What happened in Offa, Kwara State yesterday is more than enough to cause an empathic leader to order all Federal Agencies, interested organizations, groups, and individuals to fly the flag of Nigeria at half-staff—to mourn those precious souls who were murdered by some blood-thirsty armed robbers, but because the life of the average Nigerian does not amount to anything, we all woke up today and everything went as if nothing befell us as a nation yesterday. Some days back, some soldiers were laid to rest while His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Lagos attending a mere birthday party!
A few decades ago, it was scarce to lose a policeman in a year let alone a soldier, but in the present day, the fad has changed. Today, we lose policemen and soldiers almost on daily basis and we are yet to declare an emergency in that sphere of our national life. The fire is no longer on the mountain; it is now burning on our streets and in our living-rooms. We are consciously playing with fire as a nation and no one is asking intelligent questions on the way out of the woods that we have found ourselves as a people.
It was in the news some hours ago that those dare-devil armed robbers operated for at least an hour! As if that was not enough, they blocked two major-roads and robbed five banks in a row! If that could happen without them being heavily confronted, then it means we are in a serious crisis as a nation. Corruption does not strengthen a nation; it does weaken and eventually kills it. Every of our national life has become visibly weakened by corruption and mediocrity and if nothing is urgently done, we are headed for a dangerous destination as a nation.
In a nation where the money that was supposed to be spent to adequately equip those who have been assigned to protect us was diverted into a few private pockets, that nation cannot but be exposed to dangers as we are daily experiencing it. It is clear as water that we are very vulnerable as a nation. Today’s victors are victims of tomorrow.
Each time a disaster hits us as a nation and some of our leaders come out to say that the government is on top of the situation, I do know that it is a white-lie. Politicians would rarely tell you the true situation of things. And when lives are lost, it is their long-developed tradition to underreport it. This is why I am completely sick and tired of professional politicians leading us as a people. We need leaders to occupy leadership positions in our clime. A professional politician who is occupying a leadership position is still who he is, a selfish man who is in power to be served, not to serve.
The biggest bane of our nation today is insecurity. When I hear our leaders say: “every citizen should go about their normal activity without being afraid…,” I do know that it is not true. I do know that the opposite of it is the truth. There was a time we were told not to be afraid as citizens, and same day, the United States of America told her citizens in Nigeria to avoid some places. On that day, I decided to work with the information that the United States of America gave their people, not the one that my government gave me.
Some hours ago, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki tweeted that as an effect of the life-wasting armed robbery attack in Offa, Kwara State that no stone shall be left unturned until the attackers are brought to justice. It was not an unfamiliar line. Every Nigerian is familiar with it. We hear it almost every day in Nigeria. I have been hearing same song for decades and till today, many stones are helplessly crying to be turned.
Not long, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said and I quote: “…the administration had delivered to its three planks electoral promises of reviving the economy, fighting corruption and tackling insurgency.” Those are the three stones that have been turned on paper on the watch of Mr. President. It is not Alhaji Lai—who would tell Nigerians if they have successfully turned those stones, the poor man knows where the shoes are pinching him. Each time Alhaji Lai Mohammed speaks, he is doing his job. He’s being paid for what he says. And he does a good job. If he wants to keep his job, saying it as it is, is an odious taboo.
When late Chief Ajibola Ige, SAN was murdered in his house in the city of Ibadan, the government of the day said that no stone would be left unturned—to ensure that those who killed him would be brought to book. Since 2001, those stones have remained too big to be turned. So when Senator Bukola Saraki said that no stone would be left unturned until the attackers are brought to justice, every right-thinking Nigerian knows that it is the usual lyric from the corridors of power.