The Indians have a proverb that literally means "Your future does not depend on the lines of your hands, because people who do not have hands also have a future". It means, it is better to do your work than to be superstitious and wait for the right time. I have chosen to use those lines to start my admonishment for this week. These are some of the best times to be American, despite renewed terror alert, it feels good to in Obama's America. Yet for us in this divide, I am apologetic yet unrepentant in saying that rather than get about working, we are largely depending on fate and goodluck.
A touch of superstition that somehow, itĂ˘€™s all going to work out fine for Nigeria. Yet very little has changed in the system, we are still doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I may be an unrepentant critic but as always I believe that we are making some form of progress albeit it ridiculously slow and expectedly on a four steps backward and two forward ratio. With mothers' day just past, we are confronted with mothers mourning the loss of their beloved children, children that were serving their nation and like I said in my last essay, consistently plagued with lapses in security, we are left with gaping holes in the heart.
Today, Nigerians are looking for Navy seals, any hope that we may get marines in any arm of our security apparatus. The issues for contestaton remain welfare, training, orientation, recruitment and corruption. A black uniform, black Dane gun and a black mind and that's partly the story of the Nigerian police. Our Navy seals in Nigeria are poorly remunerated, not in any way empowered or protected. Its true that we are very quick to attack the Nigerian Police, army and other arms of our security but, there are so many unanswered questions.
When last did you visit a police barracks, an army barracks, and then visit those high profile farms that belong to some thieving general or politicians. I did a sample study of a barrack and its one police man to a pregnant wife, six children, several brothers and sisters all holed up in one room kids ranging from ages 6-15, four out of school because of school fees and you put same man with a gun and bullets without much of a training and ask him to get you Osama bin Nigeria. That is beside the fact that that barracks has had no light in 4 months.
In one of those reports commissioned by the last administration there was a suggestion that the uniforms of policemen be sewn without pockets, and how it would reduce the N20 syndrome. I laughed and laughed till I could no longer, as I wondered that maybe the new blue like uniform which is the preserve of senior officers may also help in them solving crimes. In many Nigerian communities, the citizens trust the Army for internal security rather than the police, a complete aberration and the army themselves are capitalizing on it, and in most cases forgetting that some of the force they show should be reserved for World war bin laden.
The Nigerian security apparatus is underpaid, unmotivated because many a times all the money ends up in the ogas private account, so often, our case is like entrusting your vegetable leaves toa goat. For all the swagger and ginger of the CIA, FBI and all the likes in US, may have taken ten years, but our google wearing SSS men here in twenty years and more have not boasted one major breakthrough case.
When did you see a crime scene in Nigeria however every several kilometres became a crime scene and is cordoned because a government official is passing? How many functional helicopters does the Nigerian Police possess, what does the elite arm of the army or armed forces really do, when was the last time the DMI, NIA, or SSS brief Nigerians of a major achievement despite all the billions that go into these social bodies. We have no conclusion into all the bombings, the boko haram, militants or all that almajiris and area boys, lives are lost to all forms of violence, ethno-religious, political, kidnapping, robbery and assassinations. Criminal activities which one can get first hand report at an Isi Ewu and beer joint.
My friend had to comment on her facebook network some months back of palpable tension she went through because a policeman greeted her politely and wished her a blessed day. It was scary, it was am anomaly. In our beloved Nigeria, people join our seals as a way out of poverty, a means to an end, not because they really care about a job to be done. When a layman could anticipate trouble days ahead, just based on local grapevine and same occurs you begin to wonder what does the National Security Adviser do, and what does the IG do...arrest activists, or get all wired up over a case of two-fighting because of a girlfriend.
Nigerians deserve better but are we collectively asking for better or simply expecting that it will turn out fine. Miracles arenĂ˘€™t magic. Our attitude of 'he is not my Son-in-law, but my daughter's husband' will not save us. The fact does not change by saying it in a different way, we are not the worst in crime rate, nowhere near South Africa, or some European nations, but what is the value of the life of a Nigerian, and how much effort is the Jonathan administration willing to put to getting us a Nigerian Navy Seal unit, we can be proud of?
We have to keep the conversation, the criticism positively and not go down on our oars till we get there, this is my admonishment, we do not have a security apparatus, it is our responsibility to get value for the campaign promises of politicians in Nigerian...They promised security, let us demand it from them.
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Sogaolu Oluleke ile-ife, Nigeria August 22, 2011
This article of yours that i am highly impressed. Nigeria lacks a functioning national defence agency. And lives lost are not cared about.
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