In his reply to the protest march by church leaders against the worsening insecurity in the land, the Publicity Secretary of All Progressive Party, Lanre Issa- Onilu said, and rightly so, that insurgents and insecurity does not discriminate against religion. That reply was thoughtful, although I merely heard the news summary. I know that news editors are adept at synthesise the press statements, and giving the most salient points to the public. Bullets from the insurgents are not target specific, they can hit anybody which is why the Muslim faithful should not be left out in the protests. They should cement the truth in Oniru’s statement by trooping to the streets in emulation of their Christian counterparts.
The Senate gave credence to the foregoing when the Senate President defied party leanings, and called a spade by its name viz: the security situation in Nigeria is at a very low ebb. He was specific in his condemnation of the prevailing security apparatus, insisting, like many have said, that you cannot do the same thing repeatedly, and expect different results. The President seem not to think that anything is wrong with the security architecture, as it is now. Senator Ali Ndume, whose zone in Borno state is the hotbed of insurgency, has said pointedly that politics should be put at bay in the wake of increased insecurity in the land. He agreed that his ruling party has made some progress when it wrestled some local governments from insurgents, but insists that insecurity has heightened. He told the reporter whose questions he was responding that the matter transcends politics because when the nation was on the verge of heaving a sigh of relief, insecurity, and insurgency went on the rebound. He admonished Nigerians to stay above political divides in examining the insecurity issues bedevilling the nation now. He looked beyond politics, and was mindful of the reality of his party being in power.
When Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, who has increasingly become popular for throwing bombshells on the floor of the Senate, told the current Government to resign, he was obviously examining the matter from the prism of politics, but he point blank with the truth, which is that people are being beheaded, even if they are Christian leaders and seminarians. The insurgents may also be hiding their faces behind masks, and beheading students and preachers to drive physiological points home to soldiers who have been on their trial. They may have killed Reverend Lawan Andimi, Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika local Government Area of Adamawa State. They want to make the point that they are still causing mayhem, in spite of the soldiers onslaught. It is pertinent to mention that the protest march by Church leaders may have been motivated by the gruesome beheading of chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa state, but it was not a protest against the killing of Christians, it was a march against insecurity. There was no discrimination. Some of the placards simply read thus ‘ the life of every Nigerian matters’
Indeed, the life of all Nigerians matter, it makes no difference if they are students on their way back to school or Seminarians, or the villagers killed in their thousands in several villages in the Northeast and other places, the insecurity has no religious boundaries, which is why I commend the Senate, and the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, for coming clean on the matter, and looking away from the divisive prism of politics and religion. The matter has gone far beyond such parochial views, and the protest, which I encourage all Nigerians to join, is more apt given assurances that the insurgents have been decimated or technically defeated , as Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, would have us believe. The fact that defies any logic is that the insurgents have changed tactic, and seem to be on top of their game. We would live in delusion if we continue to use the same tactic in a war where the enemy has since reinvented himself. President Buhari holds that the same helmsmen should be at the driving seat of the amour tank in the midst of repeated losses. The most we can say, since he is commander-in-chief, is to urge for a change of tactic. The insurgents have adopted a guerrilla method when our soldiers are stuck in their conventional methods. Things must change even if the same old hands remain in charge of operations. The buck stops at President Buhari’s table, which is why the seeming failure of the military chiefs is visited on him.
Those who do so are not politicizing it, in spite of the seeming political slant. The President should bear the brunt. Some of us are further bewildered that a nation being led by a General, who has taken part in real battle, is being weighed down by a seeming rag tag, and unorganised group of insurgents. I hold that the President should give this deeper attention, or seek for help. I hold counter opinion from those who want to draw religious and political lines on a matter that deserve no such treatment.
Those social media goons who seem to hold forth for the President, and by extension, the ruling party, who insinuate that the growing insecurity is sponsored from within, further indict security operatives in my view. If there is evidence of such sponsorship, the regime again fails in its duty for not exposing the sponsors, and bringing them to book for a situation that has effectively rubbished whatever the regime has chalked up in achievements. Everyone, including government, must come to terms with a deteriorating situation, and attack it as a collective national stigma.