Not many people consider taking ownership of the forests from the prism of its playing the dual purpose of solving the problem of insecurity and at the same time, taking care of another critically important challenge-food insecurity, which is a corollary to the scourge of insecurity of  lives and properties afflicting a critical mass of Nigerians.
It is rather heartening that northern state governors seem to be paying attention and establishing or being in the process of establishing ranches as recommended, which is why herdsmen-farmers bloody clashes have somehow abated lately.
Hopefully, taking full ownership of the forests would entail inviting not only South African mercenaries to combat the criminal elements, as Tambuwal has demanded, but also South African, Zimbabwean, Brazilian and even Israeli farmers (Muslims in UAE are partnering with Israeli tech experts in Jebel Ali port) to convert the forests into farms and to take care of the growing food insecurity that also ravaging our country.
It is rather intriguing that barely a decade after the violent resistance to the  authorities by religious extremists led by the late Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, somewhere around Maiduguri, in Borno State, religious insurgency has, like a malignant tumour, metastasised into an unmanageable cancer that is gnawing not only at the heart of the North where it was originally confined, but also the eastern  part of the country that has also lately assumed the nature of a cauldron of sorts. The violence in the south-eastern flank of the country, which is driven by agitation for secession, is also exacting a high death toll. Alarmingly, it is also aping the pattern in the North as separatism has degenerated into sundry criminal activities by known and unknown gunmen crippling the South-East geopolitical zone.

Considering the persistent scourge of murdering of traditional rulers in cold blood (which l understand is a sort of reprisal against them for betraying their members to security forces) in addition to the assassination of prominent figures ostensibly for defying the separatists rules, culminating in the dastardly act of beheading two active duty policemen and torching of police stations, as well as similar government infrastructure and facilities like the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission; the eastern part of our country has invariably become the hotbed of anarchy of unprecedented dimensions, except for the period of the civil war (1967-70.)
At this juncture, it is worth pointing out that the escalation of violence in the North via Boko Haram, mimics the trajectory of the Niger Delta militancy, which degenerated after the authorities failed to invite for negotiation, the intellectual and genuine environmental rights agitators, such as Ken Saro-Wiwa. Rather than dialogue, Saro-Wiwa was executed alongside other Ogoni leaders as felons.
Similarly, instead of having a conversation with the leader of Boko Haram, whose members reportedly refused to comply with the state government’s directive to wear helmets for their own safety while riding motor bikes, he was allegedly murdered by the authorities, setting off an armed struggle threatening to overwhelm not only the North, but also the entire country.
By resorting to the use of force, instead of negotiating with the nation of Biafraagitators like Nnamdi Kanu  and Oduduwa Nation proponent, Sunday Igboho; the current occupants of the Aso Rock Villa seem to be treading the same path of perdition trodden by past leaders who preferred brute military force as their preferred crisis management tool, as opposed to applying the instrumentality of negotiated settlement.
Taking all the listed mayhem and human carnage in our country together, it is clear that the masses and our leaders at the sub-national level have reasons to lose faith in the ability of the military to protect them because, as a nation, we appear to be losing the war to terrorists and secessionists. If nothing else, the twin demons have attracted opprobrium, locally and internationally to our country as we have been besmirched by the ugly news of mindless killings and the concomitant human rights abuses.
Nothing reflects the rapid erosion of the confidence of the masses in the ability of the military to win the war against the terrorists, more than the fact that citizens have accepted to pay tax to terrorists that have become more brazen by hoisting their flags (not just in far flung locations in the forests) in locations as close as Niger and Nasarawa States, all of which are adjacent or contiguous to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Again, this is based on public complaints by victims and the admission by state governments in statements available in the open media space.  That a de facto government set up by outlaws is demanding loyalty from indigenes and receiving same with full compliance from our fellow compatriots, who are reportedly being treated like prisoners of war, is an existential reality that is very unnerving .
Obviously the Nigerians that are being oppressed in those locations, perhaps, feel better off than those in lnternally Displaced Peoples camps or those in their early graves for failing to comply with the terrorists.
Put succinctly, there is rule of the bandits in the captured areas, instead of the rule of law in the cities, probably yet to fall to the arsonists, if action through a different and aggressive approach is not adopted sooner than later.
Now, before our beloved country’s degeneration into what looks like an active war theatre, Nigerians were regaled with allegations that the funds (to be precise $1.2bn) meant to have been applied in purchasing arms and ammunitions to fight Boko Haram was converted into campaign slush funds by the National Security Adviser, to former President  Jonathan, Col Sambo Dasuki (retd.) for the re-election of the former ruling party, PDP, hence our military was ill equipped to successfully take on and defeat Boko insurgents. The impression was created that as soon as the requisite strategic weapons were acquired, the terrorists would be wiped out.
ONYIBE, a public policy analyst and former commissioner in Delta State, contributed this article from Lagos
To be continued.
But six years into the eight-year tenure of the current government, which claimed that the Goodluck Jonathan administration allegedly misappropriated the funds budgeted for the procurement of weapons to defeat the terrorists, our military has not been able to flush out the increasingly menacing terrorists to justify the huge sums of money that has recently been invested in the acquisition of sophisticated weaponry, including hardwares like the super Tucano jet bombers, that have been deployed without changing the game in any significant way. That to me suggests that lack of weapons may not be the overarching reason for our country’s inability to defeat religious insurgents and separatists.
To demonstrate how super equipped the military has become , it should be noted that some armaments, which some Western countries had initially resisted selling to Nigeria’s military for fear that they may be used to perpetrate human rights abuses, have now been made accessible to them. Yet insecurity has not abated. Rather our country has witnessed an upsurge in bloodbath that has made the earth around the country turn crimson with the blood of the innocent Nigerians murdered daily.
What this dire situation suggests to me is that the failure to succeed in preventing the raging religious insurgency that started around 2009 and 2010, which is about 10 years ago and has, like a vicious virus, mutated  into variants, does not stem from lack of military weapons , as politicians would like the masses to believe. Nor is it a fall out of the weather induced arid condition in the Sahel that has made competition for land among farmers and herders more fierce; not even the inflow of small weapons from failed states like Libya, Mali, Somalia, etc, which authorities allude to. All of the identified factors are simply symptoms of the challenge. But the real problem is lack of a robust and broad minded strategy by the current Federal Government to tackle the identified multiple challenges earlier highlighted.