Those were the chants that permeated the air by optimistic fans of General Muhammad Buhari when he beat President Goodluck Jonathan in the hotly contested Nigerian Presidential Elections of 2015.
In the most gracious and a very un-African move, President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat and congratulated the President-Elect thereby paving the way for a seamless and violence free transition of power.
With such optimism for a better future, a corruption free government, terrorist void country and financially buoyant economy, President Buhari was sworn in as Nigeria’s President. His second stint as
leader ruler of Africa’s most populous nation after seizing power through a military coup in 1983. As in the famous words of Douglas Mac Aurthur, “Old soldiers never die…”
Today makes it 603 days (365 days in a year) or about 86 weeks (52 weeks in a year) which is exactly 413 working days (3304 hours) since President Muhammad Buhari took the oath of office on Friday, May 29th 2015.
I am not here to whine about his many failed campaign promises or his thoughtless and unproductive numerous travels out of the country.
Neither I am using this platform to rant about the nose diving economy (it’s apparently the fault of Jonathan’s administration or the dwindling oil prices).
I am also not here to burden you with the rampant and regular abuse of court processes, disregard for court orders and a denial of fundamental human rights by the Government.
No, I am not here to vociferate about the continuous bombings, killings, maiming and death of innocent citizens by Boko Haram insurgents with the Government continually claiming to have captured their base in Sambisa Forest.
Neither am I here to expound on the numerous failings of the Government in protecting human lives with the gratuitous killings of people by Fulani Herdsmen in many parts of the country, the Southern Kaduna killings that has claimed and continues to claim the lives of over 200 people in the last few months, the unjustified and unwarranted killing of Mrs Olawale Elisha whose crime was preaching the Word of God or the elderly lady that was murdered in Kano for asking a Muslim man not to pray in front of her shop.
I am really not here to chew over those indiscretions of the Buhari led Government because they have been examined, debated over and analyzed by innumerable writers and social bodies and well meaning citizens.
For the above, I am among those that have vehemently defended the Government.
“Give him some time”, I would say.
“Let the oil prices stabilize”, I would vocalize.
“Wait for two years before we judge his performance”, I regularly say in defense of his many failings.
But after #Rann, he ran out of excuses and my patience has became exhausted.
I am actually here to discuss Rann.
Let me bring you up to speed for those unenlightened by the happenings in their dear Country or my Non-Nigerian readers.
Sometime on January 17th, 2017 an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Borno State was “accidentally” bombed by an aircraft belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
You heard it right.
The Nigerian Air Force bombed and killed over 50 innocent people and injured over 100 people that they were supposed to be protecting “accidentally”.
How can a fighter jet accidentally bomb the wrong target?
We are running away from Boko Haram insurgents, should we now be running away from our own Military forces?
What level of incompetence would make a fighter jet bomb the wrong target and an Internal Displaced Person’s Camp at that?
One of General Muhammad Buhari’s campaign promises before 2015 elections reads “Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious and communal clashes”.
Key word is well trained and goals driven. Will a well trained and goal driven Nigerian Air Force “accidentally” bomb its own people?
Now talking about where was actually bombed: An IDP camp. The same camps that Boko Haram insurgents have been trying to infiltrate?
What a coincidence…………….
The same people that ran away from Boko Haram insurgents and camped in an IDP camp were “accidentally” bombed by the same people mandated to be protect them?
According to Director, Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa said “The NAF is saddened by today’s accidental air strike by its fighter jet at Rann in which innocent lives were lost. The loss occasioned by this unfortunate incident is deeply regretted”.
It was also reported that six Red Cross members killed and 13 wounded according to The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) spokeswoman.
Can you imagine?
Medicine San Frontiers (MSF) one of the humanitarian aid group affected by the misfiring Airforce fighter jet in a statement issued by its Director of Operations said “This large scale attack on vulnerable people who have already fled from extreme violence is shocking and unacceptable”.
In all my rancor about this development, what was the President’s take on this rather unfortunate incident?
A visit to the site to commiserate first hand with the dead and gravely injured fellows?
A nationwide broadcast showing how deeply regretful the incident was and what he was doing to lead first hand rescue efforts?
A call to the bodies engaged in making sure the fatality rate remains as minimal as possible?
So what did the President do?
Issue a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity and send out a tweet on his Twitter handle (a tweet obviously not written by him).
So where is the President now?
Just a few days after the incident?
He is in London.
He is on a short leave (10 days) for rest and to undergo a routine medical check-up.
This being the third “vacation/medical checkup” by the President in one year. He had earlier embarked on a six day vacation between February 5 and 10, 2016 and also June 6, 2016 he embarked in another 10 day vacation to attend to an ear infection.
What stops him from delaying his leave by a few days and staying in the country to take first hand control of the situation?
This is the same President that vowed in one of his numerous campaign promises that he will “Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world standard and ban medical tourism by our politicians”.
A President going on vacation when such an precarious and mind bugging incident as of the Rann bombing has the redolence of an insensitive Leader.
Is this the time to berate the President?
I am not even a political writer or a journalist, I am just a concerned Nigerian troubled by the path this Government is taking.
A probe must be conducted to find out the root cause of such regrettable incident and the guilty parties brought to book. No more sweeping such issues under the carpet.
It’s time for every Nigerian to stand up, ask questions and demand change (Pun intended). #SpeakOut
I pray for the hearts of those that lost loved ones and a speedy recovery to those recuperating at various hospitals.
God bless this country.