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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

JONATHAN GOODLUCK’S UNLUCKY YEAR OF INSECURITY AND UNEMPLOYMENT


   It has been some months since last I write an article with the name of President Jonathan in the title, but today I am giving you another one that discusses the two fundamental problems of this regime. The problems of insecurity and unemployment that have so far beaten all the narrow solutions put forward by Jonathan’s team in order to solve them. Just last two weeks Jonathan sack his chief security adviser General Andrew O. Azazi and replaced him with a retired colonel in person of Sambo Dasuki, which according to Jonathan was necessitated by the need to change strategy in face of the continue change of strategy by Boko Haram, the main security headache of this regime. In the last two years, Boko Haram that originated from the North Eastern state of Borno has spread into other parts of the country causing many damage and destruction to people and properties. And from the look of events over that period, Jonathan’s government has remained clueless on ways to tackle the insurgency. Last June is one of the most deadly months in the history of Boko Haram insurgency in the country, which saw the bombing of many security outfits and places of worship in the resulting violence. We all remember the beginning of the year when Jonathan on a visit to South Korea was quoted to have said that Boko Haram insurgencies in the country will be brought to an end by June of this year, repeating the same mistake former inspector general of police Hafiz Ringim made; when on a visit to Maiduguri the capital of Borno state, said that Boko Haram days are numbered. The resulting inferno nearly consumed him when Boko Haram lunched an attack on the police headquarters located in Abuja, with Hafiz Ringim as their main target. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise to many analysts that the group lunched one of their deadly attacks in the month of June, 2012 to prove Jonathan forecast wrong.
  A hungry man they say is an angry man, according to some estimates about 70% of Nigerians live below poverty line, despite the abundance of riches in form of natural and human resources. The number of unemployed graduates roaming the streets of the nation is in tens of million s. Thus, it is not very difficult to figure out the connection between the insecurity in the country and unemployment. Though, many of Jonathan’s advisers such as the sack security adviser Azazi, have continued to feed the president with the theory of the violence being there simply because Jonathan comes from a particular region that is not suppose to be in power at Aso rock. The understanding of the violence has become very complicated matter to the comprehension of Azazi, apart from the angle of the insurgency being as a result of Jonathan coming from Niger Delta region that has never produced the president of the country before the ascension of Jonathan into the throne in 2010. The failure of the Jonathan regime to understand the socio-religious and economic cause of the insecurity is at the heart of his government failure to find the lasting solution to the menace. The North east of the country, where Borno state is located is the poorest part of the country, full of hopeless and poverty stricken individuals who have little or no hope in the various level of government both at state and federal level. The number of jobless people and tugs running the streets in that part of the country are in high numbers; where you have such local tugs as area boys in Borno, Yan Kalare in Gombe, to mention just a few. Thus, many of those that were recruited to such organisations as that of Boko Haram needed little persuasion to join those groups, looking at the fact that governments has abandon them. The case of Nigeria’s Boko Haram, for example, is not like that of Al Qaeda in say Saudi Arabia where most of their members are recruited on ideological reasons and the issue of wider Middle Eastern crisis that refuse to go. In those countries there is no high level of poverty and unemployment as is obtained here in Nigeria.
    It has been reported in our media that retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, the new NSA, is highly connected to the security networks in the country, especially the retired army Generals who are seen by others as relevant to finding a lasting solution to the current security conundrum in the country. As a former ADC  to the former President Babangida, In-law to retired General Gusau the spy master, and grand, grand son of Usman Dan Fodio the founder of over 200 years old Sokoto caliphate, it is said in many cycles that Dasuki is the right man for the job. It is been speculated that Jonathan purposely appointed him because of his connections and links to these individuals who Jonathan previously neglected in favour of listening to those very close to him. Some other analysts also see an American connection in the appointment, because of the past rumors that the US government has been pressurizing Jonathan to relief Azazi off his appointment and put some one more relevant to the issue and it environment. The fact that Azazi has on various occasions in the past disagree with many US views on Boko Haram add credence to this school of thought. Sambo Dasuki is also known to have acquired his post graduate education and trainings from the US. But, the job should not only be left in the hand of people who are only competent in gathering raw security intelligence forgetting the other intelligence that is necessary to solving the security challenge of the country. The problem of joblessness has become endemic in this regime; we should not forget last year when Jonathan promised that he would create 3 million jobs in one year. I am now sure that Jonathan could not create 500,000 jobs in the same period, if not for the many people that continue to lose their jobs in the face of mass sacking that endures in sectors such as the banking industry. President Jonathan has failed on his promise to provide jobs to the unemployed.
  Therefore, like we are currently seeing in other countries around the world, this regime must be serious with the issue of unemployment if it wanted to get it other acts right. The problem of poverty in the Northern part of the country has continued being the source of much disaffection among the different ethnic groups that are found there. The issue of kidnapping for money that has become a notorious business in the South Eastern part of the country has it root in unemployment in the region, likewise the case of oil thieves in the Niger Delta. As President Jonathan has seen the need to change his top security advisers, there is also a need for him to do the same thing with his economic and labour advisers for their failure to create jobs. Let have a new economic management team now! A team that is to be consistence, and that comprises of tested and capable individuals, other than those that were appointed because of their political connections. Though, Mr. President is yet to make public his next minister of defence, he should to do better by avoiding the repeat of the same past mistakes. The period when an appointment should be made to the most sensitive ministry in the present regime base on political considerations or the region some one came from is over. The next minister of defence should be some one who is competent and not anyone else. On the issue of Boko Haram, dialogue is still the only lasting solution to the crisis not brutal use of force; as former governor of defunct North Eastern state, Colonel Umar Farouk has argued in a newspaper report that even the Nigerian civil war was brought to an end by dialogue and not by the simple use of an army. The earlier this regime begins to see the incorporation of dialogue and job creation into it security master plan the better for it, and the country at large.