Continued from Part 2
Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it (George Santayana)
They that are on their guard and appear ready to receive their adversaries, are in much less danger of being attacked than the supine, secure and negligent (Benjamin Franklin)
I blame the whole attack on Dapchi on the military and the Defence Headquarters, who withdrew troops from Dapchi. The attack occurred barely a week after the military withdrew the soldiers from there. This is the fallout of government living in denial of Boko Haram's dangerous reach (Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Geidam)
The abduction is another horrific incident where young women and girls are targeted by terror groups. We very much hope that the perpetrators will be brought to justice, and just as importantly, that the girls will be found and returned to safety. I think the fact that these young women were abducted in an educational setting, where they should have been safe, where they should feel safe, just adds to the horror of the story (United Nations' Secretary-General, Mr. Antonio Guterres)
equel to the last paragraph of the preceding part of this article, what Fatade Bamidele wrote is in congruity with the points made therein. In his words:
"In the three consecutive times Muhammadu Buhari contested and lost the Presidential election, he must have lamented bitterly on his loss. Little would he have known that God was simply struggling to save him from everlasting embarrassment. If he had not won, he would not have categorically confirmed the magnitude of his physical and mental emptiness. Even on his epitaph, it would have been boldly written:
HERE LIES THE BEST PRESIDENT THAT NEVER WAS....
.....but now, he desperately pursued and became President and he would forever be the S.I unit of monumental failure, mental emptiness and purposelessness. He would be remembered as the President that reigned and his immediate family renounced him. In the near future, people would call his name and spit in disdain!!!
MORAL--- That thing you are struggling to get and it's difficult, it might just be a blessing in disguise. Pray that God order your daily steps".
About 110 schoolgirls were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents during an attack on their educational institution in Dapchi, Yobe State, on Feb. 19. How can that happen when Muhammadu Buhari, the morning after he was declared the president-elect of Nigeria, in 2015, pledged to crush the deadly insurgency by the Islamist extremist group Boko Haram. These were his words that day: "I assure you that Boko Haram will soon know the strength of our collective will and commitment to rid this nation of terror and bring back peace. We shall spare no effort until we defeat terrorism. In tackling the insurgency, we have a tough and urgent job to do."
Where are we today? For the second time, Boko Haram has abducted other schoolgirls. On 14th April 2014, the group kidnapped 276 Chibok schoolgirls, and now the terrorists stormed a Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, on Monday, Feb. 19, and abducted 110 out of 906 girls. The painful thing here is that the Nigerian Army has admitted that troops were redeployed from the Dapchi area before the abduction of the schoolgirls. The army claims that it "handed over the security of the area to the Nigeria Police Division." How can the Army do such a thing? Because of the Chibok Girls' incident, all the secondary schools in the North-East zone should have been surveilled 24/7. Handing over Dapchi to weak Nigeria Police, days before the abduction, seems like sabotage, and was a dereliction of duty or responsibility by the Nigerian Army.
The Nigerian Army as an offshoot of a colonial army has only been at its best when it comes to dealing with "bloody" civilians - the colonial army's role then was to beat the colonized people into submission for their maximum exploitation by the colonizers, and that's what the Army of today has continued to do - it suppresses the people so that the ruling class will continue the looting of the nation's resources unchallenged. The Nigerian military has been part of the exploitative Nigerian ruling class, and being controlled mostly by northern elements, it has continued to entrench inequality, mediocrity, human rights abuse and failure. The Nigerian Army has refused to shed its colonial toga by failing to re-invent itself to meet the challenges of the digital age.
The senate also bemoaned the incident, adding that it was unfortunate and disheartening that Boko Haram was back to the geo-political zone in a way that contradicts the Federal Government's claim that the insurgents had been decimated or defeated. The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, alleged that some persons are using the war against Boko Haram to loot the treasury. The Punch reports that the governor noted that the fight against insurgency had become a business because those benefiting from Internally Displaced Persons scams and payment of ransom (in dollars) to free those abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents, among others, would never wish to see the end of the insurgency. The governor described the alleged withdrawal of the military from Dapchi a few days before the 110 pupils were abducted as a major pointer to possible conspiracy. He wondered why no one had been questioned despite conflicting claims by the army and the police. He then added that the withdrawal of $1bn from the Excess Crude Account by the Federal Government was to fleece the country. In the Governor's words:
"Painfully, it appears we will have to live with Boko Haram for a very long time because waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to save Nigerians is a waste of time. They boasted that Boko Haram will be defeated within three months; it is now more than 30 months. All that they have told Nigerians is grammar - Boko Haram technically defeated, Boko Haram completely defeated and now Boko Haram completely degraded. As long as the fight against Boko Haram remains a business venture, providing cheap money for top officials of this government, the insurgency will continue. President Buhari must, therefore, look inwards and purge his government of those benefitting from the insurgency if indeed he desires that it should end."
