State of the Nation: A Presidency in Denial

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Why Jonathan must crush insurgency

By Jide Ajani
Because he doesn’t want to displease some people, he continues to displease and annoy everybody.  That is President Goodluck Jonathan for you.

For a Presidency that appears to have mastered the art of saying the useful things but goes ahead to do the useless things, it is becoming inescapably decipherable why terror is gradually settling-in Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.

It may not matter that Aso Rock Presidential Villa is a fortress.
It may not matter that most of the leaders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, (and the larger group of Nigerian elite) domiciled in Abuja also live in fortresses of their own, rationing police posting among each other and depriving the Nigerian public the needed security men to carry out proper surveillance and reconnaissance activities.

It may not also matter because the number of fatalities almost always recorded during each terror attack in Nigeria represents mere statistics – statistics that are at sea and which do not in the remotest way affect the owners of the country.

Perhaps, it may not even matter that members of the public living in guilt-by-indifference no longer feel so much pain when deaths are recorded in the aftermath of terror attacks in their 10s because the psyche has now been conditioned to appreciate loss of lives in their scores.

Yet, after all said and done, it should matter because members of the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in English means, “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”, and otherwise known as Boko Haram, appear to be running away with the impression that all is well with its campaign of terror.

It should be of immense concern to all those who have painted the insurgency with a tar of opposition agenda that those who were killed in the Bannex/Emap Plaza bombing did not carry any identification labeling them as either PDP or APC of APGA or LP members.

It should also matter to all right-thinking Nigerians that the present insurgency has put the country on the global stage, albeit, in a very uncomplimentary manner.
It should matter, in the most egregious of ways, that some of the over two hundred CHIBOK girls may have been carrying pregnancies at different stages of protrusion.

It should be disturbing that whereas President Jonathan told CNN mid-last year that in six months he would re-appear on the cable channel to tell them that BOKO HARAM has been defeated, the reality is that stories of Nigeria and Boko Haram on CNN are stories determined by and predicated on the exploits of the terror group.

Now, therefore, is it not time for some serious soul-searching by those who like to be described as opinion leaders, movers and shakers in northern Nigeria?
This question is very germane in the face of how the insurgency is being executed.

Firstly – and without prejudice to the shambling approach of President Jonathan and his seemingly clueless disposition in recent times – last week was supposed to be a week Jonathan and his men are celebrating the victory of their party – the PDP -in Ekiti State gubernatorial election.

But the week is being used to cope with the many acts of terror across the country – Kaduna, Kano, Adamawa and Borno.

It is for this reason that some people continue to insist that whereas Boko Haram operates as a terror group, it is either it has keyed into the agenda of those who want Jonathan out of power by 2015; or those who have threatened that over their ‘dead-body’ would he remain President post- 2015, may have inadvertently or even one way or another keyed into the agenda of the terrorists.

So, the wisest thing to do now for a President, who is becoming ashamed of what is going on, is to device a better means of not only smoking out the insurgents but also crushing them.

True, there are those who would argue that an attempt to crush the insurgents would only further harden them and may come with collateral damage. Pray, what other collateral damage would be crazier than a situation where the insurgents appear to be winning?

Worse still, some over 200 girls are still missing.
Weekly, Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen continue to kill and maim. The citizens live in fear. Would the energy being dissipated on newspaper vendors and distributors not be better channeled to crushing the insurgency?

If President Jonathan is seen as weak, shouldn’t he at least,for his sake, his family’s sake and the sake of millions of Nigerians who elected him stand up and act? Enough of the joke about an asymmetrical warfare.

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