by Nana Nwachukwu
I was not born during the Biafran War but the tales of sadness, sleeplessness, sickness and death that surrounded it filled my house when I was growing up. My parents never failed to tell the stories. My Dad’s father died a few weeks before the war actually became official. My dad will regale us with the tale of how his father called them all together to say he never wanted to witness the war that was coming and they’ll reassure him that there was not going to be a war. My mother would fill us with her own stories too. That was then. Their war was as a result of tribal/religious issues. Most of my generation was not born then.
My generation is filled with persons who have intermarried, befriended and slept with almost every single tongue in Nigeria. We have even gone further to create alliances, build businesses, and save lives by donating our body parts without consideration of colour, tribe, tongue or religion. My generation is that generation that saw the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the United States as young people and realized there was a problem bigger than our colour or where we come from. My generation is a generation that has witnessed the explosion of the globe with the aid of the internet. We have become closer all over the world. My generation is that generation that has seen so much profiteering from evil. My generation is that generation that has realized that while we battle to save lives, other battle to destroy it. My generation has realized that evil has no sibling, no relative, no tribe, no colour, no religion, and no positive beliefs. My generation has realized that these are strange times and strange things are happening. We have also realized that the strain the present world situation has placed a lot of people in has resulted to a lot of schizophrenic behaviour even though it is wrapped in brilliance or wealth.
When people sit down to plan destruction, they do not plan it in defence of beliefs rather they plan it for selfish reasons. When people sit down to plan destruction, they become colour blind, race blind, and religion blind. There is always a selfish goal.
Yesterday, my father said to me ‘Be careful, we are at war but you children may not see it because you still move around safely. Keep a box packed handy’. I tried to joke it away but what he didn’t know was that I already knew we were at war.
I go to bed keeping awake and wondering if my estate would be surrounded at any time with all of us blown to bits just to prove a point to the Federal Government what terrorism means. Each time I see a lorry passing a checkpoint without being checked, my brain goes on overdrive on the arms and ammunitions that could be hidden in it and is being transported to various locations. Each time I see new faces in my neighbourhood, I get alarmed no matter how well dressed they look. Each time I park my car, I imagine someone turning it into a flaming ball of fire. This is what my country is turning me to; a paranoid woman who assumes everyday as her last.
I may not be paranoid, I could be seeing things that may happen if our country’s dire problem of Boko Haram is not addressed. Those children slaughtered in Borno and Yobe States would have considered it an impossibility to die in such a manner. I am not a Northerner but I would be stupid if I consider this a Northern problem.
Here is my conspiracy theory on the modus operandi of the Boko Haram Terrorist Organization:
They threw the government off track with the name initially trying to portray themselves as jihadists against anything western. It was very foolish of the Government to believe that. For a while, they focused their attacks on churches to solidify the belief that it was an Islam versus Christianity battle. It was a foolish thing that some people still fell for. Then they began to attack villages killing off everyone on their path. The Government still referred to them as a group of illiterate bandits and miscreants. It is either the Government knew better and was doing damage control or they actually believed that foolishness. Then they ventured into the nation’s capital just to dare the Government and the International community while distracting them from the influx of mercenaries into this nation.
Now while we were effectively distracted, arms and ammunitions have come into this country and have probably been circulated in different parts of the 36 states of this country. They have us focused on the Northern region and tagging it a northern problem while we are being prepared to be blown to bits like firecrackers without warning.
That is my theory.
I want Mr. President to desist from looking at this problem as a problem engineered by a group of people who want to make his Government uncomfortable. If it were a group of such people, I dare say he would have flushed them out a long time ago. I also want the opposition party to desist from playing politics with these attacks. Perhaps if they stop, they can put tabs on everyone and we will figure this thing out.
I have a few suggestions for Mr. President;
Think up a non-porous Witness Protection Program. A really non-penetrable one. If you have to do it alone Mr. President, I really do not care but do it. That is the only way you will get any information that will be useful not information that will throw you off tracks.
