“That which you do not need will kill you”! – African Proverb (Tuareg).
The child is the greatest potential Nigeria ever has. He’s the youth who constitutes the greater percentage of her population, about 70% aged 25-35yrs. He’s the country’s greatest and best ever productive labour force. He constitutes a reasonable percentage that makes up the 37% of African youth population.
Yet this youth has not been so productive. It’s alarming that the misuse of this youth has stumbled the feet of the nation. Now this latter percentage has a multiplier turn out, with about 60% unemployed youths continent-wide!
From the kick-off of the Islamic splinter group in 2002, a non-organized, and hardly any coherent ideologically terrorist group called Book Haram, to its violent acts of terror especially since 2009 and to its ‘inclusion’ of criminal syndicates and gangs who adopted ‘its’ name, the narration has remained one and for real. Insecurity and the general deprivation of the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians, with such vices as inequality, abject poverty, increasing unemployment, etc, are at the core of the increasing violent extremism in the country.
It’s the Nigerian saying that “the labour of children is known to the mother”. Yet the same mother failed to labour its child. The child that was made to born a terror! The child that she mentally and psychologically disabled, exploited and manipulated. The child whose youthfulness is no longer useful to his ‘motherly nation’ but to the god-damn mothers of the ‘black empire’ — the heroes of darkness! Tellingly, that mother now carries the child that bites its back and barks behind — he’s the child she refused to nurse, instead abandoned to suffer and got deserted.
The Nigerian child has never been a weaning baby that’s known to born with laudest cry. He cries though, and decries, but still dies on his mother’s back! He’s sold and commercially terrorized. The lawlessness of his country has given him a stamp of approval to proceed with killings without fear of deterrence. He’s the employee to those who sold their lives to profit from anything bad as horrific, and a ghost to those who consume victim and refused to sacrifice their lives for anything good as peace.
He’s the nomadic ‘herder’ whose profession is worthless to the nation; who, instead of commercializing and profiting from his seemingly ‘annoying’ herding, got beating by ‘city boys’ and police mobs! He has become helpless and made to suffer from extra-judicial punishment.
He becomes the victim of psychological terror and a detriment to social policies. He’s the bandit, the rapist and murderer! He’s the farm destroyer, the farming village killer, the horror of Zabarmari!
At one instance, he’s the prison breaker, the victim of selective criminal justice. He’s the reactionist of the country’s lawlessness and impunity who chose to break, rather than staying years of unjust custody in prison! He’s the Onaruje Benjamin whose response to the #EndSARS impunity saw the breaking-up of the Benin City Correctional Centre at Oko. Along with four or five others, he formed a new criminal gang and eventually returned to their old criminal enterprise. He’s the weapons career of AK47 and AK49 rifles, a Beretta pistol with 6 rounds of live ammunition and anti-tracking devices. While he’s the car theft master, Alhaji Hudu Musa is in charge of ferrying and disposing the stolen weapons and vehicles to neighbouring Niger Republic!
Not only had the Onaruje Benjamin got the signatory of Alhaji Hudu Musa but also had a criminal female signatory! She’s the 49yrs old Talatu Ibrahim — an indigene of Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara state. She’s the weapon career and a supplier. She reportedly supplies to a criminal bandit and a killer, the one Duleji Alhaji Abubakar a.k.a Ori jeje residing at Ekka village, Koro LGA, Kwara state. The criminal act has cut across ethnic, regional or even religious boundaries. It’s a response to the nation’s leadership failure — better pronounced!
In another angle, the child Nigeria abandoned has become the notorious drug dealer and object of abuse. He’s the unemployed youth who seeks job opportunity through crime and terror. He’s the victim of a bad culture that has already been signalled by his terror role-models and emerging peers. They’re the weak poor, the scurrilous gossipers — wicked informers.
The unflinching Nigerian youth who strived to remain loyal to his less careful, or rather completely careless mother, has now reduced to mere armless rogue in the streets.
Yet, soon to becomes armed, and joins the notorious terror groups or the brazen mobile bandits. He’s the jobless street boy, a hapless poor. He’s the ‘Almajiri’ — the beggar, who suffers from a complete parental “disown” and becomes a societal liability. He’s the evil “recruit” deployed to unleash terror, and the CIA firewood that sets to kindle the flames of violence.
How much is it costing the nation now to pay back the abandoned child? How long will it take the nation to pay in pieces rather than in peace? The Oga has provided the answer right on his verified Facebook page! He’s the Oga in khaki who tested the nuances and vetted the jargons of the killer’s theory! He prevaricated that “terrorism may persist in Nigeria for another 20 years.” God, our Lord, don’t answer this prayer, and forgive us all.
Of course, “that which you do not need will kill you”! The child Nigeria abandoned is killing the nation!
Misbahu writes via [email protected]; [email protected]