The people of Nigeria are in angry mood because of the level of insecurity in the land. The primary responsibility of the state is the security of lives and properties of the citizens.
When the social and business environment is defined by palpable fear that is hinged on legitimate concerns for the safety of individuals, the resultant effect is a descent to the rule of the outlaws in many guises. These outlaws are not limited to those killing and maiming innocent citizens on ideological, religious and financial grounds, but also include those who masked as leaders while clandestinely encouraging the mayhem.
This encouragement could be in the form of mischievous orchestration by those who want to destabilize the country for personal gains, the reckless posturing of political and religious leaders in their attempt to close any window for reconciliation designed at achieving peace and absolute clueless disposition of those saddled with securing our country on how to halt the drift. This is totally unacceptable to the good people of Nigeria.
One of the negative values that have been entrenched in our national psyche is the resort to scapegoating in our problem resolution mechanisms. Politicians, technocrats and religious leaders have perfectly contrived this phenomenon to throw dusts into our eyes while feasting on our collective wealth. The National Security Adviser (NSA) has been under the hammer of most Nigerians in the past days due to his speech in Asaba.
The man simply repeated what most southern political and religious leaders have been dwelling on, yet we want his head on the chopping board. The ingredients of the man’s speech could be analyzed as follows:
- The problem of the insecurity in our land was the handwork of politicians.
- The politicians are desperate to wrestle power from the incumbent President.
- The actors of this inglorious script are domiciled in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
- The oxygenator of the problem is zoning of political offices as enshrined in the PDP’s constitution.
The truth of the matter is that zoning brouhaha is a child conceived and delivered by the PDP founders in their quest to ensure equitable distribution of plum political positions. The spirit behind their decision was to engender national cohesion that is anchored on justice and fair play. They did not institute zoning to polarize the country as a few people want us to subscribe to today. My analysis is that Gen. Owoye Azazi spoke to protect the interest of his boss irrespective of the direction the public sentiment is focused.
The man was simply telling Nigerians to do away with zoning and allow politicians from all zones to contest the incoming elections in 2015. His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic denied the existence of zoning principle in the PDP and all known structures of the party were forced into line to allow him contest the 2011 presidential election.
While I admit that it is illogical to ask a sitting president not to participate in an election, the over-heating of the polity could have been avoided at the time had the President conceded the party’s constitutional provision on zoning and asked his party men to treat his case as a child of necessity. It was the 2010/2011 zoning palaver that laid the foundation for the post-election challenges we had.
The PDP’s inability to abide by the contents of its constitution dovetailed into the national politics and created the atmosphere for we versus them scenario that has brought us to this stage. Where did Azazi go wrong? Prior to the presidential primaries of the political parties in 2011, the President reportedly assured the PDP governors of his intention to vie for a single tenure of 4years and retire to be a statesman (emphasis mine).
He repeated this commitment to Nigerians and his political foot soldiers sang that as a national anthem. The dance step has apparently changed and the respected NSA is indirectly telling us that zoning is irrelevant and must be thrown overboard. That in my speculative opinion is the clearest message that His Excellency is willing to contest the 2015 presidential election. Though the PDP zoning deadlock brought us to our current problem as stated by the NSA, the opposition parties are the worst culprits in this regard.
In fact they have demonstrated absolute lack of internal democracy and infused disbelief into the political veins of Nigerians. Every democratic dispensation is built on the readiness of the opposition parties to take over power when the incumbent is found wanting. Nigerians have been made to understand that only PDP can beat PDP in any presidential election which is a huge indictment on the opposition. Back to the reality which the ceaseless bombings have typified, I am not a security expert, hence unable to decipher the challenges the NSA and his team are facing. They must have been doing their best to put an end to the killing of the innocents, but is the effort good enough?
He and his team can answer that. However, Nigerians at all times will determine their success based on the events on the ground. My definition of success in this context is the stoppage of the daily bombings across the country. Furthermore, it is inconceivable that the campus of Bayero University, Kano was penetrated by bombers. Considering the volatile nature of Kano and the recent attack the city faced, one would have imagined that the BUK campus could be a highly protected national asset.
We need answers on the security measures that were in place at BUK and other campuses of higher learning. I call on His Excellency, Mr. President to be stern in his approach to this national crisis. Repeated assurances to Nigerians are no longer assuaging the pains and agonies parents and relations are facing daily. What they need is a concrete action that is result oriented.
No matter what happens, the President is ultimately responsible for our national security and that will not change no matter who is in charge. His Excellency must show his men the light for them to follow and the time for that is now.