In a clime like ours, where
tribes and tongues differ, and unity is merely evoked in diversity, caution is never left out of the way. Our quest and supposed efforts for a secured state of Nigeria, had seemed to be punctured and frustrated as the days go by, this is either because the razor not sharp enough or is the barbar is not proficient in his business.
The distance to the anticipated security appears to be so long with eventual arrival seeming unrealistic, the need for a retreat with a view to finding out the genuiness and sincerity of the journey undertakers comes to mind.
For a people, supposed to be fighting a common course of terrorism in a country, the collective interest of the country is usually foremost, unfortunately, unfolding events tend to create more suspicion as to whether we are truly united in purpose or are just acting so we may not be fingered as the odd one.
Suffice it to say that in a united fight against a course, who the suspects and culprits are to the fighters is usually secondary, what matters most is ridding the state of such enigma that has become a nightmare to the people, this indeed is the spirit of the military. Of course, one way to demonstrate security consciousness is to suspect every uncommon move in the neighbourhood and what could be less uncommon in a convoy of 35 Hiace Hummer Buses at 2am across states?
Nigerians woke up Tuesday with the news of the arrest of a group of 486 Nigerians travelling in 35 buses from the north to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, by the military in Abia State. The suspects were said to have been stopped at 2am Monday, between Arungwa Junction on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway and Imo Gate, the Abia/Rivers boundary. Two of the vehicles however, slipped away.
Although the suspects have claimed to be travelling to Port Harcourt in search of jobs, one wonders how such a large number of youths could be travelling in search of job, was there any overflow of job vacancies in Port Harcourt? Even at that, what makes the northern youths the right beneficiaries of this job opportunity? How did the long motorcade travel from the north to the east without being apprehended on the way?
These and many other questions have bugged the minds of many Nigerians who believe that thorough investigation would help to unravel the true mission of these suspects.
On the contrary, rather than applauding the efforts of the army and other security agencies in Abia States and probably urging their counterparts in other states to rise, to the challenge, in view of the spate of insecurity in the country, all that is heard is an outright condemnation of the arrest and calls for immediate release of suspects, without recourse to finding out why the exodus at dawn.
The rabbit, it is said, does not run out of its hole in the day time for nothing. It is either that it is being chased by a higher animal, or it is going after a prey. Whatever be the case, our northern brothers did not just embark on this mass movement without a cause, and this cause I think should be the concern of all and sundry. What exactly had chased our brothers away from their domain in such a manner? Or what could our brothers be running after?
Addressing these issues is the only way to help both the country and these northern brothers, anything beside this, will be tantamount to distraction, hence, derailing the course of the nation towards ensuring the security of its citizenry.
The Kano State Commissioner for Information, Dr Danburan Abubakar was quoted as saying that a delegation has been dispatched by the Kano State Government to Abia State with a mandate to ensure the welfare of the Kano State indigenes among the suspects, secure their release if they were not found guilty of the offence leveled against them and bring them back home. In the same vein, the Jigawa lawmakers had threatened to sue Abia State Government over the arrest of the 486 Boko Haram suspects.
Why will any state government be interested and in a hurry to know how many of its state indigenes are among suspected terrorists as to ensure their welfare and seek their release when not found guilty with an intention of returning them back to their home rather than allow them proceed to their destination? Why will anybody kill their dream by way of repatriation?
I’m afraid the arrest of these Boko Haram suspects may open up the can of worms. The faction that constitutes this insurgents no doubt is the reason behind the low-success rate in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.
The earlier the northern leaders and their cohort desist from trivializing this arrest and focus on issues that will promote the unity of the country, the better for all of us. The arrant anger that is rather being expressed is to say the least misplaced.
In as much as we are fighting insecurity in the country, every suspicious movement must be challenged and investigated. The view of the northern delegates at the national conference in wanting the arrested suspects released immediately without proper investigation, is not only diversionary, it is condemnable and not in the collective interest of the peace, unity and security of our nation.