The stories look the same – only the location varies. Terrorists in the middle of the night burst into a village, ransacking shops, and set properties ablaze. They steal livestock and kill people that can’t run. They kidnap many and later request for ransom. If you’re not being snatched from your home, you’ll be waylaid on a highway and shepherded into the bush – sometimes never to be seen again. You’re not safe even in the houses of worship or centers of learning—not to imagine a farm far away from view.
From Sokoto to Niger, from Kaduna to Katsina, from Zamfara to Borno, from Benue to Plateau down to Taraba, the North is bleeding. The government is indifferent to the plight of communities left to their fate while heartless people are cheering and tagging it the karma of some sort.
The stories are heart-wrenching. People burnt alive. Worshippers slaughtered while praying. Farmers watch as the farm produce, they looked after for months, gets burnt. Parents submit their daughters to the terrorists. Whole communities accepting the new normal of paying protection money to the terrorists. One woman picked a goat and ran with it thinking it was her little child. The stories are grim. They talk of a region under siege, with no helper nearby. One can’t even keep track of the death toll or locations where the ever-happening terror attacks take place.
Meanwhile, the president is nowhere to be seen—except at book launches or foreign capitals posing for pictures. The Buhari administration has not only failed in its primary responsibility of securing the lives and property of citizens, but its nonchalant attitude towards the plight of communities affected (ironically those same communities that played a role in bringing the administration to power) is also scary.
But what is scarier is that people are being killed in the heart of Arewa and there isn’t enough outrage from the brethren. People go about their businesses as if everything is normal. The killings, abductions have been normalized. People no longer feel the pain of others, who aren’t just numbers but humans with loved ones and ambitions like every one of us. It’s just pathetic.
Like I explained last year, our sons at the helm of power have largely failed us. They’ve turned a once prosperous Arewa into a laughing stock. The indices of out-of-school children, mothers dying during birth, people living in extreme poverty, communities sacked by terrorists, among others are still grim for a region with great human and natural resources. I think if Aminu Kano, Sa’adu Zungur, the Sardauna of Sokoto et al were around, they would be ashamed of the pathetic situation we found ourselves in today. If we are not careful, ours will be a region on the brink of economic and social decadence.
Labaran Yusuf, Jos, Plateau State