Amidst bombings, attacks and counter reprisal attacks in Kaduna and Yobe States that resulted in the brutal killings of mostly innocent citizens, President Goodluck Jonathan last week despite concerns and looming tension in the country headed off to Rio, Brazil, to attend the World Earth Summit. It is not as if, important as the summit is, it could not go on without him. DESERT HERALD believes that his choice of Rio over the security and lives of his people was a poor decision and insensitive too.
Hundreds died last week in suicide attacks and reprisal attacks. Many more were seriously injured and at the mercy of their helpless families and dilapidated hospitals. In Kaduna the security situation is worst notwithstanding the millions of naira the state under Mr. Patrick Yakowa is spending every day supposedly on security. The government both at state and federal level considering how the Yobe State governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, was sneaked out through a ladder by few of his security that survived the militant attack in Damaturu and in his residence shows clearly that the leadership cannot even protect themselves not to talk of protecting the lives and properties of its ravaged and impoverished citizens. It is being insinuated by insiders that in Aso Rock due to the woeful failure of the Jonathan administration to address the security challenges and apparently due to lack of faith in the ability and capacity of our security network, the security of the president is allegedly being coordinated by the Israeli MOSOD and the United States.
At the pick of the killings last week, all the President could think of was hopping off to a summit, where he would at most have photo opportunities. Whatever benefit the summit has for Nigeria could be obtained in his absence. He should have devoted himself to resolving the crisis in his country. Other heads of states or presidents at the summit would not abandon their people during such crisis in favour of a summit that will not change the crisis of corruption and insecurity in the country. Was Jonathan’s trip to Brazil a demonstration of indifference to the bloodshed at home? Even though the “President can rule Nigeria in any part of the world” and take action abroad at a time his citizens are being slaughtered and killed as recklessly stated by the Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku, responsible leadership and leaders that are sensitive to the suffering of their people will not abandon their country at such a trying period. The presence of the president will give a lot of psychological hope and comfort to both the citizens and those in charge of the security in the country. But for Mr. Jonathan it doesn’t make any sense since he can monitor and give orders where ever he is in the world. What a president!
If he was already in Rio and these killings were going on, would he not have returned to manage the situation? Should we remind him of his oath of office, taken barely a year ago?
He swore to uphold the Constitution, which in Section 14 (2b) states, “The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.” Where is the welfare in this government’s policies? Where is the security for our people? Will the President find them in Rio?
A dangerous difference between last week’s killings in Kaduna and Damaturu and ones that preceded them is that there were reports of reprisal attacks precisely in Kaduna initially by the Southern Kaduna militants in army uniform which resulted to the slaughter of an army officer by the youth and subsequent counter reprisal attacks by the Hausa/Fulani youths. Revenge attacks change the entire equation and can extend the Nigerian crisis to unanticipated frontiers. Have the people finally lost confidence in government protecting them? Is a government that failed to protect lives and properties of its people a legitimate government? What will be the future of Nigerian’s cooperate existence and unity under Mr. Jonathan? Is the alleged meeting by Edwin Clark and his people aimed at disintegrating Nigeria working?
It is important to preserve the earth, but Nigeria’s present is so tenuous that many do not bother about the future, which they know depends a lot on the present. The President knows these more than other Nigerians.
We in DESERT HERALD are concerned about the future of Nigeria under Mr. Jonathan’s inept and insensitive leadership that doesn’t value the sacred lives of human beings. In Nigeria today and under Mr. Jonathan’s presidency killing of innocent people under whatever name is not only common but daily occurrence that doesn’t need investigation. While the dreaded Boko Haram sect is the usual culprit in any of such attacks, there are many cases where Christians were caught attempting to bomb Churches or caught with incriminating evidences of terror related weapons like the recent case at radio house in Abuja. So far, none of those suspects that perpetrated or attempt to commit evil in the name of Boko Haram were prosecuted. In fact, nothing was heard any more about the investigation. Just last week, another Igbo man was caught with a bomb in Bauchi and blew himself in the process of detonating it. He was caught alive with heavy injuries. Had he succeeded in bombing a Church, the whole Muslims will be blame or they will be attack like what happen in Kaduna recently. Even if Boko Haram are responsible for such senseless attacks, innocent Muslims that suffered more casualties as a result of the Boko Haram bombings should not be blame or be subjected to attack like the reprisal killings at Gonin Gora and Nassarawa penultimate week. The government must act immediately to fish out the perpetrators of this evil act among both the Muslims and Christians to prevent another disaster.
Certainly, any government that fails to protect the lives and properties of its citizens will loses legitimacy and hence will be incapable of ruling.
We hope the appointment of Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) as the new NSA will change the crisis of insecurity and killings in the country.