Monday, July 4, 2022

Insecurity: The sobriety of Saraki’s suggestion, by Bala Ibrahim

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To start with, former Senate President, Bukola Saraki is not in my good books, and it may take a long time before he gets imported into them. But while he is serving that sentence, he has done something yesterday, Tuesday, 27/04/21, that touches on the values of leadership, and that which should compel a review of conscience, from all and sundry.

Through a press statement, Saraki sent a message to President Muhammadu Buhari, captioned, Insecurity: Saraki Advises Buhari to Call for Help.

“Yesterday (Monday, April 26), Nigeria experienced one of the saddest days in recent memory. All in one day, from Anambra State to Kaduna, Yobe, Niger, and Lagos States, critical insecurity issues were recorded and reported. Hour after hour; breaking news after breaking news, we saw numerous unacceptable reports of violence, kidnapping, terrorism, and the systematic breakdown of law and order in many parts of the nation. This should not be so. We read reports of Boko Haram hoisting up its flag in Niger State, in Shiroro LGA that houses one of Nigeria’s largest power stations — and is just about 200 kilometres from our federal capital. We also read the statement of the Niger State governor, where he expressed how helpless the government has become, and how thousands of people have been displaced in his state. He also lamented how the efforts of the federal government have not yielded concrete results. We also received sad and disturbing reports that Mainok, a town on the Damaturu-Maiduguri highway was invaded on Sunday by the insurgents who unabashedly went on a killing spree — targeting our brave soldiers and innocent civilians alike. Nine people were said to have been killed by hoodlums that invaded Ukpomachi Village, Awkuzu in Oyi LGA of Anambra State. In Kaduna State, two more innocent students that were kidnapped from Greenfield University were killed by their abductors. While, an unspecified number of students have now been abducted from the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, in Benue State. All in one day. All within a 24-hour news cycle. This cannot continue. This cannot become Nigeria’s new normal. It is obvious that President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) government need help. They have been overwhelmed by the situation and they sure need assistance from all. Thus, I urge Mr. President to seek help wherever it can be given. This matter has gone beyond what the government can handle alone. The President should know that calling for help in our present situation is not a sign of weakness.”

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Yes, the dictionary has many definitions for HELP, including cooperation and collaboration, but looking at the solemnity of the language, and the sobriety in the sentence, which stroke out any meaning to weakness, methinks Saraki means, PMB needs assistance, even if by way of information.

So, for the purpose of such information, I want the President to listen to, and take seriously, Saraki’s suggestion, please.

Before the release of Saraki’s press statement, a very good friend and also a very constructive critic of the regime had forwarded a cliché, which is circulating in the social media, viz,

A WEEK OF HORROR: 6 killed in Ekiti on the 20th of April. 40 kidnapped at Greenfield University, Kaduna on the 21st of April. 18 kidnapped in Oyo on April 22nd. 45 killed in Zamfara on April 22nd. 83 killed in Zamfara on April 23rd. 3 killed from Greenfield University, Kaduna on April 24. All in one week, and life goes on as if nothing happened. OH! WHAT A COUNTRY.

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I watched the deliberations on the floor of the senate same yesterday and was almost pushed to tears, due to the emotions generated by the sentimental presentations of Senator Smart Adeyemi, about the precariousness of our country, Nigeria.

Before then, I listened to the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, with his characteristics of foreign accent English, saying that President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the United States to reconsider relocating U.S. AFRICOM from Stuttgart, Germany, to Africa. The minister said the president made the plea in a virtual meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, that same yesterday. Although he did not say the president was categorical about where to cite the headquarters, he hopes, the AFRICOM would come to Nigeria.

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From the beginning of the week to date, if we look at the VIP traffic movement to the villa, we would know that all is not well with the country. Everyone that matters on the other tiers of government had visited the president, except the CJN, probably. And the CJN can be excused, because the judicial staff is on strike, as a consequence of which, his driver may not be at work.

Another frightening aspect, that seems to support Saraki’s suggestion for help is the recently released report of the Chandler Good Government Index, which ranked Nigeria as the third worst governed country in the world.

The report ranked Nigeria very low in governance, leadership and foresight, scoring the country 102 out of 104 countries of the world. Nigeria is reportedly only ahead of Zimbabwe and Venezuela.

So, for the purpose of information and ACTION, please Mr. President, listen to Saraki’s sober suggestions.

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