A nation in search of peace - DE-REPORTORIAL


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Monday, May 15, 2023

A nation in search of peace

One important verse in the Bible that tells us the importance of light over darkness is Genesis verses 1-3.

The verse says: “Let there be light and there was light”.

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According to the holy book, God saw that the light was good.

Then he separated the light from the darkness.

The Bible also tells us that in the beginning of the world, the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

That strong verse reveals the darkness that surrounded both the heaven and the earth.

For Nigeria and Nigerians, these bible verses have become a major reference point for us now at this critical time of our national life as a new administration will take charge of the leadership of this country in less than two weeks from today.

Over the years, it is sad that the forces of darkness have taken over our political milieu, killing, raping, kidnapping and wrecking untold havoc on innocent citizens.

The forces of darkness have made Nigeria their personal and private property, causing economic woes and making Nigerians feel as if we are like slaves in our country.

Between 2015 and 2023, Nigerians have been subjected to various pains and sufferings arising from both economic, political and social insecurity, especially, with the criminal activities of Boko Haram, bandits, IPOB and their sponsors.

Today, the external debt of Nigeria is put at $41.8 billion.

God knows the numbers of people that have been killed by Boko Haram, bandits, IPOB-these groups of blood suckers and their cronies.

Nobody is spared. From the North to the East, South to the West, the same scenario has been playing out without hope.

Both secondary school pupils, travellers, tourists and residents have been victims of this unrest and it has become a national disaster.

Referencing the beginning of the world when darkness overwhelmed the entire heaven and earth and God ordered for light to take over the darkness.

It was a complete opposite in the Nigerian situation. In the beginning, when Nigeria got her independence of n 1960, there was light.

The future was bright. It was the vision of the founding fathers to make Nigeria the greatest country in Africa.

It was the vision of our founding fathers that Nigeria fulfilled her destiny as one of the superpowers of the world.

But at a point in the life of our nation, the military struck and the light faded out, leaving the nation in darkness and also naked for the forces of darkness.

For instance, the beginning of Boko Haram was not accidental. It was as a result of the failures of our leaders.

The leaders, especially those from the North taught the lion how to prowl and devour its prey.

Like what is happening in the north, the various spate of insecurity across the country was not accidental.

They were the attendant results of our negligence, care-free attitudes. They were results of greed and self centeredness and lack of love for our fellow compatriots.

Boko Haram became a national threat because some leaders believed it was their political stratagem to cause chaos when things did not go their way.

It started like a child play and now Boko Haram has become notorious for its brutality.

And since the insurgency started in 2009, Boko Haram had killed tens of thousands of people, in frequent attacks against the police, armed forces and civilians. 

It has resulted in the deaths of more than 300,000 children, displaced 2.3 million from their homes.

No part of the region is safe as Boko Haram later took over some of the local governments in some states in the north.

As the unslaught of the Boko Haram was reducing, there was a sudden twist of fate with the emergence of bandits which later became another big issue also in the north. 

The bandits would kidnap and kill people at ease.

Banditry became the order of the day and they are making billions as ransom from their victims.

Reports of how the forces of darkness involved in llegal mining

 in Niger, Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara states are still fresh in our memories.

This had triggered violent conflict over the control of minefields, and has led to the deaths of thousands of people.

Due to the displacement caused by the conflict, the people of the region engaged in banditry as an alternate means of survival.

It later spread to other regions as the herdsmen turned bandits, making millions as ransom.

As it is evident in the North, the East is also boiling with the activities of the IPOB.

Also, the Eastern part of the country have been ravaged by this group that often declare a’ sit- at home’ order on a weekly basis. It had got to the stage in the East where nobody is safe.

In the South-west, we also have a bit of the crisis. Bandits have rendered our farmers useless with their various heinous activities.

There are cases of kidnapping and killings also in the South-west.

A sudden intervention came with the introduction of the Operation Amotekun and the South became relatively peaceful.

We can easily remember the activities of the South-west Security Stakeholders Group,(SSSG) a group of the various security outfits from across the South-west that came up to secure the region.

The group was an idea and effort of the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Abiodun Ige Adams to check the prevailing unrest and killings in the South-west.

It was a success as the group did a lot to complement the efforts of the Amotekun as well as the police.

The OPC under the leadership of the Aareonakakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams also went further to initiate the Oodua Dependable Security Team across the six states in the region.

For those of us that knew from the outset that the level of poverty and illiteracy are the causes of terrorism in Nigeria, endemic poverty, illiteracy, human displacement and high rate of death are also the impacts of terrorism in Nigeria. 

 And we all know for sure that provision of basic needs of lives and religious tolerance could be the solution to terrorism in Nigeria.

As far as I am concerned, it is no doubt that Nigeria is in dire need of light over the forces of darkness.

This is a critical time when we need peace, not war. No nation can develop without peace.

The peace we want is not the peace of the graveyard as it is displayed by the Boko Haram, bandits and their allies.

Ahead of the May 29 inauguration, there are people that are bent on causing war. They have promised us war, thinking that war is a tea party.

There are people that are planning to truncate the inauguration of a new administration because the election didn’t go their way.

Many have perfected their plans not to see this new government succeed because they think their mandate was ‘stolen”.

The Election Petition Tribunal has resumed to hear the cases of those that lost out in the election, yet people are still drumming for war.

On this last note, we can only seek peace when there is justice for all.

A peaceful Nigeria is the only panacea for both social, economic and political development in the country.

 Kehinde Aderemi writes from Lagos

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