Thursday, 1st June 2023

Buhari, APC and freedom for the abductees

By Sonnie Ekwowusi
08 June 2022   |   3:23 am
It is obvious that securing the freedom of the abductees of the Abuja-Kaduna bombed-train is not the priority of the APC ruling party. Neither is it a priority of President Buhari nor former Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi nor the APC Presidential aspirants.

President Muhammadu Buhari (Photo by Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP)

It is obvious that securing the freedom of the abductees of the Abuja-Kaduna bombed-train is not the priority of the APC ruling party. Neither is it a priority of President Buhari nor former Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi nor the APC Presidential aspirants. The only priority of President Buhari, the APC ruling party and APC Presidential aspirants at the moment is to re-capture political power in 2023. They have no human feeling for these abductees. I hate to address them as abductees.

They are not unknown abductees: they are our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters and, above all, our brothers and sisters who were victims of the Abuja-Kaduna-train bombing and abduction on March 28 2022 and who have been abandoned to be sorrowing and agonizing in the dungeon of their abductors. Had the Abuja-Kaduna train bombing and abduction occurred, say, anywhere in the western world or even Asia or other parts of the world, the CNN, BBC and the world media including the Nigerian media by now would have been bombarding us with the minute-by-minute analyses about the fate that had befallen the abductees and the efforts being made to secure their freedom. But this is Buhari’s Nigeria where life has become so cheap. This is Buhari’s government where the death and suffering of our fellow Nigerians do not matter to the government.

With great dismay and sorrow, I saw the gory photos of the dismembered bodies of the innocent church worshippers who were killed by terrorists at St. Francis Catholic in Owo, Ondo State last Sunday. These worshippers simply went to church to worship God last Sunday only to be felled by the terrorists’ bullets. Just last week in the Lugbe area of Abuja, a member of the Vigilante Group was stoned to death and set ablaze by Muslim extremists for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed or an Imam. This is Buhari’s Nigeria for you. No progress. We are still awaiting justice for Deborah Samuel who suffered the same tragic fate recently and now they have murdered another person for the same religious reason. Till date, the where-about of the conscience of the nation Leah Sharibu, the little girl who refused to succumb to their force to reject Christianity and embrace Islam, is still unknown. Is Leah Sharibu alive or dead? We don’t know. Contrary to Lai Mohammed’s claims, Leah Sharibu is nowhere to be seen today and the Buhari government will soon quit power.

Why can’t this Buhari government offer the citizens of Nigeria at least a minimum protection of their lives and property?  It is now crystal clear that the APC ruling party has failed on all fronts-politically, economically, socially, culturally, intellectually and morally, security of lives and property-in the last seven years and consequently  must not be re-elected in 2023.  The national grid has collapsed again. The whole country including Abuja is submerged in total darkness.

This APC government is a complete disaster. It has no heart. It has no soul. It lacks human feeling. It lacks imagination. In the early hours of 31st October 2020, six American forces conducted a successful hostage rescue operation in order to rescue Philip Walton, 27, an American citizen who was abducted in Niger Republic and held hostage in Northern Nigeria. No American soldier was injured during the operation to rescue Philip despite the fact that the soldiers were unfamiliar with the Nigerian terrain. At the moment scores of Nigerians are languishing in the dungeon of the bandits and the Buhari government lacks the imagination of what to do to rescue them.

If the government lacks the military know-how and intelligence to rescue our abducted brothers and sisters, why can’t it humbly enlist the services of the American forces who rescued Phillip to come to Nigeria and rescue these brothers and sisters of ours who are being tormented in the bandits’ dungeon? Or, why can’t the Buhari government use the technology at its disposal to rescue them? If the kingpin murderer of the Anambra lawmaker Okechukwu Okoye was recently arrested with the aid of a phone technology, why can’t the Buhari government use the same technology to track down the bandits holding our brothers and sisters in their dungeon? If each of the APC Presidential aspirants could raise N100 million on the spur of the moment to purchase ordinary APC Presidential form, why can’t each of them, out of love for God and man, donate at least N50 million towards erecting a framework of human solidarity for the freedom of our abducted brothers and sisters?

In the last video footage shown to the public by the bandits, we saw some of our suffering brothers and sisters crying to high heavens and begging the Buhari government to come to their assistance before they die in the dungeon of their adductors. A weeping lady abductee complained that she left at home her sicklier son whom she was looking after and was unsure whether he had died or was still alive. Earlier, a pregnant lady abductee was delivered of a baby in the bandits’dungeon.

Nothing could be so moving or more inspiring than these agonizing tales of our brothers and sisters in the dungeon. Only a person with a heart of stone will be unmoved by the plight of our brothers and sisters in the dungeon. The Buhari government should be reminded that the perception of our common humanity dictates that it erects a framework of human solidarity to hearken to the assistance of these our agonizing brothers and sisters. The Buhari government cannot live in its cocoons unmindful of the plight of these brothers and sisters of ours. As many people in the world have been repeating, humanitarianism is a path we must not depart from in our efforts to win the human race. Why? Because humanitarianism goes beyond the confines of existing humanitarian law. Humanitarianism has become an attitude for the individuals and a framework for governments and policy makers. Humanitarianism connects ethics and religious creed to action. Therefore amid man’s inhumanity to man; amid the world of shrinking spaces; amid the of competitive market and high profiteering, amid the world of wars and rumours of wars; we must not forget that our first responsibility to our children and our fellow human beings in this passing world is not to foreclose the options available for them to live a dignified human life and thus fulfill the destiny for which God has created each one o agonizing tales of our brothers and sisters in the dungeon of them.

The APC ruling party and President Buhari have destroyed this country almost beyond repair. Uncountable Nigerians have died owing to frustration due to the economic hardship in the land. The private businesses of many people have collapsed beyond resuscitation. Many sick Nigerians in the hospital have lost all hope of recovering from their illnesses. The country is in darkness at the moment. No electricity supply. No jobs.

The Naira currency has been under a free fall under “President” Godwin Emefiele. The Buhari government which came to power under the mantra of fighting corruption is now corruption personified. We have now seen how many government officials in this Buhari government have been freely carting away billions and trillions of the Naira currency and putting them into their private purses. Kidnappers, bandits, Fulani herdsmen, unknown gunmen, terrorists are lurking at every street corner to kidnap you and I. So, the Nigerian electorate must do everything possible to vote out the APC in 2023. Ditto for the PDP. Both the APC and PDP must be sent packing in 2023.

We must understand that the sovereignty in our constitutional democracy resides with the people not with the APC or the PDP. Nigeria is our collective commonwealth. Therefore no Presidential aspirant has the right to conceive Nigeria as his personal fiefdom. No Presidential aspirant has the right to treat Nigerians as his personal chattels. Nigeria shall be free in 2023.