Since April 2012 when the Boko Haram
misadventure came into national views following the killing of some National
Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members deployed to some Northern States on election
duties, all well-meaning citizens have remained united in condemnation of the
Undeterred the sect raised the tempo by
attacking the Police Headquarters, Abuja, military formations and churches
during which many Nigerians lost their lives and property. As if that was not
enough, the Sect attracted the condemnation and attention of the international
community, when it attacked the United Nations office in Abuja. They also
abducted and killed some foreign nationals.
At the last count, the Minister of Police
Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade said the monstrous Islamic Sect had carried
out 118 attacks in six Northern states during which 308 people were killed. In
fact the activities of the Sect have almost destroyed the economies of Yobe,
Borno, Bauchi and Niger States, while pools of refugees fleeing from these
states have been created in sister states.
But it is disgusting that while patriotic
Nigerians are seeking ways of checking the excesses of the deadly Boko Haram
Sect, some Northern leaders, notably Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retired)
would be making statements capable of
aggravating more killing fellow citizens and foreigners alike, without
The defeated Congress For Progressuve
Change (CPC) Presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections was recently reported as warning
that 2015 general elections would be bloody if what happened in 2011 general
elections repeats itself. In addition to referring to the Federal Government as
being the biggest “Boko Haram,” he said both the monkey and the baboon would be
soaked in blood. These are clearly inflammatory statements that ought not to be
uttered by a statesman like Buhari.
The Tide believes strongly that in view of
Buhari’s provocative statements; he cannot claim not to know more about Boko
Haram than the administration wants to credit him. Given the facts the Federal
Government ought to have invited Buhari to tell the world about what he meant
by the 2015 elections and blood letting. Afterall, as former military Head of
State, Buhari in our estimation owes this country a duty of maintaining her
peace and unity.
We believe that if Buhari had used his
position as a member of the Security Council to proffer solutions to address
the Boko Haram saga, he would have earned the respect and sympathy of the
Nigerians he so desperately wants to govern. But to hope to intimidate and cow
the people to vote for him is sad.
Buhari himself ought to know that nobody is
bigger than Nigeria, and that the country Nigeria can do without the best.
While the Federal Government has exercised the greatest restraint in dealing
with Boko Haram even in the face of unwarranted provocation, they cannot
continue to pamper the realities.
Only recently, the Federal Government
inaugurated the first Federal Government-owned Almajiri Model Boarding School,
Gagi in Sokoto metropolis to address the educational needs of 9.5 million Almajiri children in the north.
In addition, government promised that every
year for four years, it would construct one hundred to 400 Almajiri schools
nationwide. These, efforts, Buhari must appreciate, are geared towards making
the youth useful citizens of the country and to raise the lots of Nigerians
living in parts of the north. This move by the Jonathan administration, Buhari
should note, is undertaken to fill a vacuum he should have acted upon to
accelerate the social emancipation of the youth in the North. But, he did
nothing in that direction, during his infamous draconian tenure that was
rightly cut short by General Babangida.
What of the development of agriculture that
holds the promise of gainfully engaging as many youth as possible, particularly
in the agrarian north of the country, could Buhari boast of any useful input he
made during his brinkmanship, to boost agriculture through loans to farmers or
even the development of dams for irrigation purposes?
Clearly, if the Boko Haram boys had visited
his home state of Katsina and perhaps killed his people for no cause, Buhari
would have known what the rest of the country is talking about. Even so, some
people have openly wondered why the sect was yet to strike in Katsina.
As we call for support for the Federal
Government efforts, we make bold to tell Buhari and his co-travellers who have
had the privilege of leading our country, that they should help Jonathan to
repair the damage they caused while in power, rather than exacerbating it.
Besides, Buhari should take congnisance of the truism that he who sours the
wind would surely reap the whirlwind. This is time to build, rather than to
destroy what our forebears worked hard to put together.