A NATION ON EDGE
I am still optimistic that the current madness being visited on this country by a group of lawless elements, can be stopped and the gloom hanging on our neck taken away.
This expectation is anchored on the belief that our constitution, even with all its noticeable defects, has given sweeping powers to the President and Commander–in-chief of the Nigerian armed forces to crush anything that has the potential to tinker with the health of the nation and its people.
With the vast powers given our leaders by the law, they can hardly justify any claim that they have been handicapped on account statutes to be able to confront the rising threats to lives and properties that have been hounding us like a plaque lately.
We are obviously doomed in our present circumstances and no one appears to be listening while our house continues to roast on fire being ceaselessly stoked by a band of criminals, who kill and maim with impunity in the name of fighting educated persons.
Now the great debate has begun. There are silly talks all over the place by myopic persons that those who are detonating bombs in many parts of the north are doing that just to bring down the Jonathan government and that the N1 trillion that was shamelessly stolen by top public functionaries under the guise of subsidy, is being targeted at some well-placed southerners by the north.
These and more are some of the puerile things ignorant and gullible Nigerians have taken to heart without asking sensible questions from the right quarters. They have also left the real issues at hand to attack shadows.
It follows also that most Nigerians have missed the point in talking about the burning issues in the land either because of trying to join in sharing the blood money that these government officials have stolen from the public or are altogether mischievous.
But being a patriotic Nigerian, I do not want Mr. President to be taken in by those who are feeding him with wrong information just to be closer to the Villa for pecuniary reasons. He should be wary of people who claim to be working for the good of this country when their real intention is to find an avenue to key into the growing army of foot soldiers of this government in order to make a living.
That is why he should distance himself from those who are trying to give us the impression that some people are trying to bring his government down. Now, the question is, if these people have plotted to overthrow his government, have they also removed all the powers, which the law gives him to use in crushing such elements?
Again, when these government officials stole money meant for petrol, diesel and kerosene, did they signify where they come from. If answers to these are in the negative, why should anyone believe those who are trying to fabricate awkward stories for their survival?
Now, if we must move forward, Jonathan must begin to think and act as a president by boldly confronting issues and persons that have decided not to allow the rest of us to sleep with our two eyes closed. The apparatus to do so are right under his nose but he must summon the political will and the courage to move in the direction that the times have dictated.
Obasanjo did not listen to any form of sentiment when some lawless men hacked soldiers and policemen to death in Odi and Zaki Biam. The Owu chief responded appropriately to the occasions and no god or deity has eaten him up because that was what the exigencies of the times demanded in order to save the nation from being consumedby local monsters.
The current situation that is staring the nation on its face and has the potential to disfigure the land, requires a strong response from the man in charge so as not to send the wrong message about the true meaning of government.
To do otherwise would give out the administration of being unserious in tacking issues that are neither necessary nor permanent in our country’s history.
The man still has the opportunity to respond like other world leaders, who have sworn not to wine and dine with terrorists even with the longest spoon. He should not only keep them at bay but should also make it impossible for them to make life unbearable for poverty-stricken Nigerians already consigned to the dustbin for most of their daily needs.
– Soni Daniel