• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

Okuama: Will Nigeria go to war with itself?

Aladja/Ogbe-Ijoh dispute resolution: Communities want quick implementation

The question that has been on the lips of many Nigerians since the crisis broke out in Okuama community of Delta State has been, will the country go to war with itself? The question arose from the immediate reaction of the military which suggested vengeance. Elsewhere in the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), a former governor of Rivers State seems to be bothered about something that has to do with security vote. People are asking, does he think he is still a state governor? Meanwhile, the man he helped to win a trophy for in the last year’s election seems to be finding it pretty difficulty to keep the diadem. There is confusion everywhere. But who will bell the cat?

Wike still sees self as governor

The recent request by Nyesom Wike, minister of the Federal Capital territory (FCT), to the Senate to approve security votes for him to respond to security challenges in the territory has explained how pained the former governor of Rivers State must have been for losing the grip off the oil-bearing state.

As governor of Rivers for eight years, Wike received the monthly allowance, which someone described as “bottomless pit” in terms of the hugeness.

The Nigeria’s 36 state governors receive monthly security votes for the purpose of funding security services within their domain. How judiciously this has been applied has remained a subject of controversy, with many Nigerians saying that it is just “money for the boys).

Wike is not the first person to have held that office. By the way, the FCT is the seat of power. The security of the FCT should be the responsibility of the Federal Government and not that of the minister.

Allocation of security votes would mean that the minister is entitled to every other thing that state governors get. There is a marked difference between a minister and a state governor.

Wike had also acknowledged this difference earlier after his inauguration as minister of the FCT.

He had said that as a minister he lacked the executive power to spend a dime without approval from the National Assembly, and that he also takes orders from President before carrying out serious projects in the FCT.

The minister may be feeling cash-strapped and would like some money for spending without anyone dictating to him.

He remembers when he used to dash some states N500million without batting an eyelid. When he was in Rivers as governor, spending money was never a problem to him, because money was never in short supply.

Observers say his relationship with his political godson, Siminalayi Fubara, which has gone sour, was the failure on the part of the minister to realise there is time for everything under the son.

He tries to remain the governor by proxy and continues to direct the affairs of the Government House.

Some critics alleged that it was because his relationship with Fubara has broken down that he is looking for extra bucks service his expensive lifestyle.

Okuama: Will Nigeria go to war with itself?

Since last week, anger has reached the throat level in Nigeria! The name of a sleepy community in Urhobo area of Delta State has grabbed newspaper headlines for the wrong reasons, and the social media space has been awash too with the unfortunate incidents in the area.

Although information on what really triggered the sad development has been both sketchy and unhelpful, the only piece of news out there is that 16 members of the military were murdered and the bodies of some of them decapitated.

The military has sent out several releases stating its part, the embattled community is so scared to send its own release in the same manner. But snippets of what set off the conflagration have been trending on the social media.

While everyone that has blood flowing in his/her veins has condemned the killing of the soldiers, calls are being made however, for a thorough investigation to avoid punishing innocent people for what they did not do.

While also we commend the military for standing up to defend its members by going after the killers and venting their spleen on the community, many Nigerians have wondered why the military has not deployed the same energy in dealing with the bandits and members of the Boko Haram who openly ride on motor bikes to invade villages and communities somewhere else in the country.

Nigeria has lost fine soldiers to the low-grade war with the insurgent Boko Haram and to even bandits who operate as if they were in charge of government in the country.

Nigerians are still trying to process how over 250 human beings were safely abducted in Kaduna without any trace. The country has learned nothing after the Chibok incident of April 2014.

Why is it that the military has not deployed the same gusto it is showcasing in Okuama to end the menace of bandits in the Northern part of the country? Every life counts equally in the sight of God.

No Nigerian should die on account of the mistake or negligence of those who are paid to protect him or her. The Nigerian military must be seen to be fair in its dealings across the country.

If unfair measures are meted out to people depending on their geographical locations in Nigeria, the country will continue to be a divided entity, which has perpetually hindered her forward march, in all areas. All eyes are on the military. Nigerians need justice, not vengeance.

Fubara’s ‘crown of thorns’ in Rivers

Siminalayi Fubara, governor of Rivers State, is embattled. Since May 29, 2023 when he was sworn into office as the chief executive officer of Rivers, he has not rested. In a way, he brought home the ant-infested faggot, and as a result entertaining the visit of lizards. Every statement he makes is seen from the prism of bad politics even when such words are innocuous. That was why his speech at Isiokpo, on the day the Wigwes were buried, rankled some politicians. He had advised Nigerian politicians (generally) to play politics with human face and not to employ violence and elimination tactics. He pointed to the three caskets before him inside the church, and said to the audience, it was the end of all struggles and that life itself was ephemeral. When he exchanged pleasantries with a former governor of the state, Chibuike Amaechi, thereafter, some political observers said that the greeting went beyond the elbow- that they must have been talking about Nyesom Wike, current minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), who was indeed, Fubara’s political godfather. The Rivers State governor has been lily-livered in many actions he has taken in office. He even threatened to resign if that could enthrone peace in the state. But his supporters have cast at him some mischievous glances over the statement.

Many people have however, continued to question why the governor realised very late that “he that pays the piper calls the tune. On his own, Fubara would not have won the gubernatorial election in Rivers. It was Wike that bulldozed his way; trampled upon everyone to snatch the trophy and handed it to Fubara.

There are some individuals today whose lives cannot be the same on account of the trauma they suffered during the election in the state. One case that is fresh in the mind is that of a corps member who was an ad-hoc staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), who was shot in the arm and held at gun point to release the result of a polling unit. Some even paid the supreme price for Fubara to become the governor. When the trophy was delivered to him, he was overjoyed and an elaborate party was thrown in the Government House to celebrate the victory. But like the vampire that smiles when it comes to suck the victim’s blood, Fubara never had a fleeting thought that the victory would soon turn into a “crown of thorns.” Today, he is being pummeled by the same crowd that hailed him to high heavens. The state House of Assembly is vetoing him left, right and centre. The Rivers State Governor may have discovered that the Executive office is nothing but “a splendid misery.” That was the description of the Office of the President in the United States by Thomas Jefferson.