By Reuben Alhamdu Avong
Nigerians, most particularly citizens of Kaduna have been battling with the recent uprising of kidnaping and banditry in the state; the inhabitants no longer sleep at night for the fear of the unknown. Keeping vigil is now a necessity for it is clear and obvious that we all are potential victims, the only difference is the date and venue. In the last one year and still counting, many institutes of learning have been attacked by bandits, gunmen among many other irritating names that they have been addressed with when cases of such are reported that have become more regular than usual. Many vibrant young persons have been sent to their early graves with unachieved dreams that would have lifted this country out of her poor economic state; others have been left divested after managing to gain their freedom from the hands of their abductors.
Residents of Kaduna, and indeed the whole nation is still mourning the brutal murder of Michael Nnadi the young squire whose only crime was the desire he had to serve God and humanity through the catholic priesthood. Not so long ago, about a month or so, bandits abducted a good number of students from the school of forestry in Afaka Mando, Kaduna, another set of young ladies who have been studying with the desire to make a positive impact in this country. Tactically though as expected, the government of the state have done close to nothing in returning this young people to their families who in turn have been feeding on tears as a result of their absence and till date, the headlines are empty with regards their freedom since after their abductors released a refrying video clip am really not comfortable talking about.
Most recently is the devastating episode that took place in Greenfield University located along the Kaduna Abuja express way, funny enough this is not the only school that has been visited by the UNKOWN GUN MEN, Good Shepard Major Seminary, the facility where Michael was abducted and later murdered is also located along the express way not forgetting the other villages and hamlets these bandits have not allowed to have a peaceful night.
This news regarding the Greenfield came like every other news, it is not a norm, abnormality has now taken the place of normality, irregularities are now regularities as usual, it was reported that the UNKOHWN GUMEN have skillful completed another task, the bandits have triumph yet again right under the nostrils of a government who promised to secure the life and properties of the populaces who made them legitimate at the polls. Once again a mother to her tears, a father is tight to his fears and a community is once more planning for another funeral, the government has another empty promise just like the last one which might never be fulfilled, the pain and agony is just unending. Bishop Kukah did not lie, the roads leading to the cemetery is busier than the one leading to the market place.
While I was scoffing the internet recently, I came in contact with the lamentations of a frustrated parent of one of those abducted in Greenfield University and it reads; Lord please do not allow me to go to the devil in search for answers and solutions; another of my social media friend mourned that the stories of terrorism that we have been reading in the papers, watching in the news have arrived our door step and eating form the same pot of soup as us in fact, it is eating a larger portion of the soup.
I was still in this dilemma when the news of the brutal murder of three out of the many abducted student of Green field University reached my ears, yet again the government have failed another broken promise, another family has been made to plan a painful funeral, being in tears is now a habit and the gunmen are still UNKOWN and the bandits are still nameless, painfully the government is still making another promise but at this point am pretty certain they won’t keep.
Today has taken over tomorrow; we keep burying the future and keep wondering who the leaders of tomorrow are when we keep attending their funeral today. It is becoming clearer that the priority of the government has been misplaced, they are happily watching the masses been displaced. All we get are long speeches that is, if at all it happens while there are in the country endless condolences have taken over their speeches even those who have been caught in the act have not been attended to buy the judges, the cases take long and we end up forgetting their faces.
As a final point, all what Nigerians are asking for is a safe country where the populace can send their children to school and be assured of their safety, where common men can go to bed with their eyes closed, where everyone can go to places of worship without the fear of the UNKOWN gunmen, where we can all go to our farms without the fear of bandits who have made man slaughter a habit. Of what use are the schools if there are no students, of what use are the roads if there are no cars and their owners to use them and of what use is the government if they can’t protect the people.
Reuben Alhamdu Avong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org