Politicking, Security and Intelligence Gathering in an Electioneering Season
By Mukhtar Ya’u Madobi
The electioneering period is on. Activities in the period is attaining crescendo, ahead of the 2023 general elections. As it stand, political aspirants who emerged as flag bearers of their respective parties are busy making consultations thereby meeting key stakeholders to canvass for votes.
While some politicians legitimately woo electorates to achieve their cause, other mischief makers may resort to scheming vicious plan to actualize their ambition. And this is where the red line needs to be drawn by our gallant security forces. Whosoever crosses it, should face the full wrath of the law.
As President Muhammadu Buhari was about to clock 7 years in office since the inception of his administration in 2015, a lot of public disorders had happened which indeed put the nation in a quagmire and seriously threaten the fabric of our national security set-up. But with God’s intervention coupled with proactive measures implemented by the security forces across various institutions, the storm has now passed.
First, it was that Sokoto unrest where irate youth were reported to have lynched and equally set ablaze a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Deborah Samuel on the account of making blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad SAW.
Thanks for the prompt action of security forces, a dawn to dusk curfew and arrest of the lead perpetrators were enough to bring down the situation under control to avert its further escalation to neighboring locations.
While still dealing with the above uproar, another similar incident happened in Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State, where another Christian woman was alleged to have also made another blasphemy. Security Officers were quickly mobilized and outrightly take over the community and doused the tensions.
On the other hand, the outlawed members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, group have also had their day in southeast. It was reported how these militants murdered a pregnant Arewa Muslim woman alongside her four children and other six northerners in Anambra State.
This reprehensible act has in a greater dimension heated up the polity as some section of Northerners were clamoring for scheming similar scenario against Igbos population living in some parts of the North.
Majority of people have thought that there will be reprisal attacks in the north in order to avenge the murder of Harira and her four children, but fortunately it wasn’t fated. Nigeria survived another storm which could have plunge the country into upheaval of greater ramification similar to that of civil war. God forbid!
However, upon the process of Averting all these crises, one must be surprising and asking questions about those brains who are working behind the curtains in neutralizing all these form of threats prior to their emergence.
To that effect, the influential efforts of the duo security architectures, i.e. the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), that provides the Nigerian Military with actionable intelligence and the Department of State Service (DSS), an agency mandated to gather domestic intelligence and transmit same to sister security agencies for prompt action can never be ignored.
Over the years, the act of gathering and sharing credible intelligence have proven to be a major weapon against suppressing all forms of criminal activities.
Notwithstanding, now that political atmosphere is becoming intense, the Nigerian Military, DSS, Police and other sister security agencies should not relent on their efforts towards ensuring of law and order across the various societies. Because, this is the perfect time to be more proactive and vigilant as some miscreant politicians may capitalize on the situation to create public disorder in order to realize their vicious ambitions, even at the detriment of national security.
In connection to that, it is gratifying to learn that the DSS has since embarked on discreet vetting of political aspirants across all the cadres of contestants in order to fish out those who have ‘some baggage.’
According to the DSS, this traditional profiling and vetting of political aspirants is very vital so as to enable the service fish out criminal elements who should not be entrusted with sensitive offices and positions in the country and guide relevant agencies, parties and institutions appropriately.
“The vetting is a continuous exercise and a core function of our mandate to determine if anyone who is seeking to occupy any office is fit and proper to do so in order to prevent criminally-minded elements from being saddle with sensitive government apparatus and institutions,” a DSS official explained.
Under this arrangement, the security agency is to beam its searchlight on those who have criminal records bordering on economic sabotage, corruption, terrorism financing and separatist agitation among others.
However, the current vetting is prompted principally by inconsistency in the information provided by politicians in the country, which requires cross-checking to ensure that those who have questions are made to provide answers before it becomes late.
It is crystal clear that through embarking on these kinds of behind-the-scene security measures, a hitch and violence-free electioneering period is feasible in our dear country.
Let’s go for it with full weight!
Mukhtar is a Staff Writer with the Emergency Digest.