The current state of insecurity resulting from failure by the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari to uphold its primary obligation to the people-protection of lives and properties-has thrown Nigerian women as mothers, wives, girls, into deep pain; a pain so intense that they are unable to shout out.
Nigerian women are losing their husbands, sons, daily to bandits, terrorists, Fulani herdsmen, cultists and robbers, more than at any other time in history. They have even become instruments of warfare-captured from their husbands and taken away as sex slaves by bandits and other groups, and all they get from the Buhari government are words, just words; promises that those behind their assault would be dealt with. Nobody has been.
Girl child education has been described as the bedrock of national development because, if you educate a woman, you educate a nation but the present thrust of terrorists and bandits in the country is the cancellation and distortion of education for girls. Female students of the school of Forestry in Kaduna, 29 of them, spent weeks in the hands of these bandits facing daily tortures that were relayed to us all on Social Media and government could not act to set them free until their parents staged a protest at national level.
Green Field University students were in captivity for 40 days until the parents coughed out N180million and motorbikes. Five were killed and only one whose parent coughed out the demanded ransom early was let out fast enough, and this is a country where the American government staged a rescue mission to free one of her citizens. For Nigeria, it has been nothing but excuses and plea for understanding from presidential spokespersons while conflict merchants bargain for privileges for bandits. Another batch, Islamic school children as young as three years are now in the bush abducted by bandits. Nobody is doing anything about it but government is pursuing Twitter. Ego is more important.
In Katsina State, women are almost daily being forcefully taken away from their husbands. Life has become so scary that even attending social functions like weddings and burials expose women to abduction. In Benue, Borno, Taraba, Niger states folks especially, women, live in daily dread of bandits/terrorists. In the South, women are raped in their farms, kidnapped, butchered and sold as human parts by AK47 wielding herdsmen yet there is a government in power. To feather the impunity of the miscreants, northern elites some of whom are fingered as instrumental to the presence of these evil marauders on our shore, are up in arm with southerners calling for an end to open grazing.
Last year at the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown, a young female undergraduate of the University of Benin, Uwalia Vera Omozuwa, was murdered in cold blood inside a Redeemed Christian Church of God premises in Benin-City, Edo State. Till date, neither the RCCG nor Police has given Nigerians the true story of what happened or updated the public on steps being taken to ensure justice is served on the matter. The last information we had was that the pastor in the center of the murder was on the run.
Nigeria is a country blessed with rich human resources not being properly harnessed. Though also rich in natural resources, it is unable to create and manage employment for its teeming youth leaving them to fall prey to vices including horrifying barbaric practices. The outcries following the recent gruesome murder of another young, intelligent, eager to fend for self, Iniubong Umoren is still ringing loud bells announcing to the world, the failure of our government at different levels, to protect and provide for our people. A shame to our leaders!
Umoren was invited to pick up employment, in answer to her innocent open request to serve, unaware it was an invitation to death. Many have gone under unannounced but her clever hinting of her movements to a friend helped track her killers. There is silence at that end now since it was alleged the arrested suspected killer had started spilling the bean on those he sells the parts harvested from his victims. Except for the arrest of the Rivers State serial killer of girls in hotel rooms, gracious David-West, who has been sentenced, most cases just die silently, thereby encouraging continuous violation of women and girls in this country.
Unemployment multiplies crime rate, endangers lives and causes deep pain to those at the receiving end. The population of unemployed in Nigeria increased from 27.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2020, to 33.3 per cent in the last quarter of 2020 according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The world looks at Nigeria with scorn, appalled that despite its abundant resources, it has been unable to pull itself out of the wood, sinker deeper instead, borrowing from any willing to give, terms notwithstanding. The pain from this colossal failure, manifesting in very frightening insecurity, is borne by women as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters.
In the north alone the US Government report stated that over 7000 persons were killed by Boko Haram and bandits in 2020 alone. Between January and March 2021, no less than 1000 lives were lost; in Benue State Governor Ortom told Nigerians that 70 persons were buried in a village in one day after bandits/herdsmen attack. Another 86 farmers were beheaded in Borno State in one day also, for failing, according to President Buhari’s spokesman, to get clearance before going to their farms.
Every day, somebody is, or persons are being abducted, killed, kidnapped or maimed and all the Defense minister could say, is that Nigerians should defend themselves; a clear indication that this government has no answer to this cancer fast eating up the country. This state of affair is most worrisome and unacceptable. Women tasting too much bile from the Nigerian system, they deserve better and the UN has instruments for their protection in the UN Resolution 1325 which this government is signatory to. The minister of Women Affairs must stand up for women and Nigerian women must stand up to shout out against the monster of failed governance and its baby, insecurity. We deserve better but until we reject this yoke, Buhari and his team might think Nigerian women are okay with pain.
#Save Nigeria from Insecurity