Counterterrorism: On Haruspice, Kukasheka on Pantami’s Paper By Isah Ismaila Gagarawa

I read with interest the recent exchange between a popular blogger, Abdullahi O. Haruna Haruspice and a retired Brig. Gen. Kukasheka over a paper presentation made by the minister of communications and digital economy, Sheik Isa Ali Pantami titled: “Counter Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies.”

In his post, Haruspice noted the Islamic scholar and current Communication Minister, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami had delivered a paper titled ‘Counter Terrorism Through Innovative Approaches and the Use of New and Emerging Technologies’ where he succinctly outlined plausible areas where the security operatives can take advantage of available and emerging technologies to curb terrorism easier.

Haruspice continued that “The leadership of Boko haram 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 Sheik Jafaru and Albany died gruesomely – I wish Mathew Kukah can be shown the shekau video so that his deliberate misrepresentation of the boko haram debacle can be corrected.”

Even though his introduction to the debate seems to be harmless until when he stated that as a minister in a government faced with tragic security challenges, what stopped the Minister from sharing this beautiful strategy of curbing insurgency using new technological tools? Why did he choose an audience that only clap when there were other audience that can act?

Haruspice said the President and his security chiefs would have been the ideal audiences to share such a beautiful insight with. Now that had made the intelligence a public document, the insurgents are agitated and calling for his head.

Reacting gto the post, Brig. General Kukasheka, who is the Director of communication, Army Resource Center and a winner of the outstanding Security and Emergency Management Award (SAEMA) noted that there was no doubt that the opinion of Haruspice was a good point but he nevertheless missed the main point.

Kukasheka wrote: “I totally disagree with the writer, Haruna Abdullahi, about the motive of the Honorable Minister and the criticism of the where he made the statement and those present. For the avoidance of doubt, it was a paper presented at a seminar whose participants were drawn from crucial stakeholders in the national security architecture; the intelligence community, military and other security agencies.”

Kukasheka who had been similarly threatened by Abubakar Shekau, the notorious Boko Haram leader said the occasion was a Seminar on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Nigeria at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja, where he (Kukasheka) chaired the session. The Centre, as he noted has the reputation of being a think tank on military and national security matters in this country. Its deliberations, recommendations and suggestion go to the highest policy making bodies and persons in Nigeria. T

He said it was wrong for the blogger to describe the caliber of the people at the occasion as the wrong audience.

He went further to urge the blogger to tender an apology to the minister

“I expect him to tender an unreserved apology to the Honorable Minister as he knows his onions; what he says, where he says and whom he says it to. In any case, all Nigerians are equal stakeholders in our national discourse for a better Nigeria. Haruna should not be like Bishop Kukah whom he rightly describes,” Kukasheka concluded.

I also disagree with Haruspice when he insisted the minister should have channel his message to the president and the service chiefs instead of making it public. The Nigerian Army Resource Centre is a body within the military and the intelligence sectors whose participants are also representations of that sensitive security architectures.

Therefore, the participants were right audiences for the message who will find strategic ways on channelling the information into plans of action to either the President or security chiefs. This is what bureaucracy is all about. By the way, the message convey by the minister on the use of social media for recruitment of terrorists is a public knowledge.

I strongly believe Haruspice, only read the headlines of the story rather than the context and the venue what the message was conveyed.

Isah Ismaila Gagarawa is NYSC Member with PRNigeria Abuja.

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