Dr UCHE DIALA
In my piece a few years back titled ‘WHEN BLOOD BECOMES THE POLITICAL CAPITAL’, I tried to x-ray Insecurity in Nigeria. I took a trip down memory lane of how insecurity in Nigeria has endured, evolved and metamorphosized over the decades from Administration to Administration, especially since the return to civilian rule in 1999.
I ended that piece with the dire conclusion that “blood has become the political capital in Nigeria” and I opined that until and unless that sadistic practice is stopped, insecurity will persist in Nigeria. It will only change geographical location, nature, scope and dramatis personae, depending on who occupies the seat of power in Aso Rock.
I further stated and do restate that dealing with that sad reality will not be a tea party or the duty of any particular government or individual in power, but that can only be achieved by first a collective recognition of that fact and then a resolve by the generality of Nigerians across tribe, creed and political persuasion to end it.
Insecurity has become a huge industry in Nigeria with politicians and their counterparts in holy and unholy, low and high places deeply entrenched and invested in the industry as their only way to either get or sustain power or their way to illicit wealth and livelihood. Any genuine attempt to fight corruption and sanitize the polity leads to even more desperation on the part of these dramatis personae.
I have said severally that we cannot shoot our way out of these security challenges militarily alone. There needs to be a potpourri of solutions and approaches in addition to the military actions for which I suggested greater and reinvigorated efforts at winning the hearts and minds of Nigerians and national ethics and values orientation and reorientation.
Surely, addressing the issue of insecurity in Nigeria will go way beyond loud noises on social and traditional media. As a matter of fact these make the situation worse because it plays right into the hands of the terrorists, bandits, criminals and their sponsors. It feeds into their need for publicity which by the way is the only ‘victory’ they seek. Apart from financial benefits (depending on the motive), the only ‘victory’ terrorists and like criminals need is a ‘propaganda victory’. They are not looking for any real territorial conquest as would say a national military. Therefore the more opprobrium their few and far between opportunistic and cowardly attacks on soft targets attract against the authorities, the more successful they think they are and the happier, pushing the successes of the State and our Military to the background or oblivion.
So when they are able to get citizens either by our words or actions to rise against our Leaders and our Military, no matter how committed or successful the Military is, they count it a victory and are emboldened to do more of such. This is exemplified a lot in our words and response to any cowardly act by the terrorists or criminals by whatever name called.
Take for instance, the recent opportunistic and cowardly attack on a school in Katsina state. While it ought to unquestionably raise a lot of anger and heartbreak amongst us and rightly so, it is curiously interesting how much of the anger and abuse are not directed at the hoodlums and agents of darkness who have made the sowing of terror, sorrow, tears and blood their lives’ work but rather against our security agents and even the President.
Imagine that the 200+ Million or whatever number of good and Godly Nigerians there are, in all our famed religiousity rise in unison, in righteous anger and pray against and curse these agents of darkness, even as we demand more from our Leaders and Security agents, because faith without good works is dead? Just imagine for a moment.
The truth is, there is no way we can make any reasonable headway as a nation; on the many issues we have to contend with as a nation, with rabid emotions. Compassion and Empathy are different from rabid Emotions. Sadly the later is what I see more of rather than the former two.
It does seem to me that many of us (for varied reasons) are eager to announce and trend news about insecurity. Not always the positive news though but the not-so-positive ones, as if in a desperation to prove a point. One wonders why so.
My worry is not just about what we are passing through today security wise. My real worry is that I am almost certain it will continue long after Buhari is done and gone as President if nothing practical and pragmatic is done and fast too. First, for the very reasons I stated above – blood has become our political capital and then simply because of our attitude. We love sensationalism, grandstanding and noise making and we never dig deep into the issues.
Sadly these are exactly what those perpetrating these heinous crimes thrive on. They relish them and we feed them with these in abundance. So do not expect anything to change until we change our style and attitude towards serious national issues.
As we wish the best for victims of insecurity in the land, including those who have paid the ultimate price and pray for more wisdom for our leaders and greater victory and protection for our Military, let us spare a thought as to how our collective actions and inactions as citizens are helping to fuel insecurity in the nation and its endurance to our collective detriment.
God Bless Nigeria.
Dr Diala, is Convener, Nigeria Patriots Call. firstname.lastname@example.org