In my country of today, from the Niger Delta militants to ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists to Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to Benue/Taraba/Zamfara/Katsina/Kaduna/Niger/Kogi bandits, pockets of killings in Plateau, Ekiti and Ondo and the lingering general insecurity, my country is on the brink and plunging fast into the valley.
The usual news and warning from western countries to their nationals visiting my country is that they should always be cautious as to where to go or stay within my country, there is conspicuous red alert tag on my country the warning is not only for foreigners, but to even my fellow country men and women at home. For the first time in my historical existence as a Nigerian, I have began to get scared of traveling by road to most parts of my country for the fear of kidnappers, bandits, armed robbers and cultists or irate unemployed youth along Jos- Abuja road that keeps ringing louder every day.
Few weeks back, a bosom friend of mine, his two junior brothers, a house maid and her friend traveling from Abuja to Kaduna were suddenly flagged-down by armed bandits dressed in military and police uniforms and dispossessed of their properties. Those criminals were armed with sophisticated weapons that are more superior to those brandished by our security personnel. My friend said, over 13 vehicles were raided within few minutes of the Rambo-style of operation at same location.
Suspiciously enough, few metres away from the scene of the robbery, was a checkpoint mounted by some policemen suspected to be on an illegal operation not far from extorting motorists etc. The most painful part of the drama was that after the robbers had finished their devil assignment, they fired three shots into the air. Few minutes after their departure, some policemen arrived, the scene in their Toyota Hilux van for a mission only God knows.
Every day, tales of such atrocities and inhumanity spread within the polity, and we have now almost grown accustomed to them. Nigeria is gradually and steadily degenerating into a state of anomie.
The question on everyone’s mind for now is who is actually in-charge of our country to be held responsible for bad governance? Our ‘elected’ president is quiet on all the issues except for some sporadic clips on the pages of newspapers from his media handlers.
The service chiefs are still occupying their positions while the country bleeds and heads to disintegration without solution other than suspected deceitful palatable statements and pretentious actions.
No one has made any authoritative or emphatic statement on how best to curb the challenges of terrorism or ease the escalating fear of insecurity in my country. Again, no one has been reprimanded for gross incompetence and betrayal of official trust.
President Buhari is mute most of the time on most sensitive issues affecting the corporate existence of my country; he seems oblivious of the dire state of the nation. With such complacency, one wonders what will happen in few years to come if Nigeria continues to exist further down the edge.
While politicians and professionals fight for higher offices to occupy and commandeer in government, they forget the absolute responsibilities attached to such positions of public responsibilities.
President Buhari is the president of my country. He, by some form of providence, been endowed to lead my country at this material time. He is responsible for my safety and that of everyone domiciled in Nigeria, and if by design he fails to live up to these responsibilities, he has no reason to continue being my president and to all Nigerians.
No one expects the president to take arms and confront the terrorists in the dreaded Sambisa forest or those criminals on our roads and in forests, but he has to overhaul and enforce through his professional lieutenants, a strong security apparatus ever seen before for my country. There is then the need for a Presidential Security Committee to be appointed as a back-up to the security architecture.
And, if those delegated to act on his behalf are not capable, he should not waste time for whatever reason in replacing them with capable hands. In my opinion, all the new Service Chiefs including the National Security Adviser and some top ranking security personnel should are overdue for sack.
For instance, the Niger Delta insurgents and Biafran agitators that are busy beating the drums of secession have bases and locations where they can easily be reached through their visibly chosen leaders either for dialogue or for the inevitable so that my country can exist in peace.
In the North East, the murderous criminals called Boko Haram are busy strategizing to be everywhere and nowhere. Nobody can categorically explain their real whereabouts, grievances, claimed spiritual leader or designated representative to be reached for genuine and sincere dialogue as the only option to peace. The lingering war cannot be the solution for the insurgents are at the profiting side.
Between 2010- 2012, Boko Haram was under the leadership of Abubakar Shekau who was supported by the 12 -member Shura Council based in different locations within my country.
