Boko Haram, Herdsmen menace and N-Delta militancy

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The Presidential speeches of His Excellency the President and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. (Rtd) Mohammadu Buhari (AKA Baba Go-Slow) refers. It was a terse national broadcast to touch on only the key issues of great national relevance that are actually perturbing the change-bearing administration of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB). But the interesting aspect of that speech marking the celebration of May Day on May 2016 was the deliberate down-play or omission of the worrisome Fulani Herdsmen terrorism raging across the country.

Since the declaration of terrorism on Nigeria by a group of Islamic fanatical sect, we have not heaved any sigh of relief that contrary to the claims of the Federal. Government, the Security operatives are truly on top of the situation. These vicious Islamic religious fundamentalists mustered a formidable force that diminishes the bloated strength and might of the Nigerian armed forces. They have indeed defiled the ranks of the National security operatives, had field days with the mayhem which is sporadically unleashed on innocent citizens of our secular nation – state. The reason apart from classified religious undertone of being averse to the western culture was widely adjudged as very flimsy and quite unfounded. In the wake of this clandestine violent criminality, many souls were lost and unquantifiable casualties and wastages recorded to the utter detriment of a fragile economy and fledgling democracy.

In fact, it was on record that the lives and property lost so far in the encounter with the mendacious Boko Haram Islamic Sect is on the verge of exceeding the estimated total lost in the Biafra – Nigeria Civil war of 1967 – 1970. And, since the terrorism is still in top – gear, the country is bound to incur more humongous loss of lives and property than she did during the quelled civil war. There was actually no war at the moment in Nigeria; yet, many states within the federation are already war-torn begging for reconstruction.

The Federal Government of Nigeria under the administration of the PMB had almost succeeded in Negotiating for loans from the leagues of Islamic Countries to rebuild the war-ravaged states in some parts of the Northern Nigeria. Meanwhile, as the nation is now groping under the burden of the fears and psychological trauma caused by the Gorilla suicide terrorism, a fresh dimension sprouts from the angle of Fulani herdsmen brigandage. This time around, the inability of the FGN to contain the nefarious activities of the Boko Haram Criminal was worsened by the upsurge of unpredictable hostility of nomadic cattle herdsmen against several local communities. The climax of these dastardly acts is the recent massacre committed by these cruel idiots in defined parts of the South-east that was hitherto considered not prone to the terrorist activities. The noticeable tardiness of the Presidency (particularly the PMB) in denouncing out-rightly or acting swiftly to counter the atrocity remains not only suspicious but quite ominous of deliberate negligence. Evidently, it took the PMB a conscious foot dragging to condemn the callous actions of the Fulani Herdsmen by making a categorical statement about the killings and displacement of many citizens in the South-East particularly. A recent interview with the satellite Channels Television caught the honourable Minister of Information Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the spokesman of the Nigerian Army in the throes of equivocation about the breakdown of law and national security. The Information Minister asserted that the herdsmen infiltrated the Nation via boarders from Mauritius and Senegal whereas the army colonel spokesman suspected Lybia’s originated fighting men in the garbs of the Fulani herdsmen. To the extent of the Nigeria’s boarder porosity, the armed forces and the FGN under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party owe the masses the fundamental obligation of the security of lives and property. As it stands today, the impression left behind the imprints of the murderous action of these brands of terrorism (Le. Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen) is not far from the attributes of Cross Boarder criminality. That being the case, it implies a blatant dereliction of duties and abdication of functions by the National Security operatives and the PMB led FGN under the APC government.

