By Francis Ezediuno
To say that Nigeria is a failed state is to say the least as every indicator points to the fact that things are not working to optimum again.
Yes, we can rightly say that “things” have not “fallen apart” completely but if the trends is not properly checked then Nigeria may just be heading for disaster and the likes of Syria, Yemen, Libya would be comparable.
We keep on saying that there is no country in the West African subcontinent and African continent that can contain Nigerians if there is trouble at home, this is true as even some other sister countries in the continent find refuge within our shores but can that take away the fact that there we have a refuge problem?
We rather call them IDPs meaning Internally Displaced Persons but the truth is that they are refugees in their own country.
A country they are supposed to call theirs.
A country that is supposed to provide them all the basics they need to live a good life.
There appears to be a crack on the wall but instead of the builder (leaders) to identify the crack and commence reconstruction, they are busy patching up the same crack.
Unfortunately, that crack may give way some day and loud will be the sound of it’s collapse.
When it happens, where will our leaders be and where will the followers be?
A thorough examination of the nation reveals there is problem. Like the proverbial handwriting on the wall, the political class is confused. There is no political will to fight this fight to the finish and to add more fuel to the flame, the other actors in this drama of state are just seating on the fence like “Humpty Dumpty”.
When they fall, who will put them together again? The UN, AU, ECOWAS perhaps?
Economically, educationally, industrially, the labour force, health sector, legal system, justice, human rights, defence, security and others have suffered and are still suffering deprivations in various forms.
The worst of it all is the ongoing counter insurgency battle against Boko Haram in the North East States mainly; Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, the internal security action against killer herdsmen in Benue, Zamfara and some parts of Nasarawa states, the pacifying and rise in kidnap cases in the South South region otherwise known as the Niger Delta, where militant activities is still giving the government ‘migraines’.
The South East is not spared this too as the fear of IPOB is keeping the government ‘awake’ and on its toes.
Security and defence is just one area where Nigeria is failing.
Looking back, one would have thought that the Nigerian Army was capable of crushing these insurgencies with a sweeping victory but these “ragtag” rascals have made the mighty Nigerian Army to sleep with one eyes closed continually.
With the recent revelation that the weapons with which our security apparatus is confronting these menace are both old and outdated opens another can of worms in this ongoing battle. Talk of corruption in high places.
With all the ‘operation Python Dance ‘egwu eke’, Crocodile smile, Peace by all means aka Lafiya Dole’, still peace is still eluding these affected parts of Nigeria.
When President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan invited the private military outfit Executive Outcomes (EO) before the 2015 General Elections to deal with the problem, there was a respite and temporary peace was restores to the North East.
According to a personal research, EO took the battle to Boko Haram. They didn’t wait for them to attack soft targets or kidnap girls or attack military formations before defending, the put Boko Haram to the defensive.
They wared them out. The Nigerian Army under the guidance of EO took the battle to Boko Haram but what is obtainable now is the other way round.
I have heard it said in many quarters that the best form of defence is to attack. Now, if this maxim is as true as it is, I wonder what they teach our future officers at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
Another angle is the stubborn manner in which our Commander In Chief is going about with matters that has to do with security despite being a retired two star general himself.
He described himself as “Baba Go Slow” but he fails to realise that in the ongoing offensive, speed is of the essence for when you push it to the background, you loose the ‘element of surprise’.
The nation is daily loosing intelligent middle level military officers. Officers who would make fine generals tomorrow.
Officers who will direct the affairs of our military tomorrow are daily being killed like cattle because our political class do not know what to do and even if they do they do not know how to go about it. Talk of inaction and procrastination.
When GEJ was confused, he invited EO. Question is, what has PMB done?
Everyday, his media handlers keep telling us that they are winning the battle.
Our generals have relocated to the centre of the action by Presidential directive but the report we are getting from the front line is not encouraging to say the least.
In another twist to the security angle, men of the Nigerian Police have been trained and getting prepared to head out to these affected parts of the North East.
I guess this deployment is happening so that the soldiers can face the battle while the police keep the peace and security in place.
Until we get it right, this problem of insecurity, whether it be Boko Haram, herdsmen menace, and others will continue to stare the nation in the face.
As usual, the Nigerian resilience may come into play and save her from imploding at the last hour but we must not always count on luck but rather in a deliberate, sustained plan to take Nigeria to a place where everybody will be and feel safe in her.
Security wise, the Nigerian state has failed its citizens.