How long shall we continue to die?

By: Festus Ogun

For How Long Shall We Continue To Die?

Unless we are not truthful with ourselves, Nigeria has never been this unsafe and insecure since we gained independence in 1960. With the daily cases of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry currently rocking the peace and tranquility of this country, one is tempted to conclude that there is no country in the world as inhabitable as Nigeria.

Living in Nigeria is a dangerous adventure. Life in Nigeria has little or no worth. Nigeria doesn’t value the lives of her citizens. Here, emphasis is placed on all other things but the lives of the citizens. It is therefore not surprising to see daily cases of unpunishable, avoidable and yet untamed murder of citizens with great dreams — that could save the country from the imminent mess it has dragged herself into.

As a classicus example of the Hobbesian State of Nature, the people of Nigeria merely wallow in existence and have never tasted the rosy fruit of living.

Like we have in the pages of our laws, all citizens are guaranteed the right to life. As though those provisions are mere pious hopes, the governmental machineries seem to have legitimized the licence to kill by some sects. This was done when she kept quiet on the daily cases of premature and unlawful killings and never took any responsible step to curtail it. Thus, Nigeria has become an accomplice to this tragedy.

I had thought that the security and welfare of the citizens shall be the primary purpose of the government of Nigeria just like we have under Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution. I got it wrong. Contrary to the constitutional directives, the government of Nigeria has contemptuously ‘supported’ the killings and destruction of the lives of Nigerians by the failure to act where needed. And let me ask: how do you rate a government that has failed in its primary duties? Apparently, the sad political reality of today doesn’t match with the spirit of our law.

To be honest, President Mohammadu Buhari has failed in his duty to protect the lives of the citizens of Nigeria. He is too unconcerned to our plights, to be called our President. His silence is too loud and offensive to our collective humanity. His weak efforts are lame and unproductive. His body languages are unbecoming of a national leader. He, therefore, doesn’t have the moral right to continue ruling us — a country where the lives of animals are safer than those of humans.

President Buhari must resign for being incapable and insensitive to the agonizing cries of the people.

How will the citizens of a country be dying cheaply and the President will keep embarking on fruitless travels at the expense of this same dying citizens? Unless and until we hold our leaders accountable for their offensive actions, we might not arrive at the greater Nigeria of our dreams.

A serious leadership will become sober and remorseful at a critical stage like this. A serious leadership will restlessly look for measures to tame these cases of terrorism coming in from different forms. But, lies and propaganda will never allow the government of the day to face the tragic reality that stares us in the face.

Just like what consumed the inglorious days of President Goodluck Jonathan, this administration has always been passing the buck; shifting the blames of insecurity to the opposition party is nothing but a show of shame and incompetence. The ruling party must learn to face its fears and conquer this national challenge without giving room for excuses. The leadership of our country must understand that there can never be any acceptable excuse for not protecting the lives of the citizens.

One is tempted to ask again: is enriching terrorists and pampering them with kid gloves the only way this government knows to tackle insecurity? There has never been any country in the world that conquer terrorism and insecurity through negotiations. Just like we have in Nigeria today, negotiating with terrorists is another way of empowering them — the reason why they continue to wax stronger.

No life is secured. No life is valued. No life is guaranteed. We seem to live in a thick jungle where everyone strive for living and personal security. If we continue to stay here, we will die — at any time. If we continue stay here, we can be killed alongside our beautiful dreams without the killers facing the stiff consequences of their criminal actions.

So, for how long shall we continue to die like this?

Festus Ogun is a human rights activist, Constitutional Law enthusiast and final year law student. 09066324982

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