Buhari has not only failed to fulfill his campaign promises of routing the Islamist group and rescuing the Chibok Girls, his government has also been lying to Nigerians by claiming that the Islamist sect has been "technically defeated", but with the abduction of the Dapchi Girls, Boko Haram has proven that it is alive, kicking and still going strong, while remaining a force that can spring surprises anytime it likes. This government will never wipe out the sect because Buhari is neither strong nor decisive, while the Nigerian military is still living in its inglorious past while lacking the capability, strategy and intelligence to defend the Nigeria of today.
The government was so confused, about the abduction, that nobody really knew what was going on until a few days later, and by then the kidnappers must have taken the girls very far. The Yobe State government, the police and the military were giving contradictory and false information, claiming that upon the attack, the girls fled into the bush, and that they, the girls, have returned in batches. Now, we know that the terrorists invaded the school and made away with their "human cargoes" unperturbed. Eye witnesses claimed that they saw several girls crying for help as four Tata trucks conveying them out of Dapchi sped off. There's fuel scarcity in Nigeria, but the terrorists had enough fuel for the vehicles they used in conveying the girls. How did they get their fuel? This government knows what happened!
Nigeria has no government; otherwise Boko Haram would not have repeated the atrocity of abducting school girls: if there is a government in Nigeria, it would have learned from history and made sure the incident of April 14, 2014 didn't repeat itself. We learnt that this latest abduction was an easy one for the terrorists as they took the poor girls away in trucks, and didn't encounter any challenge or roadblocks by the security forces. If there has been a functional government in Nigeria, it would have picked the gauntlet the terrorists have been throwing down to it by striving to checkmate them once and for all. In fact this supine government - the political leaders, the military, the police, the State Security Service etc should explain to the nation why they allowed this blunder to happen again.
Reno Omokri noted that "Herdsmen killed 73 people in Benue and President Buhari traveled to Kaduna and Nasarawa instead. Bandits killed 41 souls in Zamfara and Buhari traveled to Katsina the next day to pose for pictures with APC Governors. Boko Haram attacked Dapchi in Yobe and abducted almost a hundred girls and Buhari traveled to Adamawa the next day where the Presidency was boasting about 'mammoth crowds'! Isn't this proof Nigeria is on autopilot?"
Today, where are the national and international outcries against the abduction of the Dapchi Girls as were the case after the abduction of the Chibok Girls? Today, the Press has gone into hibernation after it hyped the abduction of the Chibok Girls during the time of Goodluck Jonathan, but has maintained a deafening silence since the Dapchi Girls were taken. Today, where is Oby Ezekwesili and the Bring Back Our Girls #BBOG advocacy group? Why are people no longer demonstrating or carrying placards as they did during Goodluck Jonathan's era, when the Chibok Girls were kidnapped? All that Oby Ezekwesili said now was that she no longer has faith in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. According to the Daily Post, making reference to the massacre of residents in Benue State during the New Year, and the 'lackadaisical' attitude of the Federal Government, Ezekwesili explained that the same situation that played out during the attack on Chibok in 2014 appeared to be replaying itself.
Ezekwesili also touched on the caption of this article, somehow, when she said: "Nobody was paying attention, more or less. Everything was about winning the election in 2015, so here we are in 2018, 2019 is election year - the same pattern is repeated. So I simply said I've had enough of this. It is time for us to have better governance in the society. It is time to stop failing. Nigeria needs to claim the 21st century and for us to do that, the quality of our leadership would matter. I haven't been excited at the fact that we keep losing opportunities that we have, to catch up with the rest of our contemporaries in the world as a nation".
There were national and international gang-up against Goodluck Jonathan in order to deny him a second term, and the so-called abduction of the Chibok Girls was part of the conspiracy. Almost all those who wittingly or unwittingly connived against Goodluck Jonathan's government, in one way or the other, have returned to their vomit.
I agree with Isha Sesay, a CNN anchor and correspondent, when she said that the kidnapping of 110 Dapchi students is a "national disgrace". Isha Sesay criticized President Muhammadu Buhari for only describing the incident as a "national disaster". For her, the President's description is an understatement and "doesn't cut it" because it shifts blame and responsibility from the government. She added: "I want to live in a world where the lives of the Dapchi Girls are held to be just as important as those of kids in other places. A world where no one is talking about schoolgirls being stolen by terrorists! Is that too much to ask?"
Do you know why Boko Haram can't be defeated? Buhari, the president of Nigeria, is one of their patrons, and no matter what the president says; he is using the insurgents for his political gain. Remember that Boko Haram was a little known group about nine years ago, but was emboldened by the northern leaders in order to make Nigeria ungovernable for Goodluck Jonathan. Along the line, the sect became uncontrollable, deviating from the northern leaders' original plan, and started killing even those it was supposed to be fighting for - in tune with adage that "the problem is not to give the Chimpanzee water to drink, but who will retrieve the cup from it later". Goodluck Jonathan is gone and still the north through Buhari can't rule again.
