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Counter-Terrorism: Where Pantami got it wrong and why he must be protected

When I argued that in the north, those gifted with the power of oratory often use their ingenuity ineffectually, I was harrangued. His Royal Highness the emir of Kano is in this category, they postulate beautifully, mesmerizing their audience in philbustrous manner to the extent of talking more than necessary. They prefer ephemeral applause than lasting impact, not to be accused of playing to the gallery, but they aren’t far from being esoteric.

Sheikh Dr Isa Ali Pantami current minister of communication delivered a paper titled “Counter Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies” he succinctly outlined plausible areas where the security operatives can take advantage of available and emerging technologies to curb terrorism easier. Pronto! the leadership of Bokoharam became agitated and started issuing death threat to the minister Pantami.

As we speak, Pantami is under threat. While the clergyman may not be perturbed by the threat of death, the world will lose his greatness if the bad guys succeed in eliminating him.

Shekau bragged and made reference to how Shiek Jafaru and Albany died gruesomely – I wish Mathew Kukah can be shown the shakau video so that his deliberate misrepresentation of the boko haram debacle can be corrected. Kukah is giving more legitimacy to the insurgents than anyone, for every of their deadly strikes, Kukah gives it a religious colouration – tagging its attempt to exterminate Christians! So sad to find such a man turned aggravator of tragedies.

Now to Shiek Ali Pantami, as a minister in a government faced with tragic security challenges, what stops you from sharing this beautiful strategy of curbing insurgency using new technological tools? Why choose an audience that only clap when you have the audience that can act? The President and his security chiefs would have been the ideal audience to share such a beautiful insight with. Now that you have made your insight a public document, the insurgents are agitated and calling for your head.

In this part of the world, government officials talk too much than they work. Everyday, they are seen on podium speaking to assembled audience instead of being on the field speaking to the realities on ground. In the bid to sustain and impress their audience, they spill out what isn’t necessary. It is in this clime that the army will announce the purchase of sensitive war equipment, the airforce will launch acquired war aircraft in fanfare and the police announcing strategies of curbing crimes in the media.

Former Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim almost lost his life barely few hours after dazzling an audience on how he would eliminate Boko Haram in two days. On his way back to office, the most fortified security headquarters came under heavy attack when the people he bragged of being decimated almost killed him!

Government officials must learn to speak less and speak more of what they have done and not what they will do. You don’t win a war announcing your strategies, you go into the war with concealed armaments and strategies.

Amotekun, beautiful initiative that would have addressed the many criminalities in the South West fell to the labour of stillborn when instead of planning the idea discreetly, the initiators took to the street in carnival manner announcing what hasn’t even been legally perfected! As we speak, the fate of that beautiful bride lies in the balance.

This is what insincerity and playing too much to the gallery can cause. We are more interested in accolades than the long term benefit of our actions.

Government particularly the security hierarchy must act speedily with Pantami’s suggestion, and the needed protection must be given to him. Intelligence sharing mechanism of government must be activated to aid effective synergy in addressing current security challenges. Above all, government officials must tone down on disclosing strategies considered sensitive to the public- and police must stop blaring siren when going to arrest criminals.

Critically musing.

Abdullahi Haruna Haruspice writes from Abuja


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