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Instability, Insecurity: Where things stand in Nigeria today

*The Southern Governors Resolutions

* The noisome pestilence from the North

* The apparent state of Buhari’s health

* The true state of our Union


-by Chris Paul Otaigbe

No more open grazing across the Southern part of Nigeria; President Mohammadu Buhari MUST address Nigeria!

These two are among the resolutions from the well applauded meeting of the Southern Governors; held two days ago in Delta State.

These two resolutions are the factors that have, largely, brought Nigeria to the criminal crossroads we have all found ourselves today; as a people and as a country, in this geographical expression called Nigeria.

But let it be known that, even if we were a mere illustration of our collective geographical expression at creation in 1914, we have morphed into an almost indissoluble union by virtue of our interactions over these decades.

What has powered this perception is nothing other than the absence of Justice, fairness and equity in governance and as graphically manifested in Buhari’s government, a rudely lopsided positioning of government personnel structure to favor the Northern part of the country.

However, the recent debunking of the alarming allegations by the security agencies of an impending invasion of the Southwest by IPOB is a demonstration of the true unity that exists among Nigerians.

It was Yoruba leadership’s way of telling the Fulani-dominated national security agencies that they cannot be fooled any more with the divisive tactics of destabilizing the country.

So, the way and manner in which the Buhari government has carried on these past six years, the tendency to believe we don’t have a country will seem justified.

About Buhari, himself… His silence in the wake of the insecurity that has taken over the country has led to all sorts of conspiracy theories: The one perpetrated by the IPOB Leader, Nnamdi Kanu, about the current fellow we have in Aso Rock being the cloned version of Buhari has dominated the public space and thus the minds of Nigerians.

Then, there are others ranging from his ill-health to his acquiescence to the insurgents domination of the country.

Personally, I do not believe these conspiracy theories are largely true. The concerns about the true picture of the President’s health was exposed in the rumoured clamor by Buhari’s personal doctors for him to resign due to his failing health.

Those banging their heads over Buhari’s silence should take their answers right there and take a cue from it in their subsequent reading of the state of the nation. It is not that Buhari does not want to address the nation, it is that he is not in the proper state of health and sound mind to do it.

It is not that the formerly famed military General cannot tackle INSECURITY decisively, it is that his state of health has incapacitated him from rising to the occasion.

Why not then allow the more able Vice President Yemi Osibajo to stand in his stead, even covertly…

It is that some elements of the Late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari’s cabal have taken over the Presidency; and are bent on returning the country to the dying days of the Yar’Adua regime.

It is not impossible that if Buhari were to be BUHARI, an Isa Pantami, and his hue in the administration, would have long been exposed and dealt with appropriately. The highest security breach ever committed against a country with the recent burglary (so called) of the current Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari’s office, may never have happened.

From Buhari’s doctors’ expose, it is now clear that Nigeria’s President is INCAPACITATED! Those calling for his resignation will not get it; on a platter of gold. The guys surrounding the ailing Buhari are far DEADLIER than those who surrounded the Late Yar’Adua when Nigeria found herself in a similar situation. They WILL do anything to SUSTAIN their hold on this frail power; even if it means sinking the ship of State.

The ONLY options left for Nigerians now are:

  1. The Southern Governors must reach out to their colleagues across the other regions who are more reasonable and responsible enough to desire the peace and unity of Nigeria.
  2. Together, they MUST pay the President a visit to ascertain his true state of health and DEMAND that the man address the nation with the Governors STANDING BEHIND him.

I can hear someone saying it’s not possible; it’s not ethical etc. Nothing is normal in Nigeria any more. So, we are now left with using logical approach that best serve our situation per time, per circumstance. Whether it observes protocol or not, it no longer matters. Bottom line is to accomplish a NECESSARY task.  That is where things stand in Nigeria today.

  1. The Southern Governors can and MUST fast track policies in their region that aim to DELIBERATELY and DECISIVELY lower the cost of living for Nigerians in their sphere of influence. Otherwise, that is the weapon the insurgents will use to defeat their governments and neutralize any resistance from legitimate administrations.

