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November 24, 2023

Gloomy pronouncements, By Donu Kogbara

Gloomy pronouncements, By Donu Kogbara

When they appeared before the House of Representatives on Tuesday, security chiefs revealed some of the problems they face.

 Present at the plenary session were Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Chris Musa; the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Taoreed Lagbaja; the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala; the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar; and the Inspector General of Police, Mr Kayode Egbetokun.

They talked about connivance between Boko Haram prisoners and their warders…who allegedly enable them to plan operations from behind bars and transfer money to their allies.

 General Musa then blamed the judiciary for freeing terrorists after security operatives have gone all out to arrest them. He also expressed frustration over the delay in the prosecution of arrested suspects, including Boko Haram members.

The CDS said: “I’ve been in the North-East; there are a lot of Boko Haram elements who had been captured and being kept. We have kept them for over five, six years. We, the Armed Forces, cannot prosecute. We can only provide the right protection for them.

 “Another aspect of the judiciary is this, you do all your efforts, you make an arrest, you hand them over, but before you enter your vehicle, the man is released on bail.

“Now, you have risked yourself in doing that, by the time he’s released, he goes to tell his people who you are and your family members, so you are at risk,” the CDS lamented.

What is wrong with this shockingly dysfunctional country?

Jailors collaborating with the jailed. Judges – who are widely despised nowadays – making things worse rather than better. Security personnel wringing their hands and living in fear instead of confidently instilling fear in those who deserve to be terrified.

Things are truly falling apart.

Thought for The Day

While scrolling 

through LinkedIn, I chanced upon a quotation that had been posted by Charmaine Simpson. I don’t know the lady but I “follow” her online because she is a black history guru who always has something interesting or wise to share with her followers.

Her latest gem?

“WE ALL PLACE OURSELVES IN DANGER TO ONE DEGREE OR ANOTHER WHEN WE STAND UP. BUT WE PLACE OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN IN EVEN GREATER DANGER WHEN WE DON’T.”

This observation struck me like a thunderbolt because it is so very true. The average human being across the globe is afraid of taking risks; and since I myself am often far from brave, I understand folks who actively avoid wahala, pain, poverty, ostracism, death or any of the scary stuff that can happen to individuals – or groups – who choose to stand out from the crowd and stand up to be counted.

 There are several excellent reasons for being heroic. The weak and defenceless need to be defended. Injustice needs to be fought. Common criminals, rogues masquerading as politicians and cruel kidnappers, terrorists, bullies, perverts, tribalists, racists, misogynists and homophobes need to be challenged and defeated.

No community or society should allow itself to be hijacked by miscreants. No vulnerable sub-section of the population should suffer or be eliminated because the horrible prejudices of the noisy Many are sadistically deployed against the voiceless Few.

But it is immensely difficult to make yourself unpopular or expose yourself to danger by saying or doing morally correct things that will antagonise the majority or the powerful. It isn’t easy to be a lone voice in the wilderness and to defiantly dance to the beat of a different drum while everyone around you is playing it safe.

Not everyone has what it takes to take a deep breath and shrug and boldly say: “I’m going to speak up or rebel; and if I die, I die.”

We cannot all be as noble as the late great Nelson Mandela, who sacrificed 28 long years of his life to the anti-apartheid cause.

We cannot all be as courageous as the Gentiles who helped Jews escape the Holocaust during Hitler’s evil anti-Semitic reign. Or as courageous as the doctors who are dodging bullets in Gaza in a bid to save innocent babies in Palestinian hospitals that are being targeted by Israeli troops. Or as courageous as the Jews who criticise the Israeli government’s excesses. Or as courageous as Muslims and Arabs who admit that Hamas is a totally toxic organisation.

But cowardice demeans and enslaves and doesn’t even guarantee safety. A lot of ordinary citizens who quietly tolerate or collude with repugnant rulers lose their lives or go through all sorts of nightmares because repugnant rulers are only interested in protecting and promoting the ruling class.

The supine and sycophantic frequently wind up being unrewarded for their compliance. I know many Nigerians who have sucked up to VIPs nonstop for decades but are no richer than those who haven’t.

 And even if ordinary citizens who are allergic to protest somehow manage to survive repugnant rulers, their children and grandchildren will have to deal with the consequences of their unethical passivity.

 Rubbish piles up. Small heaps become big mountains; and one day, the whole sorry mess will come crashing down. Is this really the legacy we want to leave our offspring and unborn descendants?

RESPONSES TO  donzol2002@yahoo.co.uk or to 0805 404 6887. PLEASE KINDLY NOTE THAT UNLESS YOU REQUEST ANONYMITY, YOUR EMAIL OR TEXT MAY BE PUBLISHED WITH YOUR NAME AND CONTACT DETAILS ATTACHED.

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