If there is any time when Nigerian leaders have to pause in politicizing every decision, it is now that insecurity threatens the very foundations of Nigeria as a country.
From North East, to North West, North Central to South West, South East and South South, Nigeria is bleeding, weakening its strength, unity and livelihood. We are in serious danger. The kidnapping, armed robbery and mindless killings either for sheer criminality, terrorism or ethnic reprisal in the country have reached a dangerous level that threatens the continued existence and prosperity of the Nigerian nation.
Nigerians are now afraid to travel, if terrorists, bandits or armed robbers are sparing their communities. Fear has taken over everyone living in this country. Yet many opportunists are capitalising on many things. The last time I tried to book a flight from Lagos to Abuja, Oy was about N100,000 for a oneway trip, yet the roads remained unsafe.Aren’t we in trouble ?
Sadly, decision makers are not showing enough signs of readiness to give what it takes to save this nation from collapsing. Many critical stakeholders are still viewing the ongoing security crisis with tribal sentiment and as another national issue to be dissected with ethnic or political barometer. No. This one challenge calls for serious patriotic approach.
First we must admit that there is a serious problem confronting this nation. It honestly calls for an approach that will allow convergent and divergent views to mix and produce a solution which all Nigerians, or the majority of Nigerians, will key into.
But all these can only happen if the real decision makers drop their ethnic, political garb and offer leadership in this direction.The north, which worse affected, must admit there’s a great problem.
A time like this requires that true leaders will demonstrate that they love this country and her people genuinely. This is definitely not a time to pretend that all is well or that we are in charge. No. It is the time to see Nigeria as ours and every Nigerian as a blood brother or sister.
It is a time to shun wrong popular sentiment. It is a time to show strength of character and make the sacrifice that will guarantee continued peaceful existence of Nigeria.
It is a time to resist pressure from quarters that handle national decisions from ethnic or political prism. Individual, party or sectional interest must give way this time, as it should always, to national interest.
With about 200 million population and youths in the majority, Nigeria can not afford to blow apart through this insecurity that finally envelopes us as a nation. It is not also a time for us to pretend to the outside world that all is well.
The grievous implications will be almost impossible to handle if we fail to act quickly. Arms proliferation means more youths will now carry arms and ammunition, killing and maiming whoever that still has some economic power as they seek survival and wealth.
Criminals will increase at a geometric rate while social amenities will collapse once citizens are unable to pursue their businesses peacefully again. We have seen a mere rehearsal with the last #Endsars protest.
It was God’s intervention that rescued the situation.Closure or partial closure of schools, hospitals, transport system, banks, policing system and other essential lifeblood of the nation, as we currently see in some parts of northern Nigeria, will ground the country. Displaced people will keep increasing in number and all these spell doom for a once peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
In such situation, no one is safe, including those holding political positions and the rich. We have seen governors being attacked let alone senators and bank managers. Our cities will become slaughter slabs while remote communities will be deserted by poor inhabitants. This will be a trouble too many for us as a nation .
Instead of glossing over this thorny issue, therefore, my humble suggestion is for those leading us and those saddled with responsibility today to take the bull by the horns by rallying Nigerians to generate a lasting solution. It may also mean calling for support of stronger nations.
We have to survive in peace first before proving we are the giant of Africa. It is very unfortunate that the lawmakers have exploited their limited power of expression, they can only have their say but not their way. They look helpless. Sad indeed!
While this is going on, it will be a good idea to accommodate a socio-economic approach to solving this problem.The growing number of unemployed youths is becoming an advantage for the criminals terrorizing Nigeria. An idle hand is a devil’s workshop, it is often said.
The Federal Government may come up with a social benefit programme and structured empowerment project through commercial banks which state and local governments will monitor and implement without bias.
With just one good leader in each state of the federation and a radical change in our attitude we are good to go.
This is the time to act and not wish away this problem. We must face and solve it for our country to survive.
Hon. Rotimi Makinde represented Ife Federal Constituency, Osun State in the House of Representatives from 2011-2015.