Develop programs to feed the hungry, ensure: health services are effective, transportation is working, available and affordable. For instance, as good as the tricycle (okada) ban policy by the Lagos State government may seem, there is a need for the administration to put in place a more pragmatic replacement.

At this point, one must note here that while Babajide Sanwoolu may have distinguish himself as a Covid 19 pandemic incident commander, his people welfare policies seem to have worsened the plights of Lagosians. His role in the #Endsars episode remains ever fresh in the minds of the people of Lagos.

One also expected his godfather, Bola Tinubu to guide the young Governor’s policies to bring succor to Lagosians; the success of which he could have used to advance his presidential ambition.

Anyway, there is still time for the Governors to make amends and make life less miserable for their people. There are low hanging fruits that are waiting to be used to accelerate any populist policy that can make the Lives of the people a lot better than it is today.

The religious bodies have greater roles to play here; beyond doing the EASIER activism of insulting an ailing and virtually non-existent president. As a matter of fact, the recent grandstanding by Pentecostal Pastors is becoming a spectacle. If all Martin Luther King Jr did was the grandstanding and theatrics these church leaders are doing today, America would never have been desegregated to the extent they have, today.

So, we are not fooled! But they should know that if they don’t do what they should do now to preserve, protect and prosper their congregations, their worship centers may soon turn into IDP camps! God forbids! Did I hear you say it is not their calling…! Well, they should then prepare to be General Overseers (GOs) of IDP camps.

On the noisome pestilence from the North… It is obvious that the criminals have taken over the North. That unfortunate situation has happened either because of the inadequate intellectual capacity of many of the Northern Governors suppressed further by a perverted loyalty to the largely illegal or illegitimate dictates of their faith.  Or, they are plain complicit.

When a character like Gumi can be tolerated and celebrated as chief spokesman for the Bandits across the North, it means the Northern Governors know the criminals and where they are. That cannot happen and CAN NEVER be allowed to happen in the South.

Southerners cannot look on as their Governors do photo ops and hobnob with killer bandits and kidnappers. Northern Governors in collaboration with their Legislators at the National Assembly have endorsed the rehabilitation of the killer bandits and kidnappers including Boko Haram repentant elements! Can you imagine that!

If that is their kind of thinking, the people from the Southern part of the country do not believe in fraternizing with Killers of their children and families. Identified criminals are criminals and are treated as such; in the South.

Reactions of Northern elite to the recent Resolutions by the Southern Governors have been disgusting as they have been nonsensical. First, it never made and still does not make sense to allow cows to run around on streets and people’s farms. When nations are making as much as $100 billion annually from ordinary dairy products, is it not ludicrous for anyone to continue to encourage herding of cows across streets and people’s farms!

So, for some ‘big guy’ from the North to say that the Southern Governors do not have the right to defend their streets and farms from cow invasion, is just plain stupidity.

One Usman, the former NHIS boss, said on Kaaki, AIT’s flagship television Program that the Southern Governors needed to consult with the Fulani before making any decision. That is juvenile, coming from such a scholar.

In conclusion, what these Northern elite should know is that the Nigeria they believe the British gave to them is not the same Nigeria that exist today. Yes, they may have the reins of the power infrastructure in the country; they must know that the South still prides itself with the software and the intellectual capacity to power that infrastructure.

So, let them not believe that the ongoing Tigray episode in Ethiopia will happen here, in Nigeria. In the Ethiopian situation, long-simmering tensions between Ethiopia’s federal government, led by Nobel Peace Prize-winning Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and defiant authorities in its northern Tigray region erupted into a military confrontation.

Hundreds of civilians have died, while tens of thousands have sought refuge in Sudan from airstrikes, as the conflict threatens to further destabilize the strategic Horn of Africa region.

In order to prevent the Tigray story from being our lot in the South, the Governors and Leaders must tread with caution and tact because it would appear that the Boko Haram elements in this government may be planning to resort to that as the only means of LEVELLING the country for their total and absolute control.

As you can see, the Nigerian situation is assuming a similar narrative as the Tigray crisis. A word is enough for the wise.

But then ENOUGH is ENOUGH!

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