he world we live in today, as we all know, has moved way beyond the subjugation of smaller countries by larger countries based on population and size; technology and intelligence have taken care of that. With reference to countries such as Israel, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, Finland, and others in Europe, this is the direction in which the world is heading. If taking over another nation was as a result of power and religious fanaticism, I believe Israel would have been taken over a long time by the Arabs. So, the unenlightened’s rhetoric, as well as religious and ethnic aristocrats’ sponsorship of killer herdsmen and bandit operations across the country, is simply based on blatant ignorance.
Such a movement (nation’s conquest) would be very hard, if not impossible, to prevail in a nation with such complexity as Nigeria given its tribes, religions and foreign associates. They would have discovered by now, from pre-recorded events in our history and with the help of research, that at one point in this country’s history, a certain ethnic group had almost total control over government activities, and that it was the same mismanagement of leadership that caused them to lose power. Other ethnic groups were enraged, particularly in the North, and persecution ensued, eventually leading to the civil conflict.
Ever since, the Igbo ethnic group has struggled to restore its dominance in the Nigerian federation. Consider this proverbial saying, “A dog that will eventually get lost will never listen to its master’s whistle”; this is akin to those who, by arrogance, are forcefully trying to claim ownership of other people’s ancestral lands. It is difficult to imagine how they arrived to such conclusions; nonetheless, it is important to note that land ownership based on ancestral transfers has existed since the beginning of time; it is only conceivable when the owner willingly relinquishes his property to another under particular agreed-upon terms.
People of a certain tribe in Nigeria are attempting to discard that age-old culture of respect for boundary, and as such, rendering the entire country chaotic and ungovernable. Unfortunately, the body language of individuals in positions of authority appears to support this group, which has succeeded in hijacking the entire security architecture of the country to one ethnic group. Boko Haram, killer herdsmen, bandits, kidnappers, and terrorists all seem to benefit from this.
Now, the blood mongers have fled the North Central, North East, and North West, and are now active in the South, because of the government security agencies’ inability to contain them. For your information (and this no rumour), terror has arrived at everyone of our doorsteps in the south and the people we placed in charge of providing assistance, protecting lives and properties are also helpless too. Governors from throughout the country are now openly lamenting the situation, and our all-powerful Federal Government has been paralyzed.
So, how do we proceed forward? We must investigate the core reasons of the North’s issues, as well as where they have failed, in order to find a lasting solution to the current crisis rocking the nation. What led to the current state of affairs? When the insurrection began, the North’s nobility and leaders were apathetic and inert. When churches were targeted for destruction, some of them perceived it as a religious issue and never spoke out against it. Even after the UN building and the Abuja Police Headquarters were attacked, attempts to bring the criminals to justice yielded nothing noteworthy.
In addition, the then opposition party, which had substantial grassroots support in the north, saw it as an opportunity to fight against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan and became cogs in the progress machine. Consider the following quote attributed to then-opposition candidate General Muhammadu Buhari: “Any attack on Boko Haram is an attack on the North.” A declaration like this will only help boost the insurgents’ confidence; in fact, many Northern elites have quietly endorsed this viewpoint. As a result, we began to have saboteurs among our soldiers under political, ethnic, and religious guise; saboteurs that we have not been able to expel from the system till today.
We also had no idea what the limitations of the political game were when it came to national interests; we used a zero-sum approach. By the way they handled the insurgent concerns, the opposition was attempting to tarnish the administration of the day. They happen to be in government right now, so they are seeing the other side of the coin. Imagine a member of the ruling party admitting that foreigners were brought into the nation to assist with the 2015 elections; where else in the world would this happen? And, to this day, these alien elements have refused to return home, becoming herder terrorists, Boko Haram, bandits, and kidnappers.
Because they speak a common language, security officials are having trouble locating and flushing them out. The tiny mustard seed of yesterday has grown into a humongous tree; friendly rebels and cattlemen imported from neighbouring countries to help them get power have turned into terror groups, far beyond the control of those who brought them in, and things have changed; people of the same religious belief are spared either, and the Presidency is now seeking military support from the Western world. It is not a matter of foreign assistance; rather, it is a local issue that will necessitate a local solution.
Someone once stated that our security services know where the bandits and terrorists are hiding and, if truly they mean business flushing them out of Nigeria for good, they would do this in no time. We are yet to learn anything so far, as we can see. In the guise of political party loyalty or the hope of a top political post in the future government, our politicians are following the Northern elites by the tail like zombies, while the country burns and their people suffer the most.
It will go down in history that when this nation was being destroyed, the leaders and elders of this current dispensation sat and watched like Emperor Nero did. “Those who aspire to reach and hold their places at the top in any calling, must be prepared to do so the hard way,” said the late sage Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The remedy for the South is straightforward: Southern leaders must speak out in unison, condemning the current state of affairs in the country, which is what they are trying to do now.
The Nigerian military would never be effective in these multi-pronged battles unless military personnel are distributed evenly across the country. Our leaders must demand equity in the country’s highest military ranks. It is right there in our Constitution, and the way things are right now, the Constitution is being badly violated, and no one is standing up to challenge it. With all of the ‘intellectuals’ from the South, it is surprising that such an anomaly goes uncontested.
We all believed General T.Y. Danjuma was flying a kite when he advised everyone to safeguard themselves against these criminal elements; now the entire country has realized that the situation was far more terrible than he depicted. Every ethnic community now has to develop its own security network in order to flush out these cohorts of terrorists, killer herdsmen and bandits from their society.
The leadership must lead by example by giving resources, both in cash and in kind, that are appropriate for everyone’s abilities. It is a question of life and death, and everyone needs to pay attention. Our military forces are struggling to deal with threats from all throughout the country, and we must lend them our support. Our law enforcement agencies need to be reorganized. Regardless of nationality, religion, or political party, the people must speak with one voice; the nation’s fate is in jeopardy, and it is everyone’s responsibility to save it.
To sum up, indigenous policing should become the norm, allowing DPOs (Divisional Police Officers) to work in areas where they were born, allowing local intelligence to be sourced locally. In other locations, it appears as if the people are being ruled by occupying forces that are not native to the area and cannot foster full cooperation. Our policing institutions need to start reorganizing in this direction. The people must speak with one voice, regardless of who they are or where they came from, for the nation’s destiny is in jeopardy, and it is everyone’s responsibility to save it.
Long live Nigeria!