COUNTER-TERRORISM: IGNORING THE DEMONS WITHIN (WEEKLY SECURITY DASHBOARD FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 23 - 28, 2022)
Social media has been set ablaze recently with the latest narrative defining insecurity trends within the country, emphasizing the need for vigilance and situational awareness as a means of identifying and eliminating the demons within, as to defeat the external enemies.
Notable among the incidents is the arrest of the eldest son of former Governor of Sokoto, Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa and a serving commissioner, Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa, by the Inspector General of Police Special Tactical Squad in connection with the investigations of his cousin Musa Kamarawa over his alleged involvement in aiding and abetting terrorism.
Reports indicate that the suspect, Kamarawa, has allegedly revealed his association and links with the dreaded terrorist leader, Bello Turji and his involvement in different crimes such as kidnapping, drug trafficking, delivery of military uniforms to bandits, and possession, procurement and sales of illegal firearms.
The popular Sun Tzu in the Art of War says, "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, you will also suffer defeat for every victory gained. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle".
The "Kamarawa" incident got citizens livid, with many attributing the prolonged challenge in curbing insecurity to the government's inability and delay in profiling and effectively eliminating the demons within as a confirmation of their determination to exterminate external terror groups and activities.
The current situation in Burkina Faso is a pointer that all manifestations of security threats results from ignoring the activities that originates from the “demons inside”.
According to the publication in Africa Politics with the theme: Return of the Military, “Though, the military seized power in Burkina Faso on Monday, ousting the country’s democratically elected President, Roch Marc Christian Kabore, however, the conversation to seize power in the country had been rife since November 2021, the only question was when and not if they would.
“The main issue was the government’s failure to stem jihadist attacks that have destabilized broad swathes of Burkina Faso, displaced 1.4million people, and caused 2,000 deaths last year alone. The general feeling in the country was that the time has come to try an alternative government.
“This situation has created two narratives in an emerging blame game. The military have been complaining in loud whispers that the corrupt democratic administrations have not been supplying them adequate weaponry to deal with insurgents, jihadists and armed bandits. The response is that deep corruption has also penetrated the military and they often misappropriate the funds given to them to execute the war. A war economy has developed in which officers are massively enriching themselves from the war effort and thereby sabotaging it. The winner, as it were, is corruption.
“The more profound narrative is that the African situation today is characterized by three types of coup d’état. The first is the constitutional coup in which serving presidents recklessly tear the normative framework they had themselves developed and engage in tenure elongation beyond constitutional limits thereby destroying the legitimacy of the political system. The second coup is engaging in massive electoral fraud to change electoral outcomes. There have been at least thirteen African countries, where the leaders have used various legal devices and political manoeuvres to extend their tenures beyond two terms since 2012.
“Often, it is the experience of these forms of coup d’état that creates the conditions for the third type which is the military coup d’état”
The tirade of retaliatory attacks by different criminal elements attempting to water down Troops' success has a bearing on Sun Tzu's statement that no matter how effective the precision of Troops offensives and tactical operations in bombarding the external enemies may materialize, their inability to identify and decisively deal with the internal demons, may continue to result in defeat.
Are there people or groups benefitting from prolonged insecurity in the country?
Acts of terrorism is not limited to cadre, qualifications, class or age as evident in the case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, popularly referred to as the "Underwear Bomber" or "Christmas Bomber", the youngest of 16 children of Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a wealthy Nigerian banker and businessman. The father was described by The Times in 2009 as being "one of the richest men in Africa. He is a former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria and former Nigerian Federal Commissioner for Economic Development. According to one of his cousins, as a teenager, Abdulmutallab became very pious as a Muslim. He was therefore never profiled as one capable at the age of 23 to attempt to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day, 2009.
The inability to excavate and eliminate the enemies within has become the elusive and slippery loophole exacerbating the perpetration of evil under different guise, thereby aggravating the nation's security crisis.
A trip away from terrorists and their trademark of human carnage ushers us into another segment of criminal elements who have surpassed terrorists in the brutality of dastards acts, ranking only second to them in numbers eliminated - THE RITUALISTS and YAHOO YAHOO. The internal enemy is so slimy, as to wine and dine with their victims as caregivers, friends, relatives, and even trusted confidants, but more deadly than even the devil itself. The callousness of the demons within and brutality of their activities have been said to humble the devil in awful shock at the extent of man's inhumanity to man. The enemy within, while smiling so elusively will wreak eternal havoc on their victims by mercilessly, stripping them of their most prized possession, even if it means the most horrendous death.
The unresolved case of the proprietor in Kano State who abducted the five-year-old Hanifa entrusted to his care and opted to kill the innocent child in the most inhumane way, when the parents were unable to raise the exorbitant N6million amount he quoted as ransom in exchange for the child comes vividly to mind.
Not done with the unfolding litany of horrors unleashed during the week, the case of the 16-year SS2 student of Elkenemy College of Islamic Theology, Maiduguri, who could muster the courage to slit the throat of a younger student who ordinarily he ought to mentor, is also another clear example.
The brutalities with which criminal elements have summoned the effrontery to orchestrate their activities have established the salient point on the need for government to step up its activities in stemming the tide of insecurity. Their audacious moves demonstrates the non-existent enforcement of law within the country and the kids-glove with which culprits are treated. Only when internal collaborators and criminal-minded elements, whether elites or otherwise, highly connected or not, are publicly brought to justice, then, will the fight against external perpetrators yield sustainable dividends of democracy.
The disturbing case reported of a mother collaborating with her first son to poison and kill the 21-year-old younger son and sibling ostensibly for money rituals raises the question: "how to identify the enemy within so as not to undermine their antics"?
WHO ARE THE DEMONS INSIDE MILITATING AGAINST FIGHTING TERRORISM?