The International Writers Magazine: Africa and Corruption
Jonathan’s Pledge for N20 Billion Red Cross Appeal Fund
Incessantly noticed and causing serious harm in the citizenry, the extrajudicial killings in Nigeria is spreading gradually without any strong measure hopefully in place to abate the ugly trend.
And it’s worse when a people are fed with lies. It is even worse when a people preferred healing a disease instead of preventing it, or counting from the last instead of the first. We are heading for a moribund state in Nigeria.
That President Goodluck Jonathan on July 29, 2010 pledged that his administration was going to give full support for the 20 Billion Naira Appeal Fund being initiated by the Red Cross for the victims of the Jos crises, and of course, victims of the earthquake in Haiti, can never be called any other thing than a pledge by a government that lags morale.
If we take the disaster in Haiti that occurred early this year as a natural disaster, what are we going to take the incessant killings of human beings and the destructions of their hard earned property in Jos as, if not ineptitude on the side of the government in providing adequate security to protect the lives and property of its citizenry.
The killings in Jos is the highest degree of man’s cruelties to man. And the government can’t exonerate itself from taking the blame. The killings in Jos didn’t just occur once, but many times. And instead of the government – either the Plateau government or the Federal Government – to accept the blame on the lapses their security created in battling the inimical art of killings, rather it started blaming the security agents that were stationed in Jos, and the security agents turned their blame on the “order from above” of having muddy leg and a cracked voice in giving them order to “shoot”. Chasing shadows, the government and the security agents therefore, played ‘politics’ to the detriment of the hapless Nigerians in Jos who were hacked down by the night marauders who couldn’t explicate the existence of man on earth and didn’t take life as important.
It’s very important and appealing to the heart that the ever ready to assist those in crises, Red Cross, initiated this fundraiser. If not, which government in Nigeria would/could remember that those of her citizens in that part of the country needed financial and moral assistance? Is it the government that would want more of its pensioners to collapse and die while they were protesting for their pensions that were not paid? Is it the government that had left its roads in the pitiable state they were? Is it the government that was interested in elections without any interest in extending the democracy dividends to the grassroots people? Is it the government that its National House members who were supposed to be respectable honourable members but rather fall to the habit of pugilists in the House on a daily basis? Which government?
The lackadaisical manner or the government’s oblivious knowledge to beefing-up unwavering security and how to combat crime in Nigeria is what many are looking for the explanation. Look at the rate with which the ongoing kidnappings in the country are taking another speedy dimension. And if you are clairvoyant, you will understand where the country is heading to – ramshackle. The endemic many Nigerians have no hope of it abating in the soonest future, with the hand-on-cheek being expressed by the government. The issue of those kidnapping our collective treasury is a story for another day.
Many police officials had been fingered and many arrested in connection with the kidnappings. Therefore, the police hierarchy was heralding the transfer of its senior officers from the Southeast region perceived to be the den of human kidnappers (not our treasury kidnappers) to other regions.
But wouldn’t the transfer be like transfusing a tainted blood with the HIV into a clean blood. If the police officers in the Southeast were perceived to be mastery in the art of human kidnappings and you want to transfer them to other regions, is it not like the HIV blood transfused into a clean blood? The virus will spread. Notwithstanding, imagine where 20 Billion Naira was sunk into the police force and the money was seen utilized in truth and inspirit what our police force would be! No agency would do that till persons were killed.
It’s very annoying when police say that it does not have sophisticated ammunitions to match with the kidnappers and other ‘digital’ criminals. Many times, the police have never fought their rivals with the ‘unsophisticated’ ammunitions in their possession. What we often heard were that police jumped inside the nearby bush when they heard the criminals fired. And one wonders the reason of instituting the police checkpoints on our roads if not to curb crime and protect the citizenry. The force should tell Nigerians that it is not capable of winning the battle against crime (since some of its men are collecting N20 on our roads also abetting to the crime they said they were fighting) instead of trading blames.
However, many people were blaming leadership as the bane of Nigeria. But was the bane not the dearth of credible men of high morale in power? Constitution is there and also the laws, but how many men in Aso Rock keep to the Constitution and the laws governing the country? It is in Nigeria that a sitting governor ‘kidnapped’ a critic of his government and flogged the activist blue black? It is in Nigeria that a Naval Official and his boys extended their fierce training on an innocent girl on traffic because they were “above the law” and were much in a ‘haste’ to skip the traffic order. Is it in this country that a set of politicians christened cabals “kidnapped” a sitting president and whisked him away to who know where and no profound explanation was given till date that the president was no more?
Nigerians should be thumbing up for the Red Cross who cared to alleviate the plight of the bewildered citizens in Jos, which the government had left to be for the cattle butchers an informal anatomical experimentation. When would the leaders learn to tell the led the truth in this country? Was there any iota of truth that the four kidnapped and freed journalists were released without any ransom paid? If so, how many Nigerians that were kidnapped came out alive without heavily sum of money paid as ransom to their captors by their relatives? Questions and more questions we should be asking ourselves.
Much ado about the Red Cross Appeal Fund for the victims of Jos crises and the Haiti, Jonathan should checkmate the fund did not go down the drain of certain persons in the initiative group thereby causing another manmade disaster to those who had hoped to rejuvenate with the share of the fund – cash or material dividends – to put their lives together and move on.
© Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Email: apoet_25 at yahoo.com