By Chioma Gabriel
There is this adage about not chasing rats when one’s house is on fire. The Nigerian house is on fire for insecurity of every ramification and we appear to be chasing rats.
The President was out of the country for some time and on his return, Journalists asked how he intends to address the security question in the country and he responded that he has seen the acting Inspector General of Police and he’s losing weight as evidence that he is working to solve the problem of insecurity in the country.
His answer did not go down well with many Nigerians. When did weight loss become evidence of hard work? We all know how the IGP looked from the very day he was sworn in and the fact that his belt could barely hold his trouser which looked like it would slip off his waist. The IGP is not on the fat side and there are many people with that kind of stature.
Going by how things happen in Nigeria, the IGP ought to have added weight with his stomach bulging out from the time of his appointment to the present day but nothing like that. To me, the IGP could be the type that does not like food or he has not started eating! Or maybe, this IGP will be different.
But by the way he answered the question, the president exposed himself as someone not seriously bothered by the goings-on in the country and many Nigerians accused him of making a joke out of the insecurity in the country.
It was indeed strange that amidst all the killings and kidnappings Buhari still makes jokes. The IGP is losing weight and so, the IGP is working. Wonderful.
And Oby Ezekwesili trashed him: “And this is supposed to be funny? A President @MBuhari making a joke of the daily drenching of the country in the blood of his citizens who are killed daily without any consequence while he bears the title “Commander-in-Chief” ? Carry on.
“I frankly decided to never again waste my voice on a political class that has no redeeming prospect of caring about their citizens.
“Citizens of every country have the power to determine how their Political Class can treat them.
“Until we are collectively ready to end the joke that our Political Class has turned NIGERIA into, they’ll continue.”
Weight loss is not an evidence of working hard in Nigeria? So many things can make someone lose weight. Or should we now adopt that mentality in our daily lives? If we don’t sweat in the work or job, we are not doing anything. Sweating and weight loss is the yardstick for hard work.
Till date, many Nigerians are still asking if “losing weight” automatically translates to hard work or results.
Buhari was away in the United Kingdom on a private visit during which period at least five cases of kidnapping happened in the country, including the abduction of the father-in-law to his Aide de Camp (ADC), Colonel Mohammed Abubakar in the President’s hometown of Daura in Katisina state.
The President was expected to have responded with an assuring answer when the question was posed to him on his arrival at the airport as insecurity, especially hostage-taking or kidnapping is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges currently facing the country.
And for this to have happened at a time a rumour was flying all over the place that the federal government has promised to give Miyetti Allah N100bn to stop the killings and kidnappings happening around Nigeria. There was furor over this rumour after a meeting between government forces and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria.
The furor of anger over this development was worsened by Malam Garba Shehu’s statement in response to Ohanaeze Ndigbo which expressed concern about the meeting between the government and Miyetti Allah.
The presidential aide had seen Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo as representing same interests as Miyetti Allah, an association of Fulani herders.
Garba Shehu had drawn the ire of many Nigerians by comparing Miyetti Allah with Ohanaeze and Afenifere and regarding same as an ethnic organization or interest group that is a legal stakeholder in the nation and should be respected.
He said: “We maintain that the government needs to engage all stakeholders and seek partnership in building our country. The activities of Miyetti Allah do not benefit select ethnicities or Muslims only, but everyone.
”Long before petroleum became the core of Nigerian economy, agriculture was the main source of Nigerian wealth. Cattle, hides and skin were a major part of Nigerian export. It is right to state that there are criminals among every group in Nigeria and in every country. There are criminals among the northern population as there are in the southern part of the country.
“We are pleased that Afenifere and Ohanaeze Ndigbo found our insights worthy of attention even when they disagreed with our view that they, as socio-cultural associations, represent same interests as Miyetti Allah, an association of Fulani herders.”
So, was Garba Shehu trying to justify the gift of N100bn to Miyetti Allah to stop the killings? That is like saying government knows who the killers are and has identified them but is doing nothing but could bribe them to stop instead of arresting the killers and getting them to face justice.
But the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, denied the allegation that the Federal Government offered to pay Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria N100bn to shun kidnapping in the country. The Police I-G said the need for such agreement between the Federal Government and MACBAN did not arise if kidnapping in the country was to be tackled, adding that the social media report was the figment of somebody’s imagination.
When he appeared before the senate to answer questions on the insecurity challenges in the country, the IGP told the senate that the Police need help.
So the police need help and instead of expending resources to help them tackle these issues confronting Nigeria, the Federal Executive Council, FEC , recently approved N1.4bn to design the N35bn headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, in Abuja.
Is the office headquarters more important than the insecurity problem besieging Nigeria?
Or should we continue to chase rats while our ‘house’ is on fire?
You can ask that again.