By Bayo Fasunwon
Wars have been fought for centuries, even when the Earth’s population were less than this. In many cases the desire for political and economic expansion had placed many people and nations at loggerheads, and thus the need to settle scores with weapons of mass destruction. Man, in his insatiable state of existence had always believed that another man’s possession should be his. The history of religious war, under the scrutiny of microscopic analyses had always revealed the quest for power and wealth smoke screened by the zeal for the establishment of God’s divine order and doctrine.
So, James, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ had asked ‘From whence come wars and fighting among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your chambers?’ Therefore lust, rather than necessity have become the foundations of great wars in the history of men. Through many severe battles, wars have been prosecuted, won or lost; but at the end of the war, the battle rages on. This is because the vanquished would tell their children, who seek revenge; and the religious bigots would tell stories that encourage other economic pilferers to build on past lies to perpetuate their lustful desires. So, war ends and the battle rages. If only the earth is cleansed of gladiators who cherish human blood spillage; and nations can think deeply and use whatever God has given them for their survival; and contentment with Godliness truly reign supreme in all hearts, battle may cease. But in the absence of that, permit the exposure of some strategies of battle.
The USA and UK governments had warned, and stood by their warnings that deadly terrorist strikes are targeted majorly at Nigeria’s center of power and government, Abuja. While the government of Nigeria had allayed fears, and made some arrests, the warning Governments rather than preparing arsenals, had opted for the evacuation of their dear citizens. To them, the arrest of ISWAP members may rather ameliorate the attacks. They would have understood the perfection of the strategy of placements by the terrorists. By this strategy, it implies that long before now, the villains would have successfully infiltrated all the sectors of the nation, and planted their fighters, through legal and illegal means in strategic places in the cities.
Given the ’embargo’ on employment and the acceptance of backdoor procedures of employment into federal parastatals, many terrorists would have found their way, with the payment of necessary sums into the payroll of the Federal Government, wielding official documents and identity cards. The same procedure had been used to gain entrance into the various security outfits and are well positioned to sabotage the efforts of government at combating terrorists. Quite recently, public show was made of military personnel who stole ammunitions for onward delivery to terrorists, while one fully trained soldier killed himself after apprehension. So, the clerk carrying files, the beggar at the gate, the Okada man, the seller and even that young teacher in a school may be members of a cell. This strategic placement is much more possible when processes are deliberately sidelined with impunity, and corruption gains ascendancy over meritocracy.
Politically, the South West remains a gullible nation. Their hostility against their ‘sons of the soil’ and open arm embrace of ‘foreigners’ have made them victims of strategic placement. History has shown that South Westerners put more implicit trust in other tribes over theirs, and love money to the extent that they can sell their heritage to foreigners. While the Northerner who understands the politics and potency of strategic placement would do all things, while in power, to put his people in the Federal Civil Service, Police, Military, Maritime, and other sectors, the South West man would do all things to ensure that his people are prevented from getting such positions. In years to come, there would be a painful realization that the region becomes neglected due to the paucity of people in high places to push their cause. So, it is very common in the South West to have leadership without successors; and the lack of true disciples who could ensure the continuity of relevance of leaders outside the corridors of power. In the same vein of ignorance, many parents in the South West frown at their wards joining the Police Force. But a Northern Sultan, with his power, wealth and education had one of his sons employed as a Policeman in Nigeria. Do we need to be told that that is the incoming Inspector General of Police? In many South West States, ancestral lands and homes have been ceded, and sold to people from other regions, and yet the clamour for Oduduwa nation. Having sold their inheritance to those who understood the politics of strategic placement, the Yorubas would soon become tenants to other geopolitical zones in their fatherland.
Strategic placement is a calculated espionage with intended results. The purpose often time may take months and years to materialize, but when the execution of the purpose is ignited, the result is often fatal and highly successful. We therefore should not be surprised that the ‘foreign’ Okadaman, the hapless looking lad traversing our forests; the metal scrap man in our streets; the mad man that suddenly appear in our town overnight; the trusted ‘foreign’ gateman; the homeless person in our town, and the new convert to your religion may have been strategically placed for the evil to come. Are all people in these categories, spies? No. But we lack intelligence gathering and investigation in Nigeria. Despite the multiple Biometric registration, we still fail to identify people in this country. We are so gullible to believe that every naked man on the street is insane. If government would ensure that all insane people are evacuated from the streets, criminalities would reduce. If we are ready to carry out forensic audit of the people in our environment, it would not be long to fish out the wolves in sheep clothing. If we are politically alert, we would observe that each tribe seek for power, and would use the gullibility of the other tribe to their advantage. Strategic placement is often successful when there is no programme in place to develop your people, empower them and set up to successfully compete against others for the position of wealth and power. When the PhD (Pull him Down) syndrome is the policy of a set of people, then the politics of strategic placement works against them.
Before one is accused of nepotism, it is important to note that nepotism had already occurred by the deliberate act of suppressing your people and elevating others. South West should wake up, rally round and empower their people for the sake of the region, or soon, those threatened by man made and natural disasters would succeed in uprooting the Yorubas from their ancestral roots. For the Abuja dwellers, believe the Federal Government and be not deaf to the warnings of Britain and America. Walk circumspectly; if you see something, say something; interrogate the strange and report the clandestine. Above all, in order not to fall prey to the politics of strategic placement, watch, pray and act right.