By Dr. Peregrino Brimah
By Dare Babarinsa
By Dr. Peregrino Brimah
Shekau told us everything that was wrong with Nigeria. Shekau made us understand the level and implications of looting in Nigeria as well as the level of institutionalized disenfranchisement of the masses. He exposed how evil we are and can be and as well triggered good advocacy and most human, altruistic behavior in some of us. He exposed the hypocrisy and cowardice of our Elite and Religious leaders. Shekau made us know how many who claimed to be crusaders, ready to die in Jihad over ripping of pages of books were mere cowards who cowered away and tucked their heads under their mothers’ laps when the true call to rescue our weakest was made.
Shekau made us understand how much of a crime authority stealing was. President Buhari just referred to him when defending his extra-judicial imprisonment of Dasuki. He said, “look at the 2 million displaced people and I should let Dasuki who looted the billions go to London?” This was academic course Shekau 101: the implications of government looting.
Shekau did not lie as all our administrations do, Shekau always told us the truth. Shekau exposed our rot which he took advantage of. In fact during Shekau’s time, Shekau was the only institution that worked in Nigeria when all others were thoroughly dysfunctional. Shekau operated his Boko Haram with efficiency, discipline and professionalism, something we lack in all ours till date. None of his members ever divulged company secrets. When Jonathan could not procure arms, Shekau did right from the jungles of Sambisa and when the Nigerian army could not fight, he could. Remember how 300 of his men used to defeat 3000 of Alex Badeh’s without even shooting a bullet?
Shekau taught Nigerians a lot of sense. He showed us how foolish we are. He ridiculed the north and drilled them on their extremism. Notice, since Shekau came to town you no longer have those insane northern youth running around at the beck and call of the Takfiri fanatic elite, burning Churches and Igbo businesses for beauty pageants “in Indonesia?” Shekau took them to school and gave them a mirror to see their dark souls. Shekau taught Nigerians to live in peace and harmony, well to a degree he did, though it has already worn off in the north and east and withinÂ sectorsÂ of the demolishing government. He brought us together to vote for change which would have been otherwise largely impossible.
I miss the days and ways he boldly called our bluffs and dismantled our government lies. Today we and our media are not bold enough to stand to authorities and tell them when they lie and declare stuff as technically corrected when it is not, that they are lying. We are not true to ourselves and our existence as Shekau was. Shekau let us and the world know how useless we are/were. He made things vividly clear.
We could never be united as a nation in truth, goodness and justice, but at least, thanks to Shekau, we eventually even if reluctantly got largely united in anger at evil. Like Paul of the Bible, Shekau will be remembered for the mantra “Let us do evil, that good may come.“
Without Shekau we return to our lies, our intolerance, sectarianism and self-hate. Today under a pretense of good, may insufferable evil not come.
You can call me a lunatic, but truth be told, I miss Shekau the mirror to our dark soulsÂ as I wrote of him sometime back.
The IDPs have been languishing from hunger and dying in droves while Nigerians out there have been made to believe all along that the victims were being taken good care of. At least, that was what the governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima had made us believe until Nigerains came to know the truth.
As recently as April 2016, the governor had told the world in a keynote address he presented at the first annual dialogue on Rebuilding Peace in Borno State organized by AOA Global, a humanitarian advocacy group, that Internally Displaced Persons consume a whopping 1,800 bags of 50 kilogrammes of rice daily. That number represents three trailer loads of rice. Daily?
Before this time, the state’s former deputy governor, late Alhaji Zanna Mustapha, had some time in December 2014, told the world that the Borno State government was spending a humongous N600m monthly to feed IDPs in only 20 out of the 27 local government areas in the state.
However, despite this supposed huge investments by the State, very disturbing reports came out from the camps recently of people especially children dying of malnutrition in the camps in Borno State. One of the reports had it that, at least, 30 children were dying from the phenomenon almost daily while there were about 1,233 graves of citizens who died of acute malnourishment out of which 480 were children’s discovered by Medecins Sans Frontiers.
In a bid to cover up their negligence and corruption, some government officials had claimed that the children were already malnourished in Boko Haram camps where they were held captive before being rescued. But this story does not sell and cannot sell unless such officials want us to believe like it is being mouthed in some quarters that the purported rescued Chibok girls noise was stage-managed. For how can you not have prepared for a thing and time like this as a State playing host to the world’s deadliest terror group? Were Shettima and his partners not aware that unlike the purported stage-managed rescued Chibok girls, the reality of such rescue is that the victims would need intensive care?
Why would Nigerians who survived the onslaught of the dreaded sect for years showing resilience while in captivity be left to die after regaining freedom? Why would those who were forced to live in Sambisa die in Bama? Why would children live under Shekau but die under Shettima? Even if their conditions were so desperately hopeless, does it mean that the government of Shettima did not make adequate provisions medically and otherwise for such situations despite the hundreds of millions bandied about as the sums expended on taking care of the IDPs?
