By Yinka Odumakin
JONATHAN should vacate and give way to competent hand to govern the country …How can a responsible government allow its people to be killed this way”-President Muhammadu Buhari (22 May,2013)”But if you control the armed forces and you are the commander -in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,why should any part of this country be under occupation ? And you give us excuses everyday. In any civilised country, Jonathan should have resigned.But if he will not resign, he should wait for our broom, we will sweep them away”-APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu(5th October ,2014).
If you have ever argued with the notion that “talk is cheap,” just read the statements quoted above from President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in the days they were riding high on the opposition horse.Those were the days every tragedy in the land was an opportunity for political statements .
The way they harped on “insecurity ” under the “incompetent” and “clueless” must have convinced many Nigerians that leadership under these tough -talking people would make Nigeria go to bed every night with two eyes firmly shut .
But three years after they took over power, insecurity has become the greatest challenge in the land with human blood being the cheapest commodity in the country today.We are almost being driven to a point that human bodies attract no more attention than dirt flowing through the culvert after a heavy downpour.
If there were pronouncements Nigerians should be waiting for presently, it’s now everybody for himself, God for us all. It came when the Commamder-in-Chief appeared in Plateau last Tuesday,forgot he was not elected a Chief Imam, instead of rolling out measures to stop killings in the land asked us to go on our knees in prayers .
“There is nothing I can do to help the situation except to pray to God to help us out of the security challenges .What has happened is a very bad thing “he said .What happened to the line about giving way for a “competent hand” to govern?
It would appear that the National who wastes no time in calling on incompetent leaders to resign is in Russia watching World Cup.We have not heard from him late except his chief entertainer KWAM1 threatening all over town that Tinubu told him to tell us (remember the prefect in our secondary school days who said “the principal told me to told you) that when Buhari returns in 2019,all those who opposed him will run into the bush !
And without recognizing the responsibility of power,the Presidency that put its foot in the mouth in its first reaction to the genocide in Plateau by dwelling on missing cows without any word of regret on loss of hundreds of lives, came nude to fight the PDP for lowering its flags for the dead.
Instead of been quiet having missed the opportunity to take any symbolic action to mourn the dead,the Presidency went into the banal and nauseating argument of its doing better than PDP in not recording as much deaths in three years as the erstwhile ruling party did in 16 years .The statement by Mr. Femi Adesina has to be on record for posterity hoping that this clime will return to the season of reason some day:
“The sad and unfortunate killings in Plateau State over the weekend have been turned to opportunity to once again play irresponsible politics, particularly by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which says it is declaring seven days of mourning.
These are dolorous times that call for deep introspection on how cheap human lives have become and the proffering of actionable ideas on how to get out of the bind. But the PDP would rather dance on the graves of the dead, playing cheap, infantile politics.
The comatose and prostrate party is declaring seven days of mourning, during which flags in its offices would be flown at half-mast nationwide. But unknown to the party, those flags had been forcefully lowered since its 2015 loss at the polls and may remain so for a long time to come, because Nigerians are politically discerning, and cannot be hoodwinked by cheap antics.
A quick checklist of some savage and brutal killings in Nigeria during PDP rule, between 1999 and 2015, for which no national mourning was declared:
– November 20, 1999. Odi, in Bayelsa State, was invaded on orders of a PDP President. About 2,500 people killed. No national mourning.
– Between February and May 2000, about 5,000 people were killed during riots over Sharia law in different parts of the North. No national mourning.
– In 2001, hundreds of people, including the old, infirm, women and children were killed in Zaki Biam. No crocodile tears.
–Between September 7-12, 2001, Jos, Plateau State, erupted in internecine killings. Between 500 and 1,000 people were killed. Flags were not flown at half mast.
–In February 2004, at least 975 people were killed in Yelwa-Shendam, Plateau State. No mourning by the then ruling PDP.
–Between November 28 and 29, 2008, Jos was in flames again, with 381 deaths. No mourning.
–In 2010, 992 people killed in Jos. Mum was the word.
–In 2014 alone, according to Global Terrorism Index, at least 1,229 people were killed in the Middle Belt. No mourning.
– Boko Haram killings in PDP years were over 10,000. PDP flags were still fluttering proudly in the sky.”
Fellow citizens, including the bereaved; let us rise and applaud the APC Government for recording less deaths than the PDP as a mark of “change”. And mourning of any death henceforth would be a hate action as the record of deaths in PDP years is still worse than what we have now!
I saw an APC governor declared on Channels TV that we should know that America records a death every minute. In other words, America represents PDP years and Nigeria where deaths occur in 100,200 and so on weekly and in about a dozen or more daily is APC testimony !
By Michael R. Burch
What good are your tears?
They will not spare the dying their anguish.
What good is your concern
to a child sick of living, waiting to perish?
What good, the warm benevolence of tears
What help, the eloquence of prayers,
or a pleasant benediction?
Before this day is gone,
how many more will die
with bellies swollen, wasted limbs,
and eyes too parched to cry?
I fear for our souls
as I hear the faint lament
of their souls departing …
mournful, and distant.
How pitiful our “effort,”
yet how fatal its effect.
If they died, then surely we killed them,
if only with neglect.
Re: Blood on Lalong’s Plateau
DEAR Mr. Odumakin,
What haven’t we spoken against concerning these killings!
I am tired of begging them to stop these killings!
They ( the ones in power have told us to our faces to do our worse).
The leaders of these cattle rearers have told us why they kill and grab farms and juicy valleys, displacing original land owners! Yet, we beg our so called leaders like Mansur Dan-Ali to come to our aid!?
We call on IGP who happens to come to our aid! He some few months ago ordered /threatened licensed owners of small arms that could protect them against hardened terrorists to surrender them.
This is pathetic!
Please before it gets to my village in the Western Region ,what are we doing to protect ourselves?
That should be our headache! Not asking these security heads to help us. Their game plan is working so easily they themselves are surprised!
Just read your above piece in the Vanguard Newspaper.
I agree completely with your analysis of the situation and the role of Governor Lalong in the killings of innocent people by Fulani herdsmen when it happened in Benue.
I got the below text message from a young lady who once lived with my family and is now back with her folks in the Barkin Ladi area:
“Please sir as you pray this night, please pray and include us we have been surrounded by the enemies. Since afternoon to this time, it is just gun shot everywhere now, please pray for us”
That was on Saturday night at 7.50pm.
What this means is that:
-the governor and the military must have known of this situation and yet they did nothing all day and still allowed the hoodlums to carry out their nefarious activity.
-the elected Senator,House of Representatives members and House of Assembly members were more interested in re-election than in the lives of the people they seek to lead.
-the governor was in Abuja playing politics whilst the people he was elected to serve were under siege.
– police kept quiet and evacuated from the area to allow the Fulani herdsmen to carry out their killings.
– the presidency is quiet. They are not say anything.
It is time to arise as Nigerians to resist this evil.
-Pst Egra Akpofure.