As a government under a democratic system, the basic purpose of the government is to provide parameters for everyday behavior of its citizens, protect and secure its citizens from interference both from outside and within its jurisdiction and to also provide for their wellbeing and happiness. Without much ado, the present Nigerian government has almost failed its citizens in discharging these responsibilities, (if not totally failed), Nigerians whether home or in diaspora are suffering for the unfortunate failure of their government to provide them with safety and security.
Nigerians wake up this morning with another news trending of kidnapping of five individuals in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The federal capital is almost the last safest city in the entire country and now with the recent tales of kidnapping it is also no longer safe and secured. The deteriorating state of kidnappings and killings in Nigeria is worrisome as no part of the country is immune to this unwholesome situation. One often wonders what the government is doing to rescue Nigerians from this mess, disaster and calamity that befall its citizens.
Not long ago Nigerians were xenophobically attacked in South Africa; it took the Nigerian government days to respond as a government to those that were being attacked in order to save them from the attack. The likes of Naledi Pandor; South African minister of international relations and corporation and Former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki publicly spoke out and justified the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians but unfortunately, the Nigerian government was never responsive to the public embarrassment on its citizens. It was a private citizen, Allen Onyema the Chairman/CEO of Air Peace who volunteered to evacuate Nigerian from South Africa and not the government. What was the Nigerian government doing?
The Abuja-Kaduna expressway is now becoming a no-go area for motorists, everyone now including the government officials and top ranking police and military officers in Nigeria now are afraid and no longer plying the Abuja-Kaduna expressway. The most troubling scenario here is that, if a military general in the Nigerian Army or a top ranking police officer is apprehensive of plying the road then what more of an ordinary citizen of the country? Hence the recent agitation by a coalition of Civil Society Organizations calling on the federal government to shutdown the Abuja-Kaduna train services so that those top government officials, military officers, police officers that are using the train services will be compelled to return to the road and for that reason may concentrate in discharging there responsibility of eradicate the incessant kidnappings happening in the road.
The problem of insecurity in Nigeria is always increasing; no where is now safe in Nigeria and I believe it is not unconnected with the corrupt attitude, incompetency and lack of expertise of the security personnel. It baffles me most to see Nigerian security personal demanding for money from motorists at check points and any motorist who does not want to be checked only need to pay some token of money and it does not matter what he is carrying in his car.
Similarly, food prices and commodities are at a record high. The rate of unemployment in Nigeria is also at a record high and public schools in a dilapidated and deteriorated condition. The sorry situation of public schools in Nigeria is increasing day by the day as those that are saddled with the responsibility of making sure those public schools are conducive for learning make sure their children and the children of their children go abroad to study.
As a Nigerian, one hardly wakes up in the morning with positive news on Nigeria; almost entirely the news and stories about Nigeria are negative stories. What a time to be Nigerian! These and other problems too numerous to mention here facing our dear and great nation Nigeria are clearly a product of bad governance and most importantly the behavior of Nigerians as individuals towards one another. We as Nigerians need a paradigm shift in our attitudes and behavior towards the promoting patriotism and love for one another.
I call on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) which is the body established for the purpose of communicating government policies, promoting patriotism and development of societies in Nigeria to tighten its belt in the discharge of its mandate in order to make sure Nigerians receive adequate orientation on promotion of patriotism.
Ibrahim Muazzam Musa, a Law graduate of Bayero University, wrote this piece from Abuja