I am not usually as pessimistic as I have become lately about Nigeria. Things are happening in ways that my generation hasn’t really experienced it in the past, and I believe there is a cause for real fear.
The rate of insecurity pervading the nation couldn’t have been without some level of support from the highest levers of power in this country. We can’t have a Commander-in-Chief who is really interested in safeguarding the nation and terrorists are having a free run, even to the point of launching attacks on the Guards Brigade and threatening to kidnap the President, himself.
Some people have suggested that there might be a conspiracy to allow a military coup to take place, but I think that might not be the only plan. There could be a more dangerous conspiracy to hand over the country to Islamists.
Buhari’s sympathy for Boko Haram terrorists is not a secret. It was this same President who cried foul when the Goodluck Jonathan administration launched an all-out assault on the Boko Haram terrorists. He led some Northern elders to institute a petition to the international criminal court, alleging genocide against the former Chief of Army Staff, General Azubuike Ihejirika. To him, killing and arresting proven Boko Haram fighters is killing and arresting “our people”.
Since he took office in 2015, General Buhari has superintended over the “re-integration” of thousands of Boko Haram fighters into the Nigerian society, including, recruiting a mass number of them into the Nigerian security formations. There are allegations that ‘repentant’ Boko Haram terrorists receive more money in stipends than Majors in the Nigerian Army receive as salaries.
Under this President, the Boko Haram, ISWAP and Ansaru terrorists have become more daring than at any other time in Nigeria’s history and these terrorists have allegedly received more payments from different levels of Nigerian government than at any other time in our history. These payments are usually as ransoms paid to the terrorists when they abduct school children, farmers and other Nigerians.
In a now viral BBC investigation, we have been given a clearer insight into what these terrorists do with a bulk of the funds they receive from Nigerian government. They enrich their armoury and get more fortified to visit terror upon the Nigerian populace. In essence, it might be difficult opposing the argument by some people that the Buhari administration is actually the biggest sponsor of terrorism against Nigerians.
However, as bad as the Nigerian security situation has been since the inception of the Buhari administration, we have never had a situation where the Nigerian seat of power is as threatened as it currently is. These bandits and terrorists have mostly restricted their operations to the hinterlands of the Northwest and Northeast, while the terrorist herdsmen have mostly operated within these areas and some parts of the North Central.
Could it therefore be a mere coincidence that at the twilight of Buhari’s administration, the terrorists are daring to take over the Nigerian seat of power by launching attacks on facilities and locations within 15 kilometres radius of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa? Could there have been an agreement to hand over the reins of power to these Islamists towards the end of the administration?
Some people have raised alarm that the increased spate of terrorist attacks, especially within Abuja and its environs and the embarrassing admission by the President that he is overwhelmed by these terrorists might be a ploy to allow a military coup to take place, because the President might not be comfortable with any of the individuals with a solid chance of winning the presidency to succeed him. While this cannot be completely dismissed, I believe there could be a more sinister scheme to allow the Islamist terrorists to take over the country’s presidency and begin a nationwide implementation of Sharia law, which the quasi democratic system in place has stopped this President from completely implementing. Of course, the President’s sympathy for a Sharia system of government has never been hidden and there are documented statements where he openly canvassed for the implementation of the extreme and non-tolerant Islamic legal code.
Supporting the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu might as well be the President’s option C if these suspicions are true. In a case where the scheme for a military takeover fails and the terrorists do not muster enough public credibility to launch an all-out invasion of Aso Rock, the President might throw all his support to the Tinubu presidential ambition, given that it also represents an Islamist agenda, giving its Muslim-Muslim ticket.
As an unrepentant believer in Nigeria and one irrevocably committed to working for its progress, it is my earnest prayer that these suspicions are proven baseless at the end of the day. However, the President needs to do a lot more to prove to us that he is not in bed with these terrorists, and even though his brain and heart might not be capable of serious actions to beat back these terrorists, the powers of his office and the oath he took with our Constitution should make him work for the survival of the secularity of our nation and its democracy.
MAY NIGERIA PREVAIL!