In the just held National
Summit and 4th International Colloquium event that was part of former
President Olusegun Obasanjo's 79th celebrations, the twice former ruler of
Nigeria blamed the rise of violence, radicalism and
insecurity in Nigeria on the failure of homes, schools, churches and
It is not surprising that someone who
has ruled Nigeria for 11 of its 50-something odd years will attempt to absolve
himself and the leadership of blame for Nigeria's extreme violent uniqueness
and point the blame to families and religious institutions.
I had just published an article that coincidentally touches the very
subject, "In Nigeria Herdsmen Wipe Out Communities Over Cows."
Permit me to quote a relevant portion of it, "It (Nigeria) is not like the rest of the world where the
police rush to prevent crimes and invest time and
diligence in arresting all perpetrators to be sentenced or killed. In
Nigeria murder is considered a low category offense and sometimes an
honorable civic duty. Quite often the very State security services are
involved, typically sent by the leadership to perpetrate extrajudicial
mass murders and massacres–with impunity–thereby setting examples for the citizenry."
Can Obasanjo deny this? Do Nigerians
have the worst parents, churches and mosques in the world that we have and
continue to have the worst cases of insecurity, human right abuses, barbaric
terrorism and mass massacres?
From the government-tolerated mass
killings that led-up to the Biafra saga, to the government massacres
during the war, to the Odi military massacre, Zaki Biam military massacres,
2013 military massacre of Baga, and to the Zaria military massacres 1 and
2, what example was set for the people and who was behind the extremism,
radicalism and insecurity? So unless the former president is referring to his
parents and his church then he is absolutely wrong.
The Council of Foreign Relations, CFR Nigeria Security Tracker pays close attention to
this aspect inducing and aiding terror and insecurity. It is called
"State actor." Of the 44,000 terror related deaths in Nigeria since
Jonathan entered power, State actor has been implicated in at least 12,000
deaths. By all means, State actor-related deaths are the worst form of
terrorism, because the State is actually paid for the very opposite reason–to
provide security for life and property and not take it.
So where the State is a genocidal killer
itself and where the State remains perpetually corrupt, embezzling the
money for providing security advancements able to keep up with population
growth and human advancement, and where the State fails to arrest and deal with
cases of mass extremist violence and terror by the citizenry as a crime, then
who is more to blame, the State or social structures?
Since the advent of Boko Haram, not a
single terrorist has been sentenced to death. Recently a pastor who had
perhaps killed just one or two people, had his death sentence upheld by
the Supreme court. It is therefore peculiar to notice that Boko Haram
terrorists including the likes of Kabiru Sokoto, found guilty in the Christmas
day bombing that left dozens dead, are rather given life by the
Nigerian authorities and not a single terrorist has yet been sentenced to
death. Then one asks again, who is to blame in the spate of insecurity and
violence? State actors or their parents and churches or mosques?
Through Nigeria's decades-long history
of deadly riots, not a single Nigerian has been sentenced. The recent
pro-Buhari riots after the current president lost his contest in 2011 is fresh
in mind. Youths committed murder. At least 800 were killed mostly across the
north. Not a single perpetrator was arrested by the Jonathan government (that's
Goodluck Jonathan, Obasanjo's god-son). These murderers still walk the streets
and teach others to kill. So whose fault? The same has been the story for all
riots in Nigeria's history. Hundreds of thousands have been killed by such
government-tolerated barbarism. As we speak, and as described in my
above-mentioned article, the Fulani herdsmen murderers and by all
means, murderers among the Agatu, and/or their cow killers, all still walk free.
Murderers and criminals left to roam Nigeria freely. Does this happen anywhere
else in the world, where killers are left to walk free and kill again and again
and teach their children and larger community to kill?
Nigeria does not have the worst parents
and holy temples in the world. What we have had since colonization is the worst
leaders in the world.
Nigeria's former president would be well
advised to spend his last-days gracefully, away from public discourse. His
continued attempts at evading his major culpability are simply ridiculous and
quite unhealthy for the nation's consumption.
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