With the reality starring us in the face, the life of Leah Sharibu is now more at danger than at no other time since her abduction in February. The fact that the blood-thirsty Islamist sect, Boko Haram, has come out to openly declare that she would be a “slave for life” means that anything can happen. At the wake of the brutal murder last Monday of 24-year-old midwife, Hauwa Liman, apprehension grew over the safety of Leah, a prisoner of Faith, who has been languishing in the Boko Haram den since her abduction from a Government Girls’ Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State. When the news of Hauwa’s murder broke, one thing that came to my mind was the manner of her death. Was her throat slashed; was she gunned down or how? These questions arose from the fact that I know what these vampires are capable of doing. Those who have watched the video “Anatomy of killing”, how some Cameroonian soldiers mercilessly killed some hapless women as unraveled by the BBC would attest to the fact that some humans have lost their humanity. Those who followed the killings in Benue, Plateau and Kaduna states in recent times saw how the Fulani herdsmen made a mince meat of their victims. Some of the victims had their heads ripped opened in several places; some had their eye balls gouged out and so many other dehumanising ways such massacres were carried out. A statement by the International Community of Red Cross (ICRC) said that the young lady was killed by her captors “in a despicable act of cruelty.” Nothing less could be expected of the nature of death of hapless young women in the hands of ravening wolves! But my major trouble in all of this is that it appears that the Nigerian government is living a lie. Several months back, government said that Boko Haram had been “technically defeated”, but since that pronouncement, the country has continued to go through psychological trauma. Although the attacks are no longer widespread, they have been deadly and more painful. A relation of mine who is a soldier, currently fighting the needless war in Borno, tells of some harrowing experiences of our young soldiers in the Boko Haram war. Nigeria is daily losing many youths to this unfortunate war. With what the Federal Government has said, it appears there is no hope for successful rescue of Leah or any of the numerous other girls still in the Islamist sect’s captivity. As it is now, it appears that no one is remembering the over 100 Chibok girls still being held, among the over 200 young women abducted in April 2014. Last Monday, following the news of Hauwa’s murder, President Muhammadu Buhari openly confessed that government’s efforts to save her life proved abortive. But the President wanted a standing ovation, or so it seemed, from the Nigerian citizens that he spoke to Mr. Liman, Hauwa’s father, to commiserate with him. What a great achievement! These are the statements that have killed the faith and confidence of many Nigerians in their government. If a government could publicly admit that it can no longer guarantee the safety of citizens it means that everyone is on his own. Little wonder then many Nigerian citizens prefer to take dangerous risks to cross to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, by boat to staying back in their own country. That’s why they prefer to be treated like slaves and preyed upon in Libya and other places just to escape the hellish condition at home where government stands akimbo while enemy-hawks steal away citizens. How did we get to this sorry state?
Fayose: So, why all the ‘garagara’?
When last Tuesday, Ayodele Fayose, immediate past governor of Ekiti State, staged a drama in Abuja, at the gate of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), office, sporting a T-shirt with an inscription, ‘EFCC, here I am’, he created an impression of a man who was under persecution and whose image was being unnecessarily impugned by the Commission. Before that day, the EFCC had issued a threat that it would come for Fayose as soon as the immunity expired, over sundry corruption allegation against him. The then governor had replied to the EFCC that they would not need to come but to wait for him as he would voluntarily turn himself in to them. That was exactly what he did. He went with a retinue of supporters and personal lawyers including Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN). He had dramatised the visit, a scene that could win an award in Nollywood cycles. But beyond the drama, the EFCC insists that Fayose indeed has some queries to answer how he came about his choice houses in choice cities in the country. The Commission has come out with a list of some of such houses. Now, if Fayose knew his hands are not all that clean as alleged, why the drama? Did he want to intimidate the Commission and demonise the Buhari administration? One would have expected that his cupboard would be clean enough without any skeleton, to justify the grandstanding. Or is there anything he knows that the public is not aware of? Some observers alleged that he put up the drama in Abuja to steal the show going on in Ado-Ekiti at the same time. Fayose, as the out-going governor (as at that Tuesday) was supposed to be part of the event in his state, handing over power legitimately to KayodeFayemi his successor, and urging the Ekiti people to cooperate with the new government. But he chose to stage another programme in Abuja that even received more attention than the new beginning that was dawning in his home state. If at the end of the day, the EFCC is able to genuinely nail Fayose, it would then mean that people in power must be watched very closely, but if the contrary is the case, it is not just a victory for Fayose, it is a huge minus for the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and an everlasting scar on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
As it was in the days of Jonathan…
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) appears to be on heat. Since the emergence of a former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the broom party has become paranoid. Utterances from the principal actors in the party and their body language appear to indicate that it is trying to clutch at anything to obtain the favour of Nigerians “whom it had pierced” in more ways than one in the last three-and-half years. Those who were here in 2015, particularly a few months to the presidential election, could attest to loss of composure by President Goodluck Jonathan. He was seen running from pillar to post, virtually relocating to Lagos to enable him meet with the elders and traditional rulers. He did meet with many, in many ways, but because what had been written had been written, all those efforts amounted to nothing at the end of the day. This seems to be the point we are now. The APC appears to be doing everything to win back the favour of Nigerians that was lavished on the party in 2015, but it appears that whatever it does now irritates the people. One of the ways the party is worsening its chances is by its continuous attack on opponents. Nigerians know all the candidates, it is vain to continue to attack the personality of the opponents rather than dwell on issues. Every passing day, the APC reels out list of sins of opponents, this can hardly win any sympathy, what I think can work is by tendering unreserved apology to the Nigerian people for the injuries inflicted on them in the name of change, and then tell them how you intend to be of good behaviour if you have another opportunity to come to power in 2019. If the power that be thinks that the use of coercion, intimidation and brute force can bring them back to power, it is left to be seen. Some of us who feel the pulse of the ordinary fellow Nigerians in public buses, markets, by-ways, worship places, motor parks, etc, can testify that there is bitterness out there. But whether this bitterness will reflect in voting pattern in 2019 can only be categorically said by those with Nostradamus gift of seeing tomorrow from today.
Okotie, what seest thou?
You know it has become necessary to ask some questions over Chris Okotie’s insistence that he was the anointed person to bring the country out of the woods. There could have been no controversy if he said he was destined to do this through the pulpit, but the worries are that he insists it must be through political engagement. In the last few months, the cleric has been trumpeting his desire to seize power through a consensus arrangement; he claimed that he had received a divine endorsement to that effect but wondered why leaders of the two biggest political parties in the country have not seen divine leading to do just that. The General Overseer of the Household of God Church, Okotie, may have forgotten that there is no country where power is given on a platter. It is not served ala carte; it is struggled for. But why must Okotie be using the name of God each time he claims he wants power? He has done this repeatedly yet nothing has happened and we know that God does not lie. It is either that he is not seeing these things clearly or he needs a second touch. You know, when Christ was in his healing ministry, he had touched the eyes of a blind man and asked him if he “saw ought”. The man responded that he saw men as trees walking. So, it took a second touch by Christ to make him see very clearly. May be, Pastor Okotie may need a second touch in this wise to know if he “seest ought”.
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