Oh Nigeria, The Plague is Upon You.


“In Rama was there a voice heard,

lamentation, and weeping, and

great mourning, Rachel weeping for

her children, and would not be

comforted, because they are not.”

A Plague is a disease that has a high mortality rate or a calamity with widespread and serious consequences for its victims. What we see happening in our country almost on a daily basis is nothing but a plague. It overruns the system defences and decimates native elements in their numbers. When will we overcome this plague?

How long shall we continue like this? How long before the lives of our dear children will begin to mean something to us? When will we stop snuffing life out of the nostrils of our future generations? The questions just keep pouring in. I could not allow myself think so deeply about the last minutes of those kids’ lives, how much torment they must have gone through seeing themselves helpless against an onslaught of adults who stand and watch while they burn to death; and to even think that these adults actually set their boarding house on fire? Lord have mercy!

The truth about the matter is that if I were to be resident in Yobe or anywhere close to that place, I would pack all my belongings, every single soul connected to me inclusive and forever depart from that city. I will almost forever doubt the ability of the Nigerian government to protect its own.

Nigerians woke up to the gruesome massacre of sleeping boarding house students in Yobe State yesterday and as usual the flippant, unempathetic presidential response that any fool with half the knowledge of the alphabets can jumble together. Is Mr. President tired of releasing this terrible, redundant and absolutely unnecessary stream of words whenever preventable disaster occurs within the borders of nation? Maybe Mr. Abati should save Nigerians on Twitter the one hundred and forty characters by just releasing “Ditto” when these events recur.

Any government that fails to protect the basic human rights of its weakest citizens is not fit to be called a government. But then, I am overstating the obvious if I say we do not seem to have any government in sub-Saharan Africa, right? The truth about the matter is that to occupy the office and wield the power of the president and fail to fulfil or even fail to try to appear to fulfil its mandate is not but treachery.

What I mean is that Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Mr. Senate President, Mr. Speaker, Chief Justice of the Federation should not only be held in contempt of not upholding and defending the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but should also be held for TREACHERY!

How do you sleep, as the head of a country, when you calculate that within a space of ten days, more than two hundred of your citizens have been massacred in two separate incidents (in a cumulative time of ten hours) and fifty-six of those killed are children? When you realize that the twenty girls abducted by insurgents are yet to be trailed to any extent whatsoever? The death toll from the February 15 massacre in Borno has reached one hundred and forty-six and the last count for yesterday (February 25th) is already as high as fifty-nine? How do you sleep at night? How do you walk freely in Aso Rock? How do you sit and preside over senate meetings or Supreme Court cases without your eyes soaked with tears and your heart bleeding?

Have we become so insensitive to the point of cold-bloodedness? Has it become so common to lose our citizens and young ones that we do not stop to ponder and wonder how to fix what is broken? Are we so detached to the plight of all these grieving families that all they will get is a characteristically uncharitable comme ci comme ca response from their president and followed by an insulting gubernatorial donation to the ‘victims’? Is that why we are here? Words and money don’t bring back dead kids, neither do they prevent a repeat event that would claim more lives in the future. Are too blind to see that these events are rocking the foundations of our existence as a nation and our collective shares in the future of this country?

Sit we here till we die? No well-meaning person of means would want to live a country where lives are not important to those who should be protecting them. The life a Nigerian does actually mean more to a foreign government than to the Nigerian government. When hundreds of Nigerians are being killed within the borders of Nigeria without any strong effort to put down the insurgence, why do you think any foreign country will take us seriously when we demand explanations for the death of a Nigerian in their shores?

Is the Nigerian Army hoping to be taken seriously during any regional conflict if they cannot deal decisively with insurgence within its borders? Is this the same Nigerian Army of the ECOMOG fame and success in Liberia and Sierra Leone? Look if we have go and recall the Generals that prosecuted the Liberian and or Sierra Leonean war to tackle this Boko Haram thing, then so be it. Why can’t the Federal Government bring in Lieutenant-General Victor Malu (rtd.) as a consultant seeing the present crop of military brass are nothing but pen-pushers and have been seen to be unable to quell the insurgence. Victor Malu organized the ECOMOG to fight a rebellion on their own grounds, why can’t this present brass fight insurgents on our own grounds? If they can’t, then they should just roll over and give space to someone who can!

Before some parochial thinker will tell me that America has not won the war against terrorism by brute force, my question is are the Americans fighting insurgents on American soil or in a foreign country? Are those foreign countries cooperative in the fight against terrorism?

Nigeria, your future is dying. Take it or leave it. As much as we, your almost-perfectly patriotic citizens, want to do, the game is not so much in our hands as much as in the hands of those who have sucked and are still sucking you dry. In reality, the death of a country should not be as grievous as the death of its citizens. If you die peacefully, like Czechoslovakia did in 1993, and no other Nigerian died, you would have done the greatest thing: to lay your life down for another person.

But to remain alive and gazillions of children keep dying daily is not only selfish, it is cruel and immortally insane. If we have to spend all the money in our reserves to prosecute a war that ensures the safety of lives of our citizens, then spend we must. If dividing the country into the North and South (if it the wish of the people) will stop the madness then divide we must. Anything to stop the plague. I am even open to the suggestion of getting private military contractors who will finish this in a few weeks. As we don’t have any known retired general who runs a private military firm for this purpose, then let’s look outside and bring in these guys. They will do their intelligence gathering and reconnaissance activities by themselves and get the job done. All the country loses is a couple of billion dollars which will be a drop in a bucket compared with the money being stolen by the hour.

Someone may ask: “Can’t we have a National Guard agency that will be saddled with this kind of specialist duty?” Yes we should, but that maybe another opportunity for another group of bureaucrats to enrich themselves and turn the agency to another white elephant. So I still go the special private military consultants to do the job.

We have to end this scourge and end it now! All cards must be on the table. We have to send a strong message to the world and ourselves: Take our material resources and we’d fight you but touch our children and we would rain Hell and Hades on you. This is WAR! The gloves have got to come off. The number one priority of the government is security of lives within their borders. The Federal Government should do this one duty, afterall we doing all the other duties for ourselves: power supply, food etc.

Henry Olamiju

Follow on Twitter: @holamiju

PS: The picture was obtained from Urban Intellectuals Website.

7 thoughts on “Oh Nigeria, The Plague is Upon You.

  1. Few hours ago I had said on Facebook that we all might have to join the army, it’s a war situation and our country needs us all, nice piece Holamiju Arise Nigerians, Nigerians Arise


  2. I lived in Gombe for a year and Yobe State for a year…. when Campaigns started in 2010 I saw the writings on the wall and ran away. We are a divided Federation.. it sad lives are being lost but our leaders are clueless and won’t save us.


  3. @Etyro.. Na so oh. It’s sad.. especially when one considers that I have been to many of these massacre sites (back in 2009 when I served there)


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