Political class and conspiracy of silence

By Muiz Banire

The security situation in Nigeria has become wholly intractable. What started as an isolated case of insurgency in some parts of Borno State has become a national malaise rapidly expanding and threatening the fragile fabric of the nation called Nigeria.

The human costs have befuddled our capacity to take records and there is hardly an accurate account of human casualties of the violence of the men of the gun.

Thousands of lives have been lost to bombs and guns in the North East, suddenly, the North-West caught the fever of banditry that has left sorrow, tears and blood everywhere the unscrupulous agents of death chose to carry out their nefarious businesses.

Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, has not been spared the horrors of banditry. The volumes of death, maiming and rape of women by violent herders have left the whole of the North Central states a wide expanse of sorrow and fearsome living.

The macabre of death enacted by the orgy of violence by bandits in Niger State have divided the state under two sovereignties.

While Nigeria controls a part, the other is in the hands of terrorists as Boko Haram campaigns have rendered the state comatose.

To survive the regime of criminal elements, people buy peace in order to stay alive. Bandits have made Zamfara a deadly zone and the allures of gold that government has allowed to be exploited illegally have become a source of destruction and wanton loss of life and property. Kaduna State under El-Rufai has become a theatre of war.

Lives have been lost in the internecine conflicts between the southern and northern parts of the state. Now, the bandits have made a beautiful Kaduna another home of kidnapping and huge ransom collection.

The raging fire of destruction and devastation has spread to the otherwise peaceful areas of Oyo State as Ibarapaland have been invaded by people referred to as foreign Fulani herders who are in search of land for cattle grazing.

Forceful eviction of original landowners, killing and maiming of dissenting indigenes, kidnapping and laying of siege have combined to make the food-producing parts of Oyo State a place of terror.

The dark and lonely forests of Ondo and Ekiti states have become forests of horrors as gun-wielding herdsmen have it their place of habitation.

The condition of the Niger Delta has assumed another dimension as youths born into squalor and violence in the ’90s see nothing good in good governance.

The whole of the South-East today has bolstered itself ready for another civil war in the secessionist struggles of Indigeneous People of Biafra (IPOB) whose agitations have assumed a more dangerous dimension.

Simply put, the whole of Nigeria is witnessing all sorts of violent agitations and destructive elimination by dangerous fighters of no noble cause.

In the midst of the conflagration, a new business was born: mass abduction of schoolgirls and boys. Schoolchildren and adults are kidnapped in their hundreds and ransoms are collected by bandits in millions of naira and dollars.

Sadly enough, a most conniving government has given fillip to all these undesirable elements by paying ransom to purchase freedom for victims.

The hitherto poor herder making a few thousands of naira monthly in the business of herding cattle from Kano to Lagos has discovered a more profitable venture in kidnapping. The tactic is simple, terrorize them until their relatives or government pay.

The government has responded by stating that the dangerous herders who graze animals openly and kill the farm owners are foreigners and yet it is not ready to enforce the criminal laws against these elements.

This has lend credence to the accusation that President Muhammadu Buhari is pro-Fulani and is only trying to eliminate other tribes to create a huge territorial home for Fulani invaders across Africa.

The long silence from the President and his occasional warnings to bandits and Boko Haram elements paint the picture of a eunuch who only gives verbal expressions to his potency to impress women.

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. 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.

Adeyemi’s colleague, Ali Ndume has been heard on a number of occasions condemning the conspiracy of government and the elite.

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.

At first, the body language of the President was dangled as the magic wand that would cure Nigeria of all its ailments. Later they relied on the ignorance of the President and the man too was never aware of any evil happening around him.

An excuse at a time was the incompetence and corruption of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, as if that was not what prompted us to elect Buhari.

The elite and the political class have forgotten that when Nigeria finally descends into Rwanda, they themselves would be dislodged from their Don Quixote horse and be made to worship the miscreants that would be in charge of the various streets.

Many believe they would run away from Nigeria with their families, forgetting that no one can carry both linear and extended families into safety when the threatening war finally begins.

The sentiments against the Igbo have made many to see the demand for Biafra as a ranting of some lunatics. They have forgotten that with such voices of secession, we need to have restructured the country genuinely to cater for all interests and the present government is too docile and criminally conniving to save the fragile entity that is about to explode.

One wonders if there would be anything to govern when Nigeria finally descends into the steaming cauldron of civil war with its unceasingly flowing currency of bloodshed.

One wonders if there would be a President effectively in charge of different parts of the country under various warlords the number of which is sufficient in Nigeria of today to make every street a sovereign state under its own government of hoodlums and miscreants. The multitudes of thugs we have produced, sufficiently armed and deployed in the past to unsettle democratic process through rigging and violence, are enough to make Rwanda a child’s play.

The last EndSARS protest with the aftermath takeover by vagrants in Lagos and many other cities is a pointer to the lugubrious imminence of government of the thugs, by the thugs and for the thugs.

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.

Banire, a former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC) wrote this piece from Lagos

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