On the 23rd of June, I was in company of my friends on our way from Igbemo Ekiti when we saw two herdsmen. Our first reaction was to ask the man by the wheels to please lock the car and keep his eyes on the road. We were laughing, yet, frightened. We were tensed and talking available options. Many of you would have experienced this since the nefarious killings that now decorate the country’s landscape started.
In a country plagued by religious sentiment and ethnic prejudice, we have left our fortunes in the hands of men who lack empathy and only care for the purses of their families and allies.
The mindless killing on the Plateau and the usual kamikaze response of the Buhari led Federal government is not only worrisome but a cause for genuine reflection on what and who we are. The government, as usual, took 48 hours to gather their thoughts before “tweeting” to condemn the killings of the people the constitution empowered them to protect. In like manner, a grandiose meeting was held in Jos with no way forward as the night was filled with more cries of help from the people our government have left in danger.
It is easy for us all to pack the bunch of blame at the door step of President Muhammadu Buhari not only because he is the Chief Security Officer but because 3 years ago, he was actively condemning killings in Nigeria.
It is not fortunate that some people have trumped the “killing didn’t start in Buhari’s” time card, what I find rather unfortunate is the gut with which they have defended a President who has repeatedly denied a problem that is staring us all in the face.
In the middle of this all, are Nigerians who thought that the national team have done nothing to use the spotlight the world beamed on them to voice out. As much as I wanted the team to be a banner for the voiceless to the world, we can absorb them of the blame some people now heap on them.
I believe that to do such things (as wear arm bands or have messages inscribed on their under wears) they have to check with the officials/management which are members of NFA. I also believe that the current crops of officials of the NFA are loyalists of the present day government. A government that have subtly denied this crisis will not allow anyone do anything in the open that will bring ‘her shame’. The world cup stage is not even the ‘open’; it is the centre stage until the end of the football fiesta, it is the point of convergence and attraction.
Knowing the underlying politics will not only allow us the hindsight of another perspective where we can go easy on ourselves and realise that we have a lot more to do than what we have been doing.
We should go easy on ourselves as we find a lasting solution to this menace. Many have called that we are lazy Nigerians and are more vocal when hiding behind our keypads. Many others have insinuated that we’re silent because the killings are far off the south but I want to say that no matter our collective will, the bulk of the work stops on a table and we all know whose.
Did you see the way Madam Oby was manhandled during her one-woman protest? Did you watch Distinguished Segalinks (#EndSARS lead campaigner) and Dolapo (Police PPRO) on TV? With overwhelming evidences and facts, the people in authorities deny the obvious. Imagine that Oby led a 2000 man march and they were manhandled by the police. Imagine that Super Eagles wore arm bands yesterday and the fans brought banners to the field. All these efforts would amount to naught if the people entrusted with the mandate do not acknowledge that there’s trouble. I might be wrong, but, the position of this government, after three years, solidifies my point.
I recall a chat I had with a young man working on finding an everlasting to a social problem, I told him Nigeria can reach some new heights in 10 years and he said it won’t happen. My default response was a show of anger; he noticed and took his time to explain. His superior argument posited that for a nation to grow, policies must be put in place with the right people working to deliver the good. He asked me what the policy direction of Nigeria on Education, STEM, Economy and other vital sectors are.
So it is in this case. Is the current killing of Nigerians another business opening? Is it a way to put money in the pockets of some ‘war dogs’? Oh! Where are the physical manifestations of the 1 Billion invested in arms recently?
The killing on the Plateau, Taraba, Nassarawa and the kidnappings would not go away until the security infrastructure is reworked and people begin to see that we have more work to do than just blame a handful for our plight. Where’s the love? Where’s our humanity?
The killings on the Plateau is one too many. So is the one in Zamfara, Taraba and everywhere in Nigeria. I know for sure that we are praying about this but does it look like it has worked?
Pray no more, let the people with the mandate act.
This is sickening. It breaks us all and must be stopped.
Remove the kid’s gloves and battle this menace.
Our lives matter.