Greedy Politicians And Conniving Civil Servants Are Deadlier Than Boko Haram By Abubakar Sadiq Aruwa
As someone who witnessed Boko Haram’s chain of violence and terror firsthand when it started in Maiduguri on a fateful Sunday in July, 2009, I will like to extend my humble sympathies to fellow compatriots who have been so unlucky to be at the receiving end of a demonic onslaught against innocent and defenseless citizens by a devilish radical Sect called Boko Haram whose only mission seems to destroy the peace and harmony of the Nigerian state.
I doubt if we will ever find a solution to the Boko Haram insurgency until the other more visible group lay down their arms and stop waging war against the Nigerian State. This other group had positioned itself well before independence and has since eaten deep into the skin of the nation, so much so that the nation’s internal organs, which are also presently being infected, now lay bare. If this other group is not curtailed from its present assault on the nation, by the time it wholly infects all the nation’s internal organs, not even transplant would save Nigeria. The killings that have been done by this other group is child’s play compared to the number of killings ascribed to the other extremist sect we all know as Boko Haram.
Unlike the extremist sect that have restricted itself so far to the North. This other group are everywhere in the country and nobody dares arrest or molest them as they have loyalists in all the security agencies. In fact, the security agencies rely on them for their budgets. Who then can arrest them? They are far more lethal and dangerous than the extremist sect we know as Boko Haram that has killed and destroyed thousands of Nigerians and their properties lately.
These greedy politicians and the conniving civil servants have dirtied the landscape of this country since independence. Until we find a solution to these group of people, we may not solve the problem of the extremist sect called Boko Haram because their actions gave rise to some of the underlying factors responsible for the birth of the extremist sect that has continued to make life a living hell for some compatriots in the North eastern part of the country.
You may be wondering how they have been able to kill more Nigerians than the extremist sect called Boko Haram. A report by the United Nations and the World Bank says nothing less than 144 women die in Nigeria daily from pregnancy and childbirth complications and that there are 840 deaths per 100,000 live births in Nigeria. Let us not mention kids that die daily from Mother-To-Child-Transmission (MTCT) of HIV/AIDS. All these deaths because of the lack of quality Medicare occasioned by lack of equipment and brain-drain in the health sector! Our leaders failed to put all these equipments in place and they run overseas to take care of even an ordinary flu. Where does the common man run to then? When you put the figures of all these deaths together, you will now understand that these groups of greedy politicians and civil servants have caused more havoc than the extremist sect called Boko Haram.
Nigerian roads have also been adjudged the most dangerous in Africa. A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on road traffic deaths in selected African countries says Nigeria accounts for the highest fatalities with 33.7 percent per 100,000 populations every year.
According to the report entitled “Road Safety in the WHO African Region”, more than one in four traffic accident deaths in Africa occur on Nigerian roads. The report also claims that road accident is the third leading cause of death in Nigeria. This places Nigeria as having the second worst traffic fatalities in the world. Most of these accidents were caused by our poor road network which the greedy politicians and civil servants failed to put in good shape despite the country’s vast resources. Many may argue that some of these accidents were due to driver’s recklessness, maybe they are right, but many more were caused by the poor condition of the roads. It is only in Nigeria that roads newly constructed wash off within one year. Do you blame the contractors? No! Blame the greedy politicians and civil servants whose palms must be greased from every contract money. Like the hawks that they are, they have thrown caution to the wind, preying daily on lives which would have brought glory to this country.
We would be deceiving ourselves if we think there is any solution in sight without first curtailing this group of people who have perfected various means of short-changing Nigerians. To solve a problem, you have to start by addressing its root causes. As we all know, injustice anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere. The Buhari/Osibanjo administration has to address all those years of neglect in the North occasioned by the northern leaders who have stolen and pocketed allocations meant for people while the people languish in poverty and Almajiris dot the northern landscape. When you throw away an empty juice pack towards a group of Almajiris, before you could blink your eyes, the Almajiris are all over the pack, fighting one another over an empty pack. Certainly, these gory and heartbreaking sights cannot continue! If the kids are not intuitive enough to take revenge, they will surely be brainwashed to do so. An idle hand is a ready tool in the hands of the devil! Let the government, especially State Governments in the North and all the northern leaders/elders we have who do more of talking than acting, tackle all these injustice. Northern leaders have no excuse to fail this time around. Our leaders can pretend and dilly-dally all they want, until we sit down together to agree on how best to progress, we may be going round in circles.
These greedy politicians and civil servants have been too comfortable. It is time to make them uncomfortable! It is time to say it out loud that it would never be business as usual anymore. Let us organize ourselves into a strong unit, one whose ranks cannot be broken, because unity of purpose is of essence to dislodge this group of people. Let’s get involved by becoming members of political parties for it is only from within that the fight can be effective. It is only by being involved that we can effectively negotiate with our numerical strength. Remember, you can only take charge when you take part.
To stay away from the political process is to leave our destiny in the hands of the greedy politicians and conniving civil servants. For how long would we continue to complain? Let us stop talking and start acting! Too much talk does nothing!
We are the ones who can provide solutions to our own predicament; not these set of politicians and civil servants. Theirs is to plunder and ours must be to restore. And let us remember, when we achieve our aim that nothing would be deadlier to our survival as a people than to repeat the pattern of those we presently criticize. When all is said and done, then we can be sure of getting back our country from the hands of those who have been exploiting us.
Abubakar Sadiq Aruwa can be contacted on twitter @Musadiqz