By Dotun Akinwole
Alas, some political leaders from the North seem to be capitulating under pressure; and in the process a handful of these northern political leaders are beginning to spew out the toxic bile inside of them, thereby exposing their true colours. The presentations of Senator Ahmed Lawani on the stoked-up tensions slowly unfolding in every nook and cranny of (the North inclusive) Nigeria, with reference to the South West, to the BBC are not only pathetic but a wilful fallacy and a brazen distortion of evidential facts and figures in this modern age of versatile information communication technology.
How on earth could Senator Ahmed Lawani, the self-appointed advocate of “no demonization” of any ethnic group by fellow senators while narrating the ordeals of their respective constituencies at the hands of murderous marauders masquerading as herdsmen, leave the perfidious impressions at the BBC interview that the people of the South West of Nigeria, largely reputed for being very accommodating and tolerant, were having issues against non-south westerners? Nothing, absolutely nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth be proclaimed, loud and clear from the mountain top to the rest of the world that all Nigerians, regardless of ethnicity, religious affiliation and geographical settlement, have virtually become victims like “cannon fodders” to be wantonly expended and wasted by boko haram terrorists, criminal herdsmen, rapists, murderous marauders and ritualists, while the Federal Government of Nigeria under the watch of a retired army General appears to have totally abdicated its responsibility to ensure and provide robust security for the citizens of Nigeria.
These blood thirsty and degenerate villains, many of them ostensibly wielding gruesomely lethal AK47 weapons of war capable of firing 650 to 950 rounds of ammunition in one minute, are the ones that civilised, peaceful as well as law abiding Nigerians all over the nation can no longer tolerate, and it is not just about lack of leadership in the South West as the Senate Leader declared at the interview. All of us (politician or not) on this planet earth are writing future history by our speeches, hence the need for utmost transparency and truthfulness.
Mr Senate Leader, can you in the integrity of your heart truthfully tell Nigerians, and indeed the whole world at large the last time you visited your country home in Yobe state as an ordinary civilian without any heavy security to guarantee your safety? To think that you Mr Senate Leader, being from a state still reeling in the ugly aftermath of the hellish visitation by ruthless boko haram terrorists cum dastardly coward abductors of defenceless innocent female teenage students, could attempt to decoy the international community to your parochial and untruthful narration is an indictment on your office. And do you think that the BBC officials were taken in by your purported version? Very far from it. As a matter of fact, they have much more accurate information, data, *and statistics than the people on ground in Nigeria, courtesy of satellite communication technology.
Yet, another political faux pas of conscience from the number three citizen of the most populous country in Africa. One would have expected our number three citizen to do the most honourable thing by truthfully admitting that the current administration of President Muhamadu Buhari has woefully failed at the federal, state and local government levels to deliver the aspirations of the entire citizenry of Nigeria in the whole area of security of human life and property.
The second and third runners up on this concourse of political guffaw of unbearably painful comic tragedy are ex-vice-president Abubakar Atiku and Governor Bala Mohamed of Bauchi state, who claim that states have no control over their land space; and that people do not need permission to occupy state forests. How preposterous? Statements of this nature from high profile politicians are aberrational as well as insensitive to the victims (both dead and alive) of criminality be it outright murder, vicious machete attack, kidnapping, rape, sacking of entire of villages, destruction of farmlands, abduction of students etc, the vast majority which are ironically occurring in the North.
Mr ex-vice-president Abubakar Atiku, are you by any chance insinuating that you did not legally acquire and pay for the site on which you established the American University in Adamawa state? Did you by a fiat simply send people carrying AK47 to go and cordon off that vast expanse of land for the establishment of your private university? We Nigerians need to know to help us understand where you are coming from.
Well, I just hope this is not correct. And if it is, you have opened a can of worms; and reputable organizations of international repute would soon begin an investigation on this because the university in question is a private venture, and as such the land for it could not have been legally acquired without due payment and compensation to the people of that community. And for a stich in time saves nine, let me remind you that it is inferable from your utterances that the site of your private university might have been procured through unlawful occupation and sacking of the original landowners; otherwise, how do you justify your stand against the South-West Governors’ pragmatic and wise decisions based on legally sound framework of constitutional democracy.
