Military Onslaught Alone Can’t Win Boko Haram War – Igbini
Comrade Igbini Odafe Emmanuel is the Chairman of Peoples Redemption Party, PRP, in Delta State. In this interview discusses on politics, projects execution, constitution, corruption, 100 days in office and other issues.
How do you see the controversy over the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari 100 days in office?
There is no constitutional basis to justify attacks by some Nigerians on alleged non-performance of President Buhari in his 100 days in government in terms of execution of projects and policies. Do they expect him to execute infrastructural projects within 100 days? What should be paramount in the mind of any patriot is to expect a Policy Trust of a government, not implementation of projects.
President Buhari’s Policy Trust has always been Discipline and Accountability; what is today known as his war on corruption. This is what we should evaluate him on in seven days in Office not even waiting for 100 days.
Do you see President Buhari castigating former President Goodluck Jonathan and his government or actually sanitizing the system?
Castigating? I don’t think that is the right word. But President Buhari has so far demonstrated his resolve in sanitizing the Nigerian system that sadly witnessed looting of public funds with impunity. It is not personal attack against President Jonathan, recall that even he vowed to probe President Obasanjo and late President Musa Yar Adua when he vied for the Presidency in year 2003, 2007 and 2011. Sadly in the past few years, Nigeria became a system where those who did the right thing and refused to join the looting gang were punished, embarrassed in public and even sent to detentions with false allegations against them. But I must be fair to President Jonathan that he did not institutionalized the mad looting of public funds, it has been there for decades except that he did not muster the courage to deal with it as was expected of him.
Can you carefully distil some critical issues to evaluate the President’s actions so far?
For me there are only three critical Issues for now. One, national security, two, war on corruption and three, economic reforms. On National Security, the President has clearly shown a new direction and commitment towards ensuring improvement in our national security. This he has done with his decision to eliminate corruption and reported looting of funds approved for purchase of military equipment and allowances for officer and men of the security agencies. In addition, is his decision to reposition the Defense Industry Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) towards production of military weapons for the Nigerian Security Agencies rather than rely on other nations for supply? However, the war against Boko Haram is still a major challenge that may take longer time to defeat.
What of Boko Haram, has he succeeded in winning the war?
This type of unconventional war cannot and has never been won by conventional military approach. I am one of those who strongly condemned President George Bush of USA when he ordered full military war on Afghanistan and Iraq after the unfortunate 911 attack in New York. Bombs, Bullets, Tanks and Soldiers alone have not won this type of war. Never! The fact of my position is there with CNN and other International Media go and check. This war against Boko Haram is still a major challenge that may take longer time to defeat but if we sincerely adopt a non-military approach to augment the military campaigns, we will succeed in winning the hearts and souls of these God’s children that are recruiting people to carry out this dastardly act against their fellow beloved human beings. Bombs and guns can’t win their hearts and souls. These terrorists as they are called all over the world, are people who live lives of hopelessness and are ready to die, so they tempt and provoke Governments to kill them with your guns and bombs in order to hasten their deaths. It is very sad indeed.
Do you believe President Buhari has done well on the war on corruption and looting?
While I commend his probe of alleged monumental looting of public funds during the past administration, it is however still too early for me to conclude that his war on corruption is a success because probing of past government is not enough to judge the commitment and success of this war by an incumbent government. Every incumbent Government does that but end up also being accused of same corruption and looting. President Babangida and Obasanjo will tell you better from their individual experiences in government. Corruption and looting of private and public funds are not peculiar to Nigeria, they still exist everywhere around the world but different countries adopt different strategies that best suit their situation to drastically reduce this evil act. We must adopt our own strategy rather than copying and pasting whatever we see in other countries. I have proposed a clear solution on this war since year 2004 in one of my appearances on television. The video is still there with AIT. I bet you if adopted, we may not need to spend our scare human resource and huge public funds investigating people and or prosecuting them in Courts.
You have not said anything on the economy. Any progress so far?
There is yet to be a clear direction and policy on his economic reforms. It is very disturbing but let us wait after appointment his Ministers. The current CBN monetary policy is not the answer. But I see him still committed to promoting agriculture hence he supported Dr Adesina to become the President of African Agricultural Development Bank despite the former being a PDP ex-minister who performed very well as minister of Agriculture under President Jonathan. The President should also focus on improving electricity generation and distribution by carrying out holistic turnaround of the power sector and to review the privatization of this sector. We have abundant hydro, solar and thermal energy resources which if properly harnessed will positively turn around our economy for good. But I must say that I am very strongly opposed to pressure on him to invest in Nuclear energy as source for generation of electricity.
Why do you choose to object to the nuclear power plant in Nigeria?
Do you want to kill Nigerians and destroy Nigeria? The call for nuclear power plant is not only unpatriotic and selfish but clearly an indication that some Nigerians and their collaborators are bent on destroying our dear, nation Nigeria.
Can you substantiate your objection?
How can any sincere Nigerian advocate for such Weapon of Mass Destruction in Nigeria when there are increasing concerns that enemies of Nigeria have infiltrated the Nigerian Armed Forces, Security Agencies and looting of weapons and selling them to the enemies of Nigeria? How can any sincere Nigerian advocate for such at a time when President Goodluck Jonathan had raised alarm of the infiltration of Boko Haram and their sympathizers into the Presidential Villa and other very critical Security Agencies of Nigeria?
Are you saying the call for the installation of nuclear power plant in Nigeria is from job seekers?
It is beyond job seekers. The motive behind this call for nuclear power in Nigeria is that the advocates only seek to justify the establishment of the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission even at the expense of the Peace and Security of our dear nation, Nigeria. The Commission should be scrapped instead. We can’t justify wasting human and natural resources in funding this Commission at a time the developed nations and the world at large are shutting down existing nuclear plants that have become the major threat to humanity across the globe.