Prologue: BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS
*The open-ended complicity leading to the destruction of lives and property
By Jide Ajani
Before the legion of excuses are laid on the table to tolerate the complicity of Nigerian leaders in the orgy of violence occasioned by terrorist activities, it should be made clear that many of the leaders, past and present have blood on their hands.
Starting from Matthew Okikiolakan Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, and even going as far back as the military leaders from 1983 to 1999, along with a large chunk of the present crop of state governors in the north, a few in the south, including and, yet, not limited to the present chief executive of the country, they all have blood on their hands.
It is becoming increasingly clearer that even as the present leadership at the federal level claims to be giving its best in handling the security challenges in the country, that best peters into insignificance in the face of contemporary realities.
If Obasanjo had allowed members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and by extension, Nigerians, to freely elect a presidential candidate and a president of their choice, respectively, in 2007, perhaps, just perhaps, the banana republic status that Nigeria appears to be donning like a toga, may not have arisen. The debauchery that he passed off as a party primary at the Eagle Square in 2007 and other actions built on it all conspired to create the situation Nigeria and Nigerians have now found themselves in.
Had Umaru Musa Yar’Adua not died on the throne as President, and more importantly had his minders not treated then Vice President Goodluck Jonathan with utter scorn, reducing the office of the Vice President to one less than noble, may be the controversy over zoning may not even have arisen.
Had President Jonathan chosen to strictly follow the rules of zoning in his party, a rule to which he was a signatory in December 2002, (without prejudice to his constitutionally guaranteed right to seek the office), perhaps and again more so, the northern politicians who threatened to make life unbearable for the expected Jonathan administration would have demonstrated a far more patriotic sense of maturity.
To be candid, it was the utter poisoning of the environment by leaders from the South, specifically South South who created the impression of a ‘We’ versus ‘Them’ scenario, followed by more satanic pronouncements, some times bothering on the treasonable, from leaders in the north, that the expected Jonathan government would not know peace leading to the post election violence of April 2011.
But before then and even before this full scale acts of terrorism, those in government and the Police high command ignored the possible resultant consequence of the extra-judicial killing of Mohammed Yusuf, the leader of the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Lidawati wal Jihad, otherwise known as Boko Haram. Whereas there is no justification for the activities of the monsters today, government behaved at that time as if all was well. It was that act of impunity that has foisted these other acts of impunity by the sect members.
Worse, while politicians engaged in power tussle, the sect membership grew, just as it continued its mobilization drive, setting up bases all over the North, particularly the north eastern axis of the country. Today, hundreds of lives have been lost while properties worth billions have already been lost. This is apart from the loss of investor confidence
To make a mockery of the proclamation of emergency rule, government fork-picked some local government areas in Borno, Niger, Plateau and Yobe States. It was not going to work and it did not work. Suleja, Niger State knows what emergency rule is all about.
Today, some people are talking about the imposition of emergency rule in Kaduna State because of the carnage of last Sunday. But that, too, may not solve the problem because the sect members would simply migrate. Already, the sect has left Kaduna a discombobulate society, pitching Christians against Muslims.
In the following pages, you will read how emergency rule has not worked in those four states; the views of a bishop and a sheikh, as well as the history of politico-religious crises in Kadua State in the last 22 years.
How to pull back from the brink? Bishop Iloh says President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should act in a presidential manner and not continue to make a mockery of the enormous powers at his disposal – even with the belated sacking of the National Security Adviser, NSA..
Yet, a political solution which would work like a talisman to bring down the temperature in the country exists but the blind quest for power makes it difficult for those in government to see. As things stand and as Boko Haram threatens more violence, the blood of innocent Nigerians already dead and yet to die would continue to stain the hands of Nigerian leaders.
For those who say the President shouldn’t have gone to Brazil, they have been told tyhat they miss the point. Information minister, Labaran Maku, who speaks majesterially, like Professor Jerry Gana knows more than most people because he is the information minister. Pray, many had come before him and many will come after him. If there is one area where President Jonathan appears to be failing much more than the security challenges, it is in the area of information management by his information minister.
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