Nigeria @ 61: A questionable celebration?


Nigeria @ 61: A questionable celebration?






What kind of celebration can you have in a country where children are now the targets of kidnappers and bandits? Can there be something to celebrate when children are forcefully taken into  Sambisa forest and the next minute, they are vicious terrorists? Does the future lie anywhere for a country that has over 10.5 million  children that out of school for lack of parental care and sponsorship? What is left for a country where bandits, militants and other vicious criminals sit in round tables with government officials to negotiate ceasefire?   Apart from being  world headquarters of poverty, Nigeria has joined troubled countries of the world where scores die daily and unnaturally from gang raping, fake drugs, torture, police brutality, violent protest, gun shots, bomb blast  and machete cut.


What can be more painful than the fact that the tormenting bandits, dare-devil  militants and bloodthirsty terrorists were all  politically created in  circumstances that had bestrode the political fortune of the most populated black nation in the world. In what started with cattle rustling, occasional highway robbery, a few instances of human trafficking and land grabbing, northern Nigeria has steep into an irredeemable  state of unrest. Bandits and other criminal elements in the north of Nigeria had since changed the modus operandi of their stock in trade. The madness has reached a frightened crescendo! The business now is to unleash terror on school children and compelled their parents to pay ransoms in millions of naira.


It all started in Chibok on April 15th 2014. Before our very eyes, the future of over 200 girls from Chibok was ruined. Still, there are unrecorded numbers of children that were forcefully taken into the forest by Boko Haram to soar up the numbers of its’ children brigade soldiers. What nation celebrates when scores of school children are still in the den of their abductors ?


Perhaps, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed forces and all 36 state  governors in Nigeria including the administrator of the federal capital territory, Abuja  are in  better position to provide an answer or answers to the pertinent questions raised above. Its’ not that they are too dull to comprehend the requirement of such question, but the fact is that they are so clueless that all they want to talk about is the  foolish borrowing from the Chinese and how the collective resources of the people are disbursed from the centre while government  ineptitude continuing to stare at us rudely in the face.


What sane government would  in 5years and still counting leave the ongoing  killing, maiming and displacement of its citizenry  in Plateau, Borno, Kaduna, Benue and Taraba unresolved?  We cannot help but  talk of the religious and ethnic cleansings that are the lots of non Muslims and members of other ethnic groups that are not  Fulani and Hausa.


It does not matter anymore in Nigeria of today  that our constitution specifically spelt it out in Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution ( 2011 as amended)  that Nigeria is, will be and always a secular state. The import of this all important section of the 1999 Constitution is that no one religion would or should  take prominence over  others. It can further be interpreted to mean that no level of government-be it at the centre or component states shall impose a particular religion on the people of that state. Its’ coherent and clearer if  section 10 of the Nigerian Constitution is read along with section 38 of the same constitution that allows Nigerians right to religious practice.


It was for the above reason that many Nigerians are apathetic to the present Kaduna state Governor. El-Rufai has been unpretentious that the life of an individual Fulani was worth more than a hundred  Atyapians or  Kagomas of Southern Kaduna. In his characteristic manner of making inflammatory statement, El-Rufai was once quoted to have said that for every single fulani man that is killed in Nigeria, several lives shall follow in retaliation, and that to him is justice. The circumstances under which a Fulani is killed does not matter to him. All that matters to El- Rufai is that a Fulani has been killed. El-Rufai had kept justifying the killing of Kaduna indigenes of Southern Kaduna  by fulani herders from neighbouring countries.


Those in the middle berth, south-west and south east would rather die than have the lives of Fulanis valued over their own lives. In the same token, allowing grazing territories in these regions would  amount to  territories within territories because Fulani herders have ways of grabbing territories and  the reason the Jos / Benue crises is unending.


What genuinely committed  leaders would watch while their country gradually sink into ethnic fragmentation and religious tapestry without doing anything to salvage the situation? Unless such leaders and those they represent are profiting from the ethnic schism and disunity. No doubt, the Nigerian state is at war with itself.  The bloodbath in the south east is tragic. The unending crises in Plateau and Benue are regrettable. The igbos have been condemned to perish for asking to be excused from the Nigerian state. Lately, the Yorubas of south west have also joined the league of ethnic nationalities asking to be excused from the unfederal federal arrangement of Nigeria.


What is there to celebrate when the Naira and pride of the Nigerian economy has been on a free fall against the U.S Dollar and the Euro? The present exchange rate of the Naira clearly indicates that Americans live far more better than average income earners  in Nigeria.


What nation rolls out the drums to celebrate when its’ roads are death traps? How does one celebrate 61 years of darkness? Who in his or her right mind celebrates poverty and insecurity. The security state of the country is such that the police and other security agencies are overwhelmed by the security challenges in the country. God forbid that there is external aggression between Nigeria and a neighbouring country. Given its present widespread exposure, chances are that the Nigerian military could very sadly be caught pants down. This is because, a lot of our military men are now at various stop and check points policing the entire country; what would ordinarily be the job of the police!


Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari


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