Fellow citizens, the insecurity level has deteriorated beyond the critical level. Desperate times require desperate measures. Therefore, this is the time for citizens to declare a state of emergency on both leaders and the country. The reasons are thus:
Warri Bomb Blast(s): In March 2010, there was a bomb blast in the city of Warri, Delta State. The bomb exploded near the government house annex where post amnesty dialogue was going on. About 8 people died, with so many injured persons.
Abuja Bomb Blast(s) of October 1st 2010. There were bomb blasts at the capital city Abuja. Two bombs exploded outside the ministry of justice, while another exploded few meters away from the eagle square where the 50th independence celebration was going on. About 8 people died and many others injured.
Jos Bomb Blasts: On Christmas Eve (24/12/10) bombs exploded in the city of Jos (Plateau State). About 80 people died and estimated 120 people injured and hospitalized. Yenegoa Bomb Blasts: On Wednesday 29/12/10 bombs exploded in Yenegoa (Bayelsa State Capital) during a Peoples Democratic Party rally. Luckily there were no casualties.
Abuja Bomb Blasts of 31st December 2010: Two bombs exploded at Mogadishu military cantonment Abuja killing about 30 people and injuring many. In all these bomb blasts, properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
Political Assassinations: In the last 10 years, Nigeria has witnessed over 160 high profile politically motivated killings/assassinations. The most recent being; (a) the killing on Wednesday 29/12/10 of Comrade Chidi Nwosu (Aba based Human Rights Activist and Social Crusader), (b) killing on Thursday 30/12/10 in Ibadan of Alhaji Lateef Salako (a.k.a Eleweomo), A factional leader of the proscribed National Union of Road Transport Workers, Oyo State. (C) Two supporters of Senator Teslim Folarin (Senate Leader) killed on 30/12/10.
Kidnappings and Armed Robberies: These crimes have become so rampant that most Nigerians do no longer report to the police. It’s almost like daily occurrences. The fear of kidnappers and armed robbers has become the beginning of wisdom. No one is sure if the authorities have accurate figures/statistics of these crimes in the last 10 years. Permit me to assume a conservative estimate of four thousand cases, (Apologies if its over). South East part of the country has almost become no go area. People are no longer sleeping with their two eyes closed. Life has become unbearable.
Religious Crises: In the last three years, 2008, 2009, 2010, Jos city (Plateau State) alone has witnessed about 3 deadly religious crises. Between 2001 to 2006 there were about four crises in Jos. The most recent being the Christmas Eve crisis (see details of casualties above). Bauchi crisis (Kala Kato) of 2009, about 200 people were killed. Boko Haram crises in 2009 that took place in Maidugiri and Bauchi, over 700 people were killed. Extending the scope to the last 10 years, then the deaths figures from religious crises will be more than 3000. (Apologies if this figure is over).
Corruption: “The World Bank estimates the country’s generals and gangster politicians stole $300 billion in the three decades to 2006”(Time Magazine, May 3rd 2010 Edition, Page 42). There are no figures for 2006 to 2010. I leave you to estimate how much would have been looted.
Government and Security Failures: In 2009, the Director General of the State Security Services (SSS), Afakriya Gadazama, revealed publicly that information about numerous religious crises (Boko Haram, Jos crises etc) and other crimes such as kidnappings in Niger Delta, armed robberies in South East was passed to the appropriate quarters. However, actions were never taken to prevent these crises. This statements appear relevant today, otherwise how can you explain the insecurity level. Alternatively, one wonders if the security services need the permission of the government/politicians before carrying out their constitutional duties. It’s also possible that securities services might not have the intelligence needed to avoid crises before it happens. Prevention is better than cure. In both cases both the government and security services have failed Nigerians. To make matters worst, the perpetrators of these crises are never prosecuted or given severe punishments to deter others. Concerned Nigerians are scared that no nation(s) can develop or make progress the way we are going.
Recommendations: For the reasons above and many others, Nigerians have to become security conscious wherever they may be. I suggest citizen’s surveillance, covert operations and spying. I have made these suggestions in the past. We have no choice but to spy people, government etc. Whatever information you get, post it online, or to media houses. There are hundreds of Nigerian online forums/media. Imagine what Wikileaks has done with the information at their disposal. Let us do to our country, what Wikileaks has done to the world. Information can put a government/group on their feet.
Citizen/group led Sovereign National Conference: This is non negotiable. There is no need to wait for the government to convoke this conference. Evidences have shown that the government is not ready to convoke any conference that will restructure Nigeria. Not too long ago, President Jonathan dismissed the idea of sovereign national conference. Till date, no presidential aspirant has spoken in favor of sovereign national conference. Therefore, the citizens are left with no choice but to start talking on their own. Pressure groups, community/village leaders, opinion leaders, religious leaders, professional bodies, labour unions, etc, should commence citizens led sovereign national conference. If Sudan can talk and even plan a referendum for the future of their country, then we have no choice.
As a starting point, kindly follow the enclosed web link http://www.misterpoll.com/polls/512452 and vote yes or no to sovereign national conference. Please note that the identity of each respondent will be anonymous. The result of your votes will form the basis for, recommendations to Nigerians as well as to the authorities.
Finally, this year (2011) affords us an opportunity to effect some political changes. All eligible Nigerians should take part in voter(s) registration and elections. Both exercises should be observed and monitored. This is to enable us vote in credible leaders that will help restructure the country. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK