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By Kushi Libi Isaac

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, Africa’s largest economy and world’s most populous black nation. Nigeria no doubt is an asset in the league of nations and Nigeria can’t afford to be a pariah state, and insecurity is unfortunately the enabler of such ugly debacle. A negative feat that all patriots should rally round and ensure its futility.

It is no longer news that Nigeria is the 3rd (third) most terrorized country in the world according to global terrorism index and it’s visible to us why we are here, but how we got here is a mystery and I will try as much as I can to provide us with factual reasons how we got here, with focus on Northern Nigeria, while the southern part and Boko Haram is going to be topics for another day.

I am beginning to believe Dr Reuben Abati, the erstwhile spokesman to former president Goodluck Jonathan when he said “People do regain their conscience only after leaving ASO Rock”

I always ask questions especially about the banditry consuming Northwestern Nigeria that is finding its footpath into North Central states that I can’t find answers to. Question like;

What is the rationale behind these wanton killings? To what benefit? Who is sponsoring this barbaric acts? Who are the willing tools?

Is it economic warfare? If it’s economic then the arms they use is enough to take them out of poverty if well utilized. If it’s religious, then why is the majority of their victims professing same faith? If it’s ethnic, then why are the majority of their victims of same ethnicity too? If it’s ideology then what’s the way out? Should kinetic or non kinetic approach be adopted? Who and what emboldens them to the point of blocking the roads on broad daylight? 

Who is reintegrating them into the society without trials, some even to the point of absorbing them into the arm forces of the country in the name of redicalisation policy? More appalling to the point they are called repentant terrorist, and I ask who evaluate their repentance and how can we establish genuine repentance? Even if they’ve genuinely repented, are we practicing theocracy where people are arrested, prosecuted, jailed or aquited based on religious laws? 

Do we have preferential criminals, licensed and unlicensed killers? If so, no one is supposed to be in jail, let them all be set free in the name of repentance because I doubt if there is any criminal that wouldn’t claim repentance if he knows he would be set free or even secure employment in the arm forces

On the issue of violent crisis in the North Central, there must be a distinct barriers of cultures that must be respected for the sake of mutualism to avoid communal clashes.

De Reuk once said “Settlement merely reduces the level of intensity of conflict behavior, possibly to zero; whereas resolution removes the very ground of conflict and eliminates the conflict situation”

Only when conflicts are resolved, as distinct from settled, it is a product of self-supporting in the sense that it is positively advantageous to all parties concerned. 

There is a connoted mischief ongoing to narrow down the invasion and ethnic cleansing characteriszed by impunity by powers that be, to a so-called rhetoric called ” Farmers-herdsmen clash” . I don’t get it where people are butchered at midnight when they are sleeping be regarded as a clash. The Goering part is pregnant women too are not left behind. That too is a clash. The Commander in chief waters it down to a mere  “misunderstanding” between farmers and pastoralist. 

How can we lose our humanity to the point of justify the act by equalling cows with humans? It is appallingly worrisome that the perpetrators of this evil are not only walking freely but keep issuing out threats to continue this barbaric act if the natives “ancestral lands are not ceded to them”. If the latter claims that his cows are been rustle, and if need be for reprisals why not go after their goats, chickens sheep, grains and other valuables? Why their lives? Enough is Enough. It’s more evil to justify this act than the act it self. The invasion must stop. Nigeria should not have ” A fellow Nigerian as a Colonial Master”

The most annoying aspect of this debacle are the fence sitters and neutralist in the situation of communal clashes, massacres or even genocide, they are worst than the killers because evil triumph when good men refuse to speak.

And as such, the resulting alienation has the effect of total estrangement of extremist from the society, too conservative to modernisation to the extent that they view the society as too monstrous to be allowed to exist because of varying ideologies with progressives and liberals.

What seems to be a simple correlation between the wretched socio-economic  imbalance and wealth distribution condition violent extremist continually use as pretext to unleash evil on those who don’t subscribe to their ideology.

Their violent disposition have no positive relationship with non violent people who share the same course but opted for a different strategic approach. Hence they can not articulate their grievances because of their parallel strategy in achieving the same course,they may resort to an aberrant brand of violent revivalism.

There’s a serious mutual distrust amongst the various ethnic groups that make up the northern region, until such problems of marginalisation, discrimination, indigene-settlers dichotomy, hegemony and oligarchy is rootlessly addressed insecurity is far from over and this is the obvious reality we must speak to ourselves.

What is North and who is a Northerner? Who benefits from what is obtainable from the North and what is due for the North? Why and how did we create this abnormally with huge gap between the masses and the elites? 

Is the North about we versus them? Our North and their North? 

Was there any consensus then or now about some selected few from a particular tribe to be political class? Has it been like this or it just took a new dimension? 

Are the so called Northern minorities in numerical strength not productivity be considered worthy to be voted into the presidency by the so called owners of the region? Can a kanuri, Nupe, Ngas, Bachama, Jukun, Ebira, Zaar, Tangale, Idoma, or Eggon person be voted by Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Jigawa, Bauchi, Katsina, or Kano People enmassed? 

We the masses emboldened insecurity under this administration because we didn’t hold leaders accountantable rather those who did were vilified, the masses here felt protecting his image and that of his administration being deemed the northern presidency is more than calling out his ineptitude by ensuring that his non challant attitude against the common man is protected with silly excuses and his anti masses policies were highly embraced instead of resisted, it was greeted with street solidarity instead of protest..

Well, the reality is that until the root cause of a challenge is identified, proffering solution is an exercise in futility and security challenges in the north is not an exception.

The North is reaping the long seed of negligence, obliterations and manipulated society that likeness every unfortunate situation as an act from the almighty including poverty, millions of out of school children, the Almajiri scourge, corruption, nepotism, impunity, wastage, clannishness, chauvinism, primordial sentiments and parochial allegiance to either Religion, Ethnicity, political, or economic ideology amongst other faultlines Identity conflict.

No doubt this present administration has emboldened insecurity due to poor management of the countries diversity through lopsided appointments, promotions, employments, dismissals etc and the continues lips service it has played in tackling the menace of poverty, girl child education, inflation, consumer protection index, electoral fraud, consumer protection index, low purchasing power parity, skewed distribution of wealth and resources, over bloated Civil service to mention but few.

These are structural problems that if they  are not arrested, no competent leader anywhere in the world can stop the disaster waiting to happen before our very eyes.

If these problems are not tackled, Buhari will go and the problem will remain here.

The children roaming on street with no parental love and guardians are raw material for insecurity, they are potential Shekau and Turji because they are vulnerable to indoctrination and they are already angry about their state of hopelessness by just a simple misfortune of useless parents who takes advantage of our collapse system.

Until education is prioritized, leaders are held accountable, poverty is fought, institutions are built, separation of powers are upheld, insecurity is here to stay and we must brace up for more kidnapping, rapings, killings, communal clashes, religious conflicts etc. A feat that the next generations won’t forgive us for living behind for them as our greatest legacies.

Time is running out on me, individuals, communities, civil society groups, trade and labor union, organised private sectors, Religious and Traditional institutions,the state and every human being in the north and Nigeria at large.

The time to act is now.

Kushi Libi Isaac

Kushi Libi Isaac writes from Bauchi 

Savannah Environmental Protection Center.

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