By Hamisu Abubakar
Is there something wrong with elders these days? Everywhere we turn these days in Nigeria, our elders are spewing what is less than elderly. If it is not from Niger Delta region where an elder has run riot with his tongue, then it is from the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), against a man (retired Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika) who had sworn to defend the nation’s territorial integrity and had diligently done so. The NEF threatened Ihejirika with possible charges of genocide at the International Criminal Court (ICC); and when the elders from Ihejirika’s part of the country (prominent Igbo men), would speak, it was also to pour bags of pepper on the festering injury.
When the NEF spoke, it was obvious they were not salutary and were merely playing politics to whip up primordial sentiments. I have never respected such men even though they claim to be my elders. Now that the army boys have slowed down, for whatever reason, not excluding, perhaps, the dampening of their morals by the careless talk by the elders, let us see if the NEF, and its verbally diarrheic spokespersons like Ango Abdulahi, will remedy the situation.
Even in the face of it all, has anyone bothered to ask why the All Progressives Congress (APC) states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are unruly? Is this a foretaste of things to come in other states or in the country if they take power? In the South West where there has been relative peace, the actions of Rauf Aregbesola are heightening tension. Leader Bola Tinubu went there but was unable to come up with anything meaningful to stop divisions along religious lines. What does this portend for those who are sympathetic to the party? Is this the kind of change they have been talking so loudly about?
In the specific case of the North -east zone, one of its chief executives with a military background is known to have boasted that he would distribute kola nuts to his Fulani ethnic stock to back APC. We hope it did not include making the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) look bad at all cost, even by sabotage. For many who do not know, the people of his Fulani ethnic stock can be found in neighboring countries that are now being fingered for complicity in the Boko Haram insurgency. President Goodluck Jonathan will do well to call for a thorough security check on this man and the former governor of one of the states in that geo-political zone, if he is to be taken serioulys as the commander-in-chief.
That former governor, who is said to have sworn to match Tinubu naira for naira, dollar for dollar over who becomes the chairman of the party’s board of trustees, recently visited his state after being absent for a long time, during which time the state enjoyed relative peace. In quick succession, a bomb went off, and the intensity of attacks and deaths spiraled out of control. Now the elders of his state are claiming that the federal government is ignoring Boko Haram. In a recent new report, the elders in Maiduguri said the federal government must step up efforts to fight the insurgency. The spokesman for the Borno Elders Forum, Dr. Bulama Mali Gubiosaid in Maiduguri that while “wanton killing of Borno people” has been going on by insurgents, there has been little attention from the federal government. Gubio also pilloried Jonathan for failing to speak out in the past weeks when insurgency attacks heightened, causing the death of nearly 200 people within a week.
Gubio was quoted to have said, “it is certain that the Federal Government has failed to identify the actual problem bedeviling us or is deliberately looking the other way while our people are being massacred with impunity. During the civil war, the Nigerian soldiers, including thousands from the northern part of the country, were mobilised to the rain and mangrove forest in eastern Nigeria where they spent over 30 months confronting the rebels and they succeeded in keeping Nigeria one…”
So Gubio wants the soldiers to step up action so that data on them can be collated and sent to the ICC, or did he not hear what the NEF said? Or, is it not our own northern elders, who in a bid to counter those elders who were irascible with their tongues in the Niger Delta, that are spoiling efforts to stop this odious and un-Islamic carnage in the name of a Islam?
Gubio said that in other parts of the world, the president would have made a broadcast. Which part of the world has this man been living that he did not know that many broadcasts have been made, including the one in which the president announced the imposition of a state of emergency? Please let him say something fresh. Sorry to ask, Dr Gubio, are you a medical doctor or what kind of doctor or spokesman are you that talk about government giving scanty attention to the Borno menace? That was an ignorant and unfair cut on your part, and you should be given heaps of newspapers to read before making further comments on this particular matter.
He (Gubio) must be told that what we are witnessing is a function of the ignorance of many on the ways of Allah (God), and many shades of characters, including the barely literate former governor; and, sadly, other forces are exploiting the ignorance to full advantage to score all manner of points; men in who the fear of God does not reside and are hell-bent on scoring points with human blood. They are known, even to Dr. Gubio; and, playing ostrich and blaming Abuja alone cannot solve the problem.
Hamisu Abubakar via Hamisuabubakar4real@yahoo.com