The Insignificant Visit of President Jonathan to Yobe and Borno by Abdullahi Kasimu Abubakar
For the first time since he was elected President in 2011, President Jonathan visited Maiduguri and Yobe states, the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgency. The president visits I can say is not a genuine plan of the country’s leader, but one borne out of shame because 10 Governors of the yet registered opposition party, APC visited the state a week before his own visit.
The President’s Special Adviser on New Media, Mr Reno Omokri had contested that it was the president that leveled the playing ground for them to visit, forgetting that another media aide to the president, better known as attack dog Doyin Okupe as vehemently criticized the visit and said the governors went to the state against the advise security agencies. Even the president himself described their visit as political decision to score cheap votes….I now wondered why he had to visit the state with such security personnel, when he eventually decided to.
Why would you Mr. President want to outsource your responsibility to Borno Elders that “unless the elders of Borno condemns and fight Boko Haram, the people of the state shall continue to suffer from their attacks”? Is this meant to be a curse? If condemnations drudges, you would have been the Best President Nigeria has ever had, because at a point in time when the attacks was so rampant, the Presidency had a standard monochrome for condemning attacks that requires only date, venue and number of victims changed, whereas the atrocities by the terrorist group continued unabated.
Mr. President, Sir, the elders of Borno do not have such requisite powers to fight or even curb the onslaught. The law vested such powers on you, unless of course you wish and decide to outsource it.
President Obama halted his eleventh hour campaign in 2012 to visit victims of hurricane sandy with death toll of about 38, but the insurgency in Borno and Yobe which claimed about 4,000 innocent lives has got little of Jonathan’s neurasthenia. This explain the price tag you placed on a human life.
Mr. President, Sir, your visit to Borno and Yobe will be insignificant if after all peace is not restored to these states on the long run – Be it amnesty, repartee or dialogue, something must be done to relief these folks of the anguish.
His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno rightly said “what peace cannot achieve, violence and intolerance will never achieve it”. Believe you me, the Joint Task Force has killed more innocent souls than Boko Haram upsurge. Hence cannot be a solution to this menace.
For about four years now, the JTF have occupied the streets of Maiduguri without yielding desired results. Let’s opt for other options as only a fool will repeat same tactic and expect to get a different result.
I wouldn’t want to start mentioning the atrocities of JTF, but I remembered vividly when one soldier was killed around Gwange area, the JTF in reprisal killed over 50 innocent lives and the deputy Governor claimed they were sleeping. What sort of wickedness!
Let no nitwit sit down in his/her Lagos or Abuja lounge to say amnesty shouldn’t be granted. Let it be heard from the residents if not needed.
Instead of casting more aspersions, let’s work with Prof M. Nur Alkali’s suggestion; commence dialogue, grant a pardon, rehabilitate and compensate for lives lost, homes destroyed and properties lost. This is the international standard for conflict management and peace resolution.
Borno State – Home of Peace as it were even few years ago when I was a student there didn’t restrict anyone from carrying out his or her legitimate activity. You can walk around freely without harassmen. From the dark part of twilight to the appearance of daylight, the situation remains the same, but not anymore. I’d pray fervently to see this type of Maiduguri again and Insha Allah, this will come soon.
He who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
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