By: Sani Abdulrazak
Five times he called on his region and presented himself, five times they answered and voted him en masse. To them, he is the chosen one, the savior with followership at par with if not more than the founding fathers of the region. one that may not have solutions to all their problems, but at least will give them one thing they crave the most…Peace!
It will interest you to know that religious leaders also vigorously campaigned for him, saying he is the solution to our enormous problems. Whenever he calls and whichever state of the region he visited, people troop out in thousands to show their support, and in each of the first three attempts he failed, the region stood by him. And when he cried, they cried also. He promised them he will protect their lives and properties if given the chance, why would they doubt him when he is their anointed.
At the fourth time of asking, he ascended the throne and expectedly, the Saturnalia in the region was unprecedented. They basked in the la dolce vita and pheromones of his electoral victory. the energy and hope in the region could power up the Ajaokuta steel plant. People went wild so much that there were casualties. they cared less because finally, the anointed one has won.
And when he came to power, the same region gave him all the benefit of the doubt. crude oil that the economy depended on was selling at a record low, he needed time and resources to proffer his much-awaited change. There was instability at the creeks thus crude oil output was low. Then came the recession, and with its rising inflation and fall of the Naira, the same region pleaded for trust in his process, time, and patience. Albeit the killings in the North East subsided, the murderous bloodthirsty monster in the North West was peaking. the same region said they believe their own is up to the task.
These hexed evil forces kept pillaging every nook and cranny of the villages in the region killing, maiming, raping, and abducting at will. Suddenly we began to cede major roads linking major cities in the country to them, then our farmlands, schools, and then our villages. the region cried out and called on their own to do more. but this time, the anointed one and his handlers, mostly sons and daughters of the region felt it’s not worth coming down to the region to sympathize with them. he began to see it from the same side of the prism the fisherman from the creeks before he viewed it: it’s all meant to discredit the giant strides of your administration, forgetting that the anointed one was at the forefront of criticism then. He relentlessly criticized every measure taken then making us believe that if he wouldn’t do anything. At least he’ll solve our security challenges.
Amidst all these, the region voted him again overwhelmingly at the fifth and last time. begging, praying, and hoping he’ll solve the insecurities permeating almost all parts of the region. Unfortunately, it was anything but. Banditry escalated, no one was safe, they attack relentlessly day and night, from the remote villages of Zamfara, to as far as Ahmadu Bello University, the iconic fortress of the region, the enigmatic citadel, bastion of knowledge and marketplace of ideas. This time the cry became louder. but they have his diehards to deal with. When this band of mostly epigynous followers was swarming over and defending him while in the opposition, they were praised, unbeknownst to us they will someday silence our genuine cries and we’ll have to deal with what we created with our own hands.
These diehards chromatographically squeeze killings in the region through political tunnels thereby promoting deep fissures. They believe everything he does is right; in fact, he is doing us a great deal of favor leading us. they blame everyone and anything but him. He must not be blamed. They will tell you he has given the region all the juicy appointments, what else do you expect him to do? You have no right to even object to his administration let alone criticize. And when people are being killed, it is a consequence of our sins and not the failure of his administration. But a Hausa is saying ‘You cannot beat a child and prevent him from crying’ as simple as that.
Who is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces? Who did the region vote for? Him or his appointees? And who is saddled with the responsibility of firing them if they don’t perform? Is securing our lives and properties a responsibility of the government or a privilege? yet we must not speak out rather we should perish in silence.
Then came the apogee: 42 people gruesomely burnt to death beyond recognition by these bloodthirsty terrorists, among them were men, women, and children. Sadly. nothing is happening with all the heads of the country’s security architecture retaining their jobs. why wouldn’t they when the anointed one chose to attend a book launch rather than pay a visit to Sokoto to commiserate with the victims of this dastardly act?
I thought the barbarism at Sokoto a few days ago will for once unite the region irrespective of ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation to pressure the president to do more. I thought the religious leaders will lead special prayers or call on the anointed one as they did with past leaders for relatively fewer security challenges in the past. I thought the northern groups will take the lead in protesting these incessant killings in the region. But unfortunately, defying any logic known to man, this band of supporters is still busy making excuses for him. Must we all perish before they call on the anointed one to do more to secure lives and properties he swore an oath to protect? How low must we sink into the abyss of despair and sorrow before we attain anagnorisis? We may need to also remind the region’s anointed one that aside from the grappling lurid miasma of insecurity we are currently faced with, the region is the poverty capital of the world and has the highest number of out-of-school children. Add these to the astronomical rise in food inflation and worsening economy of the region. Posterity awaits both the anointed one and his band of diehards. as we can’t erase sad events like the carnage of Auno and now Sokoto 42 from history.
Sani Abdulrazak, author of “The Adventure of Ayya” is a Storyteller and can be reached via email at email@example.com