CLOUD OF INSECURITY is gathering in Nigeria. And spreading nation-wide. No longer few Nigerians are seeing it. Only fewer political apologists and praise singers in government are not seeing it, or attaching meaning or importance to the gruesome state of insecurity in the country. There are palpable fears that Nigeria is drifting into the waters of instability. Corridor of power – Nigerian presidency, plays down on the situation.
Buhari, in 2015, presidential election, defeated incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, for what many described as inept and corrupt government. Former president Olusegun Obasanjo, acknowledged then, that Buhari may not have been the best presidential candidate, given his limitations in economy, foreign affairs, amongst others. Yet, he rode to power on popular support and general goodwill. Based on the promise to fight corruption and end Boko Haram insurgency in a short time.
Northern Youth Coalition, NYC, statement by Muhammed Ishaq, national convener, Wednesday, in Abuja, called on President Buhari to resign from office before Nigeria becomes another Somalia. It described the worsening security situation in the country as similar to what obtained under Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency. Many believed that Jonathan was incapable of managing the situation. And he was voted out of office.
NYC acknowledged that insecurity in Nigeria, particularly, in the North, has lingered too long. “As a coalition that represents millions of youths from various parts of the North, we are pained by the insecurity that threatens to consume the North. It is glaring that the security situation in the country is deteriorating and our agony as victims aggravating.
“The lingering insecurity is one of the major reasons why we clamoured for change and voted Jonathan out in 2015. But instead of a permanent solution to the problem, killings and other forms of criminality have been resurfacing under the watch of someone that vowed to be our saviour.
“It is almost five years now and Nigeria, from all indications, is either worse than the Jonathan administration or it is not different from the previous government despite the fact that in his first term, President Buhari pledged that his government would bring an end to the national suffering caused by insecurity”, NYC added.
NYC said northern youths have grown weary of excuses. The lives of the youth are being wasted on daily and hourly basis. “We cannot continue watching while our region is being turned to ashes and cemetery. President Buhari has failed to secure the lives and property of Nigerians probably due to lack of political will, commitment or competence and he should therefore, resign to save the country from collapse”, the statement further added.
Same, Wednesday, crowd of Borno State residents, booed President Buhari and his convoy, as they drove from Maiduguri International Airport to the city centre. On his way back from five-day trip to Ethiopia, to attend the African Union Summit, Buhari flew straight to Borno State, on condolence visit to the people, in connection with Boko Haram attack last Sunday.
As the convoy moved, crowd that lined the airport route to the city, booed the president and his entourage with words in Hausa as “Bama so”, “Bamayi” – meaning “We don’t want”, “We’re not interested”. Clearly, an indication of dissatisfied people, due to upsurge in Boko Haram attacks, killing and maiming their people. There were insinuations that the president did not shake hands with some traditional rulers at the airport, who came to welcome him. No definite reason was adduced for this.
Last Sunday’s incidents, which 30 stranded travellers, children and women included, were killed and burnt to death by the insurgents in their vehicles, in Auno, 20 kilometres to Maiduguri, and recent similar incidents, were fresh in their minds. And reflected in the manner the president was received by the people. President Buhari, during previous visits to Borno State, was warmly received, being one of his political strongholds.
In Oshogbo, Osun State, south west Nigeria, still on Wednesday, Monarchs, in one voice, spoke on the state of insecurity in the country, during the event of National Summit On Security and Insecurity In Nigeria, organised by Centre of Black Culture and International Understanding.
Sa’ad Abubakar, Sultan of Sokoko, told traditional rulers to speak out on the problems of the country. He said for centuries, royal fathers managed the affairs of their territories before governments relegated traditional institution to the background, after the 1914 amalgamation. He urged them to rise to the occasion and save the country from drifting.
His words: “You cannot have peace and security when you do not have good governance and justice. Without justice you can’t have good governance. That is what our forefathers said. We need to rise to the occasion, things are really bad. If you keep quiet and don’t get to see how we can help our political leaders on this issue, then we are part and parcel of the problem when you keep quiet in the face of injustice.
“We should speak out the truth all the time without being afraid of a governor or local government chairman or chairman of traditional council threatening us. If you are convinced, speak out and stand by it. I have always said it that the problem of this country is us, the elite. If we want to deal with these problems, we can do it. We have always used the common man who doesn’t have anything to get what we want, Abubakar said.
Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Ooni of Ife, said Operation Amotekun security initiative had come to stay, because royal fathers of the southwest region were involved in its planning. And urged government to involve monarchs more in security strategies in their domains for effective policing.
Few weeks ago, church clerics, led their followers on streets rallies across the country, protesting the state of insecurity, wanton killings and governance deficit in the land. They heeded the call by Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to stage protests against the killing of Christians. CAN declared three-day fast and prayer that began, January 31, and climaxed Sunday, February 2, 2020, with prayer walk.
CAN President, Samson Ayokunle, on that occasion, Sunday, February 2, said “Our President should rise up and up his game. If the attack is not religious don’t let there be attacks on Christians again. The killing of the young man going to Maiduguri is still fresh in our minds. When they were killing him, they said it in Hausa or Arabic that it was because he was a Christian”.
Nigerian government has insisted that Boko Haram terrorists group has been defeated. That the military is fighting international criminal gang, known as Islamic State of West Africa Province, ISWAP. These narratives no longer appeal to Nigerians. Human lives are seen as, lowly-valued, and are needlessly slaughtered daily in the country. Peoples sensitivity are touched, and are alarmed. As they watch government fail in its primary responsibility to protect lives and property.
Nigeria’s national assembly – Senate and House of Representatives passed resolutions, calling for state of emergency on insecurity in the country. Governors of Nigerian federating sates have taken the option of regional community policing to protect the lives of their people. Civil society groups and foreign organisations are peeved on the security situation in the country.