero in Sambisa forest was taken over by the Nigerian Army. And many more gains recorded by the Nigerian Army.
I can go on nonstop on the great commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari in this regard, and it must be stated that indeed the exploits of the Nigerian Army of today under President Muhammadu Buhari are just a tip of the iceberg. The commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari towards the Nigerian dream is unflinching. Nigerians owe him every form of encouragement in this arduous task at hand.
I believe that there is more to come from the stable of President Muhammadu Buhari, and it is advised that those detractors should allow the president to concentrate on the task at hand.
*Ainoko is a public affairs analyst based in Kaduna.