By Richard Odusanya
“Government is instituted for the common good: for protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for the profit, honor or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men: therefore, the people alone have the uncontestable, inalienable and indefensible rights to institute government and the reform, alter or totally change same, when their protection, safety and happiness require it.” John Adams
True leaders help themselves and those around them to do the right thing. They chart a course by inspiring others with a shared vision and in turn, create something new out of the familiar. Leadership is at its core, the ability to map out the best route to success.
Leaders build the values and behaviours of followers. Without a leader, there isn’t a standard to follow, and collective integrity eventually erodes. Since integrity is such a critical element of leadership, it makes sense that values and collective integrity would erode with a Leader’s presence.
The daily breaking news of mass kidnapping, killings and bombing make rounds is outrageous. Every well-meaning Nigerians irrespective of tribes, religions and political affiliation should be worried about the state of our nation. The benefits of being a Nigerian has becoming blurry.
The challenges of insecurity under a failed leadership needs immediate attention before we get to a point of no return with the status of the kidnapped Kagara students and teachers and killings by insurgents not abetted.
Major General Muhammadu Buhari has warned against ethnic profiling of criminals, assuring Nigerians that his government will continue to deal with insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, and other criminals who constitute a threat to innocent citizens. But that’s all these current Government has ever done, get shocked, react and do nothing.
Apart from the kidnapping of school pupils in Science Secondary School Kankara and Kagara, an unknown number of students were reported kidnapped in Zamfara State early hours of Friday 26, 2021 around 1.00am.
In six (6) weeks, students have been abducted in Katsina, Niger and Zamfara states. Kidnapping seems to be the new found oil well in the country right now. The fact that these kidnappers, bandits, and killer herdsmen are on rampage and going about their murderous activities is a clear signal that something is seriously wrong with our security framework as a nation.
Is our DSS and military intelligence unit functioning? Why have they not been able to fish out the sponsors, and locations of theses bandits and killer herdsmen? Why can’t they use drones and high-tech surveillance systems to track these bandits? Why can’t they stop the influx of foreign killer herdsmen and bandits into Nigeria? Do we have a National Assembly?
Treating bandits with fraternal empathy and empathy as mere ‘delinquent children’ rather than terrorists emboldened them and now they have bought sophisticated arms and formed ‘kidnap and ransom cooperative societies’. It is lucrative business for them.
A script is being played by these Northern actors. I hope the southern counterparts are watching and taking note as event are unfolding gradually. They came with RUGA, it was rejected, waterway bill was rejected and now Amnesty for their kindred is being thrown out to ascertain its acceptability. But this not Nigeria of 1983.
This is a moment for sincerity of purpose, reflection, and introspection, not a time to be silent and do nothing. It is a clarion call, a call to duty and taking responsibility. We need wake and smell the coffee.
Nigeria is bleeding and under siege, this is a moment of sober reflection and introspection.
Richard Odusanya is Convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE (ACRI).
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