BY TAYO OJEDIRAN
Since my Dad passed on more than a decade ago, I've never been this heartbroken, devastated and despaired. I’ve not been myself since I got the news on the 24th of March that his troops were ambushed by BH and all killed.
The news of LT. Dotun Bamiduro's death came to me as a very rude shock. It took me completely off balance. I cried like a baby! Not just because of the love, but because he was a very promising young man. When the thoughts of Nigeria's future comes to mind, he was one of those I had pictured as having the potentials to someday lead this country to greatness.
Dotun was a very briIliant chap. Very humble, intelligent, calm, well coordinated and morally upright. He was the president of Finance department students in UNILORIN. He would have excelled well in any industry. He did his NYSC at CBN and the plan and permutations then was that he would be retained. I was therefore surprised when he broke the news of his enlistment in the Nigerian army through short course to me. Well, God is the one in charge of the affairs of all of us. Since he joined the Nigerian army, he had always been at the forefront of fighting Boko Haram, defending his fatherland. He had always attributed his triumphs to God as he had narrowly escaped so many deadly attacks.
Whenever I heared that there was a serious clash between the Nigerian army and BH, I always immediately reach out to him to confirm that he is fine. His response was always "bros, just be praying for us".
Our last whatssap conversation was so emotional. He ended the chat with "bros, esaama gbadura fun wa". Dotun was professional in the conversation we had that preceded this. He saw my usual status update in support of Buhari's govt. He just privately chatted me and voiced out certain personal concerns about the way the war is being handled by the government. I took it serious and asked him what's his take and experience. He said all he could say is that the Boko Haram issue is more serious than we are seeing it and he was worried about how the government was not forthcoming enough in giving adequate support to the men on the war front. I then put it to him (knowing that he would neither lie nor be partisan) that he should confirm if Buhari was not doing well in the BH fight. He responded that all he could say is that: it was either the senior military guys were not reporting the true picture of things to the president or the president was deliberately not supporting the men on the war front. I could read in between the lines that there were certain details he was deliberately withholding, most likely because of his professional ethics and commitment. I told him I have a platform I could use to get his info to the presidency; that he should tell me; that the objective was to get results, for it is our Nigeria. The next is that, Dotun never responded again until close to about 5 months later that he wished me happy birthday and I never talked about it again with him - having gotten his silent message well.
Oh God! I'm now faced with the reality that Dotun has gone finally. Just like that?!
To President Buhari and/or the Nigerian government, how many of Dotuns (very promising and patriotic Nigerians) had gone like this? How many are still going right now? How many Dotuns will still go before you do the simple right thing? We know that soldiers die in war, but it shouldn't be as a result of unnecessary and avoidable government lapses, carelessness and hyper insensitivity. When would the government start seeing this as a war?! It would appear as if Boko Haram’s determination to wreck the Nigerian state far surpasses whatever determination the FG has, to roll the insurgency back and defeat it. I feel disgusted and rattled. Let us ask ourselves why the ambushed convoy was not accompanied by something as simple as a surveillance drone overhead, in which case a successful ambush against the convoy would have been virtually out of the question. Many close watchers of military affairs keep pointing out the fact that our government is more than capable of equipping our military much more than they are currently doing. The most plausible explanation for this shortcoming on the part of the government is that this government is NOT sincere about defeating Boko Haram.
Buhari is not fighting this war well. There is a level of indecisiveness and lukewarm attitude in the manner he - a General for that matter - has been prosecuting this war that is disheartening. I doubt if Abacha, in contrast, would have allowed Boko Haram to last for up to 2 weeks. What Nigeria needs now is a no-nonsense leader, both in speech and in action. If you are a no-nonsense leader, there are just certain things that you simply wouldn’t tolerate under your watch. A situation whereby hundreds of very promising officers and soldiers of our armed forces continue to be killed with reckless abandon by rag tag insurgents within the borders of our own country, is a shame and a national embarrassment that no serious leader should be able to tolerate for any length of time.
This war is still continuing up till now because the government is fighting the insurgents with kid gloves. Buhari is too slow, too lenient to the insurgents and too indecisive and his body posture and countenance is not like that of a war time leader. Nigeria is at war but we have a leader that is behaving as if we are in peace time.
If this government continues to be indecisive about this war, allows this war to continue to fester and continues to allow our gallant officers and men to die like chickens on the war front under Buhari’s watch, then this is a major failure on his path with regards to one of his most important campaign promises.
As for those who may want to call me names for saying my mind, wait till the worst of the realities of the failings of this government gets to your own doorsteps, to your own persons and to your own home.
That we are Buharists does not mean that we should not be able to point out where our President ‘s shortcomings are. In fact, if we fail to point out his shortcomings, we are also failing him in not making him to know the truth, and this defeats one of the cardinal principles of Buharism which is sincerity, truth and objectivity.NaijaBlog.ng