By Amene Terheme
In the early hours of Monday, April 14, a terrible blast rocked the ever busy Nyanya Park claiming not less than 50 lives. The PDP in its official reaction by their spokesman, Olisah Metuh blamed the opposition. Keep in mind that so far no security agency has made public any report of the investigation of the blast. This piece of information is important because if Metuh who has no official link to and is holding no office in any of the security agencies will know the perpetrators of a blast even before those saddled, constitutionally, with the responsibility to fish out those behind the crime start work, two things may be possible: He is behind it himself. He planned it all along with the intent to pin it on the opposition because of statements they had made which he perceived were directed at propagating violence and mass murder – that’s a good alibi. He knew all along when the opposition was planning the attack but kept quiet to make political capital should they succeed with the attack. Whichever be the case, DSS needs to pick Mr. (can’t call him chief because I don’t know what qualifies him to be one) Metuh to explain his role in the Nyanya bus station blast.
Now let’s go to the main substance: When Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno state said Boko Haram was better armed, PDP said he, a governor on the platform of APC, must have insider information on Boko Haram armament to make such a statement, by extension he is a sponsor. I had argued that I do not need to open students’ skulls to look at their brains before I’ll know who is more intelligent; the result of what they put on paper will give me who is. Days later, Boko Haram attacked a school in Yobe killing scores of students; from the blue a document emerged trying by all means to link the Central Bank Governor (Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) who had just been suspended to the attack, with some even crediting him with membership of the opposition, APC. That document was spread by a hitherto unknown name (Wendel Simlin), later shown by tech savvy persons to be an alias of Reno Omokri a staff of the PDP controlled presidency.
After the Nyanya attack, a PDP spokesman is playing another card linking APC to the attack. What a way to value human life! PDP’s eagerness to blame APC for violence in Nigeria is not new. Equally not new is the fact that even though they claim to have facts that link the opposition to violence, they have failed to use same to nail those involved so as to stop the violence. They may be waiting for 2015 to slap and rub the facts in their faces or they just enjoy watching as APC kills us all day after day. My pain and anger is not in PDP trying to pin the attack on the opposition, because such an attempt is at best a stupid display of low-life stupidity and immaturity. A man who fails to prevent the death of his children but turns around to quickly blame his brother staying with him who wants to take over his wife as the culprit is not only stupid, but insensitive, inhuman and patently useless. Such to me is the definition of the People’s Democratic Party now.
Now to some pertinent questions: If Metuh and PDP know that the opposition is responsible for the attacks by virtue of their statements, whose job is it to call them to order? Is it not the PDP led government? And if they have not been called to order until scores of lives are lost, who has failed? Is it not the PDP government? Since Metuh and PDP are so sure APC by their statements is promoting violence yet the government they control has not deemed it fit to bring to book those found to have made statements in favour of violence, should we take it to mean the government they (PDP) control is deliberately allowing the death of citizens it swore to protect so as to have an opportunity to point an accusing finger on the APC?
Since some PDP members/apologists have at one point or another made statements that were widely perceived as fueling the embers of violence, how is Metuh able to separate the violence attributable to the statements made by APC and those by PDP? If no investigation has been done, yet Metuh traces this blast to APC, is it a sign he knew of the attack before it happened? If YES, why didn’t he stop it by reporting to appropriate agencies? Does this not make him culpable in the crime? (Withholding information that could have stopped a crime from the authorities)
I conclude with these words: a man who cannot prevent the death of his children but turns around to quickly blame his brother staying with him who wants to take over his wife as being responsible for the deaths is not only stupid, but insensitive, inhuman and patently useless. Such to me is the definition of the Peoples Democratic Party now.
Amene Terheme is on linkedIn
5. Insecurity and indecisiveness: The maddening race to self-destruct (p15)
By Jaye Gaskia
We are indeed living in perilous times, a season of anomie, where life has become truly brief, short and brutish, and where not even the fittest can be sure of survival. This is the condition that best describes our existence in Nigeria at this moment. Violent crimes and irrational insurgencies have taken over the land. We have become a people buffeted by violence driven by the rabid hatred of the alienated for society, sponsored by highly placed and connected members of our treacherous ruling elites.
Let us be very clear about this, there has been no incidence running organized violence in whatever form, either as criminal acts of kidnapping, armed robbery, or crude oil theft; nor of insurgency, has been initiated without the active mobilization, organization and sponsorship of different fractions of the treasury looting elites in their antagonistic competitive drive towards primitive accumulation.
Every enquiry into sustained violent onslaughts on the Nigerian people and state has indicted some members of the elite. The problem however is that no consistent and deterrent action has been undertaken against the indicted members of the ruling class sufficient to mitigate and curb their propensity to arm the hapless poor in their struggle for control of state power in order to gain unfettered access to our public treasury.
The same impunity that drives corruption and treasury looting also drives the competitive arming of alienated and impoverished citizens against one another. For the avoidance of doubt, it does appear as if a sustained war of attrition and annihilation has been launched and is being waged against the poor, exploited, and oppressed subordinate classes and strata of our population by the rich. It does seem that there is an orchestrated campaign of extermination against the 70% of impoverished Nigerians, by the 10% of Nigerians who own and control 40% of National wealth; a status achieved through pillage and brigandage.
In the last five years, and certainly in the last decade alone, there have been at least two commissions of inquiry on the Boko Haram Insurgency, as well as other commissions on post election violence, and on the various inter-communal and intra-communal conflicts that have ravaged the country. Each of these commissions of enquiry, sat diligently, and produced reports with far reaching recommendations; each of these reports were dutifully submitted to the authorities; and almost nothing has been done to implement these reports. Here lies the bane of our problem, the continued pretences in high places that the situation will blow over of its own accord; combined with a mindset that accepts mass murder and routine massacres of even children, as appropriate collateral damage not only by perpetrators of violence, but also by the state and its functionaries in high and low places.
We demand that the reports of all extant commissions of enquiry into the Boko Haram insurgency, into the Fulani herdsmen and farmers conflicts, into political violence, be dusted off and implemented immediately. If people in government have no skeletons in their cupboards, the time to act is now, not tomorrow, and certainly not after the elections. Tackling this menace which has now become a low intensity warfare, with more than 2,000 Nigerians murdered since January requires political will, matched by a combination of approaches; responses which must include better organized and coordinated military action, but which must also go beyond this to include building relationships of active equitable collaboration based on trust and confidence with affected communities in order to isolate the insurgents; addressing the developmental challenges that have created the massive impoverisation of citizens and excluded them from access to basic social services, based on an emergency development intervention plan of action; as well as improved intelligence gathering capability and coordination among security and armed forces.
This concerted long drawn war on the poor must come to an end; and we are very clear about where to place responsibility for the war and the war crimes being waged and committed against the poor. The responsibility lies squarely with the ruling political elites in general, and with the political elites in control of Local, State and Federal governments. Enough Is Enough. How many more lives must be lost before those who claim they have our mandate to in the words of the constitutional provision the security and welfare of citizens, take concrete action to fulfill their constitutional obligations to us? Time is fast running out.
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