The premise on which the Buhari-led government came to being is to fight corruption and terrorism; it has been six years since its emergence into office but achieving the core of his campaign promise is far-fetched.
In the past six years, atrocities by Boko Haram, bandits, and Fulani herdsmen have increased to a very significant height. Over one thousand school children have been kidnapped in the past couple of months, a trend that has turned into a lucrative business for the perpetrators.
Unfortunately, children have become targets for this barbaric trend exposing them to grave psychological, physical and, emotional abuse. Currently, over one hundred school children abducted from Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna are still with their abductors, and parents are left to their fate and have resorted to only praying and hoping that their children return to them alive because the government is not showing any efforts towards the rescue of the school children.
It is appalling that these criminals launch attacks for long hours and move in large groups, yet they go unhindered by security; this brings you to agree that the government is complicit in the attacks on innocent citizens.
Somewhere in the northeast, Boko haram has hoisted their flag and has gone as far as conducting an election naming their first governor since the terror group emerged. It is embarrassing that the government that prides itself as better than the previous in terms of fighting insurgency is running a parallel government with a group they claim to have defeated.
In the middle belt, particularly Benue, Plateau and, southern Kaduna; poor farmers wake daily to their fully cultivated farmland and properties worth billions destroyed by herdsmen; Governor Ortom of Benue state has repeatedly called on the federal government to tackle the excesses of these herders yet the federal government has been playing deaf to the very vocal governor.
The federal government is very proactive in responding to criticism from any group or person, clamping down on the fundamental rights of citizens. According to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human rights, article 19 and 20 state that “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association and no one may be compelled to belong to an association.” The Buhari-led government has in many ways violated the rights of citizens. On June 5th, the Nigerian government put an indefinite ban on Twitter after the micro-blogging site deleted a tweet by President Buhari for going against its policies.
It is disheartening that a democratic government cannot stand any form of criticism from citizens that voted them into office. The ban on Twitter has crippled thousands of businesses of mostly young Nigerians seeking to make a living after the same government has failed to provide jobs for graduates and has also made policies not favorable for the private sector to thrive. Yet when citizens protest the incompetence of the government, armed security men are unleashed on them.
The Fulani herdsmen have been described as the fourth most deadly terror group by the Global Terrorism Index, yet, the government of Nigeria has vehemently turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed by the dreaded militia group.
On June 12th, Nigerian youths took to the streets to demonstrate the incompetence and incessant killings happening in Nigeria by various terror groups, and also demanded a better standard of living for the common man; but typical of the Buhari-led government, peaceful protesters were tear-gassed by the Nigerian police in Lagos and Abuja however, protesters in Jos said in a long while, that was the peaceful protest they have ever witness under the current government.
According to Femi Fani-Kayode, “Fulani militants are spread all over the country, they are in camps in the forest in the South-west, are in camps in the South-east killing members of local populations; are in camps in every state in the middle belt and, are in camps in every state in the North including the north-east; so they are by far the most dangerous, the most potent, and, the most well organized in my view and most probably the most funded” he said in an interview granted to the Rural Watch News.
These revelations by Fani-Kayode explain the extreme danger Nigeria is in right now, yet, the government fully aware has deliberately turned a blind eye to the daring situation at hand for obvious reasons.
Ethno-religious tensions have heightened in every part of the country, and the government that once promised to belong to everybody, and nobody now belongs to his kinsmen, the Fulani herders; the selective blindness and one-sided government of President Buhari are driving Nigeria to its ruin.
The likes of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, agitators of the Oduduwa and the Biafran nation respectively are springing, unfortunately, they are heavily hunted, this situation has put Nigeria on the brink of a civil war. Unfortunately, the international communities have turned a blind eye to the happenings in Nigeria. The United Nations have also turned blind to the mass atrocities committed by this government.
Currently, the federal government is at loggerheads with the southern governors on the ban on open grazing in their states. The federal government should be concerned by the worsening state of insecurity and the menace caused by these criminal elements, but on the contrary, they are worried about grazing routes for cattle against the safety of citizens; it is clear that the present government is incompetent, biased, tribalistic, nepotistic, and is not ready to provide good governance to citizens.
The big questions are, what exactly is the agenda of the Buhari-led government? Why is the federal government keen on defending the killer herders against the oath they took to protect the lives and properties of citizens? What is the life of a Nigerian worth?
Author: Kangmwa Gofwen
Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria