By Ogunjimi James Taiwo
I remember sitting at a meeting of the Committee for the defence of human rights(CDHR) in 2009, the issue of insecurity was being discussed. Boko haram had not really stepped up their game then, it was the Niger-delta militants that were causing the headaches. I remember that one of our female comrades stood up to speak and her words were like prophecies. She warned then that if government didn’t find ways to ‘crush’ those who make the nation insecure for others, then, we haven’t seen anything.
Today, i remember her words and it suddenly hit me that it’s all coming true. The warnings have been left unheeded, the dangers have been left unremoved, the angry have been left unpacified and insecurity has been left to thrive unchecked.
I don’t claim to have the solution to Nigeria’s problems. No, far from it. But there are some home truths that should be told, but no one is saying it. There are pertinent questions that should be asked, but no one is asking. There are people that should have been thrown out of office, but they remain hired. People who should be in the four walls of a prison are still roaming our streets, and people who ought to be locked away and kept from human contact are still giving orders.
First, let me say that apart from insincerity of our leaders in tackling insecurity, the next big problem of Nigeria is that we have security operatives who are still stuck to the 19th century way of thinking. Everyone wants to carry a gun today, everyone wants to be in uniform, everyone wants to command respect, everyone wants to sit in an office, behind a desk with a large cigar between their lips. And we want to end insecurity?
In countries that are genuinely committed and determined to put an end to violence, insecurity and terrorism, they have plain clothes security personnels who would have gone underground and infiltrated the Boko haram sect, thereby bringing the sect down. But here, it’s either the leadership of the security agencies are insincere or they are not capable.
Another issue is that of those opposing dialogue with the Boko haram sect, they cite America as example, they say America doesn’t negotiate with terrorists. Good! Is this America? Will an American soldier kill a terrorist without getting facts? Will a terrorist ‘just die’ in an American prison when he’s close to revealing his backers? Let’s stop deceiving ourselves. Insincerity and protection of some people in high places have made the task of ending insecurity a daunting one.
If the government and the security agencies have decided to take the path of insincerity, nonchalance and coverup, the onus lies on the ordinary citizens that are getting killed daily to stand up and demand for the resignation of the President and his people.
No one is blaming the President for not being able to stop the Boko haram sect, but it is only fair that he steps aside and let people who can solve the problem take over. We haven’t forgotten the reaction of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo when two or three soldiers were killed then, a whole village paid for it. Today, soldiers are dying daily, yet we think nothing can be done?
Every sane Nigerian who will not be blinded by sentiments will realize that the resignation of the president is the solution to the problem.
Nigeria today doesn’t need a ‘gentle’ president, we need a ruthless one; not ruthless against law-abiding citizens, but ruthless with those who don’t want to co-exist peacefully with others. Nigeria needs a leader who is unafraid to challenge the status quo. Nigeria needs a leader who will not harbor criminals in his government. Nigeria needs a leader who will not protect terrorists at the cost of peace-loving citizens. Nigeria needs a president who will not continue to sacrifice innocent Nigerians at the altar of incompetence. Nigeria needs a leader who will not be afraid to step on toes even at the cost of his reelection. Nigeria needs a leader who will not mind sacking all his aides if that’s what it’ll take to bring culprits to book.
Insecurity can end in Nigeria. We all need to come together and mount pressure on the leadership of this nation to either profer solutions URGENTLY, or resign. We can’t continue to hear news of bombings, we can’t allow ourselves to get to a stage when loss of human life becomes ‘common’. We cannot allow our nation to be torn apart right before our eyes. We won’t sit back and do nothing. No, we won’t!
If there’s anytime to speak up, it’s now. If there’s anytime to challenge the government to find solutions, it’s now. If there’s anytime to demand for mass resignation, it’s now. If there’s anytime for stern actions by the government, it’s now.
God bless Nigeria!
By Ogunjimi James Taiwo