by bimbo amole
For some while now there has been a lot of violence perpetuated and claimed by a group, so named Boko Haram (literally meaning ‘against Western Education’). This violence has not merely been a disgrace to the Nigerian Nation as a country but of practical and direct sorrow for the Nigerian people many of whom, have lost children, relatives and family, properties aside. The irony, of late, is that even security agencies who are meant to stave off violence and protect each and every Nigerian citizen have themselves suffered harsh ‘punishment’ under this notorious group. It is as if the Nigerian Nation, of 150 million people, ranked 37th in the committee of nations, 2nd largest economy in Africa, 12th largest producer of petroleum in the world and the 8th largest exporter, so called giant of Africa, is shamelessly crying out on her knees: “who can save us from a handful of ragtag criminals?” Without any gainsaying, it is ridiculous.
But the absurdity of this situation gains some light if we take some further indices. In the wake of the Niger Delta agitations and the intervention of the Joint Task Force, some data and particular names were discovered. Influential people were alleged to be major sponsors and beneficiaries of these militants. Even as I write, till this day, none of such ‘sponsor’ has been named, none brought to book. During the several incidences of violence, carnage, death, tears and blood in Jos, lots of criminals were arrested. A good amount of information was alleged to have been retrieved from this people. They were apparently funded by some influential people. The guns and sophisticated weapons used are surely not grown on the street nor available to ordinary people. As a matter of fact, some indigenes of Jos rioted because a lot of cover-up was going on.
The situation is not so different from what Boko Haram presents to us. Several arrests have been made. Are the allied security agencies of the sovereign Nigerian Nation claiming to have no single clue? Are the fellows funding and perpetuating this restlessness not of flesh and blood, invisible? Is it that these people do not use means of communication as simple as phones and the internet, in this era of technology where records can be requested and investigated? Is it that the several National Intelligence agencies in the country are inept and lack knowledge of their trade of intelligent surveillance? I would say no. Definitely NO!
The pointers from these reflections are that there are people in high places sponsoring these nefarious activities. Though it is true that the activities themselves are growing on the wings of social bankruptcy of Nigeria, non-functioning or nil infastructures, poverty, joblessness and generall social unwellness. (The new Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah, already pointed out that what we have in our hands is not just about religion but a sign of the failure of the government to be responsible to the people.) Yet, the fact remains that much truth has not been said about the facts discovered so far in several violence that has broken out in our country, last election included. The Nigerian populace has been continually slapped and cheated daily and the best of the results are merely swept under the carpet. For how long shall injustices be suppressed? For how long shall the spirit of the Nigerian people be subjected to the hands of a few, irresponsible but powerful oligarchs?
Nigeria is truly a great country, the index we gave at the beginning of this write-up erases any doubt about that. But we are surely fooling ourselves if such greatness continues to be soiled in the mud with this sort of indiscipline: un-readiness to make people accountable; lack of political will, integrity & honesty by the Nigerian Government; indecisiveness and ineptitude of her several agencies and parastatals; in short, a general blurred vision that you would probably not find even amongst people who lived 200 years ago.
The Nigerian Nation might not be able to move on without the cooperation of the Nigerian people. Yes. But the Nigerian people cannot do anything without a government which lacks a sound political will and VISIBLE integrity. It behooves the government to call its short, lead the people and rule the nation. That is why it is a government. If it cannot do that, let it abdicate. And now. The pride of the Nigerian nation and people has suffered enough humiliation.