At last, all well-meaning Nigerians have come out to show their profound disgust for bandits and demand they be rightly labelled terrorists. Personally, I was sick to my stomach each time I heard people referring to those anal retentive nuisance as bandits. It is a misnomer to call unscrupulous murderers and kidnappers for ransom bandits, they are unrepentant terrorists.
However, their loudest vuvuzela and chief negotiator, Ahmed Gumi, has warned Buhari about the consequence of declaring bandits terrorists. In his own words: If Buhari declares bandits as terrorists, nothing will remain in Nigeria. Without any iota of doubt, this statement is not only reckless but a direct threat to national security. If this statement was made by an Islamic cleric without any form of association with the terrorists, I would have dismissed it as the rant of a porcupine, but not Gumi. He has entertained us long enough as a clown with a blurred cerebral vision, who, slowly but surely is turning into a cantankerous element capable of inciting his foot soldiers to wreak havoc on Nigeria—he is drenched in vapours of vengeance.
It is no longer enough to dismiss him as the personification of unpleasantness, nor can anyone who has been religiously following the criminally inclined activities of terrorists dare dismiss his latest utterance with a mere wave of the hand. Gumi is dead serious.
But, what is Buhari and his security officials going to do about this? Or, should we ask: Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Translation: who will guard the guard themselves?
Boko Haram is internationally designated a terrorist group, but Nigeria has bluntly refused to declare it a terrorist group. To this day, the Buhari-led government has been unable to put forward any convincing argument about its unwillingness to proscribe and label it a terrorist group, in spite of the fact that Boko Haram has killed thousands of Nigerians, both civilians and military personnel, and caused the internal displacement of tens of thousands more.
Furthermore, the Fulani herdsmen are the fourth deadliest known terrorist group in the world, according to Global Terrorism Index. This group had made life a living hell for the people of the Middle Belt, especially in the Benue axis, and the South. They killed, maimed, pillaged, and raped with reckless abandon. Members of Miyetti Allah (a group under which the herdsmen operate), often come out, after wreaking havoc, that they own all the land in Nigeria and whoever tries to prevent them from taking what belongs to them will be killed. And despite such openly incautious braggadocio and animated idiocy, no Fulani herdsman has been arrested and prosecuted. They walk our streets free with pompous hubris.
Sensing that the above-mentioned groups have gotten away with a lot of crimes against humanity, some pathetic creatures and spiteful barbarians took up arms and started to terrorize their fellow Nigerians. With the solid backing of men like Gumi and some Northern governors, they quickly gained notoriety for kidnapping for ransom, and in some cases, killing the victims after a huge ransom had been paid.
According to the late Dr. Obadiah Mailafia of blessed memory, these three groups are one and the same, and they also have a sophisticated network. Their goals and objectives are entirely reconcilable—-they are all terrorists.
It is pertinent to note that those who are largely responsible for insecurity problems plaguing Nigeria are of Northern extraction.
While men like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, aka Igboho, who are fighting for justice, are being accused of all sorts of crimes against the Nigerian state—Imagine Igboho being accused of having a link with Boko Haram!
Whoever cooked up that allegation against him is so low grade that even the dullest among men is capable of greater genius. What a disgraceful absurdity!
The question now is: when will Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) jettison the application of double standards in his day to day running of Nigeria?
Something tells me he is incapable of shedding his garb of clannishness, ethnocentrism, sectarianism, and nepotism. In 2015, on the campaign trail, he promised, if elected president, he would make insecurity a thing of the past, among others. But today, Nigerians have never had it so bad vis-à-vis insecurity, a situation which has culminated in the high cost of food. Our economy is in the doldrums and, as result, he has resorted to more borrowing to keep it adrift. What a shame!
David Abu writes from The Netherlands.