Don’t tell me to talk about terrorists’ threat to kidnap our president. The reason is that I believe anything can happen in our embattled country, which some describe as a COWntry or a zoo much as I hate to believe that I live in a zoo land, but who am I to worry if the government says it is a laughing matter. So, let’s laugh and hope nothing happens to the president. We cannot thank Providence enough though, that he was not in his advance convoy the day the daredevilry bloodsuckers struck. It would have been more than a funny matter.
However, there has been much recrimination against the Emir of Sabon Birnin Yandoto of Tsafe Local Government Area of Zamfara State, Aliyu Garba Marafa, for turbanning a notorious ‘repentant bandit’, Adamu Aliero, as Sarkin Fulani (leader of Fulani).
As a matter of fact, Governor Bello Mohammed Matawalle had ordered the immediate suspension of the emir.
What is wrong in what the man did? Is he not the emir, with power to exercise his authority as he desires, just as this government does? Until now, there was no order that emirs should seek approval before conferring chieftaincy honours on people. So, what did he do wrong that others had not done or not doing across the length and breadth of this country?
By even describing the incident as an allegation, the government is denying the fact of what happened in glaring daylight. Perhaps, that is why none of the over 100 bandits that graced the occasion was arrested.
If the emir must be suspended, then the entire security apparatchik of the state must be sacked for failing to arrest the ‘sarkin’ or any of his henchmen. Maybe, the powers that be are offended by the title with which the emir identified who the bandits really are to the world.
Come to think of it, did they not say the sarkin was repentant? Why single him out for victimisation whereas ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists were reintegrated into the society; some even straggled into the military. Come on, this is not fair!
Is Matawele not the governor that took the roof of the house the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, built to the shaky All Progressives Congress, APC, and was hailed for doing so? Is Zamfara not the state where a principled deputy governor was removed for standing by what is right?
I don’t know why the government wants us to believe that it is embarrassed by the turbanning. How could one take this government serious?
In fact, we are all bandits.
Yes, we are. How come these terrorists run riot with ease? How come a government that rode to power on the back of promises to stem insecurity has failed woefully but keeps blaming the government it succeeded seven years later? Don’t we see something wrong there?
The hunger in the land is constricting. How about the closure of tertiary institutions for almost six months due to strike action by university lecturers over pay, and yet presidential aspirants were compelled to cough out a whopping N100 million each to purchase a mere piece of paper, and they did? Is that not banditry against the youths of this country and their parents?
Have you considered why no heads have rolled despite the successful frequent attacks on the country’s correctional facilities? Why is the government comfy that none of the attackers has ever been arrested or prosecuted; none of the prison or interior ministry officials has been sanctioned and yet, by the confession of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, they received intelligence about the latest onslaught on the Kuje prison but due to lack of political will, it was not acted upon. It is the same lack of will that has kept him and others on their seats.
So, where did the Zamfara government get the will to suspend the emir? I think this suspension is either cosmetic or unfair and cannot deceive anybody. The act is already an indictment on the government, whether in Zamfara State or elsewhere.
All over the country, the traditional institution has been eroded by corrosive corruption. Fraudsters now sit on revered thrones and dish out chieftaincy titles to their ilk. The few that got there rightly are soon bought over or intimidated such that the once respected institution is now cloaked in derision and mockery.
Even in ecclesiastical matters, the centre can no longer hold because the bottom has fallen off. Occult men, masquerading as ministers of God have mounted evil altars and deceiving miracle seekers, who are not content waiting on God. They want it sharp, sharp but end up as victims of the villains in cassock. Or was it not in this country that politicians recruit carpenters and cobblers and adorn them in bishopric regalia to deceive the world into accepting them? They only proved that the faith that is inconsequential really matters after all, thus making many Nigerians to laugh in Swahili.
Many tragicomic incidents happen in this country with the speed of light. One of such is government’s unsteady strides to stem rising insecurity in the country. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, announced to a bewildered country that the Federal Government is mulling a nation-wide ban on commercial motorcycles, popularly called okada.
It looks tempting to ban the monster but it is preposterous without alternatives because that would amount to replacing one problem with another. As a matter of fact, it appears that there are more commercial motorcycles in Nigeria than cars.
In the absence of effective public transportation system and good road network, how do those who rely on okada for their movements commute? How do those who rely on it for feeding survive? It is inconceivable that the government would be contemplating banning okada, the source of livelihood of the millions of Nigerians it impoverished through its inept leadership and limp economic policies.
Many of those okada riders are graduates, who had no choice but to pick up the low life in the absence of jobs. What options is the government placing on the table or will it be able to handle the consequent upsurge in crime?
On a face value, it would seem that the government is concerned about the deplorable security situation and eager to rein in the rampaging terrorists. However, that is not exactly correct. All along, the government or rather its body language had given covert support to the terrorists hence emboldening their operations.
Malami averred that the ban would be in the national interest and that “any issue that will translate into a threat to national security or the corporate existence of the country requires certain sacrifices. So, regardless of the means that is being considered for the possible banning, this is a sacrifice that we see as what will help address the security challenges and I think no sacrifice is too big as far as that issue is concerned.”
The government may have woken up to the reality that under its watch, Nigeria has broken up in fragments that subsequent governments may find difficult to weld together again. It has been accused of treating the terrorists with kid-gloves and it is not for nothing.
Several terrorists arrested were soon let off the hook and unleashed on the country again under the guise of repentance while their incinerated victims remain cold in the grave and bereaved family in grief. Sadly, however, those Nigerians that had the courage to defend themselves are soon blacklisted and clamped in jail. Killer herdsmen were never apprehended or tried in spite of their bare-faced confessions to the crime.
Not long ago, Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, had ordered those living inside forests to vacate but surprisingly, the Presidency shot down the order, saying Nigerians had the right to live anywhere. The question is why a normal human being would prefer to live inside the forest instead of a normal home if not to cause mischief.
A great number of the okada riders are non-Nigerians but constitute a nuisance to the country because Nigerians are told to be accommodating to their ‘brothers’. Brothers, indeed!
It does not make sense, therefore, to suspend the emir for not only being brotherly but also giving them a king. When we fumble in governance, we make banditry inevitable. Shalom!