Renowned Security expert, Comrade Richards Murphy, has written the Minister of Defence, proffering solution to the nagging security challenges bedevilling Nigeria.
The letter addressed to the Defence Minister, Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) was obtained by our reporter on Sunday.
While describing the appointment of Magashi as a rounded peg in a rounded hole, Murphy urged him to synegise with the Chief of Army Staff, Major Gen TY Bruatai, in spirit, determination, courage and commitment to timely end senseless killings in Nigeria.
He also urged him to prioritize and untie the political knots which strangulate financial operations in the Northeast and elsewhere soldiers were involved on special Internal Security (IS) assignment.
The letter reads below:
The Honourable Minister Sir,
“What Your Predecessor Failed To Hint The C-in-C”: An Open Letter
My Honourable Minister, please I pledge your indulgence to permit me to warmly congratulate you on this new appointment as Nigeria’s Political Chief of the Defence Ministry.
Sir, from my years of experience on security matters, I believe, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari has made a proven and trusted choice in your appointment to lead a ministry. I consider it very sensitive to national interest that you are extremely burdened by the subsisting circumstances of the prevailing insecurity challenges assailing our cherished country to come to the rescue.
However, in spite of the enormity of the mandate of your present office, there is no modicum of reservation in me that stars shine everywhere. And I can vouch for your competence and experience as a performer whose vast knowledge has resolved the most complex of mysteries in the past, throughout your meritorious military career, until a blissful retirement.
The Hon. Minister, Sir, it’s unnecessary to remind you about the magnitude of the insurgencies and insurrections, Nigeria is facing at the moment. I know, it’s a knowledge on your fingertips. But let me bore you a little that from the mindset of Mr. President from the outset, he wants to deal the final lethal blow on Boko Haram terrorism and farmers/ herders crises in the country.
And Mr. President knows these twine insecurity threats to our beloved country, Nigeria would have been eclipsed long ago, assuming political leaders at the lower rung of power imbibed his disposition, absolute cooperation and hard work to collectively terminate these evil plots against our country.
Your appointment as Defence Minister therefore, stems from Mr. President’s conviction that at this time of our political nay security challenges odd history, none can do the job better than you. We are honoured by this presidential trust in you!
And from my observation afar, your first few weeks of official outing, tells me lucidly that you do not only have proper grasp of the briefs of the mandate, but your first few official steps in this direction by visiting Nigerian troops in the frontline/ trenches of counter-insurgency in the Northeast have gladdened the hearts of many Nigerians.
I dare say, it is indisputably, your rare courageous expression of the courage and determination, Nigerians never saw in your predecessors. Everyone now knows, a new Sherrif is in town and the #NextLevel is consolingly impressive.
I want to encourage you, Sir, to continue with this spirit to blend the previously seeming gulf between the political and the Military leadership in the last phase of routing out Boko Haram terrorism from the shores of Nigeria.
And may I quickly remind you that with another competent solder, someone, I admire so much, like the COAS and Leader of the counter-insurgency operations, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai, with same proclivity with you, I foresee the final end to these endemic crises. This synergy is what Nigeria needs now to terminate the most troubling crises to the federation.
Both of you have shown me a remarkable and credible departure from the “big men” or leaders we know, who despite the urgency of work at hand, sit back in their Abuja’s cosy offices to dread gunfire in the fields, but relish the paraphernalia of office. Such posture was far detached from subordinate leaders on counter-insurgency, untill there is a presidential order to relocate to the theatre of war with insurgents. Sir, this is the right path that you have chosen!
Gen. Buratai particularly is a leader, I have sensed is personally committed to ending terrorism and weird insurrections in our country. I have never seen a COAS who dares all odds to wear his war boots and jumps into the trenches with troops to battle insurgents. He does it in rare areas of troops heated battles with insurgents like Gwoza or Bama, and so on.
Let me remind you that Nigerians passionately appreciate the immense contributions of the Nigerian Military particularly the excellent job which Mr. President has been devoting time, energy and national resources to do for the liberation of our country from insecurity threats. No Nigerian democratic political leader has come this far in tackling our security challenges or securing our lives than Buhari.
