It was an eventful and busy week as duty called from different radio studios to my sitting room, speaking before local and foreign television cameras, analyzing and speaking on current issues around insecurity in the country.
From Yoruba radio station, Faaji FM (by the way, I speak Yoruba fluently), to Wazobia FM, all in Lagos, to Nigeria Info FM and Kiss FM, in Abuja, and hosting camera crews of Security Watch on AIT and China CGTN in my house. Indeed, speaking on security issues as they currently affect Nigeria can take many dimensions.
To some, the insecurity in the country is propelled by political interests, but to others it is gradually spiralling into a ‘religious war.’
Yet others simply believe that the security chiefs should be derobed, and many others confuse their agitations, centring their argument on the removal of the service chiefs. In all of these, my opinion is very rigid, based on evidential facts, as I analyzed last week on a youth programme on Radio Nigeria network social media “Click Naija,” where I explained that the call for the removal of the service chiefs may after all not be the solution, except the needful is done, which is the de-radicalisation of Boko Haram members and northern youths, especially the uneducated ones.
It is rather unfortunate that even parents urge their jobless youths to join the evil group for two main purposes: to get paid and fulfill the religious obligation of fighting ‘jihad,’ which they term holy war.
Apart from the indoctrination that is secretly going on in some places of worship, which is not monitored by security agencies, many parents in the region are susceptible to this trend of encouraging their sons to join the sect. Some of the women succumb to peer pressure in the market to persuade their children to join Boko Haram.
In this area, one is yet to ascertain the amount of work the intelligence community is doing. This is where posting of intelligence personnel who speak the local language is essential. When the founder of Boko Haram was recruiting, he targeted youths. His members were largely illiterates and school dropouts, the leftovers of society, like the Almajiri. Yusuf knew that western education was the key to their mental liberation, he knew that education would not allow them to be enslaved with doctrinal falsehood. No wonder, on the one hand, he called on those in the higher institutions to shred their certificates and embrace his fouled Islamic doctrine while on the other hand he empowered the illiterate ones with motorcycles and even fed them.
Unfortunately, government, religious leaders and traditional rulers in the North-East till date, do not seem to be doing enough to counteract the original doctrine Yusuf inculcated in northern youths. Even the Federal Government propaganda agency, the National Orientation Agency, is like a lame duck, very inactive and always complaining about lack of funds.
Another aspect I strongly addressed was the availability of illicit drugs, name them, some of the most addictive drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, nicotine and methamphetamine, are available in markets, with medicine hawkers along the streets and in motor parks. They affect the brain and cause mental disorder, with a craving for more.
It is believed it is when they are in such melancholic state that the sect leaders start their indoctrination. In addition, arms must be mopped up as they provides Boko Haram the power to confront and intimidate anyone.
One expects the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to sweep the entire region clean of addictive drugs.
Another way of de-radicalising these youths is by engaging them productively. Whatever happened to farming, industries, sports and other engaging activities? It is a universal norm, that an idle hand is the devil’s workshop. Had these youths been fully and gainfully engaged, educationally, practically and economically, the Boko Haram devil wouldn’t have been able to engage them in demonic activities.
What about organising a football match between repentant Boko Haram fighters and the police team, Civil Defence team or against members of the Civilian JTF team?
By deradicalising them, the states and country at large would be peaceful and the North-East would be able to contribute its quota in the economic, political and educational growth of the country. The war against Boko Haram has been on for over a decade and this is when all hands must be on deck. Parents, religious, traditional and political leaders must be united in mind and purpose to find a asting solution to this menace.
Police games: Can hope be rekindled?
To rekindle hope suggests that such hope once existed. It means that the achiever had, once upon a time, worked hard to attain such hope. According to Aristotle, the Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist, “Hope is a waking dream.”
Could it be the dream that ignited the zeal in the Inspector-General of Police Mohammadu Adamu that the 12th Nigeria Police Biennial Games, scheduled for Anambra State, from February 29 to March 7, 2020, would eventually return the Nigeria Police to its former glorious form, when it used to be the goose that laid many of the golden eggs that gave Nigeria the desired edge in the world of sports?
Before now, insecurity that almost overwhelmed the country truly engaged the police, thereby making it impossible to organise sports of such magnitude. Even at that, the sportsmen did not allow their training to suffer.
The early 1980s and ’90s was the golden decade of the Nigeria Police in sports development. In fact, the mere mention of Nigerian sports instantly ignited fantastic memories and propped up household names that the Nigeria Police recruited, trained and fine-tuned their talents for the glory of the country. These men and ladies dazzled the world of sports like the northern star in their various fields of specialty.
They did as an American writer once said: “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”
The police flaunted names like Samuel Peter “the Nigerian Nightmare,” Kikelomo Ajayi, former skipper of Nigeria’s Super Falcons, Chioma Ajunwa, the Atlanta ’96 Olympic Games gold medalist, and late Sunday Bada. Sunday Oyarekhua, now a retired police officer, was a member of the Green Eagles, the All Africa Games gold medalists.