|Friday, February 7, 2020|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
here’s a cliché “once a soldier always a soldier.” How come that is not the case with the Nigerian President Mohammed Buhari? Despite the fact that he is currently sworn in as a democratically elected leader, one of the credentials he touted for desiring the greatest office of the nation is that he was once a general in the army. Even though his qualification was shrouded in controversy as to whether he passed the mandatory West African School Certificate to make him eligible for the office of the President, widely displayed were certificates he got from military training around the world as equivalent qualification.
It is expected that if he is not strong in academics his strength and capability should be in his military training. Meaning that if Nigerians forgave is academic incompetence, they are holding him accountable for his inability to tackle the insecurity in the country. His inability to tackle the insurgencies in this country will give the impression that he is a fake general. Recently the CAN President Dr Samson Ayorinde gave the statistics of the gruesome killings in Nigeria “from 1980-2019, the Stephanos Foundation’ record shows a total of 1,785 attacks in 32 states of the country. This led to the death of not less than 28, 878 innocent people. In 121 Muslim-riots in 19 states, the death of 9, 451 lives were lost. Boko Haram militant groups were responsible for 701 attacks that claimed 12,812 lives in 15 states. Again, 963 attacks from Fulani Militant groups in 32 states were responsible for 6,615 deaths.”
It is time that President Muhammed Buhari stops behaving like Emperor Nero of old who delighted in parties and fantasies while Rome burned. To stop these killings, I want to suggest four areas of immediate action to you Mr. President.
1. Silence is Not Golden. It has become your stock in trade that when serious matters of this nation is being discussed you retreat into Aso Rock and refuse to say anything. When you are not in Aso Rock you waste tax payers’ money flying to unnecessary global or regional meetings while your nation burns. Although the phrase was first recorded only in 1848, it is part of a much older proverb, “Speech is silver and silence is golden.” If that is the principle you want to live by, it cannot work on crucial national matters. Your party APC, came to power with a mantra of tackling three major issues of this nation: economy, corruption and insecurity. The Nigerian nation cannot see you doing much in any of these three areas. Whereas the first two may even be bearable, insecurity is not bearable. Every soul matters. All those people who have died are human beings like you. They had hopes for a long life, bringing joy to their families, perhaps for even making Nigeria better but, they were shot down in their prime. Their families are mourning, many of them are in International Displaced Camps. The question I will like to ask is “if any of the people killed was your wife or children will you keep quiet?”
It is sad that you will watch a group of people in this country under any name brutally beheading other people and it will not warrant a word from you. Recently the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was beheaded by the terrorist group, Boko Haram boldly recorded and shown around the world on social media. Mr. President the appropriate thing is to condemn that act personally. Mr. President you needed to visit that family and bring a word of comfort and condolences to the family. It shows a great sense of insensitivity to the citizenry. The implication of your silence is that it pleased you in a way or, at least it does not matter, it shows a great sense of insensitivity to the citizens. Matters of such grave concern demand that you address this nation on world media. The entire leadership of the Christians in Nigeria are protesting. Mr. President, you should have a word of assurance that this is a secular country and that the killings are not acceptable and that it will not continue. Sir you do not well in this matter. Going forward, you should lead a delegation to the communities where the insurgents are killing people and reassure the citizenry of your capability for leadership and good governance. Mr. President, keeping silence over the killings in this country is NOT golden.
2. Stop Manipulating the Judiciary. You are operating the judiciary as “He who pays the piper dictates the tune.” The expectation in a democracy is that the judiciary is an autonomous third tier of the government, that they execute justice based on the rule of law and the integrity of the judges who are on oath to defend the law just as you are on oath to defend the nation. When someone accused the former Chief Justice of Nigeria -Justice Walter Onnoghen of corruption, in an unprecedented manner he was suspended and removed and the present Chief Justice of Nigeria – Justice Muhammed Tanko was sworn in. The Nigerian populace may not have the power to stop you but they sure know this is “the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau.”Without me mentioning any of the judgments from our supreme court, it is very clear that these are not ‘free judgments” whether in favour of your party or the opposition party. More worrisome is that you came to power touting your integrity pedigree. Is this current issue evidence of integrity? Stop manipulating the judiciary. The three arms of government should be allowed to function independently without executive interference. This hand of Esau and voice of Jacob syndrome must stop.
3. Fight corruption. Mr. President this is your moment to shine. Your moment to make history. Your moment to make Nigeria great. This is your moment to write a befitting legacy for yourself and your generation. You started as a military personnel and became a military head of state, fortune smiled on you after several attempts and you became the democratically elected president of this country in 2015 and again in 2019. What do you want to be remembered for? One of the major problems of Nigeria is corruption not just at the leadership level but across the strata. Christians, Muslims and other religions put all their differences aside to vote for you twice to be president with the hope you will be able to “deliver” them from this systemic, pandemic, endemic, cankerworm called corruption. Will you spend eight years in office and still leave Nigeria in this state of corruption or is the speculation true that you’re planning a third term? Where is the strength you mustered to prosecute War Against Indiscipline (WAI) that earned your junta the heart of Nigeria in the 80s, where is your stamina to heal this country of her pains from pen and political robbers? Do you not know that time is critical, that “time waits for no man?” Don’t you realize that all eyes are on you to tackle the evil monster of corruption?
4. Stop the Killings. Mr. President do for Nigerians what they elected you to do, protect them by tackling insecurity in the nation. Protect Nigerians from this untimely death. Protect them from Boko Haram. Protect them from Herdsmen. Protect them from Kidnappers. Protect Nigerians from armed bandits ravaging the villages, maiming, raping women, children and burning their houses. Protect them for those kidnaping their girls and selling them to foreigners as slaves and marrying them to strangers. Protect Nigerians from those destroying their farm products and animal stock. Nigerians are afraid of travelling by night or by day. Nigerians are helpless in their nation. You are the Commander in chief, Nigerians have appealed to you that your security chiefs have run out of ideas and that you need to search for more capable hands to address the great insecurity issue, why are you adamant? What are you waiting for? The highly revered man of God Pastor Enoch Adeboye and the entire CAN community said and I totally agree with them, “Whether Christians or Muslims life matters”. The life of each Nigerian matters. The bible says life is in the blood. We are witnessing pogrom and genocide under your watch in Nigeria. Recently the Western States gathered together to form an outfit called “Amotekun “to complement your police and other security agencies to ward off the killers in their region, you took offence to that through your Attorney General and Minister of Justice. Hunger is killing Nigerians. Lack of power supply is killing Nigeria. Nigerians are tired of promises. You keep borrowing money as if it is a grant that future generation will not pay. Use this money to stop the killings.