Insecurity: @MBuhari’s understanding of hard work By @OkeStalyf

The proliferation of crime in the country has currently taken a sad turn with multiple cases of kidnapping, banditry and other vices that have turned many Nigerians away from their homes and roads. Those who couldn’t help themselves have escaped into neighbouring Niger Republic where they felt much secured. However, the general feeling of hopelessness that comes with the state of insecurity in Nigeria meant little or nothing to the man at the helm of the country’s affair. Rather than show empathy and a strong political will to end the cruel fate Nigerians face daily, President Muhammadu Buhari preferred to crack a dry joke on the physical appearance of the Acting Inspector-General of Police, AIG Abubakar Mohammed Adamu. Buhari threw Nigerians into disbelieve when he responded to questions from journalists on his approach to tame the wave of insecurity in the country by saying “I’ve just seen the IGP, he is losing weight, so I think he’s working hard.” But wait, how is losing weight a measure to determine someone working hard? It was not enough that Buhari left citizens to their fate and chose to embark on a private visit to the United Kingdom when insecurity ravaged the land but upon his return chose to make jest of the plight of the people. For any government, the security and safety of citizens is a very serious business and I don’t see how such delicate task can be achieved with the country’s head of Police shedding weight but effective strategies. Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution provides in Section 14(2b) that “The SECURITY (emphasis mine) and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government”, and it is yet unclear how losing weight of someone who heads the country’s internal security structure could ensure compliance.  Maybe the President is as usual unaware of this important constitutional responsibility placed on his shoulder or he was just unconcerned that Nigerians are finding it too hard to move freely on our roads and barely sleep with their two eyes closed at night. In 2015, one of the things that endeared Buhari to a larger number of voters was his promise of ensuring security in the country. Many Nigerians, especially in the North, banked on his military background to eliminate Boko Haram menace, which was the major security threat at that particular time. They concluded that Goodluck Jonathan was indecisive and a strong man, which was the image given to Buhari then, would foster stability and peace. But down the line, not only does the Boko Haram issue still ravage North East, security challenges such as brutal kidnappings, armed robbery, ritual killings, cult related clashes, herdsmen attacks and banditry, among other crimes have been added to the list of woes confronting the security situation in Nigeria. This has heightened fear of danger across board and the leader of the country who should offer reprieve to the public is busy passing unnecessary compliment. It is no denying that the president can pass compliments just like every other Nigerians, but such should be observant of his citizens, who he swore to serve. Suggesting that the IGP is working hard because he is losing weight, whereas Nigerians are overwhelmed with fears of insecurity smack insensitivity. Infact, things seem to have taken an awful turn such that the hitherto untouched in the society are no longer spared. Recently, daring armed men waylaid the board chairman of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Mohammed Mahmood, along the Kaduna-Abuja Highway. His driver was not so lucky as he was shot dead while the assailants abducted the UBEC chief and his daughter, who were said to have allegedly coughed out N60m before they regained their freedom. Few days later, similar fate befell an Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Professor, Yinka Adegbehinde, who was broached by gun wielding men near Ikire along the Ife-Ibadan Expressway and whisked away. The orthopaedic surgeon who secured his freedom after his family paid N5.045m to his abductors, rued the country’s internal security mechanism and said “The Federal Government needs to invest more in security; we need to know the identity of people coming in and going out of the town, state and the country at large.” This is happening simultaneously with violent attacks on farming populated Benue and Plateau states by gun wielding militias, which has reduced farm outputs and resulted in the loss of lives and destruction of valuable properties. The onslaught of bandits have chased many away from their homes in Zamfara, with threatening security incidents in Sokoto and Buhari’s Katsina home state resulting in the abduction of Magaji Gari (of Daura emirate council), who is also the father-in-law to Buhari’s ADC. Expressing his displeasure to the prevailing state of insecurity in the country, the Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman said, “Every day I receive reports of kidnapping and killings from the district and village heads,” asking the Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbe to “Tell the president (Buhari) that we have to take care of our people, security first. All these programmes, as good as they are, cannot be (successful) without security. Security is first and fundamental.” The statement aptly captures the terrifying security situation in the country but rather than show commitment dissipated into guaranteeing the safety of citizens, Buhari is busy complimenting the physical appearance of the Police chief, who was honest to admit that with shortage of funds, inadequate equipment and personnel, there is little or nothing the Police can do to curb the rising waves of insecurity in the country. In essence, Buhari is either unaware of developments around him as Arthur Williams, renowned English actor, singer and playwright must have had him in mind when he concluded that “The fact is, in our society today, most people don’t know what hard work is all about.” Most Nigerians know better what hard work is and they will start to compliment IGP Adamu when they can safely move around without fear of being kidnap and no longer require to abscond from their homes for fear of attacks. That is what hard work means to Nigerians, not someone losing weight. Oke Umurhohwo is a Political Analyst and Strategist. He tweets via @OkeStalyf and can be reached via

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