Dangers of Withdrawing The Military From States


There is a general book of law that the military personnel the world over hold sacred in their hearts, “The Forty Eight Laws of Power,” written by Robert Greene. The President too, a retired military general, I must confess, had at one time or the other used the book, because it contains all the tactics and strategies to win and conquer the enemy. The book examines the various laws one can follow to succeed in their struggle to success, conquering and defeating the enemy in various situations and encounters.

Law 15 of the book says, “Crush your enemy totally,” and in passing a judgment the author states that “All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely… If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smoulders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: the enemy will recover and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit.”

I was among those Nigerians placed in fear and tension as to what will happen to us the ordinary citizens of this country who had been victims of insecurity after the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Obok-Ete Ibas, announced the plan of withdrawing the military from some areas in the country and which will begin from the first quarter of this year. There is no denying the fact that the Nigerian military had recorded tremendous success in the fight against Boko Haram. According to the Daily Trust of 5thJanuary 2020, “Even though some people criticized the many military operations as an incipient military takeover of the country, there is no doubt that they have brought calm to many once volatile areas.” The paper highlighted some states with tremendous improvement like Zamfara, regarded as a “killing field” in the North West, Katsina, Plateau and some areas in the North Central. “There is also no doubt that “security situation in southern Kaduna has improved noticeably.” I travelled from Kaduna to Abuja recently with no fear of any surprise attack from kidnappers along the road or any possible attack from bandits.

With all the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram, kidnappers, bandits and the farmers/herders clashes, there is need to exercise caution especially in the fight against Boko Haram. According to the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong who spoke via his director of press and public affairs, Dr Makut Macham, “I think we should do that in a gradual process and with great caution for volatile areas, especially now that we are beginning to build confidence and encourage the return of internally displaced persons to their original homes.”

The President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Dr. Samson Ayokunle kicked against the idea outright. According to him, “the embarrassment these terrorists may cause the government if they go ahead to withdraw troops may be too much. A word is enough for the wise”. A word is not just enough for the wise, it will be much to bear if we fail to listen.

Truth is that the kidnappers, bandits and the dreaded Boko Haram are still all over the place, especially in the north, while we are still facing the challenges of oil bunkering and pipeline vandals in another part of the country. And these are unleashing mayhem on the ordinary citizens.
¬¬ ––Abbas Abubakar Umar
Jabi, Abuja.