The anger over insecurity in many parts of the country under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is boiling over. Late July, the leadership of the National Assembly prevented what would have been a national disaster when it stopped moves from some lawmakers to initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.
In fact, in both chambers of the National Assembly, the anger of the lawmakers was as loud as those of Nigerians all over the world, who daily wonders loudly what has become of the retired Army General that the nation rallied to elect in 2015. Buhari came in on the back of massive insurgency under former President Goodluck Jonathan, led by the Boko Haram.
It was mainly because of the incursion of Boko Haram and other bombers into Abuja that Nigerians became alarmed over the inability of the Jonathan government to stop the surge. It was on the strength of the need to stop the menace and Buhari’s promise to end insecurity that he was elected president some seven years ago.
His other two of the three points were fighting corruption and improving the economy. Till date, the jury is still out on the performance of Buhari in the fight against corruption but what is not in doubt is that the economy has collapsed under him despite efforts by his spin doctors to the contrary.
But of all the areas that Buhari was supposed to excel, curbing the security challenge was the highest. After all, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had forewarned Nigerians ahead of 2015 that Buhari might not be the best in economy but was a sure bet on solving the security challenges facing the nation. At that time though, Boko Haram was Nigerians’ biggest threat.
There were pockets of kidnapping, robbery and other smaller vices that were rampaging across the nation. But today, less than one year to the end of Buhari’s two-term tenure of eight years, the country is on the brink of collapse, owing to the massive insecurity that has taken over large swaths of the country.
Today, Boko Haram insurgents are minor irritants compared with the threat posed by ISWAP, herdsmen, militia groups that have made Nigeria almost a failed state. From the North East where Boko Haram started to the North West, where terrorists have taken over to the North Central, South West, East and South South, there is no space in Nigeria today that is safe anymore under Buhari.
In the South East for instance, the question of unknown gunmen, which the government has conveniently branded IPOB/ESN is threatening and crippling the region and some parts of South South.
Daily, government property, personnel, individuals are destroyed, maimed, killed or kidnapped. The June 5, 2022 massacre of about 40 people in a Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State signposts the highest crises suffered in the South West. This is aside daily kidnappings of travellers and all sorts of crimes in that part of the country.
We are worried that even in the president’s native Katsina State, and the North West, life has become hellish for citizens over the security problem. It has reached a level that governors in the President’s native region are now calling on citizens to arm themselves for self-defence. The governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, went as far as calling for gun licenses for citizens to defend themselves with.
Governor Bello Masari of Katsina, Samuel Ortom of Benue have made similar calls. Yet, the security agencies prance around as if nothing is wrong. Every week, we are regaled with photographs and stories of the president meeting with security chiefs, giving them marching orders to crush criminals.
Yet, week after week, we are sorrowful about one major crime or the other. The recent jail break at the Kuje Correctional Centre is one of such that singes the ears. Since March 27, some Nigerians have been in the hands of terrorists, who attacked a train between Abuja and Kaduna.
The terrorists have been making videos of the kidnapped, posting and releasing them in batches, according to their whim. Yet, security agencies are daily pretending to be busy, with no end in sight to the ordeals of Nigerians. We are worried that while the country burns, the presidency and its handlers are behaving as if the insecurity issue is a mere political affair that is being campaigned with by the opposition.
Reacting to the threat of impeachment against Buhari by the National Assembly, the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media, Femi Adesina, insisted those who threatened to impeach Buhari over rising insecurity were “the minority of minorities”.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) legislators in the senate had staged a walkout after a motion by Philip Aduda, Minority Leader, was dismissed. We believe very strongly that Buhari does not need to be threatened with impeachment to know there is danger. He sure knows that failure in security is his biggest failure as the president, a retired Army General.
We believe that Buhari has the answers if he is convinced that the insecurity situation has reached an unacceptable level. We expect him to save himself and the nation from the carnage the country has suddenly become under his watch.
He still has about five months to do so before the 2023 general elections