By Emmanuel Aziken
Nigeria’s leading political actors were all about in the outgoing week projecting themselves and seemingly rewriting history. It was, however, a different matter for the majority of the apolitical class.
The news of the death in Boko Haram custody of the aid worker, Saifura Khorsa should ordinarily have sobered the political climate. But apparently, it did not, especially with the political actors putting finishing touches to their plans for political ascendancy.
When the leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC gathered on the stage in Oshogbo last Tuesday just hours after Khorsa was killed there was no mention of the heinous crime that had just been committed in the Northeast.
The oppositionists in the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP were not any better the following day when they also surfaced Oshogbo to market their candidate. The dancing steps of their candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke could only have entrenched the disinterest of the political class to the general malaise in the land.
When President Goodluck Jonathan in his time said that terrorism was a global phenomenon and that Nigeria was now taking its own portion, he was justifiably attacked from several quarters including the then opposition APC. The APC’s response at that time was that if he did not know how to take charge and lead, that he should be changed and he was changed.
Years on, President Jonathan’s refrain has become the signature response of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to the repeated security breaches in the country by Boko Haram and other terrorist activities that have now mushroomed under its watch. Their classic response is that what is happening is criminality which they claim can never be eradicated in any country.
The administration in Abuja claims to have either degraded, defeated or technically defeated the Boko Haram terrorist group. Indeed, administration officials claim that the group does not control a single space of Nigeria territory.
But these assertions go against reasoning. If Boko Haram has been defeated why do they attack from time to time? If they do not control space in Nigeria territory then, pray where was Khorsa, a Nigerian citizen kept for six months before she was killed?
Does it mean that Leah Sharibu who is held in captivity because she refused to denounce her Christian faith is not in Nigeria? Are the remaining Chibok girls in a neighbouring country?
These are questions that easily defeat the assertions of the political class who want to make us believe that insecurity is normal, that bad roads are normal or that tanker congestion on the roads and importation of fuel are normal. If not, then the malaise should be blamed on past administrations.
Indeed, when officials tell us that it is happening all over the world, the response of United States or British leaders to such attacks give a lie to the claim. When 52 United States citizens were held as hostages for 444 days in Iran, President Jimmy Carter was tormented and the hostage crisis contributed significantly to his defeat by Governor Ronald Reagan. Nigeria’s Chibok girls have been held now for 1,617 days yet with little emotion from the political class. Just as PDP went ahead to organize a rally in Kano hours after the Chibok Girls kidnap in 2014, the APC leaders had no scruples going for their own Oshogbo junket after the murder of Citizen Khorsa.
It is a shame that Nigeria has forgotten the case of the remaining Chibok girls who were taken away on account of the failure of government a situation which not even the change in government has been able to ameliorate.
Citizen Khorsa was working as an aid worker when she was captured alongside two of her colleagues who remain in the captivity of Boko Haram. They were working as aid workers to fill the gap in the failure of governance and Khorsa was killed because the government failed or and lacked the capacity to act.
What is even worse is that Nigerians are being made to believe the lie that all is well and some even saying that things are better. The worst form of deceit is for you to hold a lie and believe it!