INSECURITY AND AMNESTY: A JOLLY RIDE TO LAWLESSNESS

PrtScr capture_4 (6)

ABDUL FATTAH ADEBAJO ADEKUNLE, LAW, 100 LEVEL

Winner of the 1434AH superior pen writing competition

[Published on pages 38 and 39 of Adh-Dhikr Magazine, February, 2014]

Written: several months back…

At times, I wonder how it is that we find ourselves in the current predicament. What have we done or failed to do as a nation that causes us to deserve this ‘punishment’? Are Nigerians that distinct from those in other lands, that we are bedevilled with insecurity?

It is quite demoralising that, today, the word ‘Nigeria’ is coterminous and equated with fear, insecurity and loss of lives. Nigeria is, today, a no man’s land. No tourist wishes to see our mouth-watering cultural artefacts. No company holder dares attempt to extend his investment to Nigeria. In fact, the ones already here are, so to say, running for their dear lives. That is not all; presidents and government officials now publicly announce their apprehension in paying Nigeria a visit. A quintessential instance is the recent case whereby President Obama of the United States visited African nations such as Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and deliberately put Nigeria aside.

The pivotal genesis of their lugubrious status-quo is not far-fetched. It all started with militant activities in the Niger-Delta region, which perhaps was made possible during the civil war of 1967-1970 that left myriad arms in the hands of individuals. As an offshoot, we also have innumerable cases of high-profile kidnappings; those being most rampant in the South East and South West on the other hand are infamous for harbouring petty thieves and notorious armed robbers. With the intervention of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua’s regime, the militants in the Niger-Delta, and activities of MEND were considerably checked. This was mainly due to the introduction of amnesty, which is a process in which violent individuals are disarmed in exchange for education, employment or wealth. This recession brought untold joy unto the hearts of Nigerians, but little did we know that we are yet to get to the end of the beginnings of the burdensome quest.

In 2009, a group popularly referred to as Boko-Haram came into the limelight. Jama’atul Ahlis-Sunna lidda’awati wal-jihad (Boko-Haram) is believed to have originated from the activities of Maitatsine in the 1970s and 80s. its fame also rose when Mallam Alli was heading it around 1995. Thereafter, he passed the leadership to Muhammad Yusuf, a radical whose extra-judicial death in 2009 gave rise to the blood thirsty side of Boko-Haram and the death of more than 10,000 Nigerians – most of the innocent.

The federal government has for too long a time turned a blind eye to the activities of the sect, allegedly because some of the members have rich backgrounds with links to top government officials. However when the situation appears to be getting out control, albeit it never was in control; the government deemed it fit to offer a friendly arm to the sect; taking as precedent the Niger-Delta militants saga. This offer was, sadly and unexpectedly, harshly turned down, with the remarks that it is the government that actually needs amnesty.

Relentless, President Goodluck Jonathan shows that he is still ‘on top of the situation’ by putting to use another trick up his sleeve, a declaration of the state of emergency. This he did on May 14, 2013 in four states of the federation including Adamawa, Bornu and Yobe states. He imposed a 24-hour curfew in these states and sent thousands of military personnel, with the aim of fishing out and crushing the sect members. In addition, telecommunication and GSM were disabled to disorganise the sect. despite the strict measures, we still hear incidents of bombing (of religious institutions and market places); a very fresh case is the killing of juveniles in Yobe by setting a school ablaze. Up to 20 people were reportedly killed. Those who fled from the inferno were shotdown in cold blood. This is to point out that, truly, no real progress have been made.

All said and done, what can we say is the panacea to this precarious situation? The answer to this is very simple, but the implementation, not quite so. Indubitably, the root cause of Boko-Haram and other shapes insecurity is taking in Nigeria is simple and straightforward: poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. In the case of Nigeria, these are most obtainable in the North.

At this juncture, it would be apt to cite one of the remarks of a famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle – he said: ‘poverty is the parent of revolution and violence’. A hungry man does not think of anything but his hunger; and an idle hand, they say, is the devil’s workshop. The only rational explanation for a case in which a teenager in Lagos killed another individual with a knife for 10,000 naira is poverty.

I hereby submit that no level of military expedition or amnesty can salvage us from our predicament; Muhammad Yusuf was able to gain supporters and disciples because people were ignorant and because he strongly preached against corruption and police brutality. Thus, if we must restore sanity, safety and self-dignity in this nation we must set out to tackle corruption, fight illiteracy, and combat poverty with all available means, lest the aftermath becomes ineluctable: a jolly ride to lawlessness.

Advertisements

ON ‘MAMA PEACE’ AND HER ‘PEACEFUL’ BLUNDERS

0

I must confess, many times in the past, I have thought them exaggerations, all the viral posts on social media that supposedly point out the shameful grammatical blunders or hilarious outbursts of Mrs Patience Dame Jonathan, alias Mama Peace, the first lady and wife of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Nigeria.

However, after seeing for myself a recent video in which she literally humiliated herself on national TV, I might just believe any remark credited to her henceforth. It may not even be out of place to suggest that a separate set elections be conducted  for the office of the First Lady in subsequent elections; or that there be a constitutional provision for both a ‘first lady; kitchen’, and ‘first lady; publicity’. 🙂

Here is a transcript of her most recent outburst [or ’emotional display’ as put by Channels TV].The words in bold are her words, while others aren’t.


Do you come with two teachers?

No [comes the reply].

You were not informed too? Ehn?

Continue. No problem. God will see us. There is God. [With a raised voice], there is God in everything we are doing. Those bloods, that are sharing in Bornu, will answer … What of two teachers, WAEC, two teacher, two, ehn what of two teachers that can tell us that they conducted that exam? Do you come with any? ‘Prispal’?

Ma [says Principal].

No too?

Yes [replies Principal].

Na only you waka come, okay …[Again, raising her voice], now the first lady is calling you, come, I want to help you. Come to find your pa…, your child, your missing child. Will you keep quiet?

Nooo [All murmur in unison].

Chai! Chai! There is God o! Theeere is Good ooo! The bloods we are sharing, there is God o. [Crying now], there is God o, there is God o, there is God. Theeere is Good o, eeeee [crying loudly, clearing tears with handkerchief].

Please can you change your camera [says a male voice from the back].

 


THESE ARE SOME OF HER PAST UTTERANCES ACCORDING TO NEWSINNIGERIA.ORG

Can’t vouch for the veracity of most of them though.

1. My husband and Sambo is a good people (Imagine)

2. The President was once a child and the senators were once a children.

3. My fellow widows.

4. A good mother takes care of his children.

5. The people sitting before you were once a children.

6. Yes we are all happy for the effort, it is not easy to carry second in an international competition like this one,(addressing press men after Female Under-19 FIFA World Cup).

7. The bombers who born them? Wasn’t it not a woman? They were once a children now a adult now they are bombing women and children making some children a widow.

8. My heart feels sorry for these children who have become widows for losing their parents for one reason or another.

9. We should have love for our fellow Nigerians irrespective of their NATIONALITY

10. Thank God the Doctors and Nurses are responding to treatment.

11. I would rather kill myself instead of committing suicide.

12. Ojukwu is a great man, he died but his manhood lives on.

13. On behalf of 2million, I donate my family.

14. Why will boko haram bomb last churches on christmas day, they don’t have respect for Jesus, they are a very bad person, in fact I’m a sadder woman right now and Mr.President is more saddest.

15. We all have HIV.