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Life Has Gained Value Under Buhari’s Nigeria

by Bala Ibrahim
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By Bala Ibrahim.

I read with interest, real interest, the engaging editorial of the Daily Trust of December 12, 2021, captioned, Life has lost its value under Buhari’s Nigeria. If we go by the exaggerated feelings of sadness suffered by the people of Nigeria today, particularly the mutating menace of insecurity in the north, the editorial would give a pleasing reading to the senses or minds of the gullible. But if we choose to be introspective, by examining our thoughts and feelings through the prism of history, we may be compelled to commend Buhari, for reasonably rising to the occasion.

I would start by slightly going down the lane of history, with special bias to what happened in Abuja, in 2011. The Headquarters of the Nigeria Police was attacked by members of the Boko Haram, in what is widely believed to be the first suicide bombing in the history of Nigeria. The attack, which was carried out by a suicide bomber, who drove a car bomb into the premises of the Louis Edet House Abuja, was aimed at eliminating the then Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, whose convoy was followed into the compound, but God came to his rescue through the vigilance of some security personnel.

Despite the number of casualties, the seniority and sensitivity of their positions, the press did not say life was worthless under Jonathan then.

Sometimes in January, 2012, Boko Haram fighters took Kano unawares, through some systematically coordinated attacks that left almost a thousand people dead and colossal amounts of property destroyed. Virtually every security formation in Kano came under attack that faithful day. Those affected cut across ethnic and religious divides, including an unspecified number of non Nigerians. For the first time in history, the late Emir, Alhaji Ado Bayero was seen shading tears publicly.

Despite that, the Press did not say life was worthless under Jonathan then.

In Kaduna, on a Wednesday, in the month of July 2014, the convoy of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari retd, the present President, was attacked at the busy Kawo market area of the city. Three of his security aides were injured, while the General escaped miraculously unhurt. But his vehicle, a Toyota Land Cruiser, and another one behind it were badly damaged. The bomber, who drove in a Toyota Sienna bus, rammed into the General’s convoy and detonated the explosive-laden vehicle.

Despite being a former Head of state and a war veteran that fought for the unity of Nigeria, the Press did not say life was worthless under Jonathan then.

Almost around the same time, while driving on Ahmadu Bello Way, in the Nasarwa GRA of Kano, at a security check point, a trigger happy police sergeant put a gun on my head, and accused me of talking on the phone while approaching a security check point. Indeed I was on the phone with my mom who called as I approached them. But I didn’t know the price of picking the call of one’s mom near a check point, has the price tag of death.

As a journalist, I narrated my experience to the media, but no one described the situation then as life being worthless under Jonathan.

Particularly interesting is the reference in the editorial, to the remarks of the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, who summed up the sorrow and grief-stricken mood of the region and the nation, thus, “if I continue talking about the insecurity in the North, we will not leave this room… There is no single day that passes without people being killed in the North especially in the North West now, but we don’t hear it,”

The editorial continued thus, “But beyond the blood-thirstiness of the attackers, the unending recurrence of their gruesome attacks, and the helplessness and haplessness of the victims, it is the seeming unwillingness and disinterest of the highest authority in the land to even show some concern that grates the most. What more needs to happen before President Buhari would show that he cares? What more needs to happen before the President would genuinely demonstrate that he feels the silent anguish of hundreds of communities and thousands of citizens everywhere across the north and the country at large?”.

For a President that was a victim of direct attack in broad daylight, I think to say he is insensitive to such atrocities is unfair. What’s more, for His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, our father, a retired army officer, who has amongst his close subjects, the former governor of the state of Sokoto, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, the man that was accused of collecting N4b from the former NSA, another son of Sokoto state and member of the Royal family, to mobilize prayer warriors to end the insecurity, I think accusing Buhari of insensitivity is in itself an act of insensitivity.

There is a cliché circulating in the social media, credited to one Mal. Qasim Suleiman, viz:

“Bafarawa blaming baba for insecurity in d north, d same thief that collected his own share of N4b from d arms deal.

After serving two terms as Governor in Sokoto d next was to turn prayer warrior, collecting N4b for peace to return during Jonathan, if d money wasn’t shared n looted bandits couldn’t have attacked his state. Abi d guy need another money from baba for prayer! Shameless man!

We blame baba in the north for insecurity he inherited, forgetting it was a Northerner that was NSA during Jonathan, that failed d north after looting and sharing of $2.1b meant to purchase arms deal, today his state is under attack, and wailers are blaming baba! We move joor..

For those protesting, pls make sure your placards are carrying ” What happened to stolen arms deal”… Arewa will b great again in shaa Allah..”

Indeed Nigeria is going through serious security challenges, and the situation is as saddening as it is sickening, but I am optimistic it is surmountable, and fast on the way to being successfully solved.

Because I believe life is gaining more value under President Muhammadu Buhari, who has the full concern for the feelings of others.

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