On June 16, this year ,a Catholic priest was kidnapped in Ikpeshi,a village in Edo state, Nigeria’s South South. In the deep of the night, while the abductors were sleeping, the priest ,along with his cathecist ,made a daring run for it .With the help of local hunters and vigilantes, the kidnappers were apprehended after an exchange of gun fire. The king pin, a Fulani herdsman,a crippled by bullets, turned out to have been involved in a kidnapping, months earlier in which a victim died. Police at the state headquarters,were he was taken at the time, simply let him go. He was free to kidnap again until the vigilantes decided that the law was useless.
Last Friday, witnesses for challenger to Mr Buhari, Atiku Abubakar, were attacked by “bandits ” leading to the postponement of the days sitting. The same day, Funke Fasoranti-Olakunrin, daughter of the leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, was murdered by “suspected herdsmen ” in an ambush. In the two events, the police has promised, as it always does, to bring “the culprits to book”. That’s not the real story. In today’s Nigeria, nothing will be heard of the killers. Most people think that they are sponsored or enjoy tacit support from the government.
In the killing of Mrs Fasoranti-Olakunrin, the police stole the thunder by saying that she was killed by armed robbers. And Mr Buhari quickly sent a condolence message to her 94-year old father to that effect. Since then, many theories about who killed her and why she was killed have developed.
First, Reuben Fasoranti and his office, do not “recognise” Buhari as president, believing that “he rigged” the last elections. Two, it was at a meeting in Fasoranti’s Akure home that Mr Yemi Osibanjo, was described as a “disgrace to the race Yoruba” following his lies in New York about kidnappings and violence being “exaggerated” by Nigeria’s media.
Now, was a message being sent to the oldman? If yes , by who? As one theory goes.The federal government? Osibanjo? No one can tell but Mr Bola Tinubu and Mr Osibanjo were in Akure Sunday to “condole ” with the “elder statesman” . Mr Fani -Kayode and some Yoruba groups think that the tears are largely crocodile’s.
In one tweet, Femi Fani-Kayode said that he was“Still reeling from the shock of Mrs. Funke Fasoranti- Olakunrin’s murder and now I am told that unknown gunmen have stormed Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo’s home, murdered his uncle and abducted his step-mother even as she was nursing her 11-day old baby! Things have fallen apart!”
And in a more vitriolic tone:
“I listened to Tinubu’s slurred speech and utter nonsense at Pa Fasoranti’s home. He was inconsiderate and insensitive. He was not there to mourn or commiserate with Pa, he was there to mock him, to pour salt in his wounds, to play politics and to speak for his Fulani masters.1/
“Even for a confirmed quisling and desperate serf this time Tinubu has gone too far. Funke has not even been buried yet and he is already pissing all over her bullet-riddled body. Tinubu has sold his soul to the devil and his conscience to the north.4/”.
Nigeria’s opposition, the PDP said in a reaction :“The party bewails that the killing of Funke Olakunrin marks yet another national loss occasioned by the failure of the Buhari administration to secure the nation beyond lip service, a development that has emboldened marauders in our country”.
Some say that beyond Ondo State governor ,Akeredolu, his other counterparts in the south West have been silent. On the orders of Mr Tinubu.
And the victim’s father from a tweet by Fani Kayode: “May God continue to protect us because we are at war.When we go to the farm we meet them there.We are all scared.Wecannot go to our fathers’ farmlands anymore.When we plant crops they don’teven allow the cropsto grow”-Pa Fasoranti,whose daughter was killed by Fulani terrorists.’
It is very germane for Nigeria to begin to talk to itself. That it is doing well is a lie. It can only get worse unless something is done. President Olusegun Obasanjo has written, yet another open lawyer to Mr Buhari. And Nobel prize winner, Wole Soyinka, has said that the vortex of violence and the threats of war are beyond Mr Buhari. He thinks Mr Buhari has done dismally in security. “There is a minimal level which any government, which has been elected to power, must achieve to be considered a true representative of the people.
“Look at what’s happening today with cattle all over the place, that’s a security issue, which should never have reached this level. That singular act has resulted in
hundreds of people being killed, farms were taken over; it has wiped away a lot of the positive achievements of the government”.
For some reasons that are clear, it will be difficult for Mr Buhari’s government to extricate himself from this mayhem. Herdsmen, for instance, go about brazenly with assault rifles while the other citizens are forbidden to carry machetes. But was Mrs Fasoranti -Olakunrin a convenient victim of a general ailment? Or was it a “targeted assassination” (Afenifere) meant to keep the opposition in check? I do not know.
But I do know this: The government treats the rest of Nigerians as captives, people without rights, especially the right to life and in the words of Lydia Maria,“We first crush people to the earth, and then claim the right of trampling on them forever, because they are prostrate”.
The narrative that “we are winning the war against banditry” is a lie. And Mr Yemi Osibanjo’s vexatious lectures where he basically lie do not help. To put the whole thing in a proper perspective, here’s collage of deaths across the country between June 22 and July 5.
June 22: Nigerian troops killed two Boko Haram militants in Gwoza, Borno.
June 22: Bandits killed three in Maradun, Zamfara.
June 23: Gunmen killed three and abducted three in Danmusa, Katsina
.June 23: Nigerian troops killed three Boko Haram militants in Dikwa, Borno.
June 24: Boko Haram killed twenty farmers in Mobbar, Borno.
June 24: Boko Haram killed nine in Guzamala, Borno.
June 24: Three Boko Haram militants, one soldier, and three civilians were killed during a Boko Haram attack in Mafa, Borno.
June 24: Nigerian troops killed eight bandits in Sabon-Gari, Sokoto.
June 25: Sectarian violence led to fifteen deaths in Wukari, Taraba
. June 25: Gunmen abducted eight travelers in Akure North, Ondo.
June 25: Herdsmen killed seven in Kontonkar, Kogi.
June 26: Nigerian troops killed “a number” (estimated at ten) of Boko Haram militants in Gujba, Yobe.
June 26: Nigerian troops killed fifteen bandits in Maru, Zamfara.
June 27: Two soldiers, one policeman, and twenty-nine bandits were killed during an attack in Shinkafi, Zamfara.
June 28: The Nigerian Air Force killed “several” (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Bakassi, Borno.
June 29: Bandits killed eleven and kidnapped six in Kankara, Katsina.
June 30: Sectarian violence led to twenty-five deaths in Agatu, Benue.
June 30: Nigerian troops killed ten bandits in Zurmi, Zamfara
.July 1: Gunmen killed four police officers in Yenegoa, Bayelsa.
July 2: The Nigerian Air Force killed twenty bandits in Tsafe, Zamfara.
July 2: Nigerian troops killed ten bandits in Anka, Zamfara
.July 3: Bandits killed eighteen in Kankara, Katsina.
July 3: Nigerian troops killed “several” (estimated at ten) Boko Haram militants in Nganzai, Borno.
July 3: Gunmen killed one police officer and kidnapped two Chinese nationals in Oredo, Edo.
July 4: A pipeline explosion caused by vandals killed three in Alimosho, Lagos.
July 4: Boko Haram killed five soldiers in Damboa, Borno.
July 5: One police officer and one kidnapper were killed during a gun battle in Dunukofia, Anambra.
Finally, that this government can change the situation is a huge delusion.It simply can’t. It is like asking the doctor that injured you on purpose for a cure.