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E O EkeSunday, November 10, 2013
eoeke@aol.com


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THE WAY NOT TO LEAD A COUNTRY (PART 1)

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ew weeks ago, Boko Haram posted another video of its atrocities in the internet. This time it is the torturing and beheading of a poor hapless woman who was accused of being a government informer. She was physically assaulted in the must inhuman way possible. I could not bear to watch her slaughtered like a goat. As a vegetarian, who abhor the killing of animals, I found the idea, that a human being can consider the slaughtering of another human being compatible with being human incomprehensible. I found the evil, wicked, psychopathic, insane and abhorrent act, impossible to watch or comprehend. I cannot stop wondering what turns a human being into a monster that finds the dehumanising slaughtering of another human justifiable and able to read a religious book and appeal to Allah, while performing a heinous, sadomasochistic and murderous act. An evil that can rightly be described as one of the worst iniquities any human being is capable.

The video made me angry, but not with Boko Haram, for I cannot honour them with anger and because there is no need being angry with a people who have lost their humanity and sold their soul to the devil, evil, hate and horror. My anger is directed against the Nigerian leaders and government, for their apparent inability to articulate an effective strategy to counter those behind the evils I described above. I am angry at the government for addressing the problem in the most banal and unimaginative way and manner. I am angry at those in positions of authority and responsibilities not because I do not see the ill thought out attempt they are making to address the problem, but because of their failure to show leadership and address the monstrous evil of terrorism, poverty, epidemic of crimes, social deprivation and inequality with the urgency, sensitivity, intelligence and stratagem they require.

I am angry with the Nigerian government for its failure to garner the support, mobilise, educate and sensitize the people against Boko Haram and the utter evil of all they represent and hold dear, represent to the society. I am angry because the Nigerian ruling elite have opted to continue their gang up in order to grab power to continue the rape of Nigeria instead focusing of the solution to the many problems threatening the continuing existence of Nigeria. I am angry because the ruling class is not encouraging members of the security forces to be mindful of the fundamental human rights of the people and the terrorists and because they have failed to educate the people to support the soldiers who are risking their lives, with often inadequate equipment in this ill through war against terror. There is no attempt to educate the people that Nigeria is a country at war, yet tens of civilians and soldiers are killed daily. This is deception. This is betrayal.

I am angry because the president of Nigeria and the leaders of all political parties have not closed ranks on the issue of war against terror. I am angry because the slaughtering of innocent Nigerians goes on, while the leaders go about their daily business of wanton looting of the Nigerian treasury. I am angry because while the capital flight from Nigeria as a result of the increasing insecurity caused by the activities of Boko Haram continues, the leaders continue as if everything is ok. I am angry because neither the president nor the other political party leaders ever visits the hot spot in this war to encourage the front line soldiers who have put their lives on line in this war and the people bearing the immediate brunt of this madness.

I am angry because the Nigerian government makes no honest, effort to seek out the families and dependants of the victims of Boko Haram terror, kidnapping or armed robbery to encourage and support them. I am angry because the Nigerian leadership and elites have so far failed to rise to the occasion in conduct, attitude, commitment, strategy and prosecution of the war on terror. How can anyone look at what the Nigerian government has done and continues to do and say in good conscience, that it is good enough under the circumstance? What excuse has an elected government for failing to bring criminals to justice? What excuse has a good government for shielding those who loot the state treasury?

How can one sensitise Nigerian leaders to the seriousness of the evils which are consuming Nigeria and wake the people up, to the reality of our situation? How can one help Nigeria to adopt the right response and attitude to terror, corruption and evil? Instead of attempting to change, the leaders have continued to steal and mismanage the resources. They have continue to spend millions religious pilgrimages, armoured cars and security to protect themselves and their family, instead of pursuing policies that would make everybody safe and eliminate the need for armoured cars and high wall barbed wire fences. I cannot stop wondering why Nigerian leaders would prefer to travel to India, America or Britain to receive medical treatment for illnesses which could be better treated in Nigeria, if they pursued the right policies and made the needed investment in the health sector.

