Leadership failure fuels insecurity
Sir: The violent events happening in Nigeria now can be likened to the political conflicts, which engulfed Nigeria in the mid-1960s, and resulted in the Nigeria -Biafra civil war. At that time, the Igbo people, who were accused of trying to impose Igbo political hegemony on the peoples of Nigeria were pitted against the rest of Nigeria. The Nigerian civil war was waged to keep Nigeria as one united country. But, sadly, today, we are witnessing an ugly re-enactment of those things that sparked off the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.
Nigeria, today, is perching precariously on the precipice as Nigerians are being gruesomely killed by Boko Haram insurgents, bandits — blood-thirsty herdsmen, and the unknown gunmen for committing no crime other than being Nigerians.
The country has lost thousands of her citizens to the asymmetrical wars, which are being waged against her by terrorists and other groups.
However, it is inconceivable that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is reputed for his valiant deeds during his stint in the military, couldn’t solve Nigeria’s security challenges. His half-hearted, and non-committal approach to issues, have caused our security challenges. He hasn’t made public the names of the sponsors of terror deeds, not to talk of their being arrested and prosecuted for treasonous offences. And he has continued to treat the issue of herders’ menace with kid gloves. Instead of ensuring that the so-called repentant bandits and Boko Haram insurgents, whose hands are dripping with blood, are put on trial, he appears to be disposed to granting them amnesty. But he used extra-ordinary rendition to bring back the proscribed IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, to Nigeria, and hounded another secessionist, Sunday Adeyemo into Benin Republic, where he is being detained for violating that country’s immigration laws.
The marginalisation of Igbo people in Nigeria’s scheme of things is the reason the Igbo people have started romanticising the idea of having the sovereign state of Biafra. And, in the north, millions of out-of-school children, who are impressionable, are being recruited into the Boko Haram group. Our political leaders do not have pragmatic economic policies on how to lift millions of impoverished Nigerians out of the dungeon of poverty. Many state governors have failed to provide quality leadership to the people so as to better their lot in life and improve their living conditions.
To douse the rising political tension in Nigeria, obliterate banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in the north, and reduce the tempo of the clamour for secession in our country, President Buhari should change tact and his leadership style. He should have a pan-Nigerian vision and make Nigeria an egalitarian state, where everybody has equal rights and opportunities to realise his or her potential.
Chiedu Uche Okoye, a poet, wrote from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.