The video clips of the gruesome murder, maiming, torture and other forms of punishments of several innocent persons by Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers and bandits are revealing and worrisome. It gives several people sleepless nights and made others to regret born as Nigerians and to have lived all these years to witness the present situation we have found ourselves courtesy of cluelessness, corrupt and ineptitude leadership at various levels of government.
One pauses to ponder the pains and trauma of Nigerians who have become widows, widowers, cripples, orphans and incurred other forms of disabilities as well as those whose means of livelihood were destroyed by some senseless and evil elements in our society. At least for once, put yourself in the shoe of the parents of those abducted persons and you will not be too far from the status of Nigeria’s cup and the depth of betrayal and frustration of President Buhari’s recent expression of surprise at the upsurge in Boko Haram and banditry attacks. But was he truly surprise or he only played the ostrich to cover ineptitude? If he was truly surprise, what stops him from appointing a Presidential Committee to manage the security situation for the difference? All those cook and bull security reports reaching his table will be exposed as folk tales from the authors.
To be honest, President Buhari’s ‘surprise’ revealed tons of truth that were buried! The president was surprised because the reality on ground checkmated his thoughts and understanding of the country’s cosmos. What this means is that the nitty-gritty of governance in the country is never rooted in intelligence or hard knowledge. Government policies, projections and determinations all over the world, especially in developed countries are based on unassailable facts. In the case of Nigeria, we imagine policy contents; and, once we do that, policy outputs will always be false and ineffective.
The nation state in Nigeria, as we see it today, is a misnomer. The country is nothing but an investment gone awry; a complete but avoidable tragedy, laced with aborted hopes and promises. Despite our rich socio-cultural convenience, here we are, faced with the gory reality of our time, rivaled only in the Stone Age: The centre is fractured, the components are also fractured more dangerously, even as the people are already taking positions: and it is as if Nigerians are at war with Nigeria! So, whatever might have been the weakness or otherwise of the opportunities for public expression of anger.
Recent opinion expressed by Hon. Enyinnaya Abaribe was not, in the real sense of the word far from reinforcing the people’s call on the Buhari-led federal government to stop using utopian ideas and plastic rhetoric suggestive of Nixonian tactics to feed Nigerians with excuses as if that’s what Nigerians voted for. He only asked the government to alter its language and maximize capital with greater efficiency, more so as insecurity not only poses great threats to the economy, available indices, which peaked with the United States visa restrictions on Nigerians have also shown how criminality led to loss of income, loss of jobs, loss of peace and progress and loss of confidence in leaders that is brewing a revolt.
It even goes beyond that! If governance is not based on tactical truth and impeccable intelligence, politics will continue to suffer because it will be played on false assumptions. The people will also suffer the reality because the politics in play will no longer be able to address the reality which, as we’ve argued, confronts the anomalies of its policies. Take for instance the policy against Boko Haram and the huge resources voted to ensuring the defeat of the insurgence. As things stand, there’s next to nothing to show for it! Only recently, the terrorists launched massive attacks, wiped out villages and shot down a security helicopter. So, do Nigerian leaders need further proof to show that the country they govern is no more, safe for the citizens? If still in doubt, the October 10th #EndSARS protest proved a point on the frustration of the governed. Nigerians are tired of weak policies and application of deceitful mechanisms in government business. They are yearning for reality. They are asking for a better policing policy that is at variance with the present set-up that has defied conventional reformation.
Nigeria with 400,000 police personnel but 200,000 of the 400,000 are assigned to protect those suspected to be in the fore-front of messing-up the country. It cannot continue that way.
In terms of transition of power among the political class, the gladiators are also in trouble; for, once a country is challenged security wise, opportunity for good governance beats a retreat. And, once corruption takes this endemic route, more than never, everybody will be unto himself or herself! Two, accountability will go to blazes. Of course, corruption renders accountability a non-issue! National planning will also have its share of the oddity, showing in bold relief, the fact that governance has taken flight! Donald Trump, former American president demonstrated how the call for foreign investments can never yield any fruitful results because nobody comes to invest in an unsafe environment. Our state governors should know of this and stop making foreign trips under the guise of looking for investors. Most foreign trips by our governors are suspected to be for money laundering as we came to know through several anti-corruption reports.
At the political party level, there is no doubt that the parties will start chasing shadows as every political bigwig will just be for himself without security escort. Poverty will be magnified and the usual interventions or fire brigade economic palliatives will not pacify the angst and negative impact of poverty, no matter the hugeness of the funds invested to tackle it. Employment will also become a product of lip service. For the common people, who get more frustrated by the day through their punitive ‘take home’ where it exists and can no longer take them home, it is a luring road to anarchy. Even, if there are predictions about rain, to comply with them and ensure food security will become problematic because there is corruption in the land and, the sadder side of it is that those at the helm of affairs will have to work with false data and false narratives about the reality of issues in the country. Unfortunately, no country plans with false data and makes a success out of it. Try it and you will be faced with false answers because the policies will also be skewed. And, if governance is skewed, all other things elsewhere will partake of it.
Besides, there will be tension in the land and chaos will not be too far because the cost of maintaining the peace and security in the country will also go up, with no guarantee or assurance of success! Where then is our stand? Do we really have leaders that care? Or we only have hoarders of donated Covid-19 palliatives, or simply we have merchants in power that equate us with goats? Should we continue to wait endlessly for messiahs or we act through the ballot box or revolt to put things right? It is only in Nigeria misfits are voted to elective positions on sentiments not qualification. Funny enough, today, we have even national legislators that can hardly spell the word Nigeria at an asking. Senator Danjuma Goje who was a federal minister and later governed Gombe State for eight years before going to senate was caught on camera addressing the Senate on Corona Virus and calling it Corona Versus. One is not talking of legislative comedians such as Gudaji Kazaure or those bench warmers more active when it comes to corrupt practice. We have read of senators who collected federal contracts, got paid but abandoned execution. We have read of governors who emptied the treasuries of their states to their personal accumulation. Now, the whole Accountant-General of the Federation was caught in a financial scandal. The rogue stole what belonged to others and now applying for an escape route from justice through plea bargain. What a shameless idiot. Nigeria We Hail Thee!
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues