Dr. Nnamdi Okonkwo

By Frank Oshanugor

The reported invasion of Nigeria’s territory by foreign terrorists allegedly occupying Kainji National Park at present has become a major source of worry to some Nigerians and has prompted a retired Commandant of the Nigerian Security & Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Dr. Nnamdi Okonkwo to ask what has happened to Nigeria’s security agencies.

Fielding questions from a television journalist recently, Okonkwo who is currently a security consultant said it was embarrassing that people coming as terrorists could cross from Republic of Benin to Kainji area of Nigeria without the interception the nation’s security forces.

He asked, “where were the intelligence forces. Nigeria’s various security intelligence departments ought to know about the movement of people across Nigeria’s borders and what threat they pose to us as individuals.”

According to him, “the federal government as an entity has the responsibility primarily to provide freedom and safety to all anxieties of danger facing Nigerian citizens.”

The former chieftain of NSCDC expressed worry that if the nation’s security forces have chosen to keep quiet this long and allowed the terrorists to cross from one end of their country to our country without being dictated, it is rather unfortunate.

“Their settlement is to dislodge the economic life of that region. People would be displaced and they would leave their means of
livelihood and what they do because of the presence of the terrorists who have crossed from another country.”

The security consultant expressed some concern over what may be the intentions of the foreign terrorists. To him, the word terrorism in this case is not quite certain with respect to its classification whether it is a transnational state sponsored terrorism or the so called terrorists are a bunch of recalcitrant Nigerians who just want to disorganise the security of Nigeria for their political gains.

He posited that “all these are intelligence and we have to collate them, decipher them, get the estimates and know how to pursue what the problem is, for the country.”

With the uncertainty surrounding the classification of the so called foreign terrorists, Okonkwo went on to ask, “are we going to tackle these terrorists as people who are state sponsored or recalcitrants who want to disorganise the smooth running of government of Nigeria.”

He argued that if the various security forces of Nigeria with their intelligence apparatus had lived up to expectation, they would have been in a position to pre-emptively destroy any thing inimical to the interest of the federal government of Nigeria in the region reportedly ocçupied by the foreign terrorists.

As a solution, the security chieftain insisted that “if the terrorists have not already gained foothold, Nigeria government and its security agencies should trigger off their intelligence mechanism.

According to him”this means total destruction of anything that would be inimical to that region and in the interest of the federal government. We need to match the terrorists fire power for fire power, ideology for ideology. We need a counter-intelligence to be able to defeat the terrorists militarily.”