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This is tantamount to flagrant negligence, and national embarrassment. The recent May Day celebration speeches by the PMB expressed concern about the Boko Haram and so much worry about the renewed Niger-Delta militancy by an Avenger Militant Ijaw Youths Movement. The PMB bothered less about the rampant killings and indiscriminate sporadic attacks of cattle prowlers against rural communities that have fallen victims across Nigeria especially in’ the South East region. By implication of such wishful oversight, the lives and properties or wellbeing of these victims are quite inconsequential. But, the PMB was quick at making a decisive action statement about Niger-Delta militancy and vandals. Perhaps the economic negative effect of revenge renewed militancy in the Niger Delta overrides the values of the several souls lost in the spates of violent attacks unleashed by the itinerant cattle prowlers in the South East and some parts of the middle-belt. How do we reconcile this bigot disposition of the PMB with the post-election inaugural statement of “being for nobody and for everybody”; as a President of Nigeria? Obviously, the PMB’s body language and the noticeable divisive approach right from his selection of cabinet are in aplomb to buttress or substantiate allegations of sinister motives. The advent of the PMB witnessed an era despotic democracy, tyranny, flagrant abuse of the rule of law and acute paucity of diplomacy. Interestingly, the administration of the PMB under the ruling APC revolves around a mono-agenda of anti-corruption crusade. In view of this, several other vital sectors of the economy are suffering untold ineptitude. The recent assertion made by the current honourable Minister of Finance that prior to the inception of the PMB’s administration foreign investments was hampered mostly by official corruption poses a lot of intrigues.

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Before now, other economic indexes matter not to encourage foreign investors, whereas the foreign direct investment (FDI) was recorded the highest ever in Nigeria during the administration of the immediate past President Goodluck Ebelle Jonathan (GEJ). It is equally a paradox that for the first time in several decades Nigeria’s economic growth soared so high to overtake that of South Africa as one of the fastest growing economy. This equally contradicts the insinuations that under the immediate past administration GEJ the economy of Nigeria was moribund. The maxim of economic vibrancy is the actual translation of the economic performance on the overall wellbeing of the citizens.

The food security of Nigeria has never deteriorated as it is today where market prices of food stuffs and essential goods and services have soared to acme. This country eventually plunged into an impending economic recession because the ruling government policies were dished out too slowly relative to the trends of the market forces and several other subtle economic indices. To worsen everything, the Security situation has so much deteriorated that corruption does not even constitute a mitigating factor any longer in relative terms to ward off foreign investments. Nigeria is in a dilemma of fast dwindling economy, untold hardship, with no iota of palliative or emergency policy trust to give succour to the near-forlorn hopes of the bewildered citizens

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The foreign exchange rate is now pegged only to interrupt the free inter-play of the market forces and, dare the consequences. The Petroleum Pump Price ( i.e PPMS) is slated without a corresponding deregulation of the downstream sectors whereas this is a glaring upsurge in pipeline vandalism occasioned by renewed retaliatory militancy in the Niger Delta. This further pushes down the crude oil production volume amidst the fast dwindling International crude Oil market prices. In spite of these, the wages, salaries and remuneration of workers are very stagnant. There is an abnormally intercepted foreign exchange inflow with the pegging of exchange rate. The rate of unemployment is increasing that an estimate of five million population of the workforce are not employed. Regrettably, twenty Seven (27) out of thirty six (36) states of the federation are not capable of defraying their statutory financial obligations of paying workers salaries, wages and pension. The salaries/wages are now subject to percentage negotiation in the face of fast sky-rocketing market prices of food items and essential goods and services. The power sector is in comatose as power generation dropped to the lowest ebb in the history of this country whereas the electricity tariff is being revised upwards.

The situation is approaching anarchy and so hopelessly out-of-hands while the PMB’s government is wasting a lot of time and resources on frivolities like the pursuit of vendetta, globe- trotting and vain glorious name-calling, blame-treading and ethno-social politics. The misery of the masses are being exacerbated by the monotony of a stiff naked careless regime whose soporific somnambulist approach to the practical aspect of the real acts of governance worsened by unrestrained verbal boastings and intimidation is overheating the national political atmosphere.
Christian Akpunonu, 08034118223, E-mail-akpunonucu1472@yahoo.com

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