Nigeria: Sitting On a Keg of Gunpowder

29 January 2020

Nigerians must be pretty annoying to their rulers. Like obnoxious spectators pretending to know better than those on the field of play, people outside the corridors of power tend to act as if they know better. Of course they don't. Bob Marley was right - who feels it knows it!

Imagine the obsolescence of suggesting to President Buhari to sack the service chiefs in whom he is well pleased. From their broken armchairs, unpaid advisors believe that the service chiefs are working outside their best before date. That is seditious insolence.

Our president, now an unapologetic general knows what it takes to mint four-stars. Once a four star, you don't wear out, you remain a reservist till death calls you home. President Buhari knows the damage a group of disgruntled four-stars could do on the pseudo-democratic lane. It happened before and lightning strikes more than once. Dropping stars on your way to Eldorado could leave pitch your firmament and make the road ahead impassable even for Google navigator.

To those losing breadwinners and loved ones to the technically defeated insurgents, peace is more than just a word on paper. It is an elusive price.

Let us agree with Femi Adesina that having people beheaded is better than bombs going off in every corner of the city. While it is not a consolation fit for the family of Lawan Andimi, it is consolation for those who have sold their conscience to the expedient riches of the moment. Remember - who feels it knows it.

To Adesina, we must congratulate the parents of Leah Sharibu. They have just become grandparents to a dog who raped their sunshine's future with devilish braggadocio. In their place, Adesina, a pastor, would send invites for a Sunday thanksgiving. He'll be telling invites that he is luckier than the family of Hauwa Liman who was slaughtered two years ago for helping victims of the insurgency. Definitely, what throws families into perpetual depression is reason for thanksgiving for Adesina and the regime he represents in safe and secured Aso Rock.

Before I am accused of hate speech, President Goodluck Jonathan prepared us for these days. He asked us to get used to terrorism as a global phenomenon. It is a Pentecostal way of saying; it is our portion for being members of the Commonwealth of Condemned Societies. Afghanistan lives there, so does Iraq and Libya to mention a few.

It was expedient in those to denigrate President Jonathan's painful truth. Those were the days when campaign organizers reminded us how Sani Abacha quipped that an insurgency that lasts more than three months was an inside job. Those who must live long away from detention cells must suffer selective amnesia.

With the shoes on the foot of Jonathan's opponents, embracing his wife is a surviving amulet. Today, every Nigerian living in country is married to patience as they face slaughter. Roads have been taken over by kidnappers. Where rail is available, even four stars embrace it with their potbellies. Twice last week, those who escaped being nabbed on the roads were snatched at the railway station.

In Nigeria, only the rulers sleep in peace. For their ardent followers, it is a miracle to leave home in the morning in the hope of a safe return in the evening. Kidnappers don't care if a victim's family have been paid the minimum wage, if they don't get their demand, people die and needlessly too. Those who make it home have no guaranteed rest of a peaceful night. We all live on a wing and a prayer.

Our IG must be pitied. The 'service' he inherited is demoralized. It is called first to protect those that matter most - the political class. Those ones do not travel alone - they need orderlies, they need convoys; their wives and children need protection until they make enough to fly their personal jets or granted access to the presidential jet. Yes, the commander-in-chief has power to sign off on any of the dozen jets at his disposal. They could go for anything from photo shoots by our award-winning photographer daughter or any loyalist of the First Race. Pray, why can't the poor stay in one place? Why do they roam the streets to be used as target practice by robbers, victims of kidnappers or armed insurgents? One never knows the answers to these puzzling questions.

Our gallant troops are being burnt from both sides. Python dance may mean nothing to us who live in urban jungles. We who were born in the ghettoes have never seen a crocodile smile. But boots on the ground have to decode these things. Maiduguri is burning. Yobe is feeling the heat and the tremor reverberates up to Adamawa and Jos, but our troops must go to fly the flag of peace in Guinea. Whoever survives in Plateau can wait.

Blessed are those who still have a place they could call home. Thousands or perhaps millions are displaced - unwilling almajirai. They live in and with their trauma like zombies. Far from the psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health workers they need to navigate this phase of their lives. Living on the diet of hope of being returned to normal. For the children born in these abandoned camps, the abnormal is the only normal they'll know. A life where life is lived Darwinically. The big fishes swallow the small ones to survive. Survivors become calamities waiting to blight the future of our collective. Here we are busy playing survivors - sitting on a keg of social gunpowder.

The psychosocial impact of war is a festering sore that manifests decades after the guns have fallen silent. There'll be hungry mouths to feed, the homeless needing shelter; free arms to ramp up; but we are playing the ostrich, sitting on a keg of gunpowder. Thankfully, when it explodes, Buhari and his crew would no longer be here to take the blame. So, why blame his unconscionable spokesmen?

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Trust

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 800 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.