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The threat to kidnap President Buhari

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It was beyond comic relief that a popular Islamic preacher based in Sokoto State, Bello Yabo, offered prayers and supplications to Allah that terrorists who have threatened to kidnap President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State and the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, would be successful in their mission.


In what will at best be described as negotiations for prisoners’ swap, Yabo, who said the prayer while reacting to Garba Shehu’s comment on the terrorists’ threat had appealed to the kidnappers to release innocent victims in their custody in exchange for the president and his “team” should they succeed in taking them into custody. In insisting that the terrorists are free to kidnap Nigerian top leaders, the Islamic cleric was simply drawing attention to the popular remarks in an English novelist, journalist and critic George Orwell’s Animal Farm that ‘all animals are equal’ against the position of Napoleon, who in this case Garba Shehu that some animals, indeed some Nigerians  are more equal than others.


The scenario  simply portrays the nonchalant attitude of state actors towards the welfare and security of the citizens whom they swore an oath to protect and defend considering that it has taken the inversion of Abuja, the nation’s seat of power by terrorists, kidnappers and the subsequent effrontery to take on Aso Rock, the official residence of Nigeria’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces for the Presidency to wake from its obvious slumber as to begin to question the efficacy of the nation’s security architecture.


We further observed that following the threat by terrorists, President Buhari held three crucial meetings with security chiefs in two weeks just as the leadership of the National Assembly hurriedly summoned them to a closed door meeting. The Police, military and paramilitary men and officers now live in forests and caves in and around Abuja in search of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers all in efforts to checkmate the potential kidnap of Buhari who definitely they will come as they did to the Kuje Correctional Centre.


Ordinary Nigerians are frustrated in the face of the calamitous situations confronting the nation. Nigeria is fast acquiring all the attributes and indices of a failed state.  The nation’s economy is in its worst state in the face of war lords balkanizing the various regions and sharing territories. Food security now has a new meaning as hunger and starvation are steering the people in the face even as other oil producing nations as Nigeria are busy fortifying their foreign reserves on the heels of the revenue windfall occasioned by hike in crude oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war.


Just as it took a slight amendment of Nigeria’s electoral laws for majority of state actors to appreciate the fact that they are not invincible after all following their inability to secure their bids to remain permanent residents at the National Assembly, it has taken the ultimate arrival of terrorists, bandits and kidnappers in Abuja for the authorities to appreciate the need to confront insecurity as a pandemic. Otherwise, why would a government receive as many as 44 security reports and signals on impending attacks on its facilities and yet refused to act until the damage was done. It will not be out of place to say that the top echelon of government is accomplice in the act of banditry against the state.


As a government, the lives and property of its citizens should be worth every effort at protecting them. While we canvass for adequate funding of the various security formations the Police inclusive, we strongly advocate for the effective, efficient and target-centered deployment of available personnel, equipment and operational vehicles for the purpose of securing and providing a conducive environment needed for the rejuvenation of the nation’s economy which is currently gasping for breath.


Just as the nation waited on the attack on Kuje Correctional Centre to occur before ordering security agencies to confront the terrorists, we should not wait for the actualization of Yabo’s prayers that President Buhari be kidnapped for the country to activate and adopt measures including but not limited to the engagement of Military Contractors (MPs).


Yabo’s lamentation captures the thinking of the average Nigerian that: “If these (Buhari, El Rufai and Garba Shehu) were the kind of people you have been abducting all this while, we wouldn’t have bothered ourselves. We would instead pray and bless you because they have become a disaster [to us]. These are people who promised heaven on earth, and now they have the opportunity but became incompetent. Take them to the bush and flog them, instead of humiliating innocent citizens who are striving to make ends meet. And please make good your threats and we will support you with prayers.”


Certainly it will amounts to grave mischief that neither the president nor the state governors speak out again on the issue of security vote now that its deployment is most critical. It should be brought closer home that the development of any nation depends upon the stability of its political structures and the enthronement of conducive business environment all of which would never be achieved in the face of serious security challenges confronting our country.


We will never challenge the regime of President Buhari enough when we insist that he must lead his team into expanding and exploring alternative means, conventional and/or unconventional, of restoring sanity and the sanctity of human life in the country thus upholding the dignity of Nigerians. If the American president can deploy drowns to Pakistan for the purpose of eliminating one terrorist considered a threat to lives and property of Americans, it behooves on Buhari to be more committed in putting an end to the bloodletting which have come to ingloriously redefine who we are as Nigerians.



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