By Denrele Animasun
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?” — Mahatma Gandhi
What will it take for the government to act and cleanse the nation of these cold blooded killers who are attacking, abducting, maiming and killing at will? What will it take the government to throw in the towel and admit they are powerless and clueless to stem the frequencies of the killing of innocent people, young defenseless students and teachers going about their normal business? How can we let terror reign unabated and we have our government peddling empty, meaningless and unconvincing sound bites?
When will we Nigerians, understand that what concerns one Nigerian, concerns us all? Yobe State has become a killing zone and these nefarious monsters are killing at will, with no end in sight. Empty words will not comfort the family of the bereaved nor will it improve the state of siege that the people of Yobe are experiencing.
As a mother, I find it hard to comprehend how in this age, we have these murderous psychopaths running loose butchering and killing people with impunity and all the powers that be can say is that the BH have changed their tactics and now wear army fatigues. What a cop out and a farce. This does not make it okay as these miscreants will not stop until they are stopped. Their “cause” lacks legitimacy and justification. They have blatantly made a mockery of the law, the judicial and this administration. To the outsider looking in, the daily announcement of the BH attacks and the abductions is one tragedy too many and for those who experience this horrors first hand, I am sure it is very traumatic.
Inusa Danboyi, a student was one of the victims of this heinous crime and his father, Mallam Danboyi, was understandably distraught. He said, “Inusa is my son, and an SSS 3 student who aspired to get Western Education and was even preparing for his final SSS 3 examination. But see what fate had in stock for him”.
So can the president and all the armed forces tell Mallam Danboyi that this would not happen again or that they have done everything they could have done to protect his son and the other students? I do not think so. So how can people support a government that cannot protect and safeguard its citizens? There is a great sense of apathy and this is the big impediment to fighting the common enemy.
And yet, the great divides pervade with some of our people trying to justify the tragedy by extricating their tribe, religion and situation from the fact; we are all Nigerians. The great apologists are deluded and this is not the way to progress. We should all show some humanity, conscience and respect for human lives.
The college in Yobe was the fourth institution to be attacked in the state in the last eight months. Over 50 strong BH overwhelmed the college and they went on a killing spree, killing over 40 students and staff alike and abducted 16 females. The graphic scene is what nightmares are made of, expect this is real and it is happening in Nigeria.
The criminals set the college administrative block alight, then locked in the students and set the building alight and those that attempted to escape were shot at, gunned down and the throats of the students were slit trying to escape the lit building.
The incident in Yobe is not an isolated case. Terror is terror, no matter, who dealt it; experience it or who is directed at. We run the risk of turning into a nation that does not care for one another and whether we want to accept it or not we will all pay a hefty price for not acting collectively to rid our country of this terror.
The “Not in my backyard brigade”, they better wake up and face reality. We are all in this together. So no one should go through this siege, if it is happening in Yobe, it will happen anywhere in whatever guises as possible. It is already happening; the kidnappings, murders, domestic violence, corruption and extreme sense of disorders.
In such a chaotic country, it gives CARTE BLANCHE to the menaces of the society to commit more atrocities with a feeling of satisfaction that they would not be apprehended. None of the armed forces have been able to quell the terror and violence. A country, they say, is defined by the way they treat their most vulnerable and weak. We definitely have fallen far short of what is expected of us as people and no one is taking responsibility of the this bedlam. And still people cannot see any end in sight. That is the tragedy of the situation that we are in.
So where are the security agents, the intelligence, the police, the hardware and the equipment to do the job? Where is the capital allocated to fight terrorists? Who is responsible for the coordination of the tasks? It is quite laughable that the Director of Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade remained resolute that the Nigerian troops are on the trail of the terrorists who attacked and killed the students. He is convinced that they know where they come from and also their methods and how they plan the attacks. Yes, he said “We will get them and we will deal with them appropriately”. I would not hold my breath nor should anyone. The president has not fared well as he sent his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, to tell Nigerians how sad and anguished he is about the tragedy. I believe he should have spoken directly to the people as a matter of course
“You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” —– Malcolm X