MR. PRESIDENT, PLEASE TALK TO US

Right now, Nigeria is sitting on the edge, sitting on the keg of gunpowder, ready to explode. From North to South, and from East to West, things appear to have fallen apart. The country is divided. Nigerians no longer trust each other. They look at each other with suspicion, with fear. Everybody is up in arms, or rather, sharpening their knives, getting ready for roforofo. That’s how bad the situation appears to be.

Many people are worried not just because of the worsening security situation in the land which is taking its toll by the day, but more so because of the failure of the man in charge to rise up to the challenge, to speak up, in order to calm the frayed nerves. The fear is that the country may be heading to a precipice, on the road to Armageddon, the journey of no return. But the father of the nation is is looking elsewhere, not talking.

Within the past couple of years, we have been inundated, almost on daily basis, with stories about the number of people that have died, killed either through Boko Haram attacks, or through herders-farmers clashes, banditry, armed robbery, kidnapping, etc. It’s not just “isolated cases”, as our President would makes us to believe, but daily occurrence and across all parts of the country.

But most victims of these attacks, of these heinous crimes, were mainly people “without address”, unknown quantities, people who could not be identified or recognized, the “nobody’s” children. On each of these killings, they would come up with press statements condemning the “dastardly act” and vowing to “deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators” of such heinous crimes.

There, it would end. They would not do anything further. The next day, similar attacks would be launched at another place, and some people would equally be killed. They would again issue press statements to condemn the killing. And the beat goes on and on.

Just about two weeks ago, somebody with “proper address”, a distinguished Nigerian, prominent figure, daughter of a well known man, the shakers and quakers of society, an Afenifere chieftain, was killed, either by herdsmen or whoever. Then, hell was let loose. Everybody was shocked. Many people began to cry, to weep, to shed “crocodile tears”, as some people had put it.

In the circumstance, many of them began to make their way to Akure, the Ondo State capital, to sympathise, to commiserate, to offer their condolences to the father of the deceased. At the end of such visits, they would pose with the press, to pour out the contents of their hearts, to let the world know how grieved they were, that they were “deeply sorry” about what happened. In the process, some of them began to talk carelessly, to talk totally off point, absolute nonsense, contradictions, and what have you.

Look at Mr. Bullion Van, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, making irrelevant reference to an ethnic group as kidnappers, or Wole Soyinka, retracting what he was said to have said, or even our own Vice President, a Pastor, Professor, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, putting logic upside down, and thereby contradicted himself in less than one month.

On June 22, 2019, to be specific, in far away United States of America, the Pastor and Professor of law, opened his mouth to tell the world that “kidnapping and killing in Nigeria is exaggerated”, just to begin to lament, a few days later, on July 14, 2019, while on a condolence visit to the Afenifere leader in Akure over the death of his daughter, that “killing in Nigeria is getting out of hand”. Poor fellow! These are the people deceiving our President.

All the same, in the midst of that cacophony of voices, when everybody was expressing concern over the worsening security situation in the country, we did not hear a voice from our dear President. He kept completely mute, refused to utter even a single word.

Even when the so-called Coalition of Northern Groups backed by the Northern Elders Council, issued directive to Fulani Cattle herders in the Southern parts of the country to leave the South and return to the North, a seditious act that implied the balkanization of Nigeria, our President would still would not talk. This is unfair.

We believe that had our President come on air, on radio and television, to talk to us, to tell us how troubled he is over the security situation in the country, and the plans he has to deal with it, a lot of difference would have been made. It would have helped to douse the tension in the land, and dispelled the insinuation that the man is not untouched with what is happening in the country. People will now see him as sharing in their concern about the troubled state of the country.

But he did not, which is unfortunate. Perhaps, former President Obasanjo would not have written another letter to him.

How can Nigerians be dying in their scores, in the hands of terrorists almost on daily basi , and our President will not have mouth to say anything, to address the nation, and would be pretending as if there was nothing wrong? All we hear or read were carefully prepared statements by paid officials, claiming that the President said this, that the President and said that.

For us, they do not make any meaning because these statements could have been issued without the President knowing about them. They do not show that the President is in touch with the people or concerned about what had happened.

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