IS NIGERIA UNDER A SEIGE? – Pretney Chioma Amaku

With all that is playing out in our country currently; daily killings, kidnappings, rape and banditry of all kinds, is Nigeria under a siege? Are our leaders really overwhelmed and helpless with the situation on ground?

The above questions are pertinent and require candid answers. The body languages of some of our leaders portray them as being helpless and losing grips of governance virtually in all sectors.  For instance, our economy is now nose-diving. Cost of living is unbearable even as one United States of America dollar  now exchanges for 500 naira plus.

To be frank, how can a nation like ours move forward when insecurity problems in virtually all the States have become intractable. So where is the evidence of the billions of Naira we budget for defense annually? Our State Governors also collect handsome Security Allowances but what do they do with such money? What really is wrong with the Nigerian Nation, a one time respected GIANT of the African Continent?

How can foreign or local investors reasonably invest their hard earned money, time and even life in our country when presently, security of lives and properties cannot be guaranteed? Yet, those at the helm of affairs in our country swore on oath of office to protect our lives and properties. Of course, in some advanced countries, such leaders will have to throw in the towel, realizing that they have failed the people. But, here in Nigeria, the story is quite different. Most of those we elected to lead us are selfish and shameless. They lack conscience!

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Sadly, Nigerians would recall how the abduction of School children began with Chibok School girls in the North. After negotiation with the Federal government, most of the girls were brought back to their parents. But years after, one of the abducted girls, Miss Shuaibu, daughter of a Christian Faith police Officer is still being held hostage by the Boko Haram terrorists.

The spread of insecurity  and abductions of School children even up to higher institutions in the country is now worrisome. This has drastically affected the advancement of education in the country, especially in the Northern States. It would be recalled also that at the inception of Boko Haram terrorists some years ago, they registered their dislike for WESTERN EDUCATION. Today, the devilish activities of these terrorists are manifesting their main objective to kill advancement of Western Education in Nigeria.

Right now, parents are beginning to withdraw their children and wards from Schools for fear of insecurity. But one would also wonder why Boko Haram should be against Western Education whereas all the military weapons, vehicles, uniforms and even communication gadgets they use in their operations are produced out of Western Education.

Lately, it would be observed also that while our education is being submerged, the terrorists, bandits, kidnappers etc are busy enriching their pockets with millions of Naira they now collect as ramsoms before releasing their abductees.

Between May, 2011 and February 2021, over 76,000 deaths of fellow Nigerians were recorded. They included “persons killed by State actors”. The precious lives of some very prominent Nigerians have also been carelessly wasted by some trigger-happy elements in our Society. Just recently, one of such eminent personalities is, Prof. Ndubuisi,  the Chief Executive Officer of the SCIENTIFIC  EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (SEDI), Enugu.

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The Prof and his orderly were gunned down as they were traveling on the Enugu end of the PortHarcourt-Enugu Highway. Their Prado Jeep was riddled with bullets by the so called “unknown gunmen” during the incident.

Again, one would ask: why this proliferation of fire arms everywhere in the land? Where are our Security Agencies and what is going on at our boarders? Have all these Agencies and machineries lost their grips of the all important jobs of securing lives and properties of the citizenry?

Could it be possible that every Nigerian should carry arms for “self defense” as being canvassed? If yes, what about the children, pregnant women, the aged, nursing mothers and even the vulnerable in the Society? Would they also prepare for their own self defense?

Commenting on these  escalating insecurity issues  in the country, the former Head of State/ Chairman of the National Peace Committee (NPC), retired General Abdulsalam Abubakar, observed regrettably that “Violence has become a commodity in Nigeria.” True or false?

Similarly, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum(NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, described the security situation in the country as ” undertone of rising ethnic conflicts with different ethnic groups subsumed in conflicts and pitched against one another.”

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He further complained of the “oversized population that the government is now unable to cope with”.

The governor also spoke of a “large number of poor people estimated at over 40 per cent of the National population who live below one Dollar per day” In addition, the former Emir of Kano, Alhaji Sanusi, once proposed for  birth control especially as it affects the Northern States where a man can marry as much as four wives with numerous children. How far is this thoughtful proposal ?

This statement coming from the State Governor and Chairman of the Governors Forum is TRUE! That is also why Nigerians are anxiously waiting for the actualization of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to lift one hundred million Nigerians from their poverty levels, perhaps before he leaves office in two years time.

Moreover, Gov. Fayemi also spoke of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which according to him worsened and escalated the level of violence and fatalities in the country. So where do we go from here? Will Nigerians live under perpetual insecurity and yet spend billions of Naira on defense and security? Oh Nigeria, we hail ( hate) thee. No wonder, the late father of the Nigerian Nation, first ceremonial President of Nigeria, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Owelle of Onitsha, was once quoted as saying, “I weep for Nigeria” If Zik wept at that time, what then do we say of the present day Nigeria?

What are your thoughts?

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