By Malachy Uzendu
Take it or not, insecurity is Nigeria’s number one problem. The deaf, dumb, physically-challenged, the healthy, big, poor, wealthy, blind, know that Nigeria is no longer the peaceful and happy country where a former Ambassador of the United States once said he would love to spend his retirement in. Nigeria was a country where even residents beat their chest, boasting there is no country comparable at least in Africa, in terms of peace, amity, concord and security. But all those are gone; gone with the wind. But hopes are not lost. Peace is on sabbatical, at least for now, in Nigeria.
As for the political parties, those carrying the bastion of our democracy, they are in turmoil. Hardly can we find any registered political parties that exude equity, justice, fair play and fear of God. Some Nigerians describe the over 80 parties as leprous fingers of same patient. Worst is that all are bereft of political ideology. At best, they remain the harbingers of political prostitutes, who exhibit the least modicum of conscience.
It is not in doubt that our politicians place self far above the constituency interest. And they are never abashed at the shameless acts they portray. Some of them have become experts at fainting, at putting off the mic. And we see any future for our country in all those? After all, the more brazen ones had said: we bought our way up here, so those folks have collected their dues up-front.
At the executive position level, it is “turn-by-turn. These seem to be the worst of them all, whether at the bureaucracy or political space. They see themselves as birds of same feather. They owe no allegiance to no-one, not even the Almighty God! They constantly keep a puffy disposition, exuding insufferable arrogance. They own the world. Their words are law; in fact, they are above the law.
They tell lies as if they are in the world of utopia where, as the folktales would narrate, “all their age mates have since died; they are the only ones who understand yesterday and could foresee tomorrow. The absolute harbingers of knowledge; other people are a bunch of idiots, that know next to nothing. His Excellency, His Excellency herald their presence, yet they are nothing but big fools.
And so, their hubby is to tell lies almost all the time. They thwart the constitution, turning the law upside-down, but because they control instruments of coercion, they are never caught by the law. They remain infalible. Even members of the legislature cow-tow at them, operating as mere rubber stamp. After all, they said so and they are keeping to their word.
Those who mind our treasury are not any better. They appear to be worse. Did I hear you call them “a bunch of criminals”? Incorporated thieves? Even as they would declare billions of Naira recoveries from so called felons, yet, the nation goes cap in hand borrowing. And they even mortgage our sovereignty under the guise of loan or contract agreements. All they possess in abundance is “grab-grab” mentality; foreign bank mentality; foreign assets mentality; they possess stupendous knack for foreign items; all they think about is how to convert national patrimony to self and travel abroad to squander such. Did I hear someone complain about lack of reasonable medical facility even with the covid-19 experiences? Why should that be, when we have Dubai, India, Germany, London hospitals? The nation bleeds, but they continue to see things from their narrow and selfish prism: as a bright and prosperous nation. Why not so when they have unfettered access to our national patrimony?
Some are so unscrupulous they even sponsor mayhem against a country they say is theirs, raising serious suspicion they are really citizens of this country. Who sponsors terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery around the country, aliens? Those sons of devil portray Afghanitanism in everything they do and so, ordinary folks now doubt their nationality. If nepotism has become so elevated to state craft, could we say that all is well?
As Christmas approaches, it is unfortunate there is tension in the land. Not so much because of the corona virus pandemic, they say is on second round of spike, but which the ordinary folks doubt. Let’s all appreciate that when citizens begin to consistently doubt the actions, statements and activities of people they entrusted with their affairs, then, it’s time to apply the brakes and rejig governance strategy.
As year 2020 Christmas period approaches, Nigeria is bedeviled with lots of problems, foremost of which are economic and security issues. These twin subjects are currently tilting the foundation of our dear nation.
Is it not a shame that several years after the Chibok and Dapchi unfortunate incidents, Kankara caught notoriety as place where school children are kidnapped in their numbers, right inside their hostels? Primary objective of those perpetrating such heinous act is simple: let the poor, especially in the North lose interest in academics. And, unfortunately, gradually, they are succeeding. The Kankara boys, we were told, said they won’t go back to school. They have been deeply mired in fear of education.
After all, they regained their freedom after some harrowing days in the bush with terrorists. And the notorious Abubakar Shekau, at some point claimed responsibility and provided his version of the evidence, which have been debunked by the military. Unfortunately, the military is suffering from a fatigue of mistrust from the ordinary citizens.
As Nigerians travel for Christmas and New Year, is it possible to hem in those criminals who have recently made a mince meat on our terrible, pot hole infested highways? Although security agencies say they are equal to the task, daily activities of the marauders across the nation, put paid to their assurances that people can go about their normal businesses. People no doubt engage in businesses, but they believe they do so at their own risk.
How then, do we celebrate a seamless Christmas? Is it not likely that criminal gangs have made plans to strike at the “right time”? Would our security agencies still adopt the fire brigade approach to such issues? Ask Governor Babagana Zulum and you get the right answers. He once queried the whereabouts of military officers posted to secure IDPs and some communities in his state, the day he was attacked at Bama. After that, nothing happened. Zulum has remained on his own up till today. If such a personality of pedigree could be attacked in such a manner, what about the ordinary folks? Can we please celebrate a crime-free Christmas this year? Only the Service Chiefs, the IGP and heads of the secret security services can provide the answers.