The attack by unknown gunmen at the home of the Imo State Governor, Sen. Hope Uzodimma, in Omuma, Oru-East Local Government Area of Imo State, has added another dimension to the rising insecurity in the country, particularly in the South-East. What had escalated as merely attacks by presumed Fulani herdsmen, have now snowballed to something that could be worse than what is currently happening especially in the North-East and Middle Belt parts of the country.
At the moment, although there is heightening insecurity in the country, which the political leaders, unfortunately, seem not to appreciate it’s worsening dimensions, the current trend of attacking Politically Exposed Personalities (PEPs), even to the extent of setting fire on their private properties, at their home towns, have certainly created more dangerous dimension to the entire insecurity debacle. This is not something we should continue to treat with kid gloves.
The embattled governor has stated even before it happened that his political traducers were plotting sinister activities within the state. Just last week, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo had issued a statement where they accused external forces to cause instability in the zone so as to foist state of emergency in the zone. Therefore, the activities of the always ascribed unknown gunmen who garnered the audacity to attack the home of a sitting governor, setting his house ablaze, is a dimension that is as chilling as it is dangerous. We do not expect that all our political leaders to verbally simply condemn these dastardly acts and resort to their businesses as usual.
The act of condemning the dastardly act of criminals in the country is no longer useful. The citizens are tired of reading or listening to their leaders simply publishing statements in condemnation of acts of criminality, whereas they see little of no action from their leaders to forestall recurrence.
From every indication, the leadership of our security agencies for some years now, have exhibited high level incompetence. There is no doubt that people who have been appointed to the headship of the various arms of the nation’s security are helpless and knows next to nothing on what could be done to ameliorate, if not halt the rising tide of insecurity in the country. All they do is adopt the same Fire Brigade approach or only going after criminals after they had completed particular act.
They have always hidden behind acts of sabotage from the civil populace on what is clearly lack of capacity on their part. Otherwise, why should they always resort to shadow chasing, when with all the money budgeted for them yearly coupled with all the training they had undergone, not be able to always be at least, one step ahead of the criminals. If our security agencies have had a truly functional intelligence departments, all those acts of brigandage would not have been occurring almost on a daily basis. Their obvious lack of knowledge on what to do cost the nation more human casualty than the combined devastation from the dreaded corona virus, malaria, cholera and other debilitating ailment put together.
It is now not just that the ordinary folks are afraid of their lives in every part of the country, but those who presumably intimidate them by grabbing several security operatives all to themselves alone, leaving the rest to the protection of God Almighty alone, have now discovered that those who lord it over them are no longer safe themselves, worsening the level of anxiety in the citizenry.
How could one explain that in the last few weeks that this same unknown gunmen had attacked the Owerri Prisons, the Imo State Police Command, some other police stations in Imo, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu State, yet, the security agencies have not put together a cock sure procedure that could deter or stop such dastardly act.
While not reiterating the need for the nation’s political leadership to jettison it’s obvious nepotic style of appointments, which have not helped matters as it have been proven that incompetent people have been elevated over the years, there is the need to design parameters for rendering returns for people who have been assigned to protect us.
If political office holders begin to fear for their lives and are no longer assured of the safety of their property, even while in office, who else would go to bed and sleep with two eyes closed? These are certainly dangerous trends which must not be allowed to continue or get subsumed under the usual condemnation of such acts.
Nigerians deserve concrete assurances from our leaders that their lives are safe. If students can no longer safely study in their schools, if people can no longer safely worship in their churches or mosques, if security operatives can no longer perform their official duties without being afraid of their lives, if hospitals can no longer operate without the fear of their medical personnel being put in the ham’s way, if soldiers dispatched to maintain peace and order could be sabotaged by the natives of same communities they were sent to protect, then, we have a serious problem in our hands.
The problem being faced by Governor Uzodimma will become flash in the pan, if government fails to quickly arrest this ugly tend. And part of the things we need to immediately do is to halt the shameful acts of bribery and corruption going on along our highways. It is extremely terrible that security personnel detailed to provide security along our highways have for long turned such places to road blocks for the sole purpose of collecting bribes. That is why all sorts of miscreants, operating under the guise of Local Government Revenue Officials operate side-by-side our uniform personnel, wreaking havoc. Who knows if these people revert to unknown gunmen when they have conducted enough surveillance for a nefarious activity.
We must decide to promote merit over mediocrity. We must change our ways and approach to political offices. We must stand down our worship of money and bring back those norms that made Nigeria the greatest country in Africa. The trend of insecurity in the country is very debilitating and we must do away with this monster before it consumes all of us and deforms our dear nation to a banana republic.