Sunday, April 18, 2021

Shekau’s threat to Pantami: Where the minister got it wrong, by Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice 

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tiamin rice

When I argued that in the North, those gifted with the power of oratory often use their ingenuity ineffectually, I was harangued. His Royal Highness, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, is in this category. They postulate beautifully, mesmerizing their audience in so filibusterous manner that they end up talking more than necessary. They prefer ephemeral applause than lasting impact.

Sheikh Dr Isa Ali Pantami, the current minister of communications, delivered a paper titled ‘Counter Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies’, in which he succinctly outlined plausible areas where the security operatives could easily take advantage of available and emerging technologies to curb terrorism. Pronto! The leadership of Boko Haram became furious and started issuing death threat to the Minister Pantami. As we speak, Pantami is under threat.

While the clergyman may not be perturbed by the threat of death, the world will lose his greatness if the bad guys succeed in eliminating him. When I saw the way and manner Shekau bragged and made reference to how Shiekh Jafar and Albany were killed gruesomely, I wished Mathew Kukah could be shown the video so that his deliberate misrepresentation of the Boko Haram debacle could be fritter away. Kukah is giving more legitimacy to the insurgents than anyone. For every of their deadly strikes, Kukah gives it a religious colouration – tagging its attempt to exterminate Christians! So sad to find such a man turned aggravator of tragedies.

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Now to Shiekh Ali Pantami, as a minister in a government faced with tragic security challenges, what stops you from sharing this beautiful strategy of curbing insurgency using new technological tools? Why choose an audience that only clap when you have the audience that can act? The President and his security chiefs would have been the ideal audience to share such a beautiful insight with. Now that you have made your insight a public document, the insurgents are outraged and calling for your head. What a misplaced priority?

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In this part of the world, government officials talk too much. Every day, they are seen on the podium speaking to assembled audience, instead of being on the field speaking to the realities on ground. In the bid to sustain and impress their audience, they spill out what isn’t necessary. It is in this clime that the army would announce the purchase of sensitive war equipment, the Airforce would launch acquired war aircraft in fanfare and the police announce strategies of curbing crimes in the media. Former Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim almost lost his life barely few hours after dazzling an audience on how he would eliminate Boko Haram in two days. On his way back to the office, the most fortified security headquarters came under heavy attack by the people he bragged of being decimated. They almost killed him! Government officials must learn to speak less and speak more of what they have done and not what they will do. You don’t win a war announcing your strategies, you go into the war with concealed armaments and strategies.

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Amotekun, beautiful initiative that would have addressed the many criminalities in the South West, fell to the labor of stillborn when instead of planning the idea discreetly, the initiators took to the street in carnival manner announcing what hasn’t even been legally perfected! As we speak, the fate of that beautiful bride lies in the balance. This is what insincerity and playing too much to the gallery can cause. We are more interested in accolades than the long term benefit of our actions.

Government, particularly the security hierarchy, must act speedily with Pantami’s suggestion, and the needed protection must be given to him. Intelligence-sharing mechanism of government must be activated to aid effective synergy in addressing current security challenges. Above all, government officials must tone down on disclosing strategies considered sensitive to the public, and police must stop blaring siren when going to arrest criminals.

Critically musing

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