by Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari
It has been more than 200 days since the abduction of over 200 girls from a government secondary school in Chibok, Borno state of Nigeria. This has been very sad and unfortunate. Though some escaped later, the majority of the girls’ whereabouts is still unknown.
The people in the area claimed that there used to be a military post in the town, and police post near the school, but on the day of the event, they were no where to be found.
The war in Borno is about five years now, a lot of lives have been lost, and still there is no sign that it is going to end soon. It is equally unfortunate that the government did not declare a national mourning, minutes silence for those that lost their lives and those that were abducted. Instead the leadership of the country went on to a political rally, singing, dancing, eating and drinking while the parents and the people of the country are grieving over the incidence.
One may even assume they did it, or they are very happy about it that they even had to celebrate it. Security personel and government officials have also been killed in the cause of the conflict; life must continue against all odds.
Looking back throughhistory of the world, I tend to find that it is not only in Nigeria where lives are lost due to insurgency, and it is not the first country to witness it, and neither will it be the last. But what I tend to find in my history book is that, most of the countries and governments around the world, in Africa, Asia or the South American countries, if such a thing happens in their country, their response is different: the leadership of the country will mourn with the victims if there are any; they will double and re double their effort to free the people, if they are abducted. In stronger terms, THE GOVERNMENT WILL EVEN RESIGN.
But in Nigeria, my history book tells me a lot has happened that should warrant the resignation of the government, or the list, the officials involved. But that never happened, I asked my self why? Is it that the officials don’t know that it is the tradition and responsibility of leaders around the world that, in case of a controversy, a national disgrace or the in ability of a government to act wisely about an incidence, like a natural disaster, warrants the resignation of the government?
I am just 23 years old, and what I have witnessed as a Nigerian, that I know warrant the resignation of my government includes, The Halliburton scandal, Fuel subsidy scandal and loss of lives during the ‘crusade’ against it, the missing 20 billion NNPC funds, the sacking of malam Sanusi; failure of banks in 2009, the ODI massacre, Baga massacre, Gwanin gora massacre, the general insecurity in the country, kidnapping, bribery and corruption, etc. I witnessed them, and they are uncountable. I read of many others that occurred in the past, some long time before I was born, the likes the change of Nigeria’s currency, several coup attempts, the SAP, cholera outbreaks of 1965 and 79. Meningitis 1987, Hunger etc.
What is most surprising is that, I learned that our institutions are very weak if not even not none existent, but where are the elites of Nigeria? Where are the educated, the NGOs, the CSOs? I learned that they are weak and corrupt too.
The government may claim that Nigeria is a developing country, as such, the government cannot afford to resign when something that warrant its resignation occurred. But looking back into history, from those that I witnessed to those that happened before me, even governments that are of the developing countries do resign when they are suppose to.
Just recently, a Chinese senior official resigned because of his wife involvement in the killing of an expatriate. Also the south Korean Prime minster; just last week, Abbdullah Sale, toppled by a revolution, just like the fuel subsidy demonstration in 2011, also in Ukraine, in Uzbekistan also etc.
The Nigerian government may claim that Nigeria is an African country, so it in a different form Ukraine, Yemen etc, agreed, but what about The Adil Mansur of Egypt, Muhammad Al Barade that resigned after over 50 were killed by the military? They are Arabs, not black Africans the government may say, but what of the Malian government, Somali coalition government etc. At times failure to deliver, sickness or other problems can cause a government to resign. But not in Nigeria, where a president was sick for over 6 months, or the failure of government to carry out its primary responsibility, security of lives and properties.
Bothaof South Africa, Prime Ministers of Japan that five had to resign in five years some years ago, also about the nuclear disaster, president of Germany etc.
Even in the so called first world, water gate scandal of Nixon, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Gordon Brown of England, presidential aspirant in France about the sex scandal with a maid in Manhattan. When the economic situation was bad, Prime ministers of Italy, Spain Iceland etc.
In Japan, when somebody cause or acted a serious abomination, he will go into a water and use blade to open his veins till he die. Or in the US where suicide is the cure for a taboo, an abomination. I’m not calling on anybody to kill himself, what happened in Nigeria when somebody does an abomination, especially a leader, he will only deny it and go and bribe some useless people to defend him by writing on newspapers and in other places. It is Nigeria where just an ordinary assistant director stole over 600 billion in the name of task force. It is only in Nigeria where you will find a minister buying a 10 billion aircraft. Another minister buying a 160 billion naira house in Austria. It is only in Nigeria where a whole excess account of about 40 billion dollars will just disappear like that.
In Nigeria they don’t resign because there is always money they can steal and get away with. Or there is corruption and other crimes they can commit and get away with. If not, even they themselves doesn’t enjoy the country. They don’t travel, go around, meet people like other politicians do in their countries, only that they don’t steal money, and even if they do, they won’t get away with it.
The masses are destabilized and demoralized, hopeless and extremely fearful. What is live worth living in Nigeria? The insecurity? Or the kidnapping? Political rituals? Or the lack of health facilities? I don’t know but even the bad news that over 200 girls are missing, abducted by unknown insurgents is enough to cause a young man like my self to die in Nigeria. Or even the story that $20 billion is missing is enough
to cause a young man like my self to commit a suicide, because with the amount missing, I will understand that there is no future for me in the country. Or the media reports that over 200 are massacred in Braga is enough for a young man like me to live this country. But when I think of living the country, I remember that through the canoe to perhaps Benin Republic, there is always the report of canoe mishap. If it is by road, the pot holes are there, or even the heavy truck of Nigeria’s rich companies, in which I I am to die, nothing will happen. I was quick to remember that, in Ten years, there was about Six plane crash in Nigeria, so that is not an option also. It will take me thirty six by train from Kano to Lagos before I will board a car go ship, that will take time also.
The insurgents should leave Nigerians alone. We have suffered a lot, why are they troubling us again? If you don’t like us, just leave us with Malaria, hunger, Cholera etc, they will do the job for you. Why will a poor man kill his fellow, his comrade in Nigeria? If you believed with the west, people like Margaret Sanger that we Africans are highly populated and are burden to the world, let me tell you, even if you kill me there won’t be any increase in your welfare, because I had of a story of a single person in Nigeria buying a massaging machine for about 100 million naira, people like that won’t allow a single kobo reach you in peace. I may agree if you say you want to get married and girls are been abducted, so you want to have a wife and there are too many guys around.
Why won’t Nigerians organize themselves like the Egyptians, Libyans, and the Tunisians to demand a better life, to demand the fall of their government? Nigerians are divided along so many lines, statism, regionalism, nepotism, ethnic and language difference and even religious
differences. When people were calling for the removal of a minister some months ago, her people quickly came to her aid, knowing fully well that she is guilty and they won’t even have a penny in the money, but they chose that against righteousness. The politicians like that, divide and rule they call it, they like it. Some are insisting that Nigeria is an artificial country created to cause problem between the people, in my history book, I checked and I saw that some of the largest most artificial countries in the world are still existing with just little internal problems like the US.
Nigeria as they say is the largest economy, largest country, most influential country in Africa. The South Africa, Egypt and Kenya may be opposing, so also the likes of Mugabe.
Nigerians may unite later in the future. The country may develop later in the future. Corruption, bribery, misrule, despotism may all go later in the future. Cholera, meningitis, malaria, may also live this country in the future. Hunger, drought, kidnapping, rape, insecurity and all other problems may leave this country in the future. But before they live, everybody must go back, get a history book like my own, study it well; promise to stop corruption, all other problems as I have stopped, and believe in God as I do.
God bless Nigeria.
Comrade Abdulbaqi Aliyu Jari,