Foundation for Environmental, Rights Advocacy and Development, FENRAD, a pro-democracy and environmental rights advocacy group believes life has lost its value in Nigeria where surviving a day now means cheating death. If not so, why will any reasonable entity parading itself as a government only churn out caches of releases and statements after massacre of her citizens by non-state actors, only for that same government to sit back and idly wait for another killings and then revisits the latest of its releases, edit and then goes ahead to hit public and virtual spaces that: “President Buhari condemns in all its entirety…”, “President Buhari mourns…”?
The fact, FENRAD believes, is that Buhari does not condemn nor mourn any of these deaths and killings (in real sense) which now have become a ritual in Nigeria under his watch. If at all the president cares about or ever mourns these deaths why would he host a dinner into the night for his party men shortly after the killings pictures of which flood media and virtual spaces?
Not even the thirty-six state governments themselves are any better. In fact, the one-minute silence observed intermittently at the just concluded APC presidential convention is a mere charade. If not, why will the same persons – president and some aspirants – treat themselves to lavish dinner, wining and dining at the Villa while Owo victims lay helpless needing blood transfusion at hopsital?
We wish to tell President Buhari in certain terms that he is a failure when it comes to security, an item which formed the plank of his campaign agenda in 2014. We also wish to remind his party men, especially those who were at that dinner and later convention ground jockeying for power and canvassing delegates that they are – should the electorate trust them with the nation again – about to inherit the most challenging nation in terms of security. The security landscape of the nation prior to Buhari’s 2015 emergence was dominated by Boko Haram insurgency, kidnapping, militancy, heist and other minor crimes, but under his watch most terror groups have split further into subgroups and cells as the nation is now treated to: ISWAP and other splinters; killer Fulani herders; bandits; unknown gunmen; ESN; agitators and so on. Most of these groups, FENRAD firmly believes, would not have reached their unheard-of scale as of yet had the president and his handlers devised a better approach in asymmetric conflict management.
While FENRAD does not believe the president is on top of the security situation in the nation, the Foundation will not be surprised to read another release, perhaps an edited version of the Owo condemnation statement if, God forbid, Nigerians were killed again.
FENRAD commiserates and mourns with Oyo State Government, Olowo of Owo, the entire Owo people, the Catholic Church, Christian community and Nigerians of goodwill and conscience.
May we learn the lessons of today for a better tomorrow in the choices we make going forward.
Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor
Barr. Akande Femisi
Head Corporate Accountability and Human Rights Enforcement