Nothing can epitomise this indifference and insensitivity of the Nigerian leaders to the suffering of ordinary Nigerians who bear the brunt of their failed policies and poverty of ideas, than the recent statement by the president that the government would not be paying compensation to the victims and families of Boko Haram atrocities. This, no doubt is a demonstration of how out of touch the president and his government are with the mood of the average Nigerian and what governance should be all about. This statement is as unjust as it is unacceptable and represents the height of insensitivity, arrogance and lack of empathy. In a corrupt and unequal country like Nigeria, it is a worrying evidence of the contempt which those in power hold ordinary Nigerians and this is as sad as it is unfortunate. It shows that in spite of the many degrees many Nigerian politician possess, they do not really understand that governments are elected to ensure justice and make the life of the people better and not for the politicians to steal and become millionaires.

Just few days ago, a British man whose tyre was damaged by a pot hole in a road the council was supposed to repair said that he was going to sue the local authority and the local authority has taken responsibility and would compensate him. Good and enlightened Government, take responsibility when they fail in their duties and recognise that they are elected to serve the people. The evidence would seem to suggest that the Nigeria government under the watch of Goodluck Jonathan has failed the victims of Boko Haram and should reconsider its decision to deny them appropriate compensation. This would seem to be the last straw to many innocent people who were going about their lawful businesses when they became victims of Boko Haram random terrorist activities. It would be inhuman for the government to deny them the assistance they need to rebuild their life. A government that fails to see this as one of its sacred responsibilities has no moral authority to govern.

Nigerians of every tribe and religion has been affected by the scourge of Boko Haram terror and denying compensation to them or their families, would be a kick in the teeth. It is surprising that northern leaders, whose region are bearing the brunt of this madness and Igbo leaders, whose people have been mostly affected, have kept quiet about the justice and necessity for the victims of these wicked atrocities of Boko Harm group to be compensated adequately. What the families of the victims of Boko Haram atrocities should do is form an association and bring legal action against the federal government of Nigeria. If they do not get justice in Nigeria, they should take their case against the government beyond Nigeria. There is no justification whatsoever for the decision of the Nigerian government to deny the victims or their families compensation. The politicians who made this decision are busy stealing the country dry, and driving armoured plated cars and flying in private jets, while the people who need compensation to survive are left to rot. This is not democracy but tyranny of those without conscience.

This decision is unjust and insensitive. The government should review it, with the view to reversing it, as it sends the wrong message and gives the wrong impression of how a democratic government should treat the people that elected it. The families of victims of Boko Haram deserve better. It is bad enough to watch one’s brothers, sisters, husbands or wives slaughtered like goats, but to hear the government treat the injustice they suffered as nothing i must be unbearable. Such treatment by the government can destroy ones faith in the country. The victims or families of Terrorism in Nigeria deserve to be paid adequate compensation and a befitting memorial erected in Abuja in their memory, if Nigeria will endure. This is the least any sensitive and responsive governmen,t which is alive to its responsibilities to the people would do under the circumstance. Nigerian victims of Boko Haram terror in Nigeria do not deserve less.

What I find morally repugnant and unacceptable, is the tendency of many Nigerian leaders to orchestrate their religiosity by open worship and pilgrimages to holy lands, while at the same time, being entrenched in corruption and pursing wicked, insensitive and unjust polices, which impoverish the most dispossessed and deprived members of the society. The announcement by President Jonathan is an example. I find the statement even more conceited by his failure to put forward a coherent argument why it is right and just not to compensate families of those who have been failed by the government. This makes me angry. It makes me angry that Nigeria has evolved into a country where the leaders do not know how to use power to do good and ensure justice for those who cannot coherently speak or fight for themselves.

To be contonied

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind.

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