Help, Nigeria Is Sinking!
In my two previous articles, I labored under the burden of insecurity strangulating the very soul of the nation and the inability of the leadership to address the issue. Today I have to write on the implications of insecurity and you are free to call them the trilogy of Nigeria`s pitiable security situation. I talked about the raging herdsmen inferno and the looming prospect of a failed state. Events are happening in the nation in such rapidity is that we are simply limping from one crisis to another.
The armed bandits have become so bold that with effortless ease, they stroll into any boarding secondary school and take the students and workers as hostages and the military and the security operatives are in offensive slumber. The list is becoming a catalogue of evils. Three hundred and seventy girls were abducted from Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe, Zamfara last Friday. Before then was the abduction of forty-two school children and workers from Government Science School, Kagara, Niger State. The not too cheerful news is that the school children and workers were released in circumstances not too clear and same with that of Zamfara state. Whether ransom was paid is another matter as government is strenuously denying that. In December 2020, more than three hundred school boys were kidnapped by bandits in Kankara, Katsina state when the president was visiting his home. Let me remind you of the infamous Chibok 276 girls that were abducted in 2014 which gained international attention.
You have to convince me that the ship of the nation is not sinking and that the captain and sailors are in a political stupor caused by the intoxicating wine of power. Political power is useless if it is not used to advance the welfare and security of the people. Our political leaders holed up in Abuja are very far from the reality of the moment. The executive arm of government at the federal level has failed us woefully. Similarly, the senators and members of the House of Representatives do not know how to use the instrumentality of law making for the good and progress of the nation. They are busy chasing some selfish and outlandish law making. There is simply absence of leadership at the three tiers of governance. State governors are beating their chests in paying salaries and see that in the province of achievements. The local government does not exist as the council chairmen and councilors are mere appointees of the state governors. Elections at the local council levels are far from free and fair.
Maybe it is time for the government to eat the humble pie and tell the international community to come to the rescue. Fighting terrorism especially of the extreme Islamic hue demands foreign assistance. The government should approach western countries to help us. Our closest ally, China is not really interested in military intervention. China foreign policy is based on economic expansionism and domination. Today Nigeria is at the mercy of China because of the loans got from that Asian power. Should Nigeria go under, the Chinese would lose their money. Europe and America would be ready to help us to fight this violent brand of terrorism. What is happening is beyond ordinary armed banditry and kidnapping. This is organized criminality aimed at dismembering Nigeria, the limping giant of Africa.
The Buhari administration must embark on strategic military thinking and re-orientation. It is beyond changing the military chiefs. He should tell the national assembly what hindrances that the government is facing. The opposition political party (PDP) should move beyond criticism. The party should meet the government and offer what could change the present situation for the better. The security matters are so grave to be subjected to party politics. This time calls for true patriotism and how to mint solutions out of the problems. Terrorism, armed banditry and kidnapping are giving the country bad image and all Nigerians despite their political persuasions are duty bound to save the sinking ship of the nation.
Those saying that the armed bandits should be given amnesty have surely missed the mark. Rewarding criminality is like telling other law abiding Nigerians that it pays to destroy the corporate existence of the nation. The presidency has made it loud and clear that it will not negotiate with criminals with views of granting them amnesty. Appeasement as a political weapon should not be contemplated for it would make a fertile ground for other criminal elements to sprout. The government should mobilize local and foreign resources to combat this virus of criminality. This is time for the National Assembly to ask questions about the budgetary provisions for defense. If some countries refused to sell arms to us for reasons best known to them, there is no law which says that Nigeria could not approach more friendly countries to buy arms. If defending the terrorists needs the recruitment of mercenaries, the government should go ahead to do just that.
Nigeria because of its population and vibrant human resources is a pride to Africa and any black in any part of the world. That is why our leaders should think outside the box and defeat this monster once and for all. The Buhari administration has the support of patriotic Nigerians to save the sinking ship of the nation. Disintegration of Nigeria will be disastrous for the West African sub region, Africa and indeed the whole world. It is time to send SOS to the African Union, the United Nations and our true friends round the world to help us. It will be like walking the garden path to believe that we only can solve the problem. The reality is that the security problem is overwhelming the Buhari administration.
Julius Oweh, a journalist, Asaba, Delta State.