I am lapsing into depression, the second time after my first and only experience in 2001. I have tried to resolve it by changing any radio station that is airing the news that 200 teenage girls were abducted just today in the Northern state of Borno by the Boko Haram insurgents, who only yesterday, claimed an official estimate of 71 fatalities with more than 200 injured. And official reports are always grossly underestimated in Nigeria. How did we come this far down the cesspit of callousness? How did we fall into a deep sleep that we didn’t know that the house we built or that we are trying to build is being destroyed. Calumny, accusations and counter-accusations are now the order of the day. They have never helped us and will not start now.
They say Boko Haram is faceless, is that true? They say they hide in shadows, is that true? They say they are uneducated almajiris, whose principles have been corrupted, and yet again, I ask is that true? When an Inspector General of Police converted funds meant for the welfare of our police men who are the first responders in crime control is that not a Boko Haramic act? Indirectly he has contributed to the inability of the police to respond effectively to criminal activities in the country and the carnage cause by the Boko Haram sect. He should be held responsible on fresh charges for treason and murder.
When a wealthy man mixes kerosene and fuel together and sells as kerosene because of the wanton desire for excessive gain, and bribes all the government regulatory bodies, when the kerosene explodes and sends Nigerians to the hospital is that not a Boko Haramic act? When a man sits in the comfort of his palatial mansion and concoct drugs that not only does it not cure but worsens the condition of sick people, and he sells it while NAFDAC officials collect their cut and look away while hundreds of people die, is this act not equivalent to the bombings of yesterday and the abduction of today?
When citizens are calling for blood donations for injured, blood-short fellow citizens of the Boko Haram attacks and the British High Commissioner is donating the blood of a white man but other Nigerians, who will not donate, do not keep quiet but lambast the action as a publicity stunt against those calling for help thereby allowing these injured citizens die from anaemia, are they are indirectly guilty of murder?
When a minister collects money from job-seekers and send them to a venue without proper logistics and 17 people die is it not the same thing as Boko Haram detonating an IED? When a contractor is given the contract to install CCTV cameras and he does only that they do not work and the aim is defeated so that the faces of perpetrators of dastardly acts cannot be identified and neither can they or their accomplices caught, is that not aiding and abetting Boko Haram?
When almajiris are kept as almajiris, children without future, and area boys are maintained as area boys, kept as such to be used at the whims and caprices of politicians whose children are abroad, when these almajiris turn to the mad dog who no longer hears the whistle of his hunter master and commit atrocities such as bombings, robberies, mutilations and kidnappings can some of the blame not be traced to the pot-belly politician who send only condolence messages and no solution.
When funds that should have been used for the development of a country are cornered into private pockets and the disenchanted citizens turn to a life of crime and terrorism as their option, do we point fingers at only the terrorists but not the people who pushed them to such a level? When our Immigration Service collect ‘small thing’ and let every Tom, Dick and Harry cross an already porous border or when our Custom officials do not bother to search the packages being brought to the country from another country because palms have been wetted and ammunitions get into the country can we not hold them responsible?
When Boko Haram was but a flame that could be extinguished and our leaders were busy pointing accusing fingers and using an evil to score political points and claim votes, can’t we append at least a name of one of the yesterday’s dead to each of them as a cross to bear all their lives? When a nation is big (land mass wise) and resources-blessed as Nigeria but do not have ready-to-go fighter planes and helicopters to trail the insurgents or terrorists or whatever we call them, can we not ask for the scalps of the military chiefs who should have known about precautionary measures?
Are the DSS, NPF, and Military not culpable because they do not have direct lines for people wanting to give out information and if you eventually do get to them you become the prime suspect so everyone is staying in his house and watching his own back? Is the man that stole the Police Pension Funds not a member of the Boko Haram sect because he demoralized the police men who have not only had their police stations sacked by the insurgents but also their pension which is their future?
I can go on and on but forgive me, I tire for lack of words. This article may not be coherent and well delivered, forgive me again because I am writing in depression; the future of scores of young girls have been tampered with and their lives may never be the same again because some people somewhere refused to do their jobs and are talking down those who are doing theirs.