The Oasis Reporters
June 6, 2019
On the way to my small farm in the morning, 5th day of June, 2019, a local radio station was airing the morning news. The attention catching item was the mention of the name of a former military dictator and if you will, the anti democracy retired Gen Ibrahim Babangida. What they were reading as news was that some journalists undertook a Barka da Sallah visit to the expired self made president at his Minna Hilltop fortress. It was during the visit that IBB as he is commonly called made a statement of his confidence in President Muhammadu Buhari’s ability to overcome the current issues of insecurity in the land.
The problem with the calibre of some of today’s journalists is that they lack the capacity to query incisively some points of view. I thought that the team of journalists should have asked the former president how in his view this feat would be achieved given the lackadaisical and lethargic manner national security management has been conducted in the past 4 years.
It was obvious that the journalists lacked the capacity to discern a response that is intended to serve the immediate rather than the long term. Under the circumstance to expect that the former president will respond in a manner as to picture the realities of security in Nigeria as things stand would certainly have been delusional.
There is no way IBB could have responded in a manner reflective of the realities on the ground. It does not matter how bad the situation on ground may be. I am sure they got exactly the response they expected. The former president is safe inside the Hilltop fortress and no matter how bad things get he will still be safe.
It is we, ordinary mortals contending with a myriad of difficulties on a day to day basis that know where it is biting most. Tracing from a historical standpoint, IBB by the policies of his defunct administration is in many ways instrumental to the insecurity in the land. Had he not acted dictatorially by selling the nation out to the Bretton Wood institutions and made a complete mess of the once strong Naira, our nation and people would not have had to journey along this steep and potholed dusty road.
Former and present leaders particularly in Africa, cover their tracks and IBB could not be indifferent to this unwritten code.
One of the most important questions I still think the journalists should have put to the former president is what his response would be to the recent order revoking all firearms licenses and ordering that such firearms be surrendered to the Police. It is still not clear if indeed a directive in this regard was made. The other day I was navigating through Facebook and came across a cartoon which my understanding tells me was critical of the directive on the revocation of the firearms licences and the security situation in a general sense. The cartoon had a man and his wife lying down in bed, the man with a machete by his side and the wife with a pestle by her side. Both were sleeping with only one eye closed while the other was wide open and just by the window outside of their bedroom was a would be intruder or buggler.
Again and for emphasis this time, if indeed any such directive was ever issued, it remains the most absurd and reckless directive ever issued by the current government. The most rational thing to do and urgently that is assuming that the will and capacity to do it is to go for the Fulani terrorists and kidnappers who have turned our nation into another hell on earth. To surrender any firearm for those who have them tantamount to committing suicide. The paradox of the security situation in Nigeria is that those making the statements are very safe but the people on the ground and here I mean ordinary people are those bearing the brunt of the insecurity.
In my humble view therefore, reporting statements that play to the gallery as news is a minus for journalism.