Lo and behold you have, by your own utterances, thrown yourself under the bus and not by your political enemies this time around. Equally spurious and infantile are the statements attributed to Governor Bala Mohamed of Bauchi state. Without any spirit of immodesty, let me use two simple factual illustrations to enlighten our compatriot, Governor Bala Mohamed. I have many relatives and friends from different parts of Nigeria who were born and bred, married to northerners and permanently settled in the North, and whose parents established various businesses up north. But none, and I repeat none of those people illegally occupied or usurped an inch of ground space and let maul a fowl, but they fully paid for the piece of land on which they set up their businesses.
They all have the certificates of occupancy and all other legally required documents for their business sites. This is decorum per excellence; and a noble way of doing business by civilised citizens in any country where the rule of Law prevails. Half a word they say is enough for the wise.
At a critically perilous time when our national sovereignty is directly challenged and threatened by barbaric boko haram terrorists who, having been dislodged and routed out of their traditional operational turf from where they had been exporting terror to the rest of the world, some of our elected politicians from all the so called geo-political zones of our peculiar pseudo-federal republic are playing crass politics with the lives and destinies of about two hundred million (probably more than) human beings. How have we become this heartless?
On the piggy-back of boko haram insurgency, are bandits, kidnappers, rapists, ritualists, fraudsters, drug mules, human traffickers, murderous marauders, and their accessories etc running riots, having a field day, and calling the shots in cold blood in our beloved country. Rather than rally round and brace up one another to salvage the nation from the throes of death for the common good and existential survival of a just, equitable and prosperous Nigeria, a few legislators, state governors and an ex-vice-president who are supposed to lead by genuine patriotic and unbiased sagacious principles of progressive political ideology are the very ones making inflammatory remarks.
The presidency, for want of better words, has been in a morbid paralysis of inaction as far as the security and wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians are concerned. However, the same lethargic presidency suddenly finds strength to waddle to and fro to appease and compensate the bandits/kidnappers who have now become the preferred sacred protégés of some dubious emergency political and community leaders. To prefer and prioritise the bandits/kidnappers over and above the real victims- the traumatised teenagers “whose only fault is going to school” is a blight on our criminal justice system and a primitive backward integration of natural law.
In an act of unprecedented audacious criminality to humiliate the presidency, the DSS as well as the entire national security apparatus, a ragtag army of hoodlums kidnapped hundreds of schoolboys not too far from the president’s residence whilst on a private visit to his native Daura. These ragamuffins, in relative comparison to our amorphous but overpaid DSS personnel, did their homework well and precisely timed their operation to coincide with the time of the president’s visit. Intelligent stuff! Suffice to say that the DSS failed and let down the Commander-in-Chief of Nigeria Armed Forces when he needed them most, to save him from facing a clearly avoidable embarrassment and ridicule.
This is the kind of harvest of shame as a reward for any organisation or country that leaves the substance to box the shadow. Without any intention to sound cheeky and patronising, may I advise Messrs Ahmed Lawani, Abubakar Atiku and Bala Mohamed to learn through difficult but sincere conversation with some men of visionary courage like the Sultan of Sokoto, Governor Ganduje of Kano state, Bishop Kukah, Governor Otorm of Benue state as well as retired General Theophilus Danjuma. There is a great deal of honesty and integrity of purpose in the statements and write-ups lately from these respectable Nigerians. I deliberately choose to disbelieve that we all have lost the plot and become so dumb not to see the handwriting on the wall. We are under siege!
All without exception of the criminal elements irrespective of their pedigree, ethnic origin, religious creed, trade, or industry that assume that they are free to live and transact business just willy-nilly in any part of Nigeria in utter disregard for law and order or at variance or in conflict with the explicit legal provisions of our constitution are the arch enemies of this great country endowed with mammoth potentials. I hope this short message gets to; and is read with an open heart the principal actors in the (putting it mildly) ongoing mêlée in our country today.
Dotun Akinwole sent this article from the United Kingdom
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