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When the news of the ungodly invasion of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) headquarters by ‘bandits’ hit the media space on Tuesday morning, it left many Nigerians in utter bewilderment, ‘Nobody is safe’ became a common phrase as a new wave of hopelessness set in. Frankly speaking, the new reality albeit painful, can only get worse.
Following Tuesday morning’s attack by terrorists who government prefer to call ‘bandits’ or unknown gunmen’ just to suit their narrative, it didn’t take too much time before Nigerians began to wonder in grave shock why Kaduna, a state that has the Nigerian Defence Academy, Nigerian Army Depot, Military Police Cantonment, Armed Forces Command & Staff College, Air Force base and a host of other military facilities is now a safe heaven for terrorists. These terrorists carry out their evil attacks so brazenly that most times they even ride on a long motorcycle convoy to sack villages, abduct men, women, and children, kill and main! How these people who now have the unthinkable audacity to attack a military installation, kill, and even abduct officers right there in the place where they are supposed to feel safest sent shivers down the spine of many Nigerians.
No matter how one chose to look at it, if the NDA as it is fondly called can be breached, then it is all over for everyday Nigerians who have nobody to protect them! If the failing country’s highest military personnel training ground can be so rapaciously penetrated without any hindrance then the die is cast.
Yes, arguably, there was a time the Nigerian Army did well at many war fronts locally and internationally. However, attempting to fathom how untrained gunmen killed and lately have continued to kill Nigerian military personnel at local fronts: from the northeast to the northwest; from the north-central to the creeks of the Niger-Delta amid yearly mouthed allocation of large budgetary funds, deplete hopes for a peaceful Nigeria anytime soon that is if any right-thinking person still habours such delusion under a Muhammadu Buhari led-Presidency.
Under President Muhammadu Buhari led All Progressives Congress administration, life has become so worthless and valueless. Barbaric killings are no longer newsworthy because it has now become a norm. Casualty numbers of victims of terror attacks now sound like mere statistics to Nigerians who have simply lost all hope of a better life. Fleeing the country is now the new Nigerian dream.
Mindless attacks and bloodbaths by jihadist groups in the North-east have been compounded by a sharp rise in abductions targeting civilians in schools and at interstate links across Northern Nigeria. It is so bad that children no longer go to school for the fear of being kidnapped and possibly potential death if Ransomes are not paid. The country has never had it this bad in her six-decade-year-old history. Insecurity now has a more deleterious tendency than ever seen before. Nigerians are increasingly feeling more insecure in their houses, even those on the country’s delipidated roads traveling from a part of the country to another in search of a decent living have become in a more troubling situation as nobody is indeed safe!
Buhari’s narrow primordial ethno-religious and political calculations in Africa’s most populous country has now slipped into the hobbesian state of nature where life is ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.’ Right now, the only laws that exist in Nigeria are principles based on self-preservation. No wonder Katsina State Governor, Bello Masari last week urged his beleaguered citizens to take up arms and defend themselves. That is nothing but anarchy writ-large
In the midst of the crises, President Muhammadu has chosen to silently remain an arbiter and abettor of the crises. Apart from treating the terrorists who have been christened as ‘bandits’ with kid gloves, he has also continued to look the other way when Ransome is being dolled out to the criminals. Sheik Ahmed Gumi, the bandit negotiator-in-chief has on many occasions pointed out without mincing words that the Buhari-led APC government is in full support of all his initiatives, to be succinct, Nigerian authorities are in total support with someone who is regularly in bed with marauders. Well, no matter the level of crazy denials some Nigerians have continued to adorn themselves with, the truth is that no domestic terrorist group is more powerful than the State except those running the terrorist group and those running the State are one and the same and in this case, Nigerians should not expect a lifeline, at least not under the President Muhammadu Buhari led APC government.
Buhari’s solution to killings by his kinsmen who he considers a taboo to reprimand is reputation of grazing routes. Instead of seeking workable solutions such as ranching to reduce friction between farmers and herders, the cow-loving illiterate has continued to insist on revalidating a non-existent 368 grazing sites and routes across 25 states, of course with the firm knowledge that it is a recipe for more crisis and bloodshed. So why should Nigerians expect magic under him?
Buhari is the worst leadership mistake to have ever befallen Nigeria. His ethno-religious bigotry has completely overshadowed every facet of his thinking, that is if he has any rational thoughts. For months, armed Fulani militia massacred the Irigwe people, who were predominantly Christians in their ancestral homes, burning, maiming, destroying, and displacing thousands who became IDP’s in their own land. The most horrific of these killings occurred three weeks ago, with 70 killed in one night of murderous rampage. There was not a single statement from the presidency of Muhammdu Buhari condemning these killings or even acknowledging them. But the moment the Irigwe youth misguidedly killed the 20 Muslim travelers in retaliation, Buhari’s presidency issued a terse, strongly-worded condemnation and even called the killings ‘carefully planned’ even though no investigation had been done at the time. That is where Nigeria is at the moment.
While Nigerians continue to die in their numbers like helpless chickens, the jihadist would rather hole himself up in Abuja or be busy lavishing State’s resources on frivolities. A week ago, poverty-stricken Nigerians were subjected to the agony of watching Nigeria’s royal wedding of glitz and glamour, one of the country’s biggest celebrity events, ever. Reports even claimed that Private jets that attended the event, filled up the runway of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, that is how best Buhari prefers to dance on the graves of Nigerians who have continued to pay the supreme price for his wickedness, even his most strident supporters are gradually but inexorably coming to terms with this inevitable truth.
For Nigerians, the only asset they have left is their endangered lives and by extension a voice regardless of how frail. The best they can do is to continue to speak up. It is better to die a free man than to die slavishly in your own country. Under the APC and Buhari, it can only get worse, it’s been a long time coming.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK