Last week, the editorial commentary of this publication focused on the increasing and alarming rate of insecurity. Unknown to us, few days after, we are again faced with tales of woes and lamentations of the gruesome murder of innocent rice farmers, whose only offence was that they went to look for what their families and the society at large would eat from the harvest of their farms. The killing of 43 rice farmers in Maiduguri, the capital of Bornu, North – East of Nigeria by the dreaded Terrorist Group, Boko Haram last week indeed is one killing too many. For almost six years, since this administration, under President Muhammadu Buhari came to power, the country generally, especially people in the Northern Region have been sleeping with one eye closed, owing to insecurity everywhere and the activities of the Boko Haram sect that have roundly arrested up the security architecture of the country by killing freely in most parts of the North unchallenged.
Before now, the messages that usually come to Nigerians from the government quarters each time security matter was discussed is “we have decimated Boko Haram and all the villages and towns hitherto taken by them in the past have been fully recovered by the Nigeria Military.” Such rhetoric have since disappeared from the National Television and Radio Stations because the operations of Boko Haram that have continued to pound and kill innocent Nigerians even in their sleep have proven the messenger of such messages wrong, as Nigerians too, cannot be fooled any more. Repeatedly, the Nigerian people have continued to call for the sack of the service chiefs, whose performance many Nigerians believe is not good enough to eradicate completely the activities of the terrorists, having been provided with adequate funds and equipment, according to Federal Government.
What is very confusing and surprising is that Mr. President, after expressing disgust over the performance of the service chiefs few months ago and having urged them to double their efforts, has continued to keep them, even when their performance has not improved as against the wish of the people whose taxes, the government uses to pay the top military brass. Aside from that, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, declared recently that Northern Nigeria at present is the most dangerous place to live compared with other places in the country. Again, the Governor of Bornu State, who at various times escaped the onslaught of Boko Haram by the whiskers, Babagana Umara Zulum, out of frustration also called on the Federal Government to engage the services of mercenaries to be able to contend with the atrocities of Boko Haram in the State. Implicitly, what this means is that our military is overwhelmed, meaning that, the country is on the edge! God forbid.
The problem here is that everything in our country is highly politicized and personalized even leadership, it is very clear even to the blind man that Nigerians are dying in their numbers on daily basis. This is not how we were; this is not what we should be, 60 years after independence. One would have thought that the recent #ENDSARS protests and its consequences have taught our leaders some lessons on state craft especially on how to protect lives and properties but unfortunately nothing has changed, and may likely not change if Boko Haram insurgents could have all the time in the world to tie their victims hands and feet and slit their throats unchallenged by the security operatives.
There is no more time again to waste and this is not also the time to defend the government unnecessarily because it is only in Nigeria, according to one of spokesperson of the President, farmers should get clearance from the security before they should go to their farms. Propaganda should at this time be clearly separated from real governance. That is what Nigerians are asking for. The government should more be concerned going forward about the protection, safety and security of all Nigerians, enough of mass burial of innocent and hapless Nigerians. Handling Boko Haram with kid gloves, and granting amnesty to those who are on the rampage and going about inflicting deep pains direct into the soul of the country, by killing women and children, old and young portends danger for the country and may lead to all of us surrendering to Boko Haram who are believed to be everywhere in the country. We call on President Buhari government to rise up to his constitutionalresponsibility and stop these killing sprees on the land that has characterized his government. Those whose stock in trade is to lie and deceive Nigerians because they are in the corridors of power should also stop forth with, think again, because the innocent blood of all Nigerians slaughtered violently for no fault of theirs but for sake of tribal or religious leaning, such deaths will be avenged by God if not today but certainly in the future.