As we anticipate the dawn of 2022 and the close of 2021, well-meaning Nigerian stakeholders have flooded newspapers and magazines decrying the sad and sorry state of the Nation; such decries are consequences of the political, social, economic and religious anomalies bedeviling the Nigerian state. Undoubtedly, these concerns should be given rapid attention, especially the northern part of Nigeria that has become storm-tossed by frantic insecurity challenges; banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, displacement of people and loss of lives and properties. It has become so bad that bandits in the North negotiate with the government, making proposals and tabling what is considered obtainable or not, therefore, their crimes perdure and rage, and these criminals go on rampage unchecked and unhindered. Hence, we can categorically say that Nigerians in the North are sitting on a powder keg with everything uneven on its seams, and Nigerians on a tenterhook as to what might happen next.
How can we forget in a hurry the gruesome attack on innocent travellers at Gidan Bawa Village in Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto on 6th December 2021? These 23 hapless passengers were burnt alive with the taste of their own ashes in their mouths. This gory scenario only instills anxiety and fear as people no longer travel or live freely knowing that their communities are besieged and hounded by bandits and terrorists. With the lax of security agencies and their ceasless glitches, this marauding gang of terrorists still on the loose returned to Sabon Bini Local Government maiming and killing.
Hardly a day goes by without heinous acts being perpetrated by bandits and terrorists in the north. It has become a recurrent decimal making the North synonymous to ‘killing field.’ The havoc wreaked by Fulani Herdsmen still looms large; communities were razed and people killed, injured and displaced. This bloodbath continued with the government keeping mum and offering semblance of support to the Fulani Herdsmen saga. This conspiracy of silence gave birth to reprisal attacks from farmers and undaunted northerners. Amidst the alarming rise of killings, the Federal Government remained weak in tackling this issue. This act readily reminds us of the Latin adage, “Nemo Iudex in causam suam,” which translates as “No one is a judge in his own cause,” thus, resolving the problem was a conflict of interest, little wonder nothing substantive was done but forcing every state to embrace cattle ranching. The bloodbath in the North continued unabated.
Highlighting the unwarranted carnage in the North becomes more perturbing as most states in the North-east, North-central, and the North-west are experiencing a growing pattern of roving genocidal gangs who bathe with the blood of Nigerians; worse of all, these savage and bloodthirsty assailants collect tax and make laws. Unarguably, Borno, Yobe, Katsina, Sokoto, Plateau, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kogi and Niger states are under the servitude of these outlaws. Lest we forget, they were not immediately acclaimed as ‘outlaws,’ for it took a protracted period of time before the Abuja Federal High Court declared proscribed bandit group as ‘terrorists.’ This declaration however, was not welcomed by political elitists who feed the flames burning up the country, so, it was not surprising for the Federal Government to take days before conceding and giving the dog its name.
At this juncture, it becomes pertinent to note that the government led by Mr. Muhammadu Buhari has failed us and is a complete disaster. In the long run, northerners feel the pain and betrayal caused by their own son who abdicated his primary duty of safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians to God. Nonetheless, as a matter of urgency, Mr. President must employ substantial steps in eliminating banditry, terrorism, insurgency, and insecurity challenges in the North and other parts of the state. These steps must be corroborated with actions and not just words that do not hurt a fly; it is “Facta non Verba” that is “Action and not words.”
Nigerians are sick and tired of waking up to ugly news that hugs the headlines of newspapers, radios and television channels. The collective fear and suffocating cloud of despondency, gloom and misery in the North and other parts of the country can be cleared. In deep thought, one would think that insecurity challenges would take precedence, but the gravest failure of the Nigerian government has been the puerile misplacement of priorities. The security and welfare of the people is no longer on the priority list of this jaded Federal Government.
Nwabuisi Johnpaul, email@example.com