The late maximum ruler and former Head of State, Gen Sani Abacha once said: ‘If insurgency lasts in any country more than two weeks, then the government must have hands in it”. If this statement is taken to be a statement of fact, then President Goodluck Jonathan’s government has every reason to be held liable for the callous and senseless killings in northern Nigeria by the Boko Haram.
As terrible as late General Abacha was with the impression that he never did anything right as a former Head of State, this statement could be a pointer to the fact that his government is far better than the present one in terms of respect for the sanctity of human lives.
Any reasonable person will agree with Abacha’s statement considering the way the United States quickly tamed terrorism in its shores after the September 11, 2001 attack on it by Al Qaeda terrorists. The country deployed all machinery of state to put the menace at bay, rather than politicising it, the way the PDP-led government has done with the murder of thousands of Nigerians.
Apart from the fact that the American government succeeded in rallying the citizens to support the fight against this venomous group, it ensured that it exterminated the leaders of the cell group, led by Osama Bin Laden. The then President George Bush did not brand the opposition Democrats as the mastermind of the attack.
Human Rights Lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo lent credence to Gen Abacha’s submission in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, 7th March, 2015, where he addressed the All Progressives Youths during their Summit. Keyamo as a guest speaker accused President Jonathan and the Service Chiefs of profiting from the killings of innocent Nigerians.
Keyamo said: “At a time they said the Boko Haram has agreed to a cease-fire truce, only for them to strike the second day and kill innocent Nigerians. It was later we got to know that it was President Jonathan that asked them to make such delusive statement.
“When they knew that this attempt had failed, they later said the leader of the Boko Haram group, Abubakar Shekau had been killed along the Cameroonian border. Only recently, Mr. President told the Service Chiefs to arrest Shekau alive before March 28 elections. Nigerians should then ask Mr. President that which Shekau did they kill the other time”, the human right lawyer said.
At the last count, over 22,000 innocent Nigerians had been mowed down in their primes by the Boko Haram. One wonders why a country that is being considered as the biggest African nation could have waited and allowed such pogrom to go on unabated against its own people.
The dreaded cell did not only decimate the Nigerian population, they acquired a large portion of the Nigerian state spanning over 25 Local Government Areas in three State of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, where they successfully carved out a Republic for themselves and hoisted Boko Haram flags as a no-go-area for Nigerians. This has been like that since 2010.
I don’t want to believe that Boko Haram’s might in terms of being in possession of sophisticated weaponry is responsible for its seeming invincible presence in the country neither do I believe that the incapability on the part of the Nigeria Army brought about the continued killings and ruining of our economy in the North. I could predicate this on leadership failure and nothing more.
President Jonathan has misled this country so much in the name of trying to be counted as a nice President. A president can only be nice if he can attend to all the needs of its citizens. You can only be nice when you give them good employment, run the economy better than your predecessors, give them stable power supply, good roads and many other welfarist programmes.
The President started playing to the gallery when the October 1, 2010 bomb blast occurred in Abuja. Shortly after the blast, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, led by Henry Okah, who is now in a South African jail having been convicted for terrorism, claimed responsibility for the attack. Rather than for President to act fast and bring the perpetrators to book, he even exonerated the group, saying they were not responsible.  This could only mean the country is having a weak and clueless presidency.
It was evident with the disposition of President Jonathan, Okah and his ilk would have been moving freely on the streets but for the involvement of stricter South Africa, a country that has values for human lives and its citizens.
Aside this, when the Boko Haram group reared its ugly head, the PDP-led Federal Government went all hog to tag the opposition as the mastermind of the attack. He was then erroneously latching on the statement allegedly made by Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari that he would make the country ungovernable if the PDP rigged the 2011 elections. Rather than go for the real masterminds, they were tagging and branding the innocent man as the sponsor of the group.
As things stand today, Nigerians are still in abeyance on whether the general elections would hold as rescheduled or not. Just on Saturday, March 7, over 50 persons were killed in Borno State. This came at a time when the Service Chiefs claimed that virtually all the seized territories have been recovered.
But I am still astounded about how the Nigeria Army is now winning the war it has failed to curtail in five years? Could it be that somebody somewhere is profiting from the senseless killings? Or can we conclude that the involvement of the Chadian Army brought about the seeming victory?
If all the foregoing are correct, then the country would have to embrace the coming national re-birth. This renaissance can only take place through elections and not through barrels of gun. I plead with Nigerians to vote for change in the March 28 presidential poll and Major Gen Buhari symbolizes this Change.