Mr. President, ask for a detailed report of the number of passports and entry permits that have been issued. I dare say to you that there is a cartel involved in the issuance of passports to non-Nigerians for a certain fee which I even find ludicrously small so you can imagine. Our borders are very porous. These people find their way in then become legitimate Nigerians for a fee as small as #25,000 (Twenty-Five Thousand Naira).
The judiciary should stop prosecuting Money laundering matters in a political fashion. I am actually not interested in how many years they get to spend in jail. I am more interested in putting a trail on that money, all that money that always gets missing. It is better such monies are used to purchase houses or blown in UK and Monaco stores. Any of the laundered money that is not accounted for is possibly being used to fund terrorism as we speak.
Mr. President, if the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation are not doing their work particularly where non-Governmental Organizations are, kindly sack them. I will understand. NGOs are being used to launder money. Every money sent to an NGO must be accounted for properly. Mr. President, put a trace on all these monies. It is better that the NGOs converted it for personal use such as buying up houses, stocks and cars. I honestly still do not care how long they stay in jail just be sure they do not leave a kobo unaccounted for. The unaccounted money could be buying dynamites as we speak.
Now to this issue of the missing billions from NNPC and the misappropriated billions by the CBN Governor, Mr. President, please put a trace on those monies. I do not really care so much as to the comfort those monies would provide. I do not mind that I could be sleeping in the dark with the mosquitoes feasting on my blood. I would rather die of Malaria than be blown to bits or shot in a commando fashion. As I write, the relief funds could have gone to the purchase of terrorist facilities. As I write too, the billion Dollars may have gone to making our borders more porous. Please, sack the Minister, the Permanent Secretary, the Director Finance/Accounts and in fact everyone who is involved in any missing/misappropriated kobo. Clear them and keep them in jail where we can keep an eye on their movements. If there was no appropriate approval for the monies Sanusi spent too or if it was approved for A and he did B, please place him in jail too so I can sleep well knowing where he is.
I am not saying that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is corrupt, I have been amazed by your calmness and boldness (though at inappropriate times) but all I am saying is this; even if some of these loots get to your table at the end of the day, they are simply using it to divert your attention while they spam the country with military equipment and war ammunitions.
Our problem may not be from within us but I dare say that the greed of my countrymen is thicker than lead, flowing blood does not penetrate it. If these terrorists are sponsored by outside powers, some of my countrymen have lent a hand to them, find them. Bug phones if you have to, peep into our email boxes if you have to. Just find them. I will understand if they are not given a trial.
Mr. President, none of us is safe including yourself. Let me confide in you, Nigeria is not the United States where your security aides will take a bullet for you. If we get to a full blown siege, they’ll think of their families first, their girlfriends and any other person close to them. They’ll remember that he who fights and runs away will live to fight another day. They will justify their disloyalty based on their paltry salaries. The policemen attached to you will flee. The one who stay, if they are offered enough money will kill you while some others who stupidly think that if they present your head on a platter that the mayhem will stop will even kill you without an incentive. Assuming you bypass all these and have robotic loyal aides, we may not have the type of bunker at Aso Rock that will withstand the modern day sophistication of weapons. Now assuming we have such, they may come via an air raid and just to clear our seat of power, they may clear the entire Abuja and you will go with us as well to the great beyond. You see, no one is safe.
I really do pray you read this Mr. President and think about it as you go to bed this night. This night could be our last. Terrorist deaths do not come quickly, one could be pinned down by a rubble from the building, still having hope of a rescue while one’s life slowly ebbs away. That may be for you but for me, they may have access to my house, remember how they took away those young girls from Borno? Yes, like that. They may drag me out, taunt me, probably rape me or slice off my body part. I will beg for death, but they may not agree to shoot me till my heart stops beating. Mr. President, I do NOT want to die like that please I beg of you.
We are at war, these are not imagined scenes. People were killed in Borno and Yobe States like this.
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