Al-Mustapha: Movement of Arms, Drugs into Nigeria Worrisome
Ganduje says insecurity biggest challenge for 2023 elections
Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of Action Alliance (AA) and former Chief Security Officer to late Head of State Gen. Sani Abacha, Major Hamzat Al-Mustapha(rtd) has raised the alarm over new discoveries of movement of drugs and arms in large quantities into the country ahead of the 2023 elections.
Al-Mustapha raised the alarm yesterday in Abuja at the annual roundtable organised by Platinum Post, with the theme: “Contemporary Security Challenges and their Effect on the 2023 General Election.”
The intelligence officer cum politician described performance of security managers in the country from 1999 to date as unfortunate.
He said while there were those who truly worked hard, numerous ones who died, those who are widows and orphans, but insisted that those in authority should have not sat down and change the doctrine from military to civil in terms of peace education, peace maintenance and creating enumerations for people to come out of the shock
His words: “As of today, all the agencies in Nigeria and I’m sure the representative of the Inspector General of Police (IG), if he’s aware of what I’m going to talk about, new discoveries of movements of drugs, arms, are coming into Nigeria through numerous borders and in large quantities. I’m talking of now, as I speak. But I’m sure the society is not aware.
“The question is at whose instance are these new weapons coming in? Why the increase? Who are the vendors? Who has sent for it? Is it politicians? What is the plan, can the election hold? Has the friction started between political parties and candidates and their supporters? The question is who is sending the arms? To reinforce the insurgency or to reinforce the political side of it?”
The presidential candidate stated categorically that copying the management of insurgency from elsewhere is fundamental mistakes the managers of security in the country are making.
He added: “In management of insurgency, you have kinetic and non kinetic approaches. But the mistake we have been making is the fact that once insurgency is established, we take the same measures as Country C, bringing it into ours, a colossal mistake.
“Whosoever does that and believe in such doctrine, at the end of the day, you may be busy trying to achieve goals and time will be wasted with you achieving nothing. Because of the simple fact that in the laboratory of security, there was not, there is not and there can never be two identical insurgencies in life.
“So you have to look at insurgencies from the point of view of the yardsticks of establishing them as insurgencies, historical development, long term interest, security, economic or political interests embedded or invested therein and begin to manage from your environmental perspective, your capacity and this need for you to collaborate with bigger bodies if there must be success.”
Al-Mustapha wondered why Borno state, which has been the hot-bed of Boko Haram insurgency, has turned into a gold mine of non- governmental organisations (NGOs).
He stated: “Borno state is a place ordinarily to be feared because of bombs in wrong places alone. But one may ask, NGOs in Borno state, particularly the capital, are too many. Houses for rent are difficult to find. They are renting houses from 10 years and above; 18 years, 20 years. That is to say there is a plan to stay longer.
“One may ask why? Who are these NGOs? Who certifies them and send them to Nigeria? How come soldiers and police and all uniform men and women are scared of Nigeria and scared particularly of Borno state. How come NGOs are much more friendlier? The weather is not friendly, the weather is harsh. How come they love Borno? How come they don’t go to other peaceful countries with better weather? What are they doing there? One may ask.
“Why are soldiers running away from the locations of Boko Haram? And why are the white men and women going there even at odd hours and coming back and unhindered? Why are we not asking them questions? Is Nigeria a jungle? Do we know who we are? What are the names of these agencies giving them clearances at home? How do they enter Nigeria? Immigration, foreign affairs Internal Affairs, presidency. What are they engaged in? What is that lucrative thing that makes them not to be afraid of the danger zone in the eyes of a typical Nigerian? How come a typical Nigerian cannot go to where they go to? How come they hold meetings with these people? How come they have telephones and internet interactions? How come we are not aware?
“The question here I ask is: Is it the security managers that are compromising? Or are these civil institutions that are compromising? or is it ignorance? Or is it negligence.
“From the NGOs, they treat people but most of what they give the local people are poisonous. Where is Minister of Health? How come what they give them is actually increasing cancer, kidney and liver problems today,” he queried.
Al-Mustapha recalled that in January 2022, there was a proposal by one of the countries who “enjoys taking the resources of African states, who came with an idea, having spent a lot of money and approached the government of Borno State under the guise of agricultural investment and cooperation with the state”.
According to him, in areas where it is Boko Haram heavily dominated, one may ask rather than running away, why the approach, rather than saving their money, why the investment? What is that they are taking? How come with don’t know?
Al-Mustapha explained that as far as the internal security was concerned, one may say, November 1st, 1999, was clearly when insurgency reset itself into Nigeria, but added that the conception of what insurgency was all about in Nigeria, was conceived in 1972 after the discovery of oil and gas.
“After the discovery of oil and gas, certain nations who believe Africa is a company, where they have invested from yester-years of Colonial era to a new era, where independent states are to relate with their colonial masters and they are friends or associates from across the world,” he said.
The presidential candidate said African countries like Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Libya, among others where there are high deposits of mineral resources, the western nations ensured that there was an unending crisis, while non-state actors were armed.
Al-Mustapha said as far back as 1996, the government of Nigeria had discovered large deposits of Uranium, oil and gas and other mineral resources in the North-east part of the country.
He said: “From Nigeria to Mali, Nigeria to Congo DRC and Mozambique. One may ask, why arming these four countries? whose idea is it? Is it a threat of the moment? or potential threats to come? And what is it targeted at Nigeria for? It is of serious concern that we get to ask questions. That is to say, once you are bitten by a snake, the moment you see an ant nobody should tell you to stand up and ask several questions. Otherwise the experience you have had has no meaning to you
“My concern here is Nigeria. As at 1996, some parts of the results were ready, and it was discovered that rare stones were visible in the North-eastern part of Nigeria, there was gas in high quantity, also in another part of North-west, there is also the same uranium in high quantity that is enough for Nigeria’s domestic energy consumption for hundreds of years to come. That changed the narrative.”
On his part, the Governor of Kano state, Abdullahi Ganduje, said insecurity was one of the biggest challenges facing the conduct of the 2023 general elections.
Ganduje, who was represented by his acting Chief of State and the Head of Service, Usman Mohammed, noted that ensuring the safety and security of voters, election personnel, materials, candidates, party agents, observers, the media and transporters was paramount.
He added: “The responsibility has become more challenging in the context of the current asymmetric security situation in the country. With about a few months until the next general election, there is no better time for proactive measures than now to ensure that the nation is secure enough for elections to be held across the nooks and crannies of the country.”
The governor stressed that despite the severity of the security challenges facing next year’s polls, he believed that the relevant security agencies have the potency to ensure that the process was made peaceful and secured by synergizing effectively, review the operational strategies and optimally deploy all their operational assets towards addressing current and evolving general security threats ahead of the elections.
Earlier, the Publisher of Platinum Post, Edwin Ofulu said the annual event was designed to address issues of national importance and also in line with the mission of the organization which is to strengthen democratic ideals and values and promote good governance in Nigeria.
He said going by the campaigns and debates on issues relating to the governance of the country by candidates of the leading political parties, there was no doubt that the election was potentially going to be the most keenly contested exercise in Nigeria’s political history.
Ofulu noted that the objective of the roundtable was to find answers to some nagging questions posed by the current security situation in the country and mobilise the electorate to exercise their franchise without hindrance.