Nigerians are yet to get over the depressing stories of insurgent attacks, kidnappings on our highways and murderous activities of herders that continue to go on unchecked across the country.
In light of this, one would think that the clear message from those saddled with the mandate of protecting lives and livelihood would be geared towards inspiring hope, even as practical actions are taken to ensure that the citizenry can sleep with their two eyes closed.
For anyone knowledgeable about the concept of ‘social contracts,’ such an expectation cannot under any guise be described as unrealistic. From yesteryears till the world comes to an end, it is clear that people give up some of their individual liberties in exchange for some common security by the state.
Anything short of this, as is evident in the North Western and Central zones of Nigeria where terrorists (masked as bandits) now prevent innocent citizens from going about their legitimate businesses, implies that an unreserved apology to the people must be the first point of penance.
This therefore explains why it is irresponsible for Defence Minister, Bashir Salihi Magashi, to describe Nigerians as cowards for fleeing at the sight of bandits, in the name of his ‘collective security responsibility.’ Other than the hypocritical angle to such statement, considering that he is protected by soldiers, that a public official in such a sensitive office would challenge hapless citizens (with bare hands) to go after the so-called ‘minor bandits’ who bear RPG launchers, Ak-47 and ‘just 3 rounds of ammunitions’ as he described it, is enough reason for his resignation.
In climes where the sanctity of every life is upheld, the thoughts of such suicide mission cannot even wander in the mind of a ‘public servant.’ Thus, we should see this as a challenge to do better, rather than ‘hope for the best’ in our leadership recruitment process.
Equally worrisome, as though we are in some kind of frustrating conundrum, the governor of Zamfara would be quoted on same day as saying ‘not all bandits are criminals.’ Same chief security officer of a state that repeatedly advocates for the state to grant amnesty to repentant bandits.
“Not all of them are criminals. If you investigate what is happening, and what made them to take the laws into their hands, some of them, sometimes were cheated by so-called the vigilante group.
They normally go to their settlements and destroy property and take their animals. They did not have anyone to speak with, so sometimes, they go for revenge. When the vigilante group attacks them, they go for reprisals. That is exactly what happened.”
With these statements coming barely one week after the Bauchi Governor, Bala Muhammed, made a case for the use of AK-47 by herders at the expense of other Nigerians living legitimately in their fatherland, could this be an indirect way of saying: y’all are ‘On Your Own (O.YO.)’ in this empire of terrorists and their sympathisers?
Temidayo Taiwo-Sidiq is a Political Journalist, Analyst and Social Change Advocate with major interest in Nigerian Politics, Governance and Sports.