Again, Sir, with you pairing with another crack soldier, like Gen. Buratai in spirit, determination, courage and commitment to timely end senseless killings in Nigeria, you must prioritize and untie the political knots which strangulate financial operations in the Northeast and elsewhere soldiers are involved on special Internal Security (IS) assignments. Indeed, I appeal to you that whenever budgeted funds for defence and security ought to function, there should be no delay.
We know security of lives and property of a nation needs urgent attention like a pragnant woman trapped at home by labour pains in the middle of the night. As political head of Nigeria’s Defence architecture, please, ensure defence budgets are insulated from bereaucratic bottlenecks and released to appropriate security authorities instantaneously to serve the purpose for which tax payers monies are approved by the National Parliament.
Sir, may I plead again that you must be in constant and consistent contact with your Finance counterpart Minister to see that budgeted security releases are made as early as possible to carter for troops’ welfare, particularly in the frontline and also, other expenses on security emergencies. I do know you understand that where national security is involved, all bereaucratic hurdles are dismantled instantly. Please be constantly alert Sir!
Furthermore, I am encouraged to advise you on what others reading this open epistle may consider extraneous, but I feel, it’s necessary. It escapes or rather beclouds most occupants of your office.
I hinted earlier about the unnecessary persistence of the bad omen on insecurity. It is Boko Haram crisis in Nigeria and the ferocious insurrections crippling development in our country under the Buhari Presidency. It’s because of the political and personalised interests of some evil Nigerians who sponsor as well as profit from the instigated violence and killings.
I suspect top politicians, some of whom have lost out so terribly in popular, electoral contest against the candidature of President Buhari or irreconciliably against his Presidency are the masked brains behind these violence and killings to discredit his Government.
Please, Sir, it is now your official responsibility, as political ombudsman of Nigeria’s Defence Ministry to scout for these personalities and define political solutions or strategies to ensure, the Nation’s security agencies are not involved in unnecessary bickering with political actors whose major aim is targeted at either Mr. President or Security Chiefs.
Its not too good that Nigeria, a country facing very dire insecurity threats would have it’s heads of security agencies at the topmost echelon bickering in public glare over a misunderstanding. It should not be allowed to degenerate to the extent they have not only become the laughing stock of themselves, but the whole world. I don’t find this comfortable and you must put an end to it, Sir!
Also, whilst approaching this delicate issue, you must also clandestinely identify cheap or mighty actors, with selfish political goals in their local domains. They should not be blessed to be larger than the federation of Nigeria, which we have all consented, right from our forefathers to geographically co-exist in peace and harmony.
Hon. Minister, Sir, I plead with you to also extend same to other Nigerian leaders that this is the only right time to hold Nigeria and Nigerians together as one indivisible entity for present generation and posterity.
I have to remind you of this missing fraternal gap and plead for your intervention because elder statesmen like Gen. TY Danjuma and others, who are angry with Mr. President on a personal political relationship at one end, show us ethnic bigotry at another end in vain attempts to demonize the Nigerian Army. And it is done in the manner Gen. Danjuma brazenly did earlier in the year when he passed unstatesmanly remarks at the first convocation of the Taraba State University, Jalingo, indicting the Army.
Sir, it’s your responsibility to now oversee to a conclusive harmony of Nigeria on security matters. So, working on a day to day synergy with military and political actors on the turf is imperative between you and your compatriots who are still in uniform or retired.
I believe, your personalistic humility in reaching out to these these actors, devoid of pride and in your usual nationalistic passion would really teach them the virtues of sacrifices for the nation, as against egoistic self-serving motives.
Sir, lastly, it’s now on your table to look at the herders/farmers’ crisis from a more strategic and all- inclusive strategy for Nigeria to overcome it. Please, do not allow desperate sabs or same underground or veiled forces to taint Mr. President’s image with such crisis. I know, you have the remedy to these conflicts.
Sir, i wish you the very best in your newest national assignment. Please, extend my warm regards and gratitude to the troops on the battlefield. Please, Sir, tell our gallant troops, Nigerians are with them in soul and spirit.