The kidnapping of the Chibok Girls was a calculated attempt by the northern leaders to depict Goodluck Jonathan as a weak leader, thereby rubbishing his personal image and public role, and it worked perfectly well for them, and must have worked against Jonathan's re-election. Buhari was privy to the Chibok Girls' saga, and he knows what has happened to the Dapchi Girls, as he plans to use the sad incident for his re-election. Seeing that he has lost, long time ago, that "goodwill" that propelled him to power in 2015, and knowing that his re-election bid is in jeopardy, he will try to use this abduction to assert his relevance. Days, weeks and months ahead - leading to 2019, the Dapchi Girls would be "rescued", and that will burnish or promote his candidacy for re-election. The point is that he knows what happened to the girls - just as he knew what happened to the Chibok Girls - he knows where they are. And he will use their release for a cheap political bargain as the election draws nearer - to boost his chance that is sagging every day. And then his foot soldiers will start claiming that unlike Goodluck Jonathan, Buhari has shown strong leadership, and "Sai Baba" will be renting the air once more.
The goodnews is that Nigerians are now wiser and alert more than ever. Most of all, the election might not even hold. My advice to all Nigerians is for them to get their Voter's Card - it's very important, whether there will be election or not.
To be continued!
To be continued!
After the Part 1 was published, Vin Ibeawuchi wrote:
This seems to be one of your finest articles. I read it yesterday but still reflecting on it.
After the Part 2 was published, Prof. Adekunle Akinyemi wrote these:
Please accept my hearty congratulations on a well crafted two-part article.
I have enjoyed reading them and I hope you will not take an offence at my mutilations, highlights and other alterations.
Let us keep the writing going even if Nigerians will not read the good works. Posterity is ahead to judge all of us. Cheers.
Read Prof. Akinyemi (RANDOM JOTTINGS ON UBOCHIs ANALOGUE DIGITAL ARTICLE):
Ubochi please don't be hard on us Nigerian for electing Buhari. I was also a Buharist because I saw that he had some integrity THEN.
His deafening silence at crucial times especially pertaining to death and mass burial (Benue State) vs. APC rally in Abia State or so……..
In Nigeria politics is for - self, our family and cronies and people of our ethnic and religious backgrounds. What a shame, it is not for service! What do you expect? No wonder everybody wants a piece of the national cake!
Nigerian politicians are brainless or are they thinking all Nigerians are fools. They are not brainless, rather they are too 'brainful' (crafty) so think that all Nigerians are BIG FOOLS! The abject poverty in the land has made this so, unfortunately!
That he has Fulfilled his political promises was just one of his lies. Did he not tell the Catholic Bishops that he did not know that his appointments were one-sided? He promised to take another look, as if he was ready to alter anything.
I am an anti-corruption crusader, in active pursuit of the war against corruption. I was also active in the education on War Against Indiscipline, though I was ROBBED blind of my entitlement in the end! There is Goooduo!
Please do not bring Botswana into the corruption equation at all. I was an expatriate Professor at the University of Botswana, Gaborone for three and a half years. When you arrive at the Airport, the first billboard reads "Botswana has ZERO tolerance for corruption". Nigeria is one thousand years away from Botswana, a country of less than two million citizens, where there are no corrupt snakes, monkeys and heartless politicians!
I hope that no one will dare open up the cankerworms of similar corruption in other parastatals and agencies of the Nigerian Government. Many of us will just collapse and die off and they will live to enjoy their loots.
To call Nigeria a Looting Business Center is to lower its stature and degrade it. It is a full blown Multinational Corporation with branches at the Federal, State and LGA, which can boast of properties and Bank deposits in all cities of the world! GRAND LOOTERS PLC!
You forgot to mention Maita in your article just as you forgot to mention that the Water corporations are all gone. They have been replaced with water sachets, table water, boreholes, wells, streams and rivers! What a paradox, analogue living in a digital age!
You can see that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this article. I am so impressed with your use of language and the simplicity with which you expressed your thoughts. Nigeria does not know the gravity of losing many of her able, capable, and qualified people to the Diaspora. Please take a cursory look at the number and quality of professionals Nigeria has lost and continues to lose to date. Imagine the talents we have lost to other lands in search of the greener pastures?
I have just returned to the US after five solid months in our dear country Nigeria. Things are not getting any better and of course in this digital age you are abreast of the happenings in Nigeria even better than those therein. It makes me sad when I think and discuss with people about Nigeria.
I spoke with a lot of youths and I am not impressed with the readiness of many of them. It is business as usual 'chop- a-chop syndrome'. When can this be brought to an end? Many of them will claim that there is no money to fight the older politicians. They are not able to develop and strategize to oust the 'looters' because they are ready to step into their shoes, Lord have mercy!
To let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your article please find attached how I have torn it apart with my emphasis and additional comments. Please let us keep writing. God bless.
I am a retired Professor of Education from the University of Ilorin, now resident in Pikesville, Maryland. I visit Nigeria very frequently. Regards to your family.
Prof Adekunle Akinyemi, fnaemt
Re-read this, if your time permits (written in 2016):
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
Continued from Part 2