“Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.” Mark Twain
The insidious killings and proliferating insecurity constitute not only a national dilemma that needs actions, but it also demonstrates a collapse of the security architecture of the country, lackadaisical attitude of leadership towards the well-being of her citizens and glaring divorce of government from its people.
At a time like this in the annals of our Country, we need to consciously promulgate loyalty to Country, above anything else; either political, religious, social or cultural, and mobilize compatriots to rise up to the challenge and salvage what is left of our dear Country. However, it is noted that, Citizen’s loyalty can be freely given when they are guaranteed to their safety, well-being, and respect for their fundamental civic rights by constituted authorities. Again, this administration has made more citizens feel Insecure, deprived, and denied the freedom that democracy ensures as enshrined in our constitution. Now is a better time to rise up and speak the truth to power, regardless.
The thousands of citizens lost by the Nigerian state in the last four years is more than what was experienced between 2014-15 when the Boko Haram insurgency was at its apogee. Although, reviewing and improving security architectures is ideally a continuum, the commitment of the present administration at strengthening national security apparatus is arguably problematic and questionable. Nigeria is gradually becoming a cosmopolitan cemetery, where the death of human beings is no longer news, but now seen as a norm!
Reflect on this record of killings in a span of about five (5) months: On the 21st May 2019 in Kaura Namoda, Zamfara State, 23 innocent lives lost. On the 9th June 2019 in Maru, Zamfara State, 16 innocent lives lost. On the 8th and 9th June 2019 in Rabah, Sokoto State, 25 innocent lives lost. On the 9th June 2019 in Satiru, Sokoto State, 18 innocent lives lost. On the 9th June 2019 in Shiroro, Niger State, 47 lives lost. On the 14th June 2019 in Shinkafi, Zamfara State, 34 lives lost. On the 16th January 2019 in Guma, Benue State, number of lives lost are still unknown. On the 28th January 2019 in Zamfara State, 7 lives lost. On the 4th February 2019 in Zamfara State, 26 lives lost. On the 10th to 11th February 2019 in Kajuru, Kaduna State, 141 lives lost. On the 20th February 2019 Ebete, Agatu, Kaduna State, 17 lives lost. On the 26th February 2019 in Karamai, Kajuru, Kaduna State, 40 lives lost. On the 2nd March 2019 in Gwer West, Benue State, 16 lives lost. On the 7th March 2019 Bassa, Kogi State, 20 lives lost. On the 10th March 2019 in Angwan Barde, Kajuru, Kaduna State, 35 lives lost. On the 10th March 2019 in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, 17 lives lost. On the 11th March 2019 in Maro, Kajuru, Kaduna State, 52 lives lost. On the 16th March 2019 in Nandu-Gbok, Sanga LGA, Kaduna State, 10 lives lost. On the 17th March 2019 in Biase, Cross Rivers State, 4 lives lost. On the 19th March 2019 in Guma, Benue State, 10 lives lost. On the 19th May 2019 in Khana, Rivers State, 5 lives lost. On the 26th May 2019 in Jos North, Plateau State, 5 lives lost.
Have we become a people without compassion? Have we become a people who places no value on human lives? Have we become a people who places political bias over National good? Have we become a people who have elected to stand by individuals over our own country? Have we become a people who care less about the future of our dear country? Have we become a people who are more loyal to the plate on our table than the security of human lives and property? Have we become a people who have another Country? Have we become a people too timid to demand justice, equity and fairness?
That nearly all these dastardly acts against humanity have not been resolved and perpetuated brought to book is suspect. Insecurity, senseless killings, violence, abuse of fundamental principles of democracy, gross violation of human rights and all other forms of distasteful happenings are at an all time high in our dear Country, bar none. Now add multidimensional poverty to this mix, gosh!
The unanswered questions continue to remain: does the government prefer to be “consoler in chief” on happenings that could be prevented? Does the current administration expect Nigerians to remain silent and trust their capacity to protect them? These questions obviously have answers conspicuously evidenced as actions all over the country. The Buhari administration’s passivity towards the increasing security challenges gradually drags Nigeria to a brink. With the mobilization of citizens to demand a “new order” predicated on the non-responsiveness to the security of Nigerians to guarantee their betterment could portend a grave danger.
As a matter of factly, Leaders must ask themselves the legacy that they want to leave for posterity. While loyalty is required, the precedence that is set for the future determines the fate of the country. Government and security actors need to take initiative and be responsible for providing improved security, create a conducive atmosphere that allows for the practice of true democracy, dissuade itself from citizen suppression and oppression, and facilitate trust-building opportunities by making governance accountable to the governed. We need to stop burying Nigerians who die from occurrences that are easily preventable if actors do not subvert security and deteriorate the possibilities for thriving.
True patriotism is evident in our ability to fight to uphold the legacies that our founding fathers fought to uphold when they achieved Nigeria’s independence. We cannot afford another Tunisia, South Sudan, and Egypt in this country.
Unequivocally, It is instructive to reiterate that, it is high time all compatriot stood by her Country over her government; save our dear Nation from all this mindless killings, further denigration and collapse. Irrespective of our political affiliations, varying social status, divers ethnic leanings, and different religious beliefs, we all owe it as a duty to; ARISE O’ COMPATRIOTS!
God bless the Federal Republic Of Nigeria. Amen.
Oyewole Michael is a Public Analyst and Commentator. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org. He tweets via @Rolex7Michael