Sycophancy was taken to legendary heights recently following the bike accident involving Yusuf, son of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari’s aides, government ministers and top members of the ruling party, APC, kept vigil at Cedarcrest Hospital Abuja, where he was hospitalized with head injuries. Some of them slept there for days praying fervently for his recovery in Sadducees and Pharisees’ fashion – at the expense of the work Nigerian people mandated them to do.
Government came to a standstill. Saving the life of the president’s son became the most important national agenda.
Everyone wanted to be counted; to be seen sympathizing with the first family in their moment of agony. Even the opposition, PDP, put differences aside as its henchmen wired sympathy messages to Mr. Buhari and family. Former President Goodluck Jonathan even sent his from Liberia, where he was monitoring the presidential election that was eventually won by super star George Opppong Weah.
This is what you get when misfortune or affliction visits the high and mighty. The case is different with the poor and commonplace people. In their case, it is taken as normal, as if tragedy and sorrow are meant for them.
There were killings across Nigeria at the dawn of 2018. Twenty-one people were massacred in Omoku, Rivers State. They had just returned from cross-over service, where they went to pray for a better 2018, in view of the misery superimposed by Buhari’s bad leadership. In a country that spent N465.87 billion on defence in 2017, gunmen linked to notorious militant and kidnapper, Don Wanny, went from house to house, picked those they wanted and shot them to death. And they had the luxury of time. Such underlines the state of the country and the insecurity pervading its length and breadth.
In Benue, Fulani herdsmen, in prosecution of their ethnic cleansing agenda, butchered 20 people in New Year attacks across the state. In their impunity, more attacks followed in the next days at Anyii and Logo. On Friday and Saturday, another 15 people were killed. One of the victims was Peter Aboh, a final-year student of Microbiology at the Federal University, Lafia in Nasarawa State. He was said to be due for graduation in eight months, before Fulani herdsmen cut down his life and dream.
There were further killings in Taraba and Adamawa. In a dawn attack on Saturday, 15 people were killed in Jalingo by an armed militia on three Fulani communities in Lau Local Government Area of the state.
Nigeria is slipping into a killing field under Buhari’s watch – a former army general. But nobody seems to be bothered, the poor and their children are the victims.
While the poor mourned, President Buhari and his top officials were jamboreeing in Kaduna, enjoying train ride on railways built by Jonathan they accused of doing nothing.
It took ample time before Buhari broke his silence on the killings, as if words were forced out of his mouth following public outrage over his silence.
A commander-in-chief becomes a comforter-in-chief in moments of national tragedy. As I write, the president has not deemed it fit to visit any of the places were innocent Nigerians were slaughtered. Neither has he sent any top government official to go there and personally condole with family members of the victims. And not a word from the sycophants that had thronged Cedarcrest hospital Abuja. The lives of the poor do not matter, at least to them.
In 2012, I wrote in my Blueprint column that the root of the trouble with Nigeria is lack of love for one another. If there were love, the lives of common Nigerians would have been better. Leaders would have provided for them. At least, the basic things of life that would have differentiated them from their animal cousins.
But because there is no love, their so-called leaders do not give a damn about them. And that is why they loot the treasury dry.
If there were love, Buhari would never sleep at night in his cosy Aso Villa mansion, knowing fully well that millions of his people are sleepless in their shackles, soaked with sweat and raided by mosquitoes because there is no electricity.
Before this APC government came to power, Babatunde Fashola, then Lagos State governor had said on November 12, 2014 that „a serious government will fix power problem in six months“. It had followed his earlier statement in The Nation of July 12, 2014, that „the only way to have stable electricity is to vote out PDP“.
Talk is cheap. The same man is now Nigeria’s minister of power and over two years in charge, with trillions of Naira squandered, Nigerians still cockroach in darkness.
In any case, because there is no love, a national assembly member takes home about N300million annually in a country with 70% youth unemployment and where those that are lucky to find job get paid as lowly as N5,000 a month – notwithstanding that the minimum wage is pegged at N18,000.
If there were love, Nigerians would not be killing their fellow brothers and sisters. The hatred is deep. How could different ethnic groups live together in peace in the same country with such hatred for each other?
The hatred was entrenched by foolish leaders who had and continue to flourish on our differences.
Because there is no love, that is why there were no solidarity protests across Nigeria when Benue youths said enough is enough last week in a street march. For other Nigerians, it is Benue problem.
Apart from lack of love, Nigeria is in its sorry state as a result of the lethargy of its citizens, who fail to hold their crooked leaders accountable. And that is why there is utter disregard for an ordinary Nigerian by those in power like no other place in the world.
The primary duty of a state is the security of lives and property. Any country that fails in this obligation is a failed state. It is as simple as that.
Okay, since Mr. Buhari has shown, with his inaction and body language, that he is the least interested in making Nigeria safe, what has the governed done to demand action or he quits? What have they done to underscore the point that poor lives matter? Nothing.
Funnily, Nigerians wait for God to come down from heaven and solve all their problems. They would spent hours praying for a better life but do nothing on their part to realize that wish. How could millions of people idly stand by and watch a few people plunder the commonwealth and shatter their dreams? It defies every reason and commonsense.
Nigerians need to be told that the oppressor never gets tired – if they are waiting for the ruling class to one day have a change of heart and feel sorry for them. Freedom is never gifted; it is always fought for. Anyone in doubt should check history.
Be this as it may, because it is the poor and their children that are been killed, there are no more pythons in the Nigerian Army that could dance and bite venomously.
Why hasn’t Buhari unleashed the same pythons on herdsmen terrorists like he did to the pro-Biafra agitators?
A serious president would have ordered all Nigerian troops out of the barracks if this is the only way to secure Nigerian lives, he took an oath to protect. Why would soldiers be doing only morning parade in the barracks and get paid by month’s end when herdsmen are rampaging at will across the country, killing and maiming as it pleases them?
I refuse to agree that Buhari is treating the danger posed by Fulani herdsmen with kids’ gloves because they are his kinsmen and he is their patron. Rather, nothing is being done because the terrorists only pose a danger to the poor, the down-trodden and their children. The case would have been different if their victims were members of the ruling class.
Then the silent National Assembly would have started an impeachment procedure against the president. Yes, it is an impeachable offence – failure to prosecute his primary duty.
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