Nigerians woke up this morning to the harsh news of a bomb blast in Nyanya, in Abuja claiming unofficially nearly 200 hundred lives. The attacks which have yet to be claimed by any terrorist group is however speculated to be masterminded by the insurgent group, Boko Haram which has become every citizen’s nightmare.
For those of us who know the site of the blast it will be agreed that the casualty figures giving by eye witnesses is not far from the truth. The Nyanya under bridge bus stop is one of the most populated bus stops in the Federal Capital Territory being that most civil servants live in that axis of the town and in the usual bid to beat traffic hold ups, they start their daily journey at about 6 am. This hustle to break bread is what cost their lives today.
I am very sure that the president, service chiefs and every other person tasked with securing lives of taxpaying Nigerians will say: “we are on top of the situation”, “we will fish out the killers” and other clichés Nigerians should have been used to by now.
This situation quickly replays all the acts of violence that have been metted out on Nigerians on Nigerian soil while the government in its usual mouthy nature do nothing even as she is on top of the situation. Scores of people have been slaughtered and rendered homeless in Benue, Maiduguri, Yobe, Nassarawa, Kaduna and many other locations around the country within the recent 6 years of the Jonathanian reign.
Reading reactions to these incidents on social networks has probed reasons into my head as to the panacea to this incessant crisis and also the motive behind this blight.
It has been widely claimed that the attacks and violence perpetrated around the nation is based on religious inclinations and sentiments however it is also interesting however that the casualties of these acts are Muslims and Christians alike.
When a bomb blasts it does not know religion neither does the rapid gunfire select one religious sect. The secondary school children who were murdered in cold blood were not selected on basis of religion. Maiduguri and the entire North East is largely an Islamic region, save for the negligible number of Christian minorities; however the scourge is resident there.
This issue has elicited arguments, accusations and blame trading between the two leading political parties in the country; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) accusing the opposition All Peoples Congress (APC) of sponsoring the acts.
Only few weeks ago, President Goodluck Jonathan during a rally by the PDP, had once again reiterated that he knew those behind the Boko Haram sect with a threat to unveiling them.
When the issue of killings by perceived Fulani herdsmen is mentioned in any discussion, reasons adduced that they are necessitated by clashes between farming communities and pastoral Fulani whose cattle are rustled or have trampled on farms with their herd which certainly have also foraged on the farmers crops to his provocation.
However it will be apt to note that as a middle belter and Tiv man, I have been privileged to know that while growing up there had always been herds of cattle traversing Benue towards the South and East for greener pasture and in the travel many cows were rustled by my folks for claimed destruction on their farms but these were settled amicably. Why todays own different?
We have been told that the only way out of this Farmer/ Herdsman brouhaha is the establishment of grazing routes and reserves, to which effect a committee has been tasked with the responsibility of setting these up. A tradition that has become obsolete world over.
Even before the completion of the committee’s task, the people of the Middle Belt have already began kicking against establishment of reserves and routes in their lands as they are known to be farmers thus their livelihood may soon be taken away. This strategy seems the proverbial robbing Peter to pay Paul.
This is reminiscent of the wave of violence that swept across he nation during the Shagari regime which prompted a military take over. Do I hear some people wishing for a military regime? In as much as we had our rights stripped us, we however had our lives.
My humble suggestion is that the President and commander-in- Chief of the Armed Forces, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan be frontal enough to unearth these hooligans and bring them to book, having already informed us that he knows them and will bring them to book when the time comes. Now is that time!
If the above suggestion is not possible then we beg that His Excellency humbly resigns from office and in effect forfeit his 2015 presidential ambition for the interest of peace and tranquility. Afterall he is there to serve us and if “we” do not want him no, longer so much as to destroy ourselves to discredit him then what better way is there to servitude than forfeiting his position for the love of the nation?