IN the last few months, several well meaning and patriotic Nigerians have spoken up concerning the insecurity situation in Nigeria, which threatens not only the survival of democracy but the very existence of Nigeria. To cap all such interventions, 17 Southern Nigerian Governors met recently, 13 of who were in attendance in person, and came out in one voice with a 12-point communiqué suggesting concrete steps to be taken by the Federal Government and President, Commander-in-Chief of the Nigeria Armed Forces, to arrest the drift, normalise the situation and advance Nigeria forwards to prosperity.
If the individual voices of commoners as well as elite Nigerian citizens don’t matter, it now remains to be seen how much premium the powers-that-be put on the united voice of 17 out of 36 Governors of states that make up the Nigerian Federation. The leadership of the ruling party and the President of the Federal Republic have been missing in action, not only in so far as comments on problems and solutions are concerned but in meaningful practical actions on proffered solutions pouring in from everywhere. The Southern Governors’ Forum specifically mentioned solid steps to be urgently taken, particularly concerning open grazing, nationwide consultation and restructuring.
However, few captured the strange mindset of the elements that fortune puts in today’s power like Dr. Muiz Banire in his recent article “Political Class and the Conspiracy of Silence.” After capturing the insecurity situation in Nigeria brilliantly, he opined that “The worst aspect of it all is the average demented Nigerian politician who carries on campaigning for power grab in 2023 as if the whole security crisis in the nation is a tea party. We have seen them junketing from one local government to another mouthing their insane promises and wild projections. They keep quiet whenever the horrors being perpetrated by Fulani herders are being discussed. They maintain a tied tongue anytime their opinions would conflict with the sentiments of the Presidency. Their people are daily subjected to bloodshed and devastations and yet the Nigerian politician is insouciant in his reckless ambition to govern a burning entity. They are keeping quiet, except for a few whose conscience would not allow them to give further inordinate protection to party loyalty and collective insanity. It was quite impressive to hear Smart Adeyemi, the Senator representing the Kogi West Senatorial District, the other day lamenting the security situation in the country. His genuine emotions could not contain his manliness when he burst out in tears calling on his comrades on the floor of the Senate to rise up in defence of the land. Ali Ndume has been heard on a number of occasions condemning the conspiracy of government and the elite in what is otherwise a consuming conflagration that is herding us towards Somalia, Liberia and Rwanda. Instead of the various political gladiators coming together to find a solution to the challenge of this vanishing country, they are busy strategizing over election into an office that is appearing to be a mirage. The elite in Nigeria, the civil society inclusive, have given all manner of justification in defence of Buhari’s government, from the sensible to the ridiculous.”
The handwriting is clearly on the wall for those who are not too prejudiced or blinded to see it. Nigeria is fast approaching the hour of decision. Neither democracy nor election takes precedence over Nigeria’s very survival. We all have a responsibility to speak up and commit to actions on the part of sanity and reason. It is time to be decisive and it is fitting to conclude as Dr. Muiz Banire concluded: “This is the time for the Nigerian politicians and elder statesmen to rise up. This is the time to call a spade a spade and let the devil both home and abroad be shamed. This is the time for the civil society to jettison its silly and empty sloganeering of fighting corruption in its roundtable approach and call for the government to do something serious about the insecurity in the land. While politicians can afford to run away, the question is where will you run to when the crisis finally embraces the entire land? Few peaceful spots in Nigeria that have not been effectively visited by these so-called foreign invaders are already under the spy gaze of their agents who are only waiting for the call to action.”