“ NIGERIA IS A NATION HELD AT HOSTAGE BY INTER-AGENCY RIVALRIES ”
A House Divided Against itself cannot Withstand Adversarial Wind
Almost in spite of wise counsel and common intelligence to the contrary, virtually all the key officers manning anti-graft under President Muhammed Buhari are tearing at each other’s jugular determined to ensure that battle against the monstrous corruption fails beyond any form of redemption. Complicated revelations of mind boggling scandals of allegations and sometimes counter allegations by public office holders and bodies under this administration makes the recent assertion of the President of Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), Dr. Samson Ayokunle very apt when he alerted that “we need to caution the President in particular that the fight against corruption may not be too far away from around him. Those hands that are not right around him, he should be courageous enough to deal with them”.
The comedy of error is legion and the fallacy of “what about you” under this dispensation is legendary. The drama premiered with cutting Ibe Kachikwu to his place by Maikanti Baru was followed by Abdulrasheed Maina reinstatement, sack and disappearance which is as tearfully comical as the shouting bout of Abba Kyari and Oyo- Ita in the hallowed chamber of Federal Executive Council. The collective indictment for us as a nation comes when corruption points accusing fingers at all, as the Minister for Justice and Attorney General sings “ it wasn’t me ” and others in the Interior, Presidency, Head of Service et.al chorus for him. We are now at a cross road where the various anti-graft agencies are either at open cold war or marking time to take sides. The obvious implication is that these security agencies, DSS, EFCC, NFIU, CCB, ICPC have been effectively muffled, becoming toothless bulldog that can not give sinew to the President anti-corruption campaign while “corruption” and its proselytes are the only beneficiaries of the attendant, raging inter-service rivalries.
A cursory example suffices to buttress our point and show a gory portrait of the situation. The EFCC accused the Department of State Security Service attempting to scuttle its investigations into the $2Billion arms scam perpetrated by the former Security Adviser, rtd. Col. Sambo Dasuki, by refusing to release the department suspected officers for question. DSS on the other hand is alleging witchhunting because its Director General, Lawal Daura did not give a clean bill of health to the Senate during the screening of the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu. If there is no synergy between security agencies, when issues degenerate into the low abyss of inter-personal interests, how can they prosecute the battle against corruption with one mind? This is volatile landmine waiting to explode; concerted efforts must be garnered to diffuse it.
It is instructive to note that all over the world, there are instances of inter-service rivalries but this is usually on operation matters and not to the extent of compromising securities or mandated objectives, whenever this occur, the consequences are always very fatal. For instance, the twin bombing in the United States in 11th September, 2001 was discovered to have occurred due to the absence of inter-agency collaboration. The work of most agencies are inter-twined, therefore, there must be sharing of information at real time as the findings into the 9/11 incidence revealed. Today, because of intra-agency petty and negative rivalries, the country has been suspended from the Egmont group which is the operational arm of the global organisation for Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), ostensibly because of an initiative by the Attorney General to yank off National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from EFCC as its autonomy is a desideratum to be pa the of the Egmont group.
The logical necessity for inter-agency collaboration is that while money laundering falls under the mandate of EFCC; there are issues in counter-financing of terrorism that are under the purview of DSS internal security mandate particularly because of events in the North East or external activities of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). It is only a devious system design by an element like Adolf Hitler that would consciously promote the negative import of inter-service rivalries instead deploying same as a balancing factor as was his policy of “survival of the fittest” between the Wehrmacht and Waffen SS during the Third Reich.
Nigeria has a rich history of collaborations between security agencies either as unified or joint command structures which have over the years proven very helpful. Examples abound in the operations of the various Joint Task Force (JTF) which litter our geo-political landscape. The Eagle square bombing of 1st October, 2010 underscores more imperatively why inter-agencies rivalry must be shunned at all cost and collaboration embraced.