By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU
After what seemed like an unending silence eminent personalities are again warning the administration of President Buhari to do something about the rising insecurity and general uncertainty in the land before it spiral out of control. But the body language of the president and the silence of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) doesn’t suggest any hope of a reprieve for Nigerians who are under the siege of economic distress and insecurity.
Dominating the headlines last week was the issue of the Imam of Apo Mosque, Sheikh Nuru Khalid, a fiery preacher who criticized President Buhari’s handling of the insecurity in the country, following the Kaduna train attack, warning that the government was not doing enough and appeared unperturbed.
The preacher said this in a Friday sermon penultimate week. The following day, he was put on suspension by the Mosque Committee, and was subsequently sacked last week.
However, on Thursday, the controversial Imam said he’s not a slave to anybody. He told the BBC that being an Imam doesn’t mean he shouldn’t talk about the killings going on in Nigeria, and no one can treat him like a slave.
“I’m not your slave, I won’t keep quiet about the killings in Nigeria because I’m an Imam.”
He said that the government of Nigeria was not doing well in fighting against insecurity in the country and that’s not good at all.
As if on cue the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye lamented on the state of insecurity in the country.
Speaking during his Holy Ghost sermon, he said God has yet to speak to him about the 2023 elections unlike in 2019 when God spoke to him a year before the elections.
“As of now, I still do not know whether or not there will be an election next year. Do not say that Pastor Adeboye said there will be no election next year, that is not what I said… Adeboye does not know yet,” he told his congregation.
Penultimate Sunday, Adeboye noted that he is very concerned about the Kaduna killings, oil theft, Nigerias depressing debt profile and other current national challenge.
On the Kaduna train attack, he said, “you cannot go to Kaduna by road, air or train. That brings so many questions to my mind as a man of prayers. Why Kaduna? Who is trying to isolate Kaduna? Why? After Kaduna, which next? he asked.
“It is in the news and nobody has denied it that as of now more than 80 per cent of the oil we are producing is being stolen… that leads me to several questions, he said.
“Who is stealing the oil? Where is the money going? What do they want to do with the money? Who are the foreign nations buying this stolen oil? How many of these nations of the world are your friends?”
According to him, it is an open secret that more than 90 per cent of the money Nigeria gets from crude oil sales is being used to furnish interest accruing on debt.
“We are borrowing more and according to a friend of mine, we are moving steadily towards a state of bankruptcy a whole nation…”
As if last week was a season of lamentations over disturbing proportion of insecurity, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, described the security challenges facing the country as a serious situation, calling for concerted efforts by stakeholders to stem the tide. He said that government has been overwhelmed by the security challenge and questioned government’s willingness to stop the crisis.
The former president spoke at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while receiving a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential aspirant, Dr. Ugochukwu Williams and his team.
Obasanjo, while reacting to the recent attacks on Kaduna-Abuja train, where no fewer than seven persons were confirmed dead and 21 other passengers injured, and 127 missing, said the security challenge in Nigeria has overwhelmed the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“I believe very strongly, and I have said it publicly and I will say it again that the situation we are in this country is not a situation where one man will say yes, he has a solution unless we are deceiving ourselves. I believe we need to sit down collectively and look at the situation.
“A situation where you are not safe on the road, you are not safe on the train, you are not safe at the airport, shows a very serious situation.
I believe that all right-thinking Nigerians must know that we have a situation that has overwhelmed the present administration, but we should not allow that situation to overwhelm Nigeria,” he said.
However, government in a quick reaction dismissed his concerns, noting the problem did not start with this government, and everything was being done to solve the problem.
In the same vein , the Labour Party, LP, last Wednesday, warned that if the escalating wave of terrorism in parts of the country remained unchecked, it has the potential to derail the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
This came as a legal luminary, Afe Babalola, proposed the convocation of a national dialogue as a catalyst for revamping Nigeria from its incessant security challenges.
Labour party alleged the seemingly impotence of the Federal Government to arrest the situation, makes the whole scenario threatens the 2023 general elections.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Arabambi Abayomi, said: “Labour Party condemns in totality the very weak responses of government to terrorism. At least now that the APC government, the security agencies and all the federal might have failed to provide security to the people, it is quite plausible that Nigerians should be constitutionally empowered to carry arms for self defense.
“Labour Party subscribes to the fact that the first and the very most important duty of government is to constitutionally provide and ably guarantee the safety and security of the citizens, but it is unfortunate that the APC led government had left Labour Party with no choice but to strongly condemn the level of its highly shocking and extremely nauseating incompetence shown against the continual killings of the citizens across the nation by the terrorists.
“It has now come to a stage that as a nation, this must not be condoned anymore. The time has come for the government to do what is standard and needful immediately, as security is the main demand for a truly democratic rule, but this is one area in which the federal government had been found highly wanting.”
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, in a revealing disclosure last week, spoke between the lines that many African countries were making efforts to make economic mileage out of the country’s security challenge by lobbying companies operating in Nigeria to leave and come to them.
Appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts, Adebayo, leading other agencies under the Ministry to the committee to respond to queries from the Auditor General for the Federation, said one of such countries was Ghana.
Concerned about the nefarious activity of bandits, and the spate of killings and kidnapping, especially the Kaduna-Abuja train attack, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to seek international help in combating the perennial security crisis in the country.
The playwright said this at a press conference he tagged Forget the past, forfeit the future: A nation seceding from humanity, on Thursday in Lagos.
He urged Mr Buhari to take help from the international communities even if it means the UN (United Nations) establishing a unit in the country.
Mr Soyinka maintained Nigeria is overqualified for international help and should stop hiding under false pride or national integrity.