By Dahiru Hassan Kera
Today in Nigeria, it will be confusing for any person to plainly understand and agree on what leadership is all about and where is the empathy and compassion in our leaders. Of course, with the prevalent security breaches and manslaughter of the helpless citizