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Nigeria: Killing the next generation

When you combine the pitiable response of Shehu Garba to Father Mbaka’s criticism with the ‘Jagbajantis’ of a Kayode Fayemi that the country is more secured under President Muhammadu Buhari than ever before, and ice it with the bunkum of Femi Adesina that we all are noise makers, then you do not require any crystal gazing as to why the next generation is at the altar of death.

 

Any schooled mind that could look at us in the face to play politics of “eye-service” because of one vaulting ambition, or sustaining the incompetence of the president, should be discarded with the proverbial long spoon.

 

This government has become one of jagbajantis, nurtured by cronyism and nepotism, to undercut all of us in a gale of confusion and blood-letting. The outcome of youths’ engagement in the form of kidnapping, armed banditry and insurgency has been most debilitating, benumbing and utterly destructive.

 

Those who should lead the next charge as our future are being mauled down in cold blood everywhere you turn. The security agencies are patently overstretched, their capacities rapidly waning, their morale obviously affected, and their motivation considerably ebbed in recent times.

 

In 1983, when president Buhari led his colleagues to cut short our democratic journey, with a terse coup speech that ruffled frayed nerves, we had thought his mission would create a paradigm shift in the governance process. The 20 months of his intervention at that period became monstrous in the annals of Nigeria’s political and leadership drudgery. Thirty-eight years after, having been in the saddle for six years, Nigeria has once again gone under with rapidly tumbling demographics that speak to confusion, incompetence, incapacity and tactlessness. This is the worst season in Nigeria’s harvest of seasons.

 

The worst leadership in Nigeria’s collection of leaders. This is the worst public mood aside from the civil war era, than any other time in Nigeria’s awkward growth after independence.

 

It is the most prolonged season of blood in our trajectory as a nation in dire search for contemporary leadership that knows how to connect the dots. All the motivation for a Buharipresidency that warranted the Dauraborn retired General to attempt the office on four different occasions has become a mere fluke, exposed by lack of understanding of, and solution to the hydra-headed challenges staring us in the face.

 

 

The transition of President Buhari from a hitherto “no nonsense” army General to a “General conquered by terrorists” (apology to Tell magazine), is a sad commentary on a nation that is presently rudderless, searching for how to berth the ship of state that is presently encumbered by inclement weather and raging storm. From the cockpit, the president seems to be pressing the wrong buttons, giving out the wrong signals, while his spokesmen and other lieutenants are visibly incapacitated to deliver the right message to assuage the feeling of despair that has overwhelmed us all.

 

Whatever direction he turns, the troubled eyes of his sycophantic aides pop up as they still manage to massage the ego of their principal that he represents the “best thing that has happened to Nigeria” in recent times. Garba Shehu, Governor Kayode Fayemi, Honourable Minister Rotimi Amaechi, Spokesman Femi Adesina have at various times become speakers of doom.

 

They deliver messages that hurt our collective suffering. The presidency has come to the threshold of mocking the citizens, descended to the abysmal level of name calling, and lowered the bar and elegance of a once cherished presidency.

 

The moment the presidency resorted to calling Father Mbaka by other names, or describing us as noise makers, it exposes the inherent confusion that now dominates the inner circle of a troubled presidency.

 

Or, when you see Governor Kayode Fayemi, a man that should represent the moral conscience of the next generation of leaders, saying president Buhari has secured the country more than how he met it, be rest assured that our problems are self-inflicted.

 

Could this be a product of a vaulting ambition or a functional display of blind party loyalty, or a deliberate underwhelming conclusion to stir us to action? How can any sane mind compare the Nigeria of pre-and post-2015?

 

Raging unemployment had risen to an abysmal proportion, job losses on geometric increase, killings have assumed a gargantuan proportion, while economic dislocations have visited untold hardship and suffering on the people. Insecurity has never been this disastrous in monumental verbiage.

It has ridiculed our security architecture, humbled our security agencies, and defied every strategic intervention that was provoked to nip it in the bud. Kidnapping, armed banditry and insurgency still retain their ferocity across the country.

 

Citizens are being killed with relish, men of the military have become victims in the theatre of war, and Police personnel are at the receiving end, while the general psyche of the security agencies appears diminished. The next generation is at risk, real existential risk.

 

Who are those to lead the next generation Nigerians? The gun-wielding, scruffy looking bandits or the armed herdsmen who have penetrated every geopolitical zone, unleashing havoc at the touch of a trigger? What will lead Nigeria in the next generation? Ideas, gun or pen?

 

Those who are being abducted in droves, before our very eyes, or the armed abductors, who now use guns as writing pens, to convey their message of doom. Governors are lamenting daily, the Police are appearing helpless, the army is war rusty, Senators are crying, the citizens are dithering while the presidency is running amok unsure of the therapy to apply.

 

Blood is daily flowing in our land; ceaseless streams of inconvenience from the North to the South, as though we are locked in war. What we get in return for the collective anguish that has enveloped us are often rhetoric’s and arrogant display of unpresidential insults, telling us who has visited the Villa to ask for contract or patronage. What offence did we truly commit?

 

Who has brought us to this level of infamy? What did we do to God almighty to warrant this level of killing and siege? What? What? The next generation is being gradually eliminated. The country is heavily polarised.

 

The country cannot afford the temptation of plunging into a full blown war, fighting insurgency and armed separatist groups in the South-east, when the security agents are already being overstretched. While corruption rules the game, the motivation to confront the challenges is obviously not re-assuring.

 

Boko Haram insurgents are moving closer to cities. In Niger and Kaduna states, the alarm bells are ringing every day, as the bandits are becoming more and more daring.

 

Their locations are known but the intervention comes in piecemeal. In all of these, leadership is obviously missing. That singular action that can rally all the centrifugal and centripetal forces together to strike the right nodes is apparently missing.

 

That decisive moment when intellect plays the magic, and strategy unknots the puzzle, is grievously missing. We are running from pillar to post, at a time when we should soberly reflect on the challenges, to proffer solutions as a nation, not as individuals.

 

The nation is broken, heavily polarised, with different aspirations. The president wakes and sleeps in his cocoon, unable to connect with us. So, all that razzmatazz about a Buhari this, a Buhari that, has just been deflated like a hollow ritual? This killing must stop!

 

The next generation must be saved from the on-going pogrom, else, we end up with a hopeless future. We are waiting to see if the president would go home in history as a General that was defeated and truly conquered by terrorists.

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