-By Ed Chukwuemeka Otuchikere
“The falcon cannot hear the falconer……….
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity..”
From the poem ‘The Second coming’ by W.B Yeats
The festering insecurity and utter disregard for written and unwritten treaties on the application of principles of Federal Character may easily be the Achilles heels of the current All Progressives’ Congress (APC) led Federal Government of Nigeria.
The nepotistic proclivity of the administrative structure of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB)-led government has exposed the frailties and the latent fracture lines that have overtime developed within the matrix and body polity of the Nigerian nation. Since the inception of this regime, the body language and pronouncement of the ruling class has been more divisive than ever. This is made worse by leadership apathy and lack of sincerity and creativity on the part of those in authority. These moderate fractures have been further exacerbated to reveal gaping shifts of sheer tectonic dimensions.
The prognosis is ominous as the main actors are playing coy with dire and dangerous threats to the continuous existence of the nation as we know it today. That this administration’s policies are skewed to promote ethnic and tribal domination is no longer news. In his infamous 95% and 5% speech PMB cleared all doubts that he is an incurable and unapologetic ethnic champion. The tilting and annexation of state power and control into the hands of a few elements from a particular provenance has only amplified the differences between the various federating ethnic nationalities beyond tolerance limits to such a point as never experienced prior to the civil war in 1967.
To say the Nigerian state is adrift in a rudderless mode may be stating the obvious. The socio-economic indicators are dipping south and really not looking good. Insecurity and the pervasive insensitivity of the political and the ruling elites is indicative of people deficient of ideas and who have totally lost control of the apparatus of statecraft and thereby surrendered the initiative to ethnic defenders such as Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho among others.
Boko Haram, bandits and other terror merchants are sparring with duly constituted state authorities at the negotiation table. Boldly reeling out their demands and conditions for peace and order, while at the other end Hisbah police, Amotekun and lately the Eastern Security Network (ESN) are all running parallel security organisations in the name of enforcement of law and order within regional borders. It is obvious that the state has failed to do the right thing, seemingly overwhelmed by the depth and scope of the security challenges. From the above, you can quite easily extrapolate that there is a major structural and ideological disconnect between the people and the leaders.
Most of the state governors, especially in northern Nigeria, appear brow beaten and left with little option than negotiate or relinquish authority to bandits. Bandits and terror groups are emboldened by the ease with which they invade and annex communities with little or no resistance from the military formations strongly believed to be low on morals and motivation. Border towns and communities in Zamfara, Katsina and Borno states seem to be most impacted. The last Kankara abduction of over 300 pupils readily comes to mind. Kidnapping appears to be the main focus of these terrorists. Kidnapping is traditionally regarded as the ‘blue-collar’ faculty of the crime world; it has become highly proliferated as it appears to be the ‘new’ cash cow of the Nigerian underworld. Ransoms are demanded and paid in a seamless manner. Arrest and prosecution of these criminals are almost a rarity.
Those manning our security architecture appear clueless as routine tracking technology is never deployed in the fight against criminals. They always seem to favour obsolete and traditional methods whenever they can break away from their lerthargic disposition. It is provocative that scores of Nigerians are murdered regularly without any well defined and articulated policy for containment.
These structural defects and deficiencies demand application of emergency correction factors otherwise collapse is imminent. Playing the ostrich will only postpone the evil day. Unfortunately, no serious discernable engagement has been initiated by this administration as the underlying challenges cannot be merely wished away. What has been constantly propagated around is blaming insecurity on either foreign interference from the Sahaelian renegades and people from the Maghreb. However, the speed with which key government actors advocate for integration of these people as repentant insurgents leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
Unless more radical approach is adopted by government, Nigeria is seating at the very brink of the precipice and may well be heading for the last crash.
Otuchikere, is an entrepreneur & social commentator. He can be reached on :email@example.com