By Adekoya Boladale
“Those insurgents and terrorists who take delight in killing our security operatives, whoever they may be, wherever they may go, we will hunt them down, we will fish them out, and we will bring them to justice … we will do more, we will gun them down”
Who could have believed the above statement was made by President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, I mean the same man from Otuoke village in Bayelsa State, the one many Nigerians have come to believe lost his tongue and will from birth. But believe it or not this is real; it is not one of those Nollywood movies having Jide Kosoko or Justus Esiri play the role of the president.
The Nigerian president was raging fire and brimstone against terrorists and insurgents who for a while now have taking over the presiding affair of most Northern states. Dressed in the usual Niger Delta attire but this time with a round black suede cap to match it up, the lecturer-turned-president started the speech on a pitch-dragging note, a voice introduction used only by people who fight to gain confidence and will. Along the line he was fully blended into the speech but still found it hard to make eye contact with the camera. The tone of seriousness and anger however took over the last five paragraphs and he ended on a very good note.
Some critics and analysts believe this sudden confidence can only be informed by a generous consumption of hot ‘Apeteshi’. Some believe it was a result of the reoccurring outburst by the international community over his action-less threats and counter threats against various attacks. To others it was simply one out of the numerous gifts of the president hiding within but programmed only to unveil at the extreme end of situations, in other word something similar to a ‘last source’.
Above all, whatever might have gingered this hidden side of President Jonathan is worth praising, even if it is the local ‘paraga’ I will advice the president include its intake in every meal, in fact it would be more effective if it takes the place of water.
The president has taken a bold long- awaited step towards curbing terrorism in the country and restoring law and order, but he shouldn’t stop there. The security sector is not the only area of our nationhood that requires state of emergency. In 2007, the late President Musa Yar’adua who Jonathan shared a joint ticket with then gave to all Nigerians in the full glare of the world his words to declare a state of emergency in the power sector. I want to believe as President Jonathan said in his remembrance speech for the late president, that the then 7 point agenda was a blueprint for the transformation agenda. It’s been six years after that promise was made and not even a partial emergency rule has been declared in the power sector, a sector which has continuously brought ridicule and shame upon our national image both home and abroad.
The economy sector too deserves an urgent emergency rule. There have been talks and campaigns on macro and micro economy system been used, the minister for finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala alongside her counterpart the governor of the central bank Sanusi Lamido Sanusi have been on various platforms to explain the growth of our economy and forecast robust future output but to an average Nigerian these are mere ‘wall street’ statements if it doesn’t translate to massive employment, reduction in the price of vegetable and onions in the market. If the prices of rice and beans continue to soar higher than wages and salaries, then it is all hoaxes. Nigerians deserve results after long years of grammatical bombardment and intellectual masturbation; the citizens have been too patient and don’t deserve to be taken through another season of ‘in-house’ employment system which has graciously opened doors to job scams and fraud.
Our sovereignty is being threatened by terrorists and insurgents but also the future and continuous existence of the country is under siege by corruption. The so much glorified anti-graft agencies have suddenly embarked on sound sleep. Political office holders no longer have the fear of being caught in the act rather they see looting of public funds as part of their job description. The confidence of the public must be restored not just in politicians alone but core war against misappropriation in every area of our nation’s life. We require emergency rule, not one led by soldiers and men in ‘Khaki’ but one chaired by men and women of unquestionable character rather than political affiliates who now chair our anti-graft agencies.
The president has set the ball of war against terrorism rolling; the next few days will truly prove if Dr. Jonathan has it in him, the confidence to rule Nigeria. Would he have the will to see the fight to the very end or would he chicken out in the heat of the raging war? These are questions even Reuben Abati and Doyin Okupe don’t have answers to.
While the new war for peace begins up North let our new president ensure the safety of innocent men and women who may come in the line of fire. Another episode of Baga would only make mockery of this declaration.
Adekoya Boladale is a political scientist and wrote via email@example.com