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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nigeria: No longer at ease

By Bayo Fasunwon

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The situation in Nigeria needs not the service of Prophets to predict the current surge in attacks and economic downturn of the nation. At several ties and fora, many had warned of the impending danger inherent in the government’s treatment of insurgents with kid’s gloves. We went as far as giving them Presidential treatment, embracing the ‘repentant’ and rumors were rife that many had been integrated into the Nigerian army.

One Kabiru Sokoto was frolicking in the State house, (by the way, what became of him?), while one killer got turbaned in a State where his atrocities are known. When the bandits were camped and demanded for billions of naira, negotiation rather than bombardment was the government’s strategy, under the flimsy excuse of preventing collateral damage. 

Many able-bodied men of the security forces complained that directives from above, hindered their advancement and onslaught against the known abode of the wicked, but their declaration to the press were muffled, and many were silenced. The killers of innocent Nigerians were at their highest decibels claiming that there was a pact between them and the government, and the pact must be fulfilled, little rebuttal was made, rather the blood flowed freely.

Rather than condemning the murderous activities of herdsmen, the government saw reason in their various acts and even blamed the dead for their murders, Now, the various warnings that Nigeria was at war were jettisoned, and now Abuja has become the epicenter of battle. Would the centre hold?

Government complained of lack of ammunition and propaganda preventing their purchase of higher weaponry, until at last the Tucano Jets arrived. At their arrival. It was pomp and pageantry and promises to wipe out the terrorists, and their camps in few weeks. Rather than wipe them out, even the incarcerated felons have gained their freedom and opportunity to release more mayhem on the nation and her people. Right now, the Tucano Jets are resting in peace, or possibly spoilt, or, though God forbid, in the wrong hands. The various calls to the President, and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to take a decisive step and action had always fell on deaf ears. On many occasions, the predictable response had been that the C-I-C was pained and would decisively deal with the terrorists. Now, that he has become a target, would the centre still hold?

The ease with which members of the security agencies are able to organize and deliver ransoms, and the body language of government’s seeming reluctance of dealing decisively with these criminals, and of course the unmitigated boasting of the assailants has fueled the rumors that government seems to be working in tandem with these agents of destruction. The only way government can refute this insinuation is the decisive cleansing of the nation of these vampire rodents. The National Assembly, which to many had been sleeping on their oars, especially these three years have now found the courage to threaten impeachment. Yours truly, however, opines that the threat lacks truism. It is just a means of getting their share, especially given that many of them lost the bid to return to the hallowed chambers, no thanks to the ‘stubborn’ attitude of the C-I-C. To prove one wrong, they should see the call for the constitutional removal of the President, due to incompetence, it to the end, at least Boris Johnson survived such calls, until he took a bow.

When the nation embarked on borrowing spree, yours truly advised on the need to invest the funds on profit yielding ventures. At a time, the warning came to them that the borrowing was one too many. While the refineries were left to rot, borrowed funds were padded into the bellies of the Accountant-General of the Federation. Despite the continued increases in the fuel pump price of N97 to N180, Nigeria’s insane contributions to fuel subsidy merchants and cabals soars daily.The unbridled embezzlement of national funds through fraudulent payment platforms, had ensured that the nation uses 118 percent of her revenue to service debts. In order words, Nigeria is currently being colonized by her creditors. It is unfortunate that the C-I-C whom we thought and believed would take us to, or nearer to the promised land, had in deed moved us all from ‘top to bottom’. Needless to hammer on the fact that the present economic hardship suffered by Nigerians due to maladministration and mismanagement of resources, had in fact lured many into the waiting recruitment of bloodletters. And as it stands now, more would take the gauntlet and would be willing to ‘get rich or die, trying to’.

The question is how did we get to this point. The answer is simple. The nation is cursed with a ruling class that is self-centred, conceited, arrogant and deaf to sound counsel. Since 2015, scholars, columnists, Press and even the lay men on the streets have offered advice and solutions to the emerging problems bedeviling the nation then, but government had stuck to its gun, and insisted that she knew what she was doing. Many sound advice, even from Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had been received, documented, and remained unused. The observations of other countries had been sneered at, and instead, the voodoo economics of the State had been adhered to. Transnational and international trades had suffered and infrastructural delays had continued. Drops in the ocean achievements had been reeled out by the President in many national broadcasts, and situation had worsened over the years.

Now, the President has moved us closer to Sri-Lanka, and nobody is at ease any more. Government had stretched the resilience and dogged perseverance of the people beyond the elastic limits, and many are already at the breaking point. Would it surprise us if a tired President decides to rule the nation from another country? We have been sold for pennies, and the terrorists, having fed fat on ransoms, are bent on taking over the nation. Are the Talibans trying to recreate Afghanistan in Nigeria?

As it stands, the scrotum of the ram is close to been severed after much dangling. Nigeria(ns) are no longer at ease, and very soon mere protests may not change the nation’s eerie sound of music. By the way, what is the outcome of the NLC protest on ASUU strike. A stitch in time was rejected, leadership sowed the wind, and now we reap the whirlwind; our fathers are busy eating the grapes while the children’s teeth are at edge. Many calling for the decisive actions of the military are not aware that the military has been comprised. Would you not know that bandits even have their representatives in power? While we slept, we allowed leadership to sow tares in our field. Nigeria is no longer at ease, but would the centre still hold.

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