Opinion: Blood of the Slain Farmers – By FEMI OLUWASANMI
As condemnations from across the globe continues to trail the latest next level in the chronicles of gruesome massacre of innocent Nigerians in another barbaric and horrendous display by the league of terrorist groups terrorising the peace and unity of Nigeria, the government should quickly rejig the country’s security architecture in order to prevent the nation from total collapse.
On 28th November, 2020, armed men, suspected to be members of the Boko Haram terrorist group, slaughtered not less than 43 farmers in Zabarmari, at Jere local government area of Borno State. This killing prompted diverse reactions about the claims of the government in the ongoing war against terrorisism.
While reacting to the incident, the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), stated that life has lost its value, and more and more citizens are coming under the influence of criminals due to the inability of the government to protect lives and prosperity as stipulated in section 14(1) of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
The same position was painted in a more soften picture, when the members of the national assembly lamented the state of insecurity in the country and requested the president to implement the recommendations sent to him, including the removal of the service chiefs. A call which has almost becoming an athem in every household in Nigeria.
Despite these calls, the president is yet to sack the service chiefs. Though, this seems to be strange looking at the growing insecurity in the land but it might not be too far from the fact that the president love to work with those he knows very well.
However, nothing is wrong in putting trusted friends in power so far it does not affect the principle of federal character. The level of insecurity in the country has shown clearly that the service chiefs have run out of ideas and needed to be replaced with new people so that they can inject new ideas to the system.
Under the watch of the current service chiefs, Nigeria has nearly turned to a failed State. Recently, the Global Index Report ranked Nigeria third on the list of countries experiencing the wave of terrorism worldwide. Yet, the president claimed to have given all the needed supports to the Nigerian military.
This might be true because one of the promises made by the president during the electioneering period in 2015 was to get raid of the terrorist groups within 6 months though, the Boko Haram terrorist and its sister groups still continue to collect taxes from the people in the North East.
Infact, with the operation of the emerging terrorist groups masquerading as bandit, cattle rustlers, dangerous heldsmen, kidnappers among other across the remaining geo-political zones. It seems the boko haram terrorists are still far from being defeated despite the trumpet of victory being blown by the government on daily basis.
Recently, the convoy of the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum was attacked by the Boko Haram terrorist at Bama. This is to show the level of insecurity in Nigeria because if the convoy of a chief security of a State is attacked in a broad daylight, what then happens to those that do not even have police post in their community? The situation has degenerated to the level where people have to choose between live and livelihood in some communities because of the presence of terrorist groups on their farmland. Yet, the government claimed to have technically degraded Boko Haram terrorist.
In 2016, the Minister of information and Culture, Lai Mohammed catigorically stated that the Boko Haram terrorist group has been technically defeated. A claim that was buttressed by several people at the corridor of power. Interestingly, the same Minister later blamed the international Community for leaving Nigeria at the mercy of the terrorist group after the gruesome killing of the rice farmers at Zabermari.
This confusion might have prompted, the former president, Olusengu Obasanjo to described Nigeria as a country manifesting symptoms of a failed State at an event held in Abuja few months ago. This symptom seems to have manifested itself at the Lekki Tollgate on 20th October, when those that ought to protect lives suddenly turned to a glorified terrorists by shooting peaceful protesters in an attempt to instill fear in the minds of people.
In order to starve the organizers, the government through the central bank frozen the bank accounts of the key promoters of the protest and charged them for an act of terrorisim. Though, the government has sliently exonerated some of the accused persons after series of condemnations from home and abroad, but it also shows lack of respect for human life on the side of the government which is one of the major characteristics of a terrorist group.
For instance, the Boko Haram in the north east became a serious issue today because of the inability of the government to adopt the right method at the right time.
So, now that all evidences on ground have shown that the Boko Haram terrorists are technically waxing stronger, the government should use the funds earnmarked for the programme designed for the so-called repentant terrorists to create a programme that will reduce the suffering of those left behind by the slain farmers and victims of Boko Haram terrorist attacks.