Tuesday, August 8, 2017 9:21 am
By Bola Bolawole
Nothing seems to be working in this country anymore while crime and criminals appear to be having a field day. Boko Haram that the authorities said they have “technically defeated and degraded” daily gives the lie to the Muhammadu Buhari administration; the recent emphatic and incontrovertible evidence being the gory killings of oil workers, University lectures, soldiers and civilians prospecting for oil in the North-east by the insurgents. The painful wastage of precious lives and property is bad enough, the blatant and atrocious lies by the military authorities ascribing to themselves feats they were far away from rubbed salt in the injury. And this is not the first time the military will be caught red-handed this way laying claims to chivalry and successes they had not achieved. It is obvious that these are shameless and base attempts to draw the wool over our eyes and attract kudos that are not in the least deserved. They have apologised – they had little choice, though – confronted as it were with the brass facts; so let us hope this is the very last time they will try to pull a fast one on Nigerians.
Now, let us ask: Is Boko Haram defeated? Truth be told, the insurgency is alive and well. They attack at will, getting the better of the military. They throw bombs at their pleasure. The kidnapping and abduction of persons, especially women, continue unabated. This July alone, over 100 persons were killed by Boko Haram. Pray, have we won or are we winning this war? The statistics belie official proclamation. A government that prefers propaganda to real hard work gives no one any confidence that it is interested in getting the job done. And if Transparency International is to be believed, the war against insurgency is not being won – and the cover-up and blatant lies as well – is because of the humongous corruption taking place in the guise of fighting Boko Haram. According to TI, substandard equipment is being purchased, where any is purchased at all, and the soldiers are being left exposed to a vastly superior enemy. Morale is said to be very low as soldiers sent to the theatre of war are denied their allowances; even on international duty. The men doing the fighting are given peanuts while the largesse is creamed off by the Ogas at the top. The soldiers who rebelled in the past have been rounded up, are court-martialled and sentenced to death.
Can we ever win this war? It is doubtful because this insurgency has become a sure avenue for the fat cats to line their pockets. The war against Boko Haram has become an avenue to rob this country blind. Billions are voted for the war effort but much of it, as evidence have shown, is embezzled. On this front alone, the Buhari administration fails abysmally on two scores – the fight against corruption and the anti-graft war. For a government woeful in its handling of the economy, these are the only two areas where it has flaunted records of achievements. Now it is certain it has failed to rein in Boko Haram or contain corruption in the war efforts? In that it failed to appropriately handle corruption allegations against two top government functionaries involved in war efforts, the Buhari presidency opened the floodgate for a free-for-all. That way, the situation will get worse and not better and if care is not taken, it will soon become worse than Buhari had met it. Corruption in the top echelon of the military and in the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) must be rooted out before we can make any headway in the war against Boko Haram.
Other security threats that confront the country continue to fester either because government is living in denial of their existence or is taking sides and is, therefore, unable to do the needful; the Fulani herdsmen’s issue, for example. This murderous group has not only been left to ride roughshod over the entire country, its leaders and spokespersons have even been rewarded with plum Federal appointments! Such audacity!! Kidnappings and Badoo killings have made the state government to cower, such that schools were forced to close many weeks before the due date and students were made to write in two days examinations that should have been written in two weeks! Kidnapping and sundry criminal activities have taken over the entire country. It is amazing that kidnappers keep their victims for months, extorting ransom from their victims’ families and yet they are not tracked and trapped by the authorities! Isn’t this country fast becoming a failed state? This is the time that we need a strong government; unfortunately, it is the time we are on auto pilot.
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo presents a facade but everyone knows he is not in charge. The president we elected is not in a position to govern; yet, he is not man enough to admit it and step aside. One of the tales by the moonlight that we were regaled with while growing up was that of the Lion, king of the jungle, who feigned illness and other animals took turn to visit and wish him well. When it was the turn of Tortoise to visit, he noticed that all leg-marks entered the Lion’s den but none came out. He therefore chose to greet the Lion standing far away rather than venture into the den. The Lion, in our own case, may truly be sick but this country is not in any way far from an animal kingdom. It is, in fact, a combination of Dante’s Hell and the Hobbesian state of nature where life was “nasty, brutish, and short”
Brother Bola, please don’t defend Muiz Banire. He was an addicted beneficiary of what he is fighting now – Imposition. He should first remove the log in his own eyes. – 0810 176 3169.
I thought as much and said as much. That, however, does not excuse imposition. It killed PDP and will do similarly to APC if care is not taken.
[email protected] 0807 552 5533