From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja The decision to retain health maintenance organisations (HMOs) as part of the country’s health insurance programme caused a major disagreement between the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services and the executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Yusuf Usman. Usman, at the just concluded two-day investigative hearing…
The kind of things happening in our nation in recent months should ordinarily make us sober and reflective, but since we are not a serious people, we are not in that mood; we have instead gone into theatrics, supplanting the serious with the mundane. In this nation in the last one year barbarians in our midst have done so much to diminish the rest of us by their many acts which desecrate the sanctity attached to the human life. Few months ago it was a case of reckless government officials landing the full weight of the state on hapless members of the Shi’ites religious group. Before the bloody encounter ended, over 400 Nigerians had been sent to their early graves.
The worst was that leaders that should ordinarily protect the citizens were in denial of such a development until God in his own time decided to reveal what was hidden, and till today and in spite of the chilling revelation, all of us, leaders and the led, have no sense of indignation, we still operate as if nothing terrible happened.
Because we were not shocked, the Kaduna State governor went ahead in this journey of perfidy to proscribe the religious sect and this is in spite of the provisions in our Constitution which allows freedom of thought and worship. As you read this, some members of the sect have been in detention for months running and nobody is seeing that as an aberration what reacting to in the most serious manner. In the last one year also the issue of herdsmen has assumed a different dimension. In fact, they have become not just a law unto themselves they are now a full government on their own. They determine where to go and how to get there, they also formulate what should be the basis of their relationship with their host communities and when it is not favourable they fight, shoot their host with AK47 rifles and destroy their properties, take over the place or run away to talk tough and justify their wicked actions. All these happen and our leaders and indeed everybody is behaving as if it is a normal. Those who control them are not saying they should stop, rather there is this spurious justification based on geography and dryness, and they hold on to this argument as if people in Niger and Burkina Faso do not rear cattle or if our cattle were reared in the locality of the owners and transported by rail to their marketing points, Nigerians won’t eat the meat.
Rather than sit down and find scientific but lasting solutions to very simple matters, those who don’t wish this nation well prefer to stay back and watch things get worst or throw up stupid remedies which even before they say it, they know have capacity to provoke social tensions and bloody confrontations, they carry on because there is this feeling they have temporary advantage which if they know history, they should know would not amount to much when everybody is worked up. A man, who knows he would die all the same if he does not fight back the threat trying to annihilate him, would definitely react and his response would not have respect whatever is happening around his environment. In the last one month unidentified human objects from hell beat our national security cordon and landed in many local governments in Southern Kaduna, they did what only barbarians do: they went from one community to the other, killing and destroying properties.
For weeks, it was as if there was no government in place. The local government authorities were nowhere to be seen and the state government which we have been told should be in-charge of security matters in the state began to chase rats when in fact buildings where burning. Governor Nasir El-Rufai was more concerned about the resolve of a massacred people to defend themselves than moving in security personnel into the troubled areas to restore normalcy and confidence; rather than do this, he was ordering arrest of people who chose to defend themselves in the face of glaring abdication of responsibility by the state. I have very harsh words for El-Rufai and they are certainly not complimentary but for the interest of the nation, I would keep those comments to myself for now, but let me make this point, if I had my way El-Rufai should be impeached today, by every yardstick he is not qualified to be governor of a state let alone a complex one as Kaduna.
In the last few days, I have noticed a dangerous trend: we are beginning to leave substance and chase shadows; many of our leaders and their institutions are leaving the ball and going for the legs, and what would surprise many is the fact that those leading in this misdirection campaign are those who have everything to have stop the barbarians in our midst from troubling the rest of us. The Sultan of Sokoto emphasized so much on reactionary speeches which he called ‘hate speeches’ and said all they should have done would have been to condemn killings. The Directorate of State Services (DSS) made so much fuss about the so-called hate speech to the point they wanted to arrest some Christian leaders. The question those who think like this should answer is: killing and the so-called hate speech, which is the real issue? Shouldn’t snuffing out of human lives be so abhorrent, that by now our leaders, especially those from the North should have worked to put a final stop to a development that has become a recurring decimal? How many of us enjoy seeing fellow citizens slit the throat of another for no just reason if killing was to be allowed at all; what does such a dastardly development tell about us and the Black Race?
Is it not time those who instigate such animal acts come to their senses? Is it not time parents and the state take responsibility to make children they bring to the world real human beings? The truth is that things will boil over if the senseless trend continues; even my humble self would be full of the revenge bile if my relation is killed in a senseless orgy of violence.
The truth is we can build a nation in which everybody would be happy if today we decide to do away with hypocrisy. Let us not forget that the crisis in Sudan began like this. On this matter it would be dangerous to be “sleepy, dreamy, torpid and lethargic”; we could be doomed. We all have a responsibility to help the president build a beautiful Nigeria and this can be when we give him quality advice.