President Muhammadu Buahri on Friday, March 5, issued a two-week ultimatum to the new service chiefs to tackle the insecurity ravaging the country. The ultimatum has generated mixed reactions from stakeholders in Borno and Zamfara States, the epicenters of terrorism in Nigeria.
President Buhari gave the ultimatum while swearing-in the service chiefs and decorating them with their new ranks.
“For us here in Borno, The two-week ultimatum given to the service chiefs may not be tenable,” Ambassador Ahmed Shehu, the Chairman of the Borno State Network of Civil Societies, told HumAngle over a phone chat.
“Two weeks to end the Boko Haram war that started 11 years ago is not tenable,” he stressed, adding that “he [the President] might have given the service chiefs the time to ginger them into action and stampede them into hitting the ground running.”
The activist argued that the service chiefs need a proper taking-over and also draw a very strategic plan of engaging the communities and the civil societies for confidence building for the successful execution of the war.
“Nevertheless, for us here in Borno, we started counting the days right from the day he gave them the ultimatum, and as soon as it is 14 days, we will issue our scorecard on the performance of the service chiefs according to the ultimatum.”
However, Abubakar Mohammed Dauran, Zamfara State Commissioner For Security and Home Affairs, contended that two weeks was enough for the security agencies to crush terror-banditry in the state.
“I commend the President for giving the service chiefs the ultimatum,” he said, adding, “I believe if the service chiefs can commit themselves to the task, two weeks is even too much for crushing the bandits.”
Dauran noted that “we know all their enclaves; which means all that needs to be done is for the military to deploy the required prowess for the troops to storm those enclaves, and in two weeks everything becomes history.”
He argued that the insecurity has been festering “because the security agencies did not deploy enough commitment to the terror war that we (Zamfara State government) resorted to negotiation with the bandits as a last option.”
“If security agencies had shown enough commitment and prowess to crush the bandits, nothing whatsoever would have advised us to negotiate with criminals,” the commissioner said.