By Ndukaku Obiekwe.
During the senseless Iraq war waged by the Americans on a phantom excuse, everyone in the world watching the news from Iraq was treated to a bonanza of suicide attacks against the American soldiers. The Americans were dumbfounded and confused. They never imagined some Iraqis will be so mad at their action as to be willing enough to kill themselves just to ensure the death of an invader. They just did not prepare for it because Bush have convinced them that they will be showered with flowers and kisses as they march in Baghdad. But the Americans even in their mind boggling pride were smart. There realised there is a need for change of tactics – simply pull out of the quagmire called Iraq. It’s a huge blunder. Despite preparing the ground for a long term occupation like they did in Japan and Germany by building their biggest embassy in the world, the Americans ran away from Iraq.
In Nigeria, the Boko-Haram affair has exposed how callous and unfeeling our leaders attitude can be towards the suffering Nigerian citizens. The do-nothing approach to the kidnap of the Chibok girls for three weeks and the subsequent handling of the issue after a social network outcry is a very true manifestation of our leaders’ numbness to the plight of the people, greed, corruption, bad governance, shameless and rudderless leadership. It is indeed pathetic. Akwa Ibom governor, Godswill Akapabio has exposed that governors who will never build one good hospital in (4 – 8 years) and equip it will prefer to spend millions of dollars every year for medical treatment in Dubai, London, New York on the tax payer’s account.
Governor Akpabio’s senseless defence of his and ex-Governors’ retirement benefits sickened me and made me almost throw up on myself. I wondered how many children would have been saved from Malaria related deaths if Akwa Ibom state can spend the $600,000 per year in equipping just one government hospital. How many pregnant women would have been saved if same money was judiciously used.How many jobs that can be created for our army of unemployed youths if such money was loaned to cooperatives. But that will not come to pass.
The health of a few men and spouses who mis-ruled Nigerian states is far valued than the lives of thousands of men, women and children who will die each year in Nigeria because of poorly equipped health institutions. Tell me why will such a situation not breed rebellions, insurgencies and suicide bombers? Tell me why will a man who saw his wife die of child birth because doctors are on strike or because there are no drugs not be tempted to carry arms against an establishment that gives succour and support to men like Governor Akpabio?
Why will such a man not consider becoming a suicide bomber knowing that there is no future for him and his children under the prevailing circumstances. The situation for him is akin to the situation for an Iraqi who is devastated by the invasion and destruction of his country and killing of loved ones by the Americans. He has no choice but to strap himself with bombs and turn himself into human weapon.
And one common element that all these corrupt politicians have in common is western education. Boko-Haram has compared the live of Sir Ahmadu Bello with the live of the current Nigerian politician and seen a world of difference. In their warped mind, Boko-Haram blames the rot in our society on western education but after watching Governor Akpabio in his western tailored suit justifying a personal budget of $600,000 for just his health in the midst of grinding poverty and unemployment, one can see some of the reasons why BOKO-HARAM hates western education and seeks its abolishment.
And we all know the same official corruption is happening in Kwara state, Abia state, etc. One can begin to form a picture of some the causative factors for the hellish and growing Boko-Haram insurgency. Can we be as smart as the Americans to save Nigeria by pulling ourselves out of this quagmire of senseless and indefensible rape and abuse of Nigeria by the elite?
Ndukaku Obiekwe is reachable on firstname.lastname@example.org