Those innocent Nigerians had no reason whatsoever to die once rescued from Boko Haram! Their rescue should have been a joyous journey back to life and not a sad, pathetic and shameful one to death! And just like the outgoing USA Ambassador to America, James Entwistle asked recently, “Nigerians are dying of starvation in Nigeria. How can that be?”
Indeed, how can that be?
If the Doctors Without Borders could have an inpatient therapeutic centre in Maiduguri where they immediately referred 16 of these malnourished and dying children to, nurture them back to life with utmost and intensive care, the Borno State governor and members of his team should be held responsible for the needless and avoidable deaths of citizens directly in their care!
They should be made to account for all the donations both in cash and in kind that have come the way of the IDPs through the state government from foreign countries, local and international donor organizations, corporate entities, NGOs, religious organizations, individuals etc.
Another fact we must not gloss over is the reality that some of these children actually became malnourished while in the camps as we have heard of how officials shortchange the IDPs in the distribution of food and medicines. Obviously, somebody somewhere is feeding fat at the expense of these vulnerable children who deserve our all in order to be alive. That is the height of heartlessness.
Maybe Kashim Shettima is still waiting for former president Jonathan to call him before he wakes up to his responsibilities just like he lamented in the wake of the Chibok saga that the former president did not call him until after 19 days following the incident. He declared this as one of his defence for his poor handling of the Chiobk issue, and when he was reminded that he, as the chief security officer of the state should have reached out to Jonathan, he said he did not reach out to the former president because he assumed that he would have been briefed! Briefed by whom? If a governor could think and act this way then, how do we expect such a ruler to be able to handle even more intricate matters of nurturing dying children back to life?
It is such act of carelessness and incompetence that Shettima has grown with to the extent that he cannot take care of a small proportion of citizens put under his care. Or, is he still waiting for Jonathan’s call. His excuses so far for this inexplicable and unfortunate occurrence are at best lame in reason and defective in intelligence.
This is the effect of politicising serious matters just for mundane purposes. If Shettima and his team had used the Chibok matter as a learning process rather than as a divisive tool, if they had focused on the larger picture rather than on the narrow prism of pulling Jonathan down, they would by now have appreciated the enormity of the catastrophe staring them in the face, and would have risen to the challenge rather than sacrifice those innocent citizens including children in desperate need of the care of a certain governor and his officials.
To put an end to this carnage of disturbing proportions, I wish to appeal to former president Goodluck Jonathan to place a call to Alhaji Kashim Shettima, the governor of Borno State, perhaps that is all he needs to wake up to the enormous responsibility that fate has placed on him, and save us the embarrassment of war-like images from his domain.
---firstname.lastname@example.org ; Twitter: stjudendukwe
By Iredia Osakue
Faith as we know, is the expectation of things to happen with hope that it will materialize. This is achieved having prayed fervently, putting your trust in it and believing in God, the creator.
The Edolites have been patient enough and their strength as I know is drawn from hope and with the notion of better days ahead. They are a people who never give up easily and believe in divine intervention in hard times and rejoice with praises to God in victory.
This trait is innate and a divine gift to the people of Edo state. In the face of trouble, they search for solution rather than dwelling on the matter, this philosophy has helped tremendously in solving many perceived insurmountable issues.
Here they are again, with another big challenge: the forthcoming gubernatorial election. Stakeholders and participants are warming up, planning and strategizing all in an attempt to have the day. The unseen thing is that they are also capable of planning unfavorable and sinister agenda aimed at outwitting their perceived formidable adversaries. This can come in an abominable manner or in circumstances opposed to civility.
As a result, hope could be dashed and expectations lost. To this end, all hands must be on deck. The good people of the state must resist every untoward situation and prompt in amending leakages regardless of where it is coming from.
The people must know and remember always that "the voice of the people is the voice of God." Your input determines the day and under the face of democracy, the only weapon that is required in the political battlefield is the right to cast your vote for any candidate of your choice and this must be guided.
Sometime ago, I hurriedly read a book written by Cromwell Ibie, titled " The Complete Book Of Orunmila." In it, I found something interesting that hitherto has its impact on me: it says, the patience of Orunmila is unquantifiable so much that it can wait until a log of wood decays before it crosses it. What an endurance, wit and unparalleled patience!
The people of Edo state have endured enough and a new dawn is about to come. The political barrier that has caused pain, poverty, unrest will soon be a thing of the past. You have waited enough and your effort is noteworthy, but to physically bring about this hope, requires the emergence of a true leader with the interest of the people at heart.
The person that has this magnetic personality is your illustrious, not assuming and God-fearing man, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. He has the solution to many pertinent problems. He has started implementing many from his own palour, but for him to do it effectively requires your mandate and participation.
On this note, SUPPORT, NOMINATE AND VOTE him as your next governor of Edo state. #thefutureisnow.
Iredia Osakue is a Turin-based scholar, political analyst and public commentator on current affairs.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in any piece we publish remain entirely the author's and do not reflect the editorial policy of DailyGlobeWatch
By Walter Duru