By Emmanuel Nduka
Recent security mishaps in the country has elicited reactions from concerned Nigerians, especially the recent invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in Afaka, Kaduna State by armed bandits.
One of such came from former Commodore of the Nigerian Navy, Kunle Olawunmi, who clearly stated that sponsors of terrorist groups are currently holding positions in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Olawunmi who made these claims on Wednesday when he featured on Channels Television breakfast show Sunrise Daily, many of the terrorists arrested in the past years had mentioned the names of top government officials as their sponsors.
“Boys (terrorists) that we arrested mentioned names of people that are in the Government now. Some of them are Governors, some of them are in the Nigerian Senate, and some of them are ministers. The Department of State Service (DSS) know them.
“I have interrogated a high-ranking member of this government on the issue of Boko Haram in 2007/2008 and he was found culpable,” he said.
Recall, that the Nigerian government had said that it had a list of over 400 persons sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria, but had failed to prosecute them.
According to Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, the said sponsors were arrested in Kano, Borno, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna, Zamfara states and Abuja.
Going forward, there has not been any information on their trial, and the names were not made public at any time.
Decrying government’s lack of will to prosecute the sponsors, Olawunmi said: “The government did not try any of them and the Defence did not try that because it was beyond them. It was a policy problem; they cannot go beyond their masters.
“The DHQ cannot conduct any operation that is not sanctioned by the commander-in-chief of the armed forces (president), they cannot do it”.
He said ethno religious sentiments shared by the current administration is derailing the country, adding that the end-game for allowing terrorism to fester, will turn Nigeria into a Taliban-like country by Islamising it.
The former Naval officer further revealed that in 2017, during an intelligence meeting, he advised the government to buy beam surveillance equipment that could give real-time intelligence that would detect the location of terrorists after their operations, but this was not done.
He also argued that military formations in Nigeria were also compromising their security architecture by opening up their gates to the public on Fridays for Juma’at prayers.
“Every military formation across the country, on Fridays by 1pm, are doing the same thing, including Naval Training Command in Apapa, the Divison in Ibadan, Jaji and the Defence Headquarters, that is when terrorists have the time to profile the security architecture. Our problem is religion and it is also socio-cultural,” Olawunmi added.