DARING BUHARI FOR SAFE LANDING OF LOOTERS & BOKO-MEND
It must be made clear that appointment of known and past crooks as ministers, into kitchen cabinet or any position of responsibilities is another form of soft landing. It will be difficult for watchdog agencies to probe such appointees after they have been declared fit for office by the President. People will see such persons as immune to prosecution. If that is the reason it took Buhari so long to appoint ministers, fine, he must not disappoint us at the end of the day.
Thank God for democracy, who dared approach late Major General Idiagbon deputy to this President, for leniency during Operation War Against Indiscipline of those days? Nevertheless, democracy by demonstrations has always been a useful tool to demand that there should be no mercy for those that have sucked our Country dry. We must be tough on corruption as we are on Boko-Mend. A leaking basket, no matter how we strive, can never fetch us enough water.
A country's resolve to fight evils in the name of religion, politics or economic justice must not be compromised by either internal politics or international blackmail. We have elders, former Presidents and traditional rulers paying visits to the Head of State seeking mercy for some while others are crying that Buhari is not tough enough. Some of those asking for soft landing or recommending cronies for positions, are culprits deep in corruption while in office.
How did Boko Haram, MEND, OPC and MASSOB get safe landing, out of hand and too big for the common interest? We must ask the Emirs, Chiefs, Oba and Igwe that asked Presidents and Chiefs of Police to release voracious killers among them into trusted hands, promising peace. We have realized that they only got more powerful, deadlier and cockier demanding contracts.
Old remedy still works. You do not appease bullies, you confront them. When the Sultan of Sokoto was asked at an Ivy League school reason for safe landing, he decided to remain silent. His life and that of Kano old Emir were later threatened. Of course we have had some cases of excessive power display by the Army and Police. It is now on record that each of the heads of state has been accused of genocide and reported to United Nation or Human Right bodies.
After Emirs, Chiefs and elders of caliber begged the former President, Ebele Jonathan for Boko Haram soft landing, the same people accused him of human right abuses against Boko Haram. Before him it was Obasanjo against Odi and Zaki Biam. Buhari will get his turn as Boko Haram thugs are taking to their heels. One of the reasons Jonathan was denied arms was hypocritical claim of human right abuses by those fighting harder against same terrorists around the world.
When Libya was destabilized, terrorists instantly crossed to subvert African countries. Europe now groans in pain as refugees that are not even as virulent or militant crossed into their land.
We have always asked those in the frontline states of terrorists' battles to lead in demystifying them just as former President Ebele as governor was asked to negotiate or tame MEND. As Vice-President he tried and gave Yar'Adua the credit. President Buhari has now taken the fight to Boko Haram with their son leading the battle in Borno to bring down the menace. When we have some sanity of peace, the fight against corruption will be greatly diminished.
Corruption fuels terrorists' acquisition of weapons through a vicious circle. The open world market for arms where any terrorist organization can purchase weapons has left African countries in particular vulnerable to kingpins making unreasonable demands from our political leaders. Resources that should have been spent on majority of the population in creating jobs, building infrastructures and developing our children are used to bribe a few uncultured class.
These terrorists made fortunes and started behaving like humans going on medical excursions abroad and vacations to preserve their own lives while taking those of the poor and innocents recklessly. Some of them even established businesses out their states and Country just in case the authorities catch up with them. In other words, they are well diversified and evenly spread to weather the unpredictable future. Yet, fool their constituencies that they are ready to die O!
Of course, monkey see monkey do. When the children of our politicians performed traditional weddings at home, white weddings in western countries and religious weddings in Dubai; the terrorists follow their example. Those of us left out that are too poor to be invited, just stood by the roadside watching and waving to them in their Rose Royce cruising by. But we are amused when those brave enough throw sand, bricks and shouted insults at them.
We are too much of a coward to risk our lives as armed robbers to accumulate wealth or as pen robbers in banks or in civil service. We all strive to put food on the table for our families but a few are getting special treatment based on threats, intimidation, force, rascality and thuggery. Even the meek and gentle copy the ignoble ways because they claim hunger kills slowly and painfully while the risk of bullets kill them faster.
The most we can do is support whoever can clean up corruption in our midst because it robs all of us of the decency to prosper. We see too much faults in the opposite or other party instead of encouraging one party to probe and discipline the next party. It is the reason for a change of government. No matter what, someone is going to be the President and if that President is dedicated to the cleanup badly needed, we must either help or get out of the way.
Nobody is asking for complacency, rubberstamp or passivity. Constrictive criticism is the way to help improve ourselves and put ruling party on their toes. But viciousness, booby-traps or throwing monkey wrenches so that the vehicle can overturn or cascade hurts us all.
Written by Farouk Martins Aresa.