Wednesday, February 5, 2020
SIR: Truth is subjective and can be interpreted to suit the listener. Last week, Governor Zulum of Borno State threw stones at the proverbial glass house while delivering a lecture at a leadership seminar held at the Nigerian Defence College for high ranking military personnel and policymakers. He was quoted as saying “unwillingness of persons in the corridors of power to tell leaders the truth about issues and the unwillingness of leaders themselves to hear the truth, are some of the major problems confronting leadership in Nigeria.
He further posited that “A strategic leader must be a strategic listener and reader. A strategic thinker must also be a strategic learner. A strategic leader must be willing to hear the truth and to learn”.
It seems odd that a serving governor and former commissioner could be bold enough to light the fire on his immediate constituency roof. But the truth remains truth and must be told. After all, a Yoruba adage says “the truth does not deny one from saying it”.
Can the truth be tamed?
Nigeria is a country filled with liars in various strategic positions. In all facets of our national lives, liars abound in leadership positions with the religious centres not spared, though our political leaders enjoy pioneer status in the deceit game.
Few days back, a popular senator from the south-east suggested that the president should resign over his inability to solve the nation’s security challenges.
Characteristically the presidency rose in defense, describing the senator in mild manner as a secessionist and deviating from the substance of the argument. “Stoning the president” is more of a figure of speech and not necessarily hate speech. It implies that it is more honourable to resign than be disliked by majority of the people you govern.
Clearly, and without a doubt, the “technically” defeated insurgence are in reality fully awake and have overtly overwhelmed our security strategy.
The truth that the presidency refuses to accept is that, the security chiefs have exhausted their commonwealth of ideas in counter-terrorism, and there is need to breath fresh impetus into the insurgency war.
It is only fair for the presidency to review the criticisms and test the adequacy of its security strategy with a view to finding a long term solution to our security challenge.
Whether the presidency accept it or not, it is clear that Nigerians are no longer hoodwinked in to believing the philosophical victory over the “technically” defeated Boko Haram.
It is time to accept the truth and change the security strategy of the nation and also look into the funding of the insurgency war as well as procurement of “war gears” used in execution of the battle.
The presidency needs to look at how to block the sources of funding to the insurgence and look more at hostage negotiations and discourage the payment of ransom for the release of kidnapped victims.