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Menace And The Mandate Of Using Merceneries To Massacre Marauders, By Bala Ibrahim

TERRORISM is a menace of the highest order, because it involves criminal acts that are committed by individuals or groups, for the furtherance of ideological goals. Some of these acts may stem from domestic influences, like political, religious, social, racial, or environmental matters. In the case of what is happening in northern Nigeria, the general believe is that the activities of the terrorists are propelled by political and religious influences.

A day after the dreadful Abuja/Kaduna train attack, a friend called, and we engaged in the rub of minds, during which he said, Bala, why can’t the government be advised to try using bounty hunters for the elimination of the menace of these marauders?

For a fee or reward, the services of bounty hunters or mercenaries can be engaged, to enter the bushes and pursue these criminals. This would bring the atrocities of the terrorists to an end permanently. Why cant the government explore that option?


My friend wants the government to give mandate to the mercenaries to massacre the marauders.

I don’t know if my friend had the same discussion with the governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, but I was extremely pleased when I heard the governor talking in tandem with the thinking of my friend. I heard him saying, “We are considering hiring mercenaries to end terrorism”.

On Friday, while speaking with journalists, after briefing President Muhammadu Buhari on the recent deadly train attack near Kaduna, El-Rufa’I said the devastating attack, which claimed eight lives, would have been avoided if the federal government heeded his earlier warnings. “With the sort of arrogance and boldness the terrorists operated in recent times, they could subdue the nation if the military fails to act proactively, by storming their camps and hideouts in the forests and wipe them out once and for all”- El-Rufai.

In what appeared like additional indictment on the government, El-Rufai advanced that security agencies, including the military, are aware of the locations and specific mappings of the terrorists, but they seem reluctant in acting.

Although El-Rufai said President Buhari had assured that he would take required actions and the ongoing carnage would be caged in a matter of months, the fact that similar assurances have been given before, with similar time lines, and nothing corresponding came out of them, is making many to buy the idea of engaging the mercenaries.

The north, particularly the northwest states of Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Niger, are virtually living at the mercy of these terrorists, who are regularly subjecting them to the reign of terror.

For that, the people want the government to give mandate to the mercenaries to massacre the marauders.

Not only do I agree with the positions of El-Rufai and that of my friend, but like Joseph Edward Abercrombie, the British fantasy writer and film editor, I support the adoption of something even harsher.

In his book, “Before they are Hanged”, Joseph Edward said, “ We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged. Joe put’s a query, thus, “How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run — if he could even walk without a stick”

The call for the mercenaries is not just an indictment on the office of the National Security Adviser, but directly on Gen.Monguno in person, as the head of the office.

Two days ago, I listened to the BBC Hausa interview with Suleiman Mohammed, the father of Fareeda, who was amongst the eight confirmed killed in the train attack. Suleiman broke down in tears just after the second question. He pleaded with Aliyu Tanko, the interviewer, to let him go, because he couldnt stomach the trauma.

He mentioned that the Monday attack on the train was not the first, and they thought the government would be proactive after the previous attack. But it failed do so. From his voice, he was deeply distressed by what happened, which goes to prove the intimacy between him and his late Fareeda.

Listening to the interview, alongside my memory of how late Fareeda used to crack jokes with him on the phone, I was emotionally compelled to switch off my appliance in tears as well. It was deeply distressing, even to me as a pen pal.

The combined reflections of Fareeda’s father and governor El-Rufai, support the accusation that some public office holders are sleeping on duty, and constitutes a charge of misconduct against Gen. Monguno.

If Monguno had listened to that interview and he works with his conscience, he would have resigned before the end of the programme, or expect the President to fire him shortly. That’s the norm in saner societies.

But he didn’t, and I doubt if he would, or any retribution would come his way. In fact, if the President would be travelling out of the country tomorrow, Monguno’s name would be the first on the entourage.

This is Nigeria, where the President is moving around showcasing people that are accused of ineptitude. And the world is watching.

It may be recalled that, while PMB was presenting the 2019 proposed budget before a joint session of the 8th National Assembly, some opposition lawmakers booed him, forcing him to issue a warning, thus, “The world is watching us and we are supposed to be above this.”

It may please Mr. President to know that the same world is watching us, and he is supposed to be above this, by firing Monguno.

Yes, because of Monguno’s inaction, the people are asking the government to give mandate to the mercenaries, to massacre the marauders and bring an end to the menace.

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