The late NSA, Gen. Andrew Azazi, during his tenure, exhibited professional courage, patriotism and determination to reach out to Shekau for genuine and sincere dialogue to end the insurgency. His efforts were misinterpreted, politicized, thwarted and he was later sacked.
The Tanimu Turaki Presidential Committee that was appointed by former president Jonathan to proffer solutions to end the insurgency did a thorough job but the report could not see the light of the day. The situation escalated until a retired military general took over the mantle of leadership as a civilian president in 2015. Although, the terrorists have been degraded, the insurgency is still on and on and on.
Today, everyone is terrified because the next attack from either the terrorists or the other criminals can happen anywhere in my country.
While the military and other security organs flex muscle so to say, there is no real target to shoot. Like a mirage, the flickering illusion spells absolute insecurity in the land. Today, some parts of the north-eastern and north-western axis of my country are bleeding to death, tomorrow; it could be another part of my country if the situation remains as it is. Unfortunately, there is no person in my country, as of today, who can explain the origin or the primary cause of radical ideology that has manifested into creating the Boko Haram sect, other than overzealousness, greed and incapacitation of some of our leaders. But one thing for sure is this: if the future remains as bleak, there is no way my country can have peace unless through revolution.
Highways have become extremely dangerous and only the suicidal venture to drive on major roads at night. Ethno-religious warlords within Berom land in Plateau state axis of the highway, bandits dressed in military and police uniforms are everywhere ready to extort, maim and kill with pride. Human life is gradually becoming meaningless in my country as money is the pillar of justice and righteousness. No country can emerge from a state of despondence if human value is limited to the quantity of gold and silver one possesses, and if no real hard work is required to achieve such wealth.
There is no one to blame but the federal government; leadership is not about rigging and winning elections, but about the ability to create and sustain peace and stability in a country, where justice and fair play exist. In the past 30 – 40 years, my country has not known justice because justice has become a commodity for the rich that can afford the price. The corrupt policeman extorts money at will from the hardworking innocent members of the lower class and with pride, for sure of an official protection from his equally corrupt superiors.
Politicians and public servants loot any available public fund with impunity and pride. Public enterprises like PHCN and Water Board always increase tariffs for not providing the expected services and my people harshly bear the scourge.
A young university graduate with a degree in my country has never been sure of his future but forced by circumstance to go into crime and hard drugs addiction. Unemployment is over 60 percent and the few with paying jobs, especially in the financial and oil and gas sectors, are in fragile state.
A situation where less than one percent (1%) of the population controls over 90 percent of my country’s wealth is unacceptable, especially if most of the beneficiaries illegally acquire the wealth. The danger in what’s happening in my country is that the young ones are aware of the illicit money being flaunted around by the thieves in government. They are also aware that there is no future for them; therefore, the only ‘holistic’ option at their disposal is to make it at all cost, even if it means taking arms to sniff life out of their targets and loot whatever comes their way. That is a clean and clear case of artificially created frustration.
The state of hopelessness keeps rising unabated in my country and the leaders seem ignorant of the consequences. Without drastic action to change the current course or direction, even those with so-called wealth of vanity will have no peace. This dire situation will consume both the have and have not. The poor will most likely feel no pain since they have throughout lived with pain. They will have no regrets but relief. This reminds me of a saying that; “if the poor cannot sleep because of hunger, the rich cannot equally sleep because the poor are awake”. God save my country! It is a country where illiterates without formal education but connected to those in power as pimps, sycophants, fronts and praise singers occupy position of authority.
It is a country where certified fools and clowns that school passed through them are leaders. It is a country that rogues and vagabonds fire the shots. It is a country that security and justice are for the highest bidder. Why should such denied, bastardized and enslaved citizens remain in silence while the privileged few in government continue to steal what rightly belongs to them with security protection? Revolution is brewing for sure unless the situation changes in earnest.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues