When a Nation Becomes a slaughterhouse

17

By Amiru Halilu 

I don’t need power at the cost of spilled blood.” – Viktor Yanukovych

In a nation where power and influence of the sitting president are depressingly close to omnipotent yet, very few among many Nigerians can even recall that they have hired-Man whom they charged with the responsibility of looking after them—attends to their needs—and never back down until they are well protected. The spate of killings across northern Nigeria clearly reveal that the hireling is in this noble calling for fame and fun but certainly not the arduous task he had sworn by the Holy Qur’an to undertake. 

Whilst his supposed masters Nigerians are losing their lives to a chronic nightmare like banditry, kidnapping, armed-robbery, ritual killings, Boko Haram terrorist, inter-communal violence etc on-a-day-to-day basis, the supposed servant Buhari, is in a castle replete with opulence and comfort issuing an empty threats and registering an already disregarded warnings, and giving a serial unworkable matching orders to the already exhausted service chiefs. 

Scores of women watched helplessly as their husbands bludgeoned and butchered; children witnessed how their parents had been badly mutilated, and their houses burned to ashes. Ceaseless cacophony of anguish from this powerless communities appeared to be fallen on deaf ears. The number of families that are facing homelessness has risen to unprecedented level as a great many of them have deserted their villages. Calls and some pieces of advice given to the president to sack the service chiefs for lacklustre performance went unheeded. From first ten days of this month, Borno alone has witnessed nineteen attacks according to Borno state NSCDC commander, Abdullahi Ibrahim. 

The North is currently meandering off on a circuitous journey of bloodshed to reach the bleeding obvious. One hundred and fourty persons were reportedly killed in just one week in-between Borno, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger state. Sadly, the government is abdicating its responsibility and laying the blame elsewhere. The president’s failure to address the issue of insecurity equates to abdicating his responsibility to his successor.

The president has been in enervating mood, and before he was awakened, the nation had already bogged down by many challenges beyond his imagination. Surprisingly, at the eve of electioneering, he suddenly became so invigorated and displayed so much energy. He was rejuvenated and energetically set foot in every single state and entreated Nigerians to extend his contact beyond 2015. That alone wasn’t enough for him; he wielded his enormous power with relish and talked, acted like a cruel omnipotent dictator. As every dance has its body language, he used all body language to get the message across in exactly the way he wants it. 

It was at that despairing moment the then Chief Justice of the federation, justice Walter Onnoghen was illegally removed for a coded cover reason mean to be conspiring against the king. It was at that situation president Buhari gave an unprecedented matching order to security agencies to eliminate anyone who made an attempt to snatch ballot box. And the murderers get on with their murder and butchery on a brutal scale without getting or facing the wrath of the authority. This is how Nigerian government places a very low premium on human life and safety.

It’s a long-established orthodox by our leaders to be slumbered, wrapped in sleep’s numbing embrace when it comes to serving the electorates, and put so much energy when they are all-out to retain their juicy sits. Also, the security agencies are very much effective whilst on political duty; but always act like an ineffectual buffoons even when occasion calls for protection of lives and property. Nonetheless, the declining capacity of our security agencies occasion by lack of motivation, ranging from inefficient deployment of available manpower, poor salary to non-payment of allowances is shifting Nigeria from once a peaceful nation to anarchy. 

Section 14 (2b) of the 1999 constitution clearly states that: “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government,” the endless killings of innocent souls confirmed that the administration of President Buhari has loss its power of coercion to non-state actors. These innocent villagers never demanded pipe borne water, constant electric power supply, sound healthcare system from the government; all they need is the state of feeling safe, stable and free from anxiety. Unfortunately, government of the day failed to provide these essentials.

Though, a Hausa proverb says: “Kowa ya sayi rariya, ya san zata zubda ruwa” The interpretation is, ‘whoever buys a net, knows that it can’t holds water.’ The current captain of the ship has exhibited gross incompetence but Nigerians deemed it appropriate to extend his contact beyond 2015. Now the ship is capsizing; those who fight with every ounce of breath in their bodies have laid to rest. No! They would resurrect when his tenure expired to continue castigating his successor.

Amiru Halilu writes from Kaduna and can be reached through haliluamiru@gmail.com or @AmiruHalilu

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Sky Daily

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