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Akunyili – Let’s quit the pretence, our lives don’t matter

THERE are enough grounds to suspect that President Muhammadu Buhari is content with specious media statements that are made once a prominent Nigerian is killed. The trite retorts of “this is one death too many”, “the perpetrators would face justice”, “security agents would fish them out” have long been meaningless but to the President.

Nigerians should feel insulted again that the only reaction the President has to the pervading insecurity in the land is mere stringing of words, the same words.

Dr. Chike Akunyili and the thousands that gunmen – known and unknown – have killed deserve silence from the President since he has exhausted his best shots firing at nothing. What could be more insulting than recounting how Buhari had a great working relationship with Prof Dora Akunyili, the earlier departed wife of the man gunned down on the street on Tuesday? Will the working relationship punish the killers of the doctor?

Read Also: Gunmen kill Chike Akunyili, husband to late NAFDAC DG

Do lives matter to Buhari?

If Buhari has lost his feelings about lives he should not be so gallant in telling us. He certainly does not realise that security of Nigerians is his responsibility though he glibly quoted it during Friday’s speech.

Will his sympathies address the deaths of prominent and not so prominent people in Adamawa, Enugu, Benue, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Oyo, Plateau, Yobe, Zamfara? Where else are people not being killed?

Should the President bother with reacting to the deaths? He issues the same nothingness as responses to the bold fact that Nigeria is shrinking.

Does he have another answer to gunmen on rampage all over the country, daring him to stop them? Only the high profile cases make the headlines. The presumed angst at the incidents do not last more than a few hours before something worse happens.

Akunyili had an armed police escort. Soldiers were reportedly within the vicinity of the incident that claimed eight other lives, including Akunyili’s police escort.

Will the President be shocked to action beyond claiming the death pained him? Is it not shameful that the President thinks his job is done by issuing statements that signal a surrender to anarchy?

Buhari has come a long way in this abdication of responsibility, blaming foes, everyone, for the collapse in Nigeria’s security.

His native Katsina has some of the worst cases. What has he done about them? The incidents are persistent, enduring, and the attackers daring.

Musa Umar, Buhari’s in-law and a traditional ruler in Daura, was kidnapped on 2 May 2019, at his home in Buhari’s hometown of Daura. He regained his freedom after two months.

More recently, school children are kidnapped, farmers chased from their occupation, body counts have become the pre-occupation of most communities. These do not bother the President whose concentration, we are told is on “critical infrastructure”.

Buhari is engagingly animated only when he speaks of cattle and cattle routes. If he had paid a fraction of the attention he deploys to grazing routes to insecurity, the matter would have long been addressed.

When will he, the police, and the security chiefs quit the pretence to concerns about protecting Nigerians? Why do we still think the President is interested in securing Nigerians?

Are we not expecting too much from a President who ignored the two most recent assaults from terrorists? When they shot down a military jet, there was no anger from the President. They invaded NDA, our military academy, killed, kidnapped an officer, nothing proved the President was angry except one of those meaningless statements.

Governors in the South East are suddenly alive, condemning Akunyili’s killing in voices they lost long ago. Their joint statement is their best idea of accounting for their security votes.

None of the statements will translate into more actions than more harassment of more innocent people. Already IPOB is being held responsible for the killing, foreclosing investigations, no need to know if groups or individuals other than IPOB killed Akunyili.

The public is more interested in actions that would stem insecurity than government’s finger pointing. The answer to insecurity is to deal with those behind it. Government has no such inclinations.

A 61st independence anniversary speech was another platform for Buhari to trade in divisiveness and hate speech. Our President talks of Nigeria’s unity being sacrosanct yet he knows those financing Sunday Igboho, and Nnamdi Kanu, but not a single sponsor of the terrorists ravaging the North. The President tells us thousands of the terrorists of the North have repented.

We should note his consistency in taking decisive steps to side with criminals if they are from the North. How has his softness on terrorists of the North helped that part of Nigeria?
If those who thread Buhari narratives had not completely opted to deceive themselves, they would not have returned from the UN General Assembly gloating over a new role the global body assigned Buhari. He was nicely told in New York to fix his country.

Dr. Akunyili would not have died in vain if his killing would incense Buhari to treat terrorists as they deserve not minding their tribe, tongue or thought. From his 1 October speech Buhari has climaxed with a lofty attainment – lifting the ban on Twitter. We should applaud.

FINALLY…

NIGERIA has “food system focused development agenda that prioritises healthy diets and affordable nutrition, inclusive, efficient, resilient and sustainable, which will contribute to rebuilding our economy, create jobs and spur growth across sectors, while sustaining our ecosystems,” Buhari told the UN. If you do not understand this, be consoled that he was addressing the UN, not you.

THE biggest move of Nigeria’s security agencies last week was to disrupt the peaceful march of the Shittes in Abuja. Lives were lost and tension in the city rose. How did the annual religious procession disturb anyone?

GREAT news out of Maiduguri was that NNPC was building power plants to restore electricity in the State. Borno has been without electricity for nine months after terrorists blew up two power plants. Why would this be priority for NNPC when most parts of Niger Delta, whose resources sustain NNPC has no electricity? Who will save the new facility from terrorists?

DID you hear the Nigerian government allegedly paid some homeless Americans to counter a protest at the UN? It could be the global test run of TraderMoni, Buhari’s social security scheme that has technically defeated poverty in Nigeria.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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