Opposition Without Decency, By Babayola Toungo
Nigerians woke up one sunny day in February to the gruesome news of yet another abduction of secondary school girls in Dapchi, Yobe state, when many of those abducted in Chibok since 2014 are yet to be reunited with their families.
A day that held so much promise for many gradually turned nightmarish either because of the madness of a group that has long lost touch with reality or the actions of an opposition always looking out to gain political mileage from any misfortune that befalls a nation already with a long list of bad fortunes.
The immediate families of the abductees were thrown into trauma and only God knows the pains they went through not knowing what their wards were going through. The government was embarrassed while those with human kindness left in their breasts agonized with the parents of the students. Well, thank God, the Al-Barnawi faction of the Boko Haram, which originally abducted the girls, released one hundred and four of those abducted.
Of the one hundred and ten seized, one hundred and four were released; five lost their lives and one still remain in captivity.
The abduction and release of the schoolgirls, as is usual with us, generated a lot of negative comments from those who only saw an opportunity to attack the government and care less with the plight of the poor girls and the feelings of their families. They also care less about the long-term effect of these abductions on a society that has always been ambivalent about girl-child education, at best.
The opposition and Buhari haters were in unison in weaving different conspiracy theories around the missing girls. Even those who couldn’t find their voice when the girls from Chibok were kidnapped had a field day before the microphones claiming the government failed in its responsibilities to protect the girls. People like Sule Lamido.
Lamido was Jigawa state governor when Abubakar Shekau and his murderous urchins were running roughshod over the northeast to the extent of controlling twenty seven local government councils and indeed captured the Chibok girls.
All I can remember of his reaction was his dance steps to Sani Danja’s music with Ibrahim Shekarau and Goodluck Jonathan the morning after the Chibok girls were kidnapped and some few hours after a bomb has blasted the lives out of some hard working Nigerians on their way to eke out an honest living.
Was Sani Danja’s music meant to be a funeral dirge to those killed by the bomb blast in Nyanya? Why is it that these PDP people believe Nigerians have short memories?
Sule Lamido was Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister when Odi in Bayelsa state and Zaki Biyam in Benue state were flattened by his boss Obasanjo. The disregard shown for human life by a government in which he was a principal officer wasn’t classified as being an embarrassment to the world and I cannot remember Lamido resigning from that government.
When the Chibok girls were abducted Lamido was a governor of Jigawa state and a senior member of the PDP, the then ruling party at the centre, I cannot remember him emphatising with the parents of the girls, what readily comes to mine was his fixation of welcoming Shekarau in to the PDP.
When Patience Jonathan staged her tragicomedy for the Nigerian media, against all decent behavior, Lamido couldn’t find his voice to condemn her reprehensible beahviour.
The likes of Fani Kayode and Ayodele Fayose, can be ignored because one is not certain of their state of mind whenever they talk, but for Sule Lamido to say what he was widely reported to have said, is the height of insensitivity. Where was he when all the killings are taking place? From Zamfara through Kaduna and Benue and Taraba states.
It will be better if he can concentrate on selling himself to the electorate than trying to play on peoples’ intelligence. Let him just go ahead and tell us his plans for the country instead of insulting us. At least Muhammadu Buhari was consistent in his vision – security, anti-corruption, and economy – during all his campaigns. Buhari’s major flaw is in bending backwards in the name of the “rule of law” to allow felons walk free and insult Nigerians.
This is exactly why he failed to move the country forward. His government’s inability to prosecute and convict corrupt people that brought the country to its knees in their sixteen years orgy of theft may ultimately be his Achilles heel. Majority of Nigerians voted for Buhari of 1984 – to come and reenact his programme on corruption and corrupt individuals. This is his major failure. And that is why they are free to go around insulting poor, hardworking Nigerians.
To Sule Lamido and his fellow opposition politicians, how the parents of these kids is immaterial. For all they care, the kids and their parents can go and get lost in the sand dunes of the Sahara. As long as they can gain any sort of political mileage from such cataclysms, the country can go over the cliff. Humanism is the last thing on their minds.
Come to think of it, if they are accusing the federal government of stage-managing the abductions, how are we to know that they aren’t the ones who staged it just to embarrass the government? You only accuse someone of something you are capable of doing.
My concern is twofold in this drama – the long-term effect on educating the girl-child and the scars such experiences leave on the psyche of the poor souls. The north is awash with over ten million out of school-age children who are out of school, the bulk of them are in the northeast. What will such incidences do ameliorate the situation? It will only exacerbate it. No one with the ambition of becoming a president of this country will make any capital out of such. There is a thin line between opposition and hatred and that line is decency. Remove decency from opposition and you will be left with hatred.
Sule Lamido will do well for himself to put his brain in gear before his mouth in motion. We have long memories.