Insecurity In Nigeria Persists, Terrorists Threaten To Snatch The President, Economic Catastrophe Endures, Like Ukraine Nigeria Deserves Support

Source: Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi
Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi
Prof. John Egbeazien Oshodi

The high level of insecurity in Nigeria is so intolerable that terrorists now threaten to kidnap the head of the most populous country in Africa, President Muhammadu Buhari, and a sitting Governor.

It was just some weeks ago that terrorists used explosives to breach a federal prison in Kuje, Abuja, the nation’s capital. Still at large are many terrorists released by the extremists. One of the released terrorists was seen in a viral video threatening to kidnap and destroy the president and a governor.

A few months ago, in the Abuja-Kaduna train attack, hundreds of passengers who were on a train that was attacked were killed, some released, and many were still in the custody of terrorists. Among the train victims are a retired Army general's wife and children. As reported by one of the female captives, Nigeria’s sitting Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was her classmate at the Law School.

Just a few days ago, a widely notorious terror honcho and lynchpin, known for committing killings across the North and on the government's wanted list, was recently given chieftaincy and turbaned in Zamfara State, with Ibrahim Mamman Tsafe, a former inspector general of police and now the Zamfara State Commissioner for Security, in attendance. Tsafe’s son was recently killed by terrorists in Zamfara State.

Now the attackers of the Abuja-Kaduna train have released a video of themselves mercilessly whipping victims that include men, women, the aged, and children, and threatening to murder them. One of the train terrorists in the viral video seen by the media said: "This is our message to the government of Nigeria and just as you have seen these people here, by God’s grace, you will see your leaders; your senators and governors will come before us". By God’s grace, el-Rufai and Buhari, we will bring them here." They are threatening to abduct and kill President Muhammadu Buhari and the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai.

One of the captives in the video, who appeared weak and distressed, spoke in Hausa dialect on behalf of other victims, alleging that the government was insensitive to their predicament. He added that "the government has the responsibility to rescue us but has failed." "We are therefore calling on these big nations of the world; France, Saudi Arabia, England, and America; the international community; ECOWAS, AU; they should please help and intervene in this matter."

For how long will this brutal and ongoing insecurity and economic war against Nigerians by all types of terrorist groups continue? Nigerians are facing a crisis of gun-related homicides. Guns are traumatizing villages and towns. Violence, like institutional corruption, has affected communities across the country over recent years, marked by severe social, economic, and environmental challenges.

Nigeria’s ever-expanding population remains a source of unemployment and a weak labor market as its demographics continue to outstrip economic expansion, resulting in enraged and disenchanted Nigerians looking to terrorist recruitment.

Even as these problems deepen, which include food supplies under strain, food insecurity, malnutrition, disrupted roads due to abduction, kidnappings for ransom, ongoing attacks and insecurity, Nigerians feel ignored and not seen as a foreign policy priority. The superpowers' ambivalence toward Nigeria has partly led China and Russia to become helping hands, but these obscured and corrupt nations have further expanded their practices and influence on Nigeria's leadership, who are already pillaging the Nigerian public. Nigeria, a young democracy that took after the American political and constitutional systems, although in a defective manner, needs a more forceful western policy response to the people’s needs. One major way for Western powers to work together to reduce massive problems in Nigeria is to stop criminals and corrupt officials from stealing public funds and enriching themselves by collaborating with terrorist groups.

Like many Africans, Nigerians know that many Europeans and Americans generally have an image of Africa as a primitive home of deprivation, disease, and domestic war. As such, many see systemic racism at play. Such a perception can fundamentally change with the American government and other western powers' democratization and humanitarian assistance. With Russia, China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia as major violators of human rights influencing Nigeria, and the hands of terrorism everywhere under bad leadership and benevolent dictators, instability, insecurity, and impoverishment of the people deepen.

Terrorists see Nigeria as a fertile ground due to several factors, including a weak legal system, an untrustworthy judicial system, inadequate law enforcement, a dysfunctional electoral system, and persistent ethnoreligious tensions. The difficulties in institution building get more complex and become more pronounced with governors who leave office, who have been arrested and charged in court but find their way into the Senate or ruling political party, as that is how they become untouched, and their cases go into amnesia.

Politicians, judges, law enforcement officers, and other elites are perpetuating themselves in power through children, who through their parents' influence are dominating the political and institutional space, further weakening democratic institutions.

The global and American powers need to understand that raw materials like oil and natural gas are required to continuously build the western future, especially with the ongoing tension with Russia over the Ukraine invasion.

What would it sound like if the president of Africa's most populous country was kidnapped? Would America and its allies then demand the safe release of the president, or a governor? The governments of the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western powers regularly advise their citizens to exercise extreme caution in Nigeria due to social unrest and security disasters. Nigeria remains a country on the path to becoming a nation in shock due to the deep economic crisis, worsening insecurity, corruption, and poor handling of institutions. As such, its democracy is in danger. It should be our commitment to always protect the president and his allies.

Many superpowers and the United States remain the largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Nigeria, helping to meet its developmental needs, but all that has not stopped its poverty, corruption, ethnic/religious intolerance, weak governance and increasing instability.

What the Nigerian people need is state building, not a periodic round of aid for pitiful people. Nigeria appears to be in a slow-motion train wreck, with public frustration growing, persistent protests and sparked demonstrations, and for a country with a fragile environment, indiscriminate use of abduction, terrorizing elites, gang violence, and violent protests engulfing the country is not what is required.

No one is calling for the US and other western nations to invade a shaky place like Nigeria, especially not in the face of their non-interventionism policy, but the world must find a way to slow down or even stop the chaos and fire in Nigeria before it is too late.

John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.

Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."