Insecurity: The Cry Of The Clerics As Buhari Enjoins Nigerians To Trust His Government

 By Stephen Ubanna

The  hardship and  insecurity pervading the country   appear to have drawn out   Matthew Kukah, the fiery Catholic  Bishop  of Sokoto, north west Nigeria and Archbishop John Onaiyekan, to speak out.

. Apearing on Channels Television  on Friday, December 25, 2020, where he spoke on a nation  in search of  vindication, the   Bishop Kukah  who could not hide his feelings had said  that’’ there are  dangerous signs of the country drifting to a state of failure  which may trigger violence’’.

An  aggrieved Kukah had  described Nigerians ’’like   people travelling without map, without destination and with neither  Captain nor Crew’’, noting that the citizens  have nowhere to turn to’’. The no nonsense Catholic Bishop  had accused President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army General of  nepotism  , stating that’’ there could have been a military Coup if a non-northern Muslim  was the President’’ of the Nigeria. He disclosed that the Katsina state born Nigerian President has succeeded in ‘’ institutionalizing   northern  hegemony  in his government by reducing  others in public life  to second-class status’’.

Bishop Kukah: Accuss Buhari Of Nepotism

Dissecting the Administration, he disclosed that  he has ’’pursued  his self- defeating and alienating  policy at the expense  of greater national cohesion and had  deliberately  sacrificed   the  dreams of those who had  voted him into power to what seemed like  a  programme  to stratify and institutionalise northern hegemony’’.   He  opined that no non northern Muslim Nigerian Presiden,t dead or alive   has done a fraction of what the retired army General has done over the last five years  by his’’ nepotism  and gotten away with it’’

. The Cleric fears that ‘’we are going to remain  hogtied  by these political Leaders who are’’ gradually becoming  part of a larger plot to seal  the fate of the country’’. He insists that the  Buhari led All Progressive Congress, APC, government   ‘’owes the nation an explanation  as to where it is headed  as the country’’ journey to darkness’’.

 Cardinal John Onaiyekan, a Catholic Archbishop Emeritus of Abuja ,on his part is not happy that ‘’Nigerians are now living in fear’’ and wondered how the country found itself in this mess. Hear him: I cannot  travel  from Abuja to any part of the country, particular in the northern states,  without my heart missing 10 beats.  The Archbishop would want the security situation of the country to be what it used to be in the past  where he could  take his car  and drive to Kabba, his  home town in Kogi state, without fear of being  hijacked on the way by bandits.

Arbishop Onaiyekan: No One Is Safe In Nigeria

 His  worry is the lot of many other Nigerians  who would have liked to put their car on the road while travelling  from Lagos to Abuja or Abuja to Kaduna instead of taking Flights  which could be very disappointing because of the local airlines not keeping to flight schedule due to one reason or the other. The Value News findings shows that the Passengers may be at the airport at the scheduled time for their Flight but the aircraft would not be on ground for hours, and there would be no explanation or apology from the airline operators.

The Cleric believes that those running  the affairs of the country , both at the Federal, state and Local government levels  may not have  known what the citizens are going through on the road   because  ‘’they move about with security details’’. He noted that ‘’until Nigerians move about without police or military escorts, ‘’no one is safe’’. Recall that  on  September 1, 2020,, Aero Contractors, an indigenous airline, flying the local routes, started  a new ,twice-daily shuttle service  between Abuja and Kaduna, which is about 180Km by road.

Investigations by The Value News shows that Aero’s decision was prompted  by the recognition  that the Abuja-Kaduna  highway  is too dangerous to traverse by car. Captain  Ado Sanusi,  the airline’s  Chief Executive Officer, CEO,  had said that  they launched  the route  in response to security fears and the overwhelming demand  for the rail service  between the two cities , which has also been attacked by Bandits, who sometimes appear as opportunists in small groups or part of organised Criminal  gangs. It is instructive  to note  that the kidnappings, hijackings and Bandit attacks that plague the Abuja-Kaduna highway are emblematic  of the high level of insecurity  in every part of the country.

Some of the northern state governors were said  to have  tried to broker  peace with the Bandit groups, including Aminu Masari, a former Speaker of House of Representaives and now governor of Katsina,  home state of the Nigerian President through  amnesty programmes and promises of development in exchange for peace.Suffice it to  say that those efforts had failed  as development takes time  and more frustrating, the governors could not keep to all their promises, thus giving the Bandits room to operate in the region with reckless aabandom The recent abduction of 344 student of Government science school , Kankara, in the north western state speaks volume.

Former President Obasanjo Blamed Current State To Poor Management Of The Country In Diversity

 former President Olusegun Obasanjo,  had said that Nigeria is becoming a’’failed and divided state under  the  Buhari led APC, government’’. In his emotional outburst  he had blamed ‘’the current  state of the country  on’’ poor management of the country in diversity’’. This may have informed why  he had scored the Buhari Administration zero in the area of the economy, stressing that the country ’’ is becoming a basket case  and poverty capital of the world and socially firming up as an unwholesome and insecure’’.

More so, critics had argued that the Buhari Administration’s militarised approach , where the Force  and the military are underfunded  and under-equipped , lacks a commensurate development agenda to tackle the deficits in the nation education system, health sector  and jobs creation  that are driving some of the insecurity.

The Opposition People’s Democratic Party , PDP, which had vowed to rule the country  for an uninterrupted 60 years  but succeeded in ruling  for only  16 years, before it was voted out in 2015, by the the then Opposition , APC,  may be warming up to regain power in 2023 general elections, cashing on the hardship and insecurity in the country to do so.

 The party , which pride itself as the largest in Africa, were said to have assured  Nigerians that ‘’no matter  how long the darkness, characterised  by violence, oppression, economic repression, hunger, abuse of Human Rights, disregard to the need of the people by the Buhari Administration and  widespread Corruption in the system,  there is still hope in horizon and the Opposition PDP , offers such hope  as exemplified in the birth  of the savior.

Appealing to the current  Nigerian Leaders both past and present ,’’ to have some introspections, show remorse and review  their policies which had brought anguish to the people’ over the last five years, the party  averred that ‘’it is the only that could bring about healing, stability, and prosperity in the country’’. 

 The Nigerian President may have known that there is great mistrust on  his  government  over the double speak on  the upsurge Banditry in north west, insurgency in the north east and kidnapping in different parts of the country, that  he has enjoined Nigerians ‘’to appropriate the hope that  comes with Christmas  and reinvest trust   in his Administration’s determination  and unwavering Commitment  to restore peace,  security, and prosperity to the country’’.

 He may have meant well when he said that despite  the dwindling  national revenue  worsened by the  Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19,  that his Administration will do everything that is required to implement the 2021 Budget of Economic Recovery and Residence, promising that that   the country would exit the recession  at the shortest possible time.

  But Nigerians may have accepted the promise  with a pinch of salt because of similar promises in the past which never fulfilled as Lai Mohammed, minister of Information and Culture , continues to double speak on government policies.  It is not surprising why the Catholic Archbisop Oaiyekan  had said , ‘’we will be happy to have a government that can be trusted’’, an indication that there is lack of trust  in present  Buhari’s Administration. He would want the Nigerian President  and all those who are running the affairs of the country to go for an  examination of  conscience.  He noted that as’’ they are consistently deceiving  the people, ‘’it’s  neither good for the government or the governed’’, insisting that’’ Nigerians are ready to listen to the truth’’ and no longer lies.

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