Fri, 06/07/2012 ? 12:16am | LEADERSHIP EDITORIAL Editorial

In the face of worsening insecurity of life and property in the country, the appointment of a new national security adviser tends to herald hope or despair. From all indicators so far, however, President Goodluck Jonathan has put a square peg in a square hole in the office of the NSA. The new NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), has, within a few days in office, demonstrated that he is a breath of fresh air.

By visiting the troubled spots of the nation?s security crisis, the NSA seems to be dealing with reality early in his tenure. He deserves high marks. By press time, he had visited Damaturu and Potiskum in Yobe State, Maiduguri in Borno State, Jos in Plateau State, Kano in Kano State, Katsina in Katsina State and Kaduna.

At each whistle-stop, the new security czar  has held consultations with all stakeholders ?governors and other ranking government officials, elders, youth groups and ordinary citizens. He has announced that he has obtained the phone numbers of some leaders of the Boko Haram sect and may soon start dialoguing with them.

To the new NSA, then, Boko Haram is no longer a faceless group. Though the bombs have not ceased with the NSA?s visits to parts of the north, Nigerians are no longer inundated with irritating statements like ?We are on top of the situation? or ?We know the sponsors?. Intelligence gathering is no longer a matter of sitting in Abuja and compiling security reports received from doubtful sources.

No doubt, Dasuki has come into his new job prepared to achieve results. The NSA?s presence alone in the troubled towns has brought much relief to residents and sent a message about his seriousness to the insurgents. And he himself has experienced, first hand, the horrors of insecurity in parts of the country. Indeed, seeing is believing.

NSA Dasuki should not relent in his efforts to restore peace and security to the country. By the time he rounds off his visits to the hotspots and possible hotspots, he will have identified the source of the problem and the right elixir to be applied. He only needs to listen carefully to the stakeholders.

Though we have reservations about negotiating with insurgents, the NSA should work diligently to ensure he doesn?t negotiate with the wrong people. Over the years, criminal gangs have hidden behind ?Boko Haram? to carry out their nefarious activities.

Ultimately, however, security cannot be guaranteed in a country where this level of unemployment exists. Each year, millions of young Nigerians are churned out from schools without any plan for absorbing them in the job market.

They are fed empty promises, even as they watch public officeholders who pillage the treasury. The new NSA will do well to offer pieces of advice that would lead to good governance, creation of jobs and availability of food in the country. But we are glad he has started well. We wish him well in his assignment.

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