STATE OF THE NATION

With Boko Haram in the North, National Union of Road Transport Workers in the South West, kidnapping and militancy in the South South; Nigeria is caught in a chain of events that could decide the future of our geographical expression to cull from Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Path to Nigerian Freedom: Nigeria is not a nation but a mere geographical expression.

I have watched with disdain the crisis that has engulfed the Nigerian state for the past few months. The current events if not handled carefully will equate the civil war to a birthday party. All Nations go through challenges but the magnitude, scope and handling of the Nigerian thesis is quite baffling and leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
There is reckless breakdown of law and order in all the regions and walls of Nigeria. The south west region has a bride in the N.U.R.T.W (National Union of Road Transport Workers); a group that has grown in leaps and bounds in violence since its inception, thanks to the largesse and machinations of the politicians who use them for political gains. We have witnessed an avalanche of havoc and destruction of lives and properties courtesy of this gang. The only way out of this mess is to disband this group and establish a caretaker committee with the purpose of reorganizing and restructuring this unit to make it less attractive to what we have at the moment.

Kidnapping has become a very lucrative trade in Nigeria with a headquarter in the Southern part of the country. Kidnapping has become a thriving business thanks to the amnesty it enjoys. From their days of humble beginnings, kidnapping oil expatriates, there has been a paradigm shift to kidnapping grandpa’s and even infants for money. Of course, there has been a lot of political support from politicians in a game of divide and conquer. The will and resolve to fight this cancerous growth is missing from the security forces. As long as ransom remains a dependable factor in kidnapping there will only be an upsurge in cases of kidnappings in the country.

From the show of shame and incompetence on Independence Day credited to Henry Okah, the past few months has witnessed a rise in terrorist attacks by Boko Haram. Boko Haram has taken over the Nigerian polity with bomb attacks, prison breaks and destruction in a very unprecedented manner. Boko Haram has developed a reputation for exposing the weaknesses of the security forces. One would have hoped that from their inauguration in 2002, this terrorist organization would have become a thing of the past. July 2009, during the clash between the security forces and Boko Haram, a clash that claimed about 700 lives, Mohammed Yusuf the founder of Boko Haram was captured and assassinated in the custody of the security forces.

You don’t need to be a psychic or a prophet to know the reason why a terrorist who should stand trial was assassinated. You don’t need a security briefing to know that his sponsors were behind it. The Political gladiators have created a monster in Boko Haram by impoverishing the citizenry and using religion as a weapon to buy votes. Boko Haram decided to put the inspector General of police to another Security 101 exam 3 days after he declared war on them; the result is the June 17, 2011 bomb attack on the police headquarters in Abuja. If the Police headquarter in Abuja can be attacked, where exactly is safe? There has been two more bombings by this sect; where are the Intelligence Agencies?

Edmund burke was right on point when he said “All that is necessary for evil is that good men could do nothing.’’ One would be prompted to ask, what is the president of Nigeria, the chief security officer and commander in chief of the armed forces doing about these dangerous events that is tearing the fabric of the country apart?

The Federal Government has embarked on a dangerous mission of negotiating with Boko Haram.Another crazy thing is currently taking place, police officers are currently been tried in court for the killing of some Boko Haram members. What about the police officers who have been killed by this terrorist organization? What about the churches that has been destroyed by this sect? What about the pastors that have been killed? What about the Imams that have been executed? What about the Innocent lives these criminals have cut short? What kind of government would prosecute her police officers to placate a terrorist organization?

Negotiation with an organization that opposes western education and embraces sharia law is insanity. Nothing good can come out of it. Boko Haram can be likened to a cancerous growth in a man’s leg that is fast spreading; it has to be cut off to save the man’s life. The Federal Government must realize bribe will not solve this situation. This Administration must take the bull by the horns and wipe out any organization that poses a threat to the Nigerian state. The security agencies need training and funding to carry out their duties. Government is serious business; good luck won’t keep Nigeria safe.

(FIRST PUBLISHED JUNE 30, 2011)