Saturday, February 27, 2021 2:50 pm
By Olufunke Cole
The recent recrudescence in the activities of bandits and sustained attacks on children, men and women alike have proved beyond doubt that insurgency has become a profitable and lucrative venture in the country. The machinery of these criminals is now being operated by a one-man mopol in the country. Aside that, we have also been shown the way out of comfortability while we are introduced into an unease and unending tension of insecurity and dysfunctional education cum dilapidated moral infrastructure.
The alarming rate at which kidnappings have been taking place, and how ransom and release had been negotiated under this government calls for critical reasoning. Every citizen is now at the mercy of the marauders that we don’t need any soothsayer to tell us that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder. In spite of this, there is nothing in sight to indicate that these unending wanton killings of innocent Nigerians and unending bloodletting will disappear any soon.Whereas, we literally embrace and become a theatre of drama and public show that human lives have become cheapeed to mere statistics.
It has become a source of worry and concern as many innocent souls have perished in the wanton and unprovoked killings. It is an irony that we claim to be living in a country operated by written laws, yet this brazen criminality and impunity is taking place on daily basis because the government appears to have become helpless.
The other day, we were enmeshed in talking about self-defence because those that are paid to defend us have assumed overwhelmed while another has probably satirically described our security challenge as one that could have defied intervention and escape. Is our case not insurmountable? But, the actual question should be, from where could our security be guaranteed since those at the helms of affairs, who are charged with our safety are shying away from their responsibility? Surprisingly,, banditry has assumed a critical entrepreneurial service for the actors and sole proprietor who could be seen as the authentic Most Valuable Peacemaker (MVP).
Whether we like it or not, kidnapping for ransom has a frightening dimension. Of course, and in tantandem with regular regulation and negotiation processes, billions of naira spent in the course of negotiation with the bandits (kidnappers) has further sealed the business enterprise, I am sure this money is from tax players’ to secure the freedom and release of the Kangara boys and girls that were abducted. Isn’t this enough eye sore to a nation who initially bragged about the procurement of equipments to facilitate the reduction in crimes and criminal activities? And considering the huge budgetary allocations to fighting insurgency and ending terrorism, what has been the result? But, here we are at the mercy of men of the underworld!
Sheikh Gumi, the Kaduna- based cleric has assumed a unilateral security position as the negotiator-in-chief in a country where war against insurgency, terrorism and kidnap are regularly billed on National budget. My country oh my country! This occurrences take one through that paradoxical lines of that legendary book, “Weep not child” by Ngugi wa thiogi’o, an East African writer. How do we sleep comfortably in the midst of the atmosphere of unpredictability? I am still confounded at how we are buguiled by such occurrences without a blinkering restraint on their excesses. Yet, we remain stuck in the midst of an overwhelming confusion. Here we are licking our wounds in this systemic manner of compilation of evidences of demands and supply which have been recently espoused in this disgusting mannerism of abduction of humans.
What a way to admit that our leaders have farcically committed an eureka on our intellectual property with their “I don’t care” attitude in such a lackadaisical euphonium. We have been brainwashed into believing that it will take 20 years to clear off terrorism and insurgency by the former security chief, General Buratai until we begin to witness the negotiation tactic employed by a one man mopol who has assumed the position of a grand commandeer of a middleman between the villain and the Victor. Such is what our current state of security and banditry have become. Yet, no alarm has been raised in place of outcry for a feasible intervention on the part of our leaders. Anyway, we will still remain resolute until our our agitations are considered. Naija, we hail thee!
-Olufunke Cole, Doctoral Student, Department of History, University of Lagos