By Musa Ilallah
President Muhammadu Buhari’s article titled “Africa needs more than US military aid to defeat terror”, published in the Financial Times of London recently, came as a big surprise and shock to naysayers but a timely, nationalist and frank view to well-meaning Nigerians and other Africans.
PMB’s thought-provoking views expressed in the article which coincidentally came on the same day with the complete take over of Afghanistan by the Taliban, has further confirmed PMB as a man of the moment for his honest concern with the larger implications of the Afghanistan take over visa-a-vis the further danger and threats posed by ISWAP and Boko Haram in the continent.
As one leader who is concerned and is genuinely doing all that is humanly possible to crush ISWAP/Boko Haram in Nigeria and throughout Africa, PMB has till today become the driving force in the establishment of the Multi National Joint Task Force aimed at giving them a deadly blow.
PMB’s thoughts as published by the London based newspaper coincided with the takeover of Afghanistan by Talibans was targeted at USA and African leaders to have a rethink towards doing more to save the continent from the activities of terror groups like ISIS, Taliban, ISWAP and Boko Haram.
In the words of PMB, “though some believe the war on terror winds down with the US departure from Afghanistan, the threat it was supposed to address burns fiercely on my continent. Africa as the new frontline of global militancy.”
In very clear and unambiguous terms, President Buhari in his views re-affirmed for the umpteemth time that “we must not complacently assume that military means alone can defeat the terrorists. If Afghanistan has taught us a lesson, it is that although sheer force can blunt terror, its removal can cause the threat to return.”
Sounding very philosophical, PMB in his usual style was of the conviction that the US and its western allies cannot be expected to underpin the security of others everywhere and indefinitely. Africa has enough soldiers of our own. However, more can be done to help with technical assistance, advanced weaponry, intelligence and ordinance.
The fact as scientifically stated by PMB remains that “what Africa needs most from the US is a comprehensive partnership to close the disparity between our economic and demographic growth.” He added: “a lack of hope in checking rising unemployment in the continent is the chief recruiting sergeant for the continent’s new brand of terrorism.”
It is in rightly correct to opine that what we need is investment in infrastructure.
Towards this end, President Buhari confirmed that the US already has schemes such as Power Africa, which invests in the continent’s essential energy infrastructure. “However, more must be done. Ultimately, Africans need not swords but plough shares to defeat terror, technological and intelligence support that our armies do not possess.”
From PMB’s perspective, it is everyone’s hope that things will change for the better in terms of providing more support to African governments to deal with the threats of terrorism all over the continent. African leaders must also do the needful by adding more value to proactive measures to deal with terrorism.
This is made more imperative now than ever before, largely due to the fact that the takeover of Afghanistan by Talibans after years of war against government poses a larger threat to Africa.
One cannot but agree with PMB where he admitted that ‘Africa is the new frontline of global militancy. International assistance has not followed in step. The Sahel remains vulnerable to Boko Haram’.
By way of proffering solutions to avert the threats staring Africa in the face, President Buhari specifically stated that more efforts must be made by African leaders to tackle the economic, social, and educational challenges that breed the religious intolerance that fuels extremism on the African continent.
PMB’s views as a Pan Africanist have undoubtedly spoken the sincere recipe to dealing with terrorism and bringing lasting peace to the continent.
President Buhari’s footprints in securing and uplifting the status of Africans though massive inter country network of roads and rail infrastructural development are there for all to see. He is determined to give the continent a boost through its potentials.
Ilallah writes from Abuja
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily