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Again Nigerian Leaders Desert Their People By Tony Ishiekwene

May 7, 2014

What sort of country is this? That long-suffering Nigerians, battling with economic hardship daily, are now forced to live with fears of bombs being thrown at them, and the government who is supposed to ensure the safety of their lives and properties remains passive and incapable of lifting a finger against the merchants of terror.

Time after time Nigerian leaders only crave for the trappings and glory of leadership positions-super duper private jets, plenty of “Awufu” good food and drinks-but always do AWOL (abscond), when it comes to taking responsibilities for the top positions of leadership they occupy. 

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Nigerian leadership will never behave or take responsibility like the South Korean Prime minister just did a couple of weeks ago when he courageously resigned as Prime Minister of his country because hundreds of young school children died "needlessly" because a commuter transport boat taking the school kids on excursion capsized in the high sea, far from his perch in Seoul. He did not make excuses, or pass the buck to the principal of the School or the minister of Education or Transport, not even the CEO of the boat company; he just resigned saying its "all my fault!" before anybody else takes any blame, as there should be other negligent officers along the chain.

But not in Nigeria. No one resigns in Nigeria for incompetence or negligence of duty in top positions of authority; always looking for excuses and shifting blames, like "quick sands," and pointing fingers at others for atrocities their corruption and ineptitude had caused. Here we are 237 innocent teenage girls missing and abducted for over 3 weeks, and counting and the Chief of Defence staff, the NIA, SSS, IG of Police, the Minister of Defense and The President and Commander in chief of the Armed forces are still sitting pretty on their high perch, not minding their absolute failure in providing leadership and safety and security for their people and their properties. 

It's one disaster after another in Nigeria as the long suffering masses are subjected to one disaster after another, and no one takes responsibility. Only about two months ago, scores of Nigerian graduates were slaughtered in various Stadia across Nigeria, their only offence was they were unfortunate enough to be born Nigerians and went to college to acquire a "worthless degree" that licensed them to a life of youth unemployment and penury. The minister in charge of Internal Affairs, Mr. Abba Moro and the Head of Immigration office never cared to resign nor did the Nigerian President do anything about it! In saner countries, even the President, who should be ultimately responsible, can "throw in the towel”, for such disaster and unwarranted loss of innocent, young lives.

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Now bombs are being thrown almost daily in the Nigerian North East zone, and heading to the Federal capital of Abuja, and the government and security agencies appear clueless and hopeless in checking the menace. As for the main theatre of action- The 3 states of Adamawa, Bornu and Yobe, I disagree with those who argue for the use of more force and tougher emergency rule to dislodge the state Governors and Parliaments as panacea for the menace of Boko Haram. The Governors are already incapacitated with emergency rules, with all powers now in the hands of the president and Commander in chief- in control of police, the military intelligence, and the other armed forces of Nigeria. So these governors have no role to play, as far as security of the area is concerned. 

Listen, Nigerians, we have had emergency rule in the 3 NE states for over a year now, and if anything the insurgency has escalated, far more than it was when emergency rule was declared, May 2013, in the area. Now the menace is shifting to Abuja, and if the idle, lackadaisical attitude of Jonathan continues, you never know when "madman or is it Mallam sef" Shekau would get to Lagos and then on to Warri, Yenegoa and Port Harcourt as he has threatened in a recent video in front of a new Cream-coloured, Oracle Armoured tank carrier (Are the Armed forces of Nigeria not seeing these Nissan Trucks and Armoured Carriers, paraded by these loonies and how are they getting these new vans, when the whole area was supposed to be cordoned off in emergency rule for a year now ?) The guy is winning the war, and Jonathan is more clueless and awful in the war against terror with the insurgents taking the war to army barracks (Giwa barrack in Maiduguri) and burning Nigerian Airforce planes in Air Force bases in the NE zone.

Very myopic, and sometimes compromised, Nigerians are urging the President to declare full “emergency rule” in the affected 3 states by removing the Governors and the Legislature in those states. They want soldiers appointed as sole Administrators and Democracy shelved completely in those 3 states only? That's unconstitutional in the first place! Why not call the military, like these misguided and myopic ignoramuses have asked for, to take over Nigerian government and get rid of the inept and "do-nothing" President? He is the worst culprit in all of these, as he has all the resources and powers to clip these monsters, if he decides to act, instead of looking for "Committees" that will help him to quench a smouldering fire already in a high pitch level! What do you want the Bornu, Adamawa and Yobe state governors to do, whose hands are tied already with the police and the armed forces already in GEJ's hand as commander in chief?

In my book emergency rule has worsened an already precarious situation. President Jonathan should have used absolute force last year, only for a period of 3 months, instead they mocked about, throwing bombs from the air, killing more innocent civilians and destroying the economic lives of ordinary folks in the area, yet never got key Boko Haram monsters who know the terrain better than Nigerian Army and Air force personnel do. This despite the early misinformation by Defence spokespersons that the insurgents were defeated, weakened and on the run.

Instead of more of the same “un-working medicine,” I would rather recommend the suspension of emergency rule in Bornu and the other two states, get the governors and local vigilantes in the area to police and fish out Boko Haram terrorists in their areas. They know them in their localities and they could do a better job than these de-motivated and clueless armed forces, who to be fair to them are being slaughtered by Boko without fair reporting of their casualty figures. No question that political dimensions have been set into the equation; but more important is that the local citizens are more relevant and more capable of halting this BH menace, if motivated to do so.

We all saw the limited success of local JTF made up of young boys and vigilantes in Maiduguri in the early part of the emergency rule, before the soldiers started panicking and turning on some of them with suspicion of being moles and agents of Boko Haram! Why more emergency rule, when one year of that ill-fated approach has proved a disaster? In the face of emergency, bombs are being thrown at ordinary Nigerians, even up to Abuja, and many areas of the NE, like confetti. Young students are been killed, shot and butchered with knives, and teenage girls been abducted for sex-slavery. Meanwhile Jonathan and wife remain in denial, playing politics with the lives of thousands of Nigerians been wasted almost on a monthly basis with no let up in sight.

What sort of country is this? That long-suffering Nigerians, battling with economic hardship daily, are now forced to live with fears of bombs being thrown at them, and the government who is supposed to ensure the safety of their lives and properties remains passive and incapable of lifting a finger against the merchants of terror, roaming the streets with impunity in the day, and at night time when there was supposed to be curfew and emergency rule in place. Are the military personnel not conspiring with, or even part of, Boko Haram? President Jonathan must act as the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of Nigeria. I can't believe this guy is so clueless; he seems to be handing over power to Mrs. Patience Jonathan and to Committees to run Nigeria. 

We have 237 innocent girls either still in Sambisa forest or sold as sex-slaves by Boko Haram monsters, and yet the Commander in chief of the Armed forces is setting up a committee to "Ascertain how and why the girls were kidnapped, and how many, if any, were kidnapped." Seems the President and the delegated President, Mrs. Jonathan, are still living in denial, not sure if the kidnap of these young girls is a hoax. Rome is burning and Nero is fiddling, if you know what I mean!

Tony Ishiekwene
[email protected]

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters 

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