by Sam Nda-Isaiah
Many people who are scared stiff of the deadly direction the country is moving, including very influential friends of Nigeria in western nations, always talk about waiting till 2015 to solve the problem. The idea is that, in 2015, Nigerians would have to save themselves at the polls. That may well be true, but what will happen to us and our country between now and 2015? The disasters of the past weeks have made answers to that question more urgent than ever before.
In the past weeks, we have seen several teenage-girl suicide bombers. And we are now being told that most of them could be the kidnapped Chibok girls who might have been “bewitched” by their captors with funny substances. Last week, a new twist was added: a 10-year-old child was strapped with bombs by the terrorists and prepared for suicide bombing.
The president has been totally bereft of any idea to protect the Nigerian people and has left us at the mercy of those who want to kill every one of us. His main preoccupation now is to protect himself and his household. That is why he is not going to Chibok. Every other day, churches are bombed, mosques are bombed, emirs are murdered, ordinary Nigerians are killed, villagers are murdered, schools are bombed and burnt down, malls and markets are bombed; “gunmen” invade northern villages and forcibly snatch away people’s wives and daughters to use as sex slaves and nobody goes looking for them. And, these days, several brides are kidnapped on their wedding days in Borno, Yobe and Zamfara states and are kept as sex slaves. The government has not even shown that it is aware of these horrendous happenings. Today’s Nigeria is certainly not the same one that Jonathan inherited as president.
To make matters worse and frighten us even the more, the president just told us that his government did not foresee terrorism coming. This is supposed to be an alibi for the egregious incompetence that has been displayed so far. That is shocking, because there was terrorism elsewhere in the world including parts of Africa long before he became president. This government’s problem is not just a total lack of vision (of not foreseeing anything), it is corruption that has made it impossible for the government to fight terrorism and other crimes. Our president obviously does not know the effect of corruption, especially the extreme type that his government has been associated with, on governments. It is that type of corruption that could conceivably make a nation send 200 guns to 400 soldiers as happened not too long ago in an army unit in the north-east because there was no money to buy enough guns, not to talk of other more sophisticated weapons. It is also that type of corruption that would make a country like Nigeria not have enough bullets to prosecute the war against terrorists, a war which the president himself has declared to be worse than the civil war. And in spite of the outcry, the situation worsens every day. The corruption is now such that the money that the country would make tomorrow gets stolen today. What that means is that the terrorism and mass murder we will experience tomorrow will be worse than that of today. The coming calamity can only be imagined.
Even as I write this, the Boko Haram flag is still flying in Damboa and a few other villages in Borno State. These are territories that have been captured and confiscated by Boko Haram from the Jonathan government. President Jonathan has done nothing to reclaim the captured territories. Expectedly, the terrorists have become even more motivated by the president’s incapacity. They have blown up one of the last remaining bridges linking Maiduguri to the rest of the country. It is only a matter of time before they cut off all the roads leading to Maiduguri and declare Borno State a country of their own. Once Borno falls, Yobe State will follow within hours. If Borno and Yobe states fall, the momentum will be on the side of the terrorists, and, by that time, other international terrorist groups which are more organised, especially ISIS that is desperately trying to carve out a country for itself from Syria and Iraq, may just start getting interested in Nigeria. And that would be the catastrophe. Let us just pray that, under President Jonathan, the UN will not have to send a multinational force to liberate Nigeria.
A president, any president, who can say with his own mouth that he did not see terrorism coming to his country, in today’s world that is defined by technology and terrorism, certainly has no business being president. So how is Jonathan supposed to foresee the grim picture I have just painted if he has no vision? The question we should all be asking ourselves at this point therefore is, “What will happen to us between now and 2015?”
Who Wants To Be Diezani’s Next Ex-NNPC GMD?
It is surprising that Andrew Yakubu lasted as long as two years as the group managing director of the NNPC. Shehu Ladan, one of his predecessors, lasted only the whole of four weeks as GMD under Diezani Alison-Madueke. Those who knew Yakubu well before he took over as GMD attested to his professionalism and seriousness, but I told them that those qualities would precisely be the reason he would not last under Diezani. You cannot be a serious person and last long as GMD as long as Diezani remains the petroleum minister, unless of course you are in the “shit” together (excuse my French). I was told that the first conflict he had with the minister was within days of his appointment when he refused to approve some major contracts to some militants.
The newspapers are already reporting why Diezani and the president had to sack Yakubu. If, indeed, those are the reasons, then, the former GMD should be happy that he has been relieved of a heavy burden. Very many competent and steady hands have similarly been sacked by Diezani since she became minister four years ago. One of such people is Abiye Membere who was group executive director in charge of exploration. In four years, she has had four group managing directors. And she is now probably working on her fifth. If there is one person who should have been fired a long time ago from the oil industry, it is the minister herself. But Jonathan will not fire her. And we know why.
– This Best Outside Opinion was written by Sam Nda-Isaiah/Leadership