Tuesday, February 4, 2020


Leah Shaibu

ost people, regardless of their faith or religion, pray to their God for something special for the New year before the old year folds up. In retrospect, maybe some should have asked God for a few things, like, may Buhari and Osibajo's daughters be kidnapped and have babies for their abductors, may Femi Adesina's son also captured and beheaded by his abductors. Would this be too much to ask God? Perhaps not, but as a believer, I would subscribe to neither or be subjected to this line of prayers because I know the ways of God are different, and He knows the end from the beginning. Nonetheless, I am pretty sure many in our nation have at one time of the other harbor thoughts in this realm and even prayed these prayers in their closet because of their excruciating agony.

Some people might think this was not a misplaced emotion; it is debatable and open to conjectures. However, the story of Joseph in the Bible helps somewhat to understand what the parents of Leah Shaibu are going through. The Bible records that when Joseph's brothers lied to their father about what happened to his son, he wept and mourned for him many days (Gen 37:34-35); it is utterly agonizing for any parent to lose any of their children, either to kidnapping or outright death. I do not wish it on anyone. It is even more painful that in a country like ours, where we have a sitting president with service chiefs and ministers, yet daily all we get is news that breaks the heart. Practically all that permeate the air is that of woes of kidnapping, killings and the like. It is very convenient to blame it on the opposition posturing, but the reality on the ground confirms that this is more than just anyone trying to bring the government down, it is a case of national emergency.

When the news broke that Leah had a child for her abductor, it was initially like being hit with a wave of sadness and grief. The mind was racing, dithering between hopelessness and despair, and asking what I could do to help her parents to sedate their pains. But, the realization hit me that I might not be able to secure her release and even make her parents see God in this situation. Faith cum belief is the central tenets of being a Christian, and once that is lost, there is nothing left but going through the motions of religiosity. According to my brother, Chimezie Onyebilanma, he wrote in his track, titled - God is in control, that, "God has a way of using our momentary troubles for achieving eternal glories that outweigh by far all we may suffer. Joseph could not have seen any meaning or order in all that was happening to him until later, yet he concentrated on living for God. We must concentrate on living for God - on being faithful even when life (or God) does not seem to make sense." At this point, I will encourage Leah's parents to remain steadfast, and the Lord will come through at the end.

As for Femi Adesina, it is not a case of being worried about his unflappable loyalty to a man who so clearly embodies skewed ethical values, but also hamstrung by his weaknesses because the perception is that his principal's personal views and ethnic preference had overridden his judgment. People like Femi Adesina know the truth about the precarious state of the Nigerian nation but only capable of speaking it to save their skin as long as it does not prevent the flow of milk and honey. In his cadre, they do not have the capacity to resign because they are indeed poor in spirit; hence, it is virtually impossible to speak truth to power. Many of these government prevarications have not paid off; it is about time to make bold and own the current security challenges because our people fed up.

Without any ambiguity, however, that Vice-President, Professor, Pastor Osinbajo, understood correctly that as a republic, the will of the people is sacrosanct and should not be toyed with by any stretch of the imagination. Also, pertinently clear to many is the fact that he has the character, ability, physical and mental fitness to serve the people, not himself. Candidly, the Vice-president should be aware that the perception of his people is shifting drastically towards persona non grata. If he can no longer function effectively, he should not allow the trapping or allure of power to enslave him. The Vice-president should summon the courage to speak out or depart from whatever would make him irrelevant after leaving office. As it is now, most South Westerners believe that he has no say, which in Yoruba translates to "ko le nu ni be" and as honorable "Omoluabi," it is a dangerous position to find oneself.

On the other hand, the President, Mohamadu Buhari, appears not to be the solider of soldiers that he once was. Many of his inner circle have broken on him; his command has been tempered and whittled down by the wiles of the cunning cabal, which his wife alluded to in various print media. From observation, it seems he is living in past glory. If this is not the case, one wonders how this man whose recorded performance was gallantry in the Nigerian army during the civil war even as a junior officer could allow the insecurity that is almost bringing the nation to her kneels fester for this long. Nah! Not him. Why are officers and men sent to Sandhurst, Kuru in Jos, and other War Colleges around the world? To learn how to eat pepper soup? Probably not. Understandably, this is not a conventional war, but these men that have benefited from training against insurgency should be able to adapt, strategize and comb the nooks and crannies of this country for rabble-rousers and trouble makers marauding in various groups and put a halt to our citizens' hellish living.

Since men who are bereft of ideas, brain dead, and enemy of progress governors like Fayose had left the South West, there seems to be a ray of hope forcing its way through the cracks of the region. The governors have realized that it does not matter which nominal party they belong to; they have an obligation to the people of the area hence the birth of "Amotekun," which was people's outcry stemming from their bid to protect lives and properties from banditry. I sincerely hope that this same framework will get adopted in the Northern part of this country where banditry is rife.

It will be disingenuous to assume that this government is not working their socks off to tame the multi-faceted security challenges, but it is not yielding any positive result. At this junction, both parties (APC and PDP) need to urgently put aside party differences and pettifogging that could further enhance the current turmoil and anarchy. Currently, it is sad to say many people are spewing out unmitigated indefensible cover-up, outlandish garbage, and a treacherous slight against the Nigerian nation. Nigeria should come first in all our people's deliberation. It is now or never, the service chiefs should either shape up or ship out. Let this president show for once that he is in charge and not the unelected lobbyists, sycophants and league of conspirators so that we could have some semblance of peace in the land envisioned by our progenitors. Enough is enough!