By BAMIMORE Emmanuel
PDP expresses dissatisfaction about the levity and laxity of President Muhammadu Buhari’s posture on terrorism in the Northeast of Nigeria, sighting the territorial issues with neighbouring country Chad in a press statement on Tuesday. But to what extent does the presidency merits these criticisms?
Chadian president Idris Deby led troops to reprisal battles in the Lake Chad area against Boko Haram militants, killing over 60 members of the sect group and seizing a magnanimous military cache last week. Boko Haram terrorists had inflicted a huge casualty on the Chadian troop’s late March 2019, killing 92 soldiers. The attack was described by president Idris Deby as the largest casualty in the history of the military. The intense inroads against the militants have dislodged them from the area of Lake Chad, but questions still surround the legitimacy of the Chadian troops on Nigeria’s soil, whether it constitutes a violation or not.
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Chadian president Idris Deby’s recent efforts in the fight against Boko Haram, including visiting injured troops in the area, have rejuvenated the criticisms of President Muhammadu Buhari’s lethargic stance on the war against Boko Haram, and particularly his silence on the issue of territoriality.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to speak out on reports that Chadian President Idris Deby personally led his troops to route out insurgents and freed Nigerian territories and soldiers held captive by terrorists in the northern part of Borno state.”, the statement reads
The opposition party also expressed concerns about presidency silence: “Our party is worried that Mr President has chosen silence at a time, when again, he needs to stand up, and take action to assure our citizen of their safety as well as efforts being made by his administration against the insurgent”
PDP also reiterated and implored the president to emulate Chadian President’s bellicosity, “The PDP urges the Buhari Presidency to learn from President Deby and show commitment in the fight against terrorism beyond speeches and empty press statements from the comfort of the Aso Villa.
“The party commends and immensely values the sacrifices by our gallant troops who are risking their lives on harm’s way to safeguard our nation against the insurgents despite the daunting challenges they confront daily.”
The PDP press statement has echoed the recent criticisms against the presidency silence on crucial national issues by social groups and the masses.
IS THE PRESIDENT’S STANCE LETHARGIC?
President Muhammadu Buhari inherited a war-torn northeast- Adamawa, Borno and Yobe precisely – from preceding president Goodluck Jonathan. Boko Haram had seized considerable swathes of areas and had established its caliphate in Gwoza, Borno, held several local governments across these three states which together has the same size as Belgium. They also overran several military bases in Borno and some areas in Yobe and Adamawa.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s ineptitude was primarily resultant of the sect’s rapid multiplication in attacks, members and global recognition, and most especially the abduction of Chibok girls in 2014, coupled with the inability to effectively negotiate their release or rescue.
The president’s transition into administration had seen gains against Boko Haram in the battle, with the Nigerian military recovering most of the areas under the insurgents, but with gory skirmishes not doused. Several hostages were freed, and the early successes against Shekau underscored the presidency’s obscure prowress and raised hopes of Nigerians in the battle against insurgency. President Muhammadu Buhari also ensured Nigerian troops manoeuvred from countrysides to set up bases in some towns.
President Muhammadu Buhari fight against Boko Haram, comparatively to Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, is way better, convincingly, but the president’s culture of silence is a huge dent on his administration, especially concerning the fight against insurgency and other crucial national issues.
President Muhammadu Buhari addressing Nigerians on covid-19 was precipitated by a surge of pressures from citizens. He had failed to make any formal address on the virus in Nigeria three weeks cases have been discovered. This reflects the presidency’s soft stance on crucial issues and may considerably be a dent on the achievements of his administration, and may also necessitate the recent pressures from the opposition party, PDP.
Chadian troops’ encroachment and operations on Nigeria’s territory of Lake Chad, traditionally, should have been swiftly sanctioned by president Muhammadu Buhari, but it remains a war of intuition and silence. Idris Deby visited injured members of the Chadian army near the area, and Nigerians are comparatively questioning President Muhammadu Buhari’s activeness in the fight against the insurgents, while the Nigerian troops are apparently on very low morale.
Recent lukewarmness from president Muhammadu Buhari on troops’ safety in the fight against insurgency and his soft relationship with Tukur Buratai may be seen as unfortunate. Buratai barely gets questioned whenever military suffer heavy casualty against Boko Haram. The Commander-in-Chief’s laxity in the war against the Islamic terrorists mounts no pressure on Buratai.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent ascent to the bill that grants Boko Haram amnesty has also been a focal point in the criticism against his administration. Soldiers have decried the legislation as “unfair” while a considerably a number of citizens has exhibited the same unsatisfaction and deemed the decision unacceptable.
While President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term may have seen the activities of Boko Haram terrorists dwindled and members, significantly decimated and destabilized, his culture of silence validates the renewed, justified criticisms by PDP and the masses.