It is only those who do not want to face the reality of the situation that will pretend that all is well with Nigeria. The truth is that all is not well with Nigeria. And whether we admit it or not the country is in a quagmire as it confronts perhaps the biggest challenge to its nationhood since Independence. What started off as a an insignificant rebellion by some misguided elements has snowballed into a near war situation with bombs, guns and other sophisticated weapons employed in a mindless destruction of lives and property mainly in the Northern part of the country.
As long as we continue to see the clear and present danger that Boko Haram poses to our corporate existence and our individual security as the problem of the federal government headed by Dr Goodluck Jonathan we shall continue to unwittingly provide a conducive environment for the evil to continue to fester. This is because we will not make concerted efforts to fashion out the way out of the tragic logjam and the misery, death and destruction will continue to mount. What is going on is not a direct challenge to the person and office of the President. Indeed it is not about Jonathan. It is a major assault on our nation and its corporate and territorial integrity. It is an assault againstevery Nigerian at home and abroad and even foreigners who live in our country.
Of course we are not saying that the president and his security council should not do all
within their constitutional powers to put a stop to the pestilence in the land. Indeed the overarching duty of the president with the help of the police, armed forces and other security apparatus is to ensure the protection of lives and property within our geographical space. They are also to prevent external aggression against our land while also ensuring that citizens and foreigners alike are able to carry out their duties and daily chores without fear, let or hindrance.
It is therefore incumbent on them to perform their duties to the satisfaction of the citizenry. The main duty of the President in the area of security of lives and property is to provide the wherewithal for the police, armed forces and other security agencies to perform their duties and function effectively. And from all indications these statutory responsibilities are being carried out through budgetary provision and policy formulation. Indeed when the President was convinced that the former Inspector General of Police was not living up to expectation he was given the boot. And just days ago, the Minister of Defence and the National Security Adviser were relieved of their jobs in a bid to rejuvenate the security top echelon for greater effectiveness. It is obvious that some of the other steps being taken to checkmate the harbingers of death and destruction in the land which are regularly being fine tuned to meet with the
increasing challenges may not be disclosed for operational reasons.
But then the president cannot physically go after the deadly bombers and their sponsors. He relies on the security agencies to do this and he would definitely be on their neck to deliver. The security agencies have scored some bull eyes in the war against those behind the insurrection. The eventual capture of Habib Bama, Kabiru Sokoto and some key leaders of the Boko Haram sect is a pointer to the modest successes against terror. We however all agree that we are not there yet. And this is because most of us are not doing what we should do to help the security agencies achieve maximum result against the leaders and followers of Boko Haram. We
should know that the country’s security agents are not magicians. They need information to function optimally. If we don’t point these purveyors of death and destruction out for security agents to arrest, we may be their next target. This is more so because this is not a conventional army but guerillas who are adept at carrying out hit and run strikes and then melting into streets corners in our neighborhoods. We all need to expose the foot soldiers and their sponsors. And wherever and whenever they are captured they must be visited with the full weight of the law. We must all do our bit to make this happen.
Indeed this ‘war’ is not about Jonathan or the future of his administration per se. it is about all
of us and the country that we call ours. And if we want to win, we must fight together. In our little corner we must contribute our quota to the ‘war’ effort by giving credible information to the security agencies that must follow all leads. The apprehension of Bama and Sokoto was due to credible information supplied by patriotic citizens. This is how we should go if we want to extinguish the raging fire.
The leadership at all levels must also play their part. Some of the leaders are still seating on the fence while some who see politics in everything are savoring the macabre drama and using every bit of it to play deadly politics. To them the many atrocities of Boko Haram are providing needed ammunition to discredit the Jonathan administration and further their own political ambition. This is morbid to say the least. It is also an unpatriotic act. They should know that if Nigeria burns and becomes extinct there will be no nation to preside or fight over. Those who play politics when Nigeria is burning do not deserve our votes. Making statements that tend to justify the ongoing dastardly acts which invariably encourage the insurgency all in the name of politics should now be a thing of the past.
It is in times like this that we know the real statesmen who are always ready to rise above politics and other primordial sentiments. It is not about Jonathan. All of us are in this together. All of us including Mr. President, Obas, Emirs, Obis the media, politicians, leaders and influential citizens and Nigerians in general are in this together and we must fight this monster together before it consumes us all. We should not allow those behind this evil agenda to continue to paint the picture of a justifiable war or increasingly put Mr. President on the spot. If we do, we are simply helping them to achieve their ignoble agenda. The Boko Haram carnage should and cannot be justified under any guise.
This is the time we must all be religious and politics blind. We must all speak out and work against this pestilence. Now is the time for all Nigerians irrespective of their creed, tribe, religion, state or region to come together and join forces with the federal government to root out the festering evil. We must win and those behind the carnage and their sponsors must lose. This can only happen if we work together.
Adelaja Adebanjo sent this piece from Ijebu Ode and he can be reached via