At War With Ourselves

The importance of a lasting political solution can never, never be over-emphasized.

At War With Ourselves

By Adeola Aderounmu


Adeola Aderounmu

Adeola Aderounmu

Our lives remain a struggle of different shades. In Nigeria we need a massive overdose of peace.

Each day still comes with its own struggles and puzzles, and whilst we try to live or make a way, we are sometimes confronted by violent assaults from fellow citizens as if the endless non-violent assaults from the political class are not enough.

When tens of robbers decided to storm Agbara in Ogun State 2 weeks ago (week 47), they were not joking. They made a statement of fact. They are at war with the society. After 90 minutes they  made away with millions of naira.

The robbers did not leave until they have inflicted sorrows and tears by also drawing the blood of some the innocent people around. There are diverse reports on the numbers of people slaughtered during the 90 minutes long operations.

Some policemen working in the Estate/ at the bank lost their lives and some bank customers were either shot dead or injured.

The official police response at the time of the robbery must have been extremely late considering that the robbers took their time, a time long enough to watch a football match. Even if the police took a flight from Abuja when the robbery started, they could still have met the robbers and foiled the operations before the robbers got away.

They got away in style. They shot at people at a nearby market killing a market woman in the process and they blew up a car. The language of war was clear and unmistaken.

This particular robbery by a gang that may have numbered 40 is the latest in the series of aggravated assaults on Western Nigeria. In Lagos State for example, the crime rate has soared significantly, especially since the emergence of Mr. Ambode as the governor of Lagos State.

A lot of things have gone worse in Nigeria generally especially since the emergence of the new dispensation at the center. The gaps and lapses since the month of May have exposed one of the ills of the system of governance in Nigeria. It is rather apppalling that Nigeria goes on recess every 4 years after the elections; a recess that usually means that things usually go from bad to worse.

But now that the federal executives have emerged and with the state executives also in place across Nigeria, a lot of people are looking forward to improvements, at least to the levels things were before the downward spiral. Things were already bad enough, why should they always get worse?

The organised criminal act perpetrated in Agbara was not an isolated occurence. In Festac Town, a similar rambo-style robbery was unleashed on the banks recently. It is time for the banks in Western Nigeria to invest more in the security of their staff and customers.

The ambulance response and the way people flooded the crime scenes after the bank robbery is a note for another day. It was just too awful to behold the non-response to crimes and the violations of crime scenes by onlookers and passers-by.

[The police were later reported to have arrested and killed the gang leader and other robbers who participated in the Agbara robbery]

There are constant sources of worries in Nigeria. The wars are many.

It is when you step into one of them consciously or unconsciously that you’ll know how that heart attack kills just as easily as a gun shot.

Growing up and living in Nigeria has already created the automated and life-time sources of worries. Invariably, struggling for common things like water, transportation and even education is a way of life. It is disheartening.

We are constantly at different types of war, it all depends on how you see life.

Some wars are too obvious you cannot miss them.

The war with Boko Haram is official.

Despite several claims that the sponsors are known, the group remains largely faceless. Recently, the Nigerian government published the pictures of people wanted in connection to the sect. Aside that, no one knows how the pictures were obtained or the stories/history of the accused.

Intelligence collection?

While some say that the group was formed by the Northern elites in an attempt to seize power from the South, others continue to finger the international community as flamers of the war in Northern Nigeria. The North did get back power and the terrorists got more brutal. Is it a case of a machine or robot out of control?

Irrespective of the speculations or the conspirations, Boko Haram has decimated the population of North-Eastern Nigeria and it has sent many people to their graves too early.

Millions OF PEOPLE are displaced within and around Nigeria.

The group is at war with Nigeria and it is shameful and ridiculous that they continue to embarass the Nigerian intelligence agency and the Nigerian military.

I think Boko Haram will last for as long as the rulers of Nigeria sees the decimation of Boko Haram as an attack on Nigeria.

The truth is, in this Boko Harm war, unless the funding of Boko Haram is cut away by arresting and prosecuting the local sponsors, or exposing the international ring if that be the case, the group will continue to re-organise and carry out attacks.

It is becoming obvious that the APC just like the PDP are denying the truths of the matter and they continue to play politics with the lives of the people. In the face of deceit, the war will thrive.

It is in view of this that the recent upsurge of the Biafra struggle is also worrying. Now there are claims again of external and internal sponsors for the biafran proponents. Both may be correct.

Africa continues to hold most of the world’s wealth beneath her soil. Stability in Africa will make her emerge as a powerful continent. So definitely the enemies of Africa posing as friends do not want peace on the continent.

But what do Africans want for themselves? Peace or war? Greed or common good of all?

This brings me to the point of the non-violent wars whose consequences unfortunately are physical wars and violence around Nigeria.

By organising corruption, greed and a non-functional system of government the Nigerian politicians have continuously remain in war with the rest of the society.

By some inexplicable means, one generation after the other continue to toe the line of non-functional methods of governance. The greed in people deafened them when it is their chance to effect a change.

In Nigeria’s classical example, the politicians are the same even though they want the people to believe that the political parties count. Since the demise of the UPN, NPN, and the likes of the GNPP, political parties in Nigeria have simply become a group of birds of the same feather in different nests.

What is likely now is that Boko Haram may outlive the Buhari administration the same way it outlived the Jonathan government. This is so because the deadline given by the APC to defeat Boko Haram has expired.

Boko Haram, Biafra proponents, and even the Oodua Republic will outlive the Buhari government the same way they have (under different names and agitations) outlived the different governments over the years.

Nigerians have neglected the voices of reasons that a lasting political solution is imminent for Nigeria. The British formula will not hold water forever.

No one has told us what is wrong with regional system of government. It was amazing for Nigeria whilst it lasted until the regimes became intoxicated with the oil wealth of the Niger Delta.

There are indeed no perfect ways forward for Nigeria but the dirts have been under the carpets for more than 55 years. It’s time to start cleaning and talking.

Once the Nigerian people decide on putting the right amount of pressure on its political class, they’ll be able to force constructive debates and consequently a referedum to decide the political future of the country put together in 1914 for the benefit of Britain and the Western world.

A functional political structure and a working society will reduce the crime rate drastically. It will go a long way to address unemployment issues and tackle many of the societal ills that continue to put Nigeria permanently on the edge.

One hopes that the political class does not take the war, increasing uprisings and agitations with kid gloves any longer. Drastic situations require drastic solutions.

The surest thing in the future is that one day under a certain generation, that political solution which we keep avoiding will stare at people in their faces as the only way forward.

If it is not too late, it will become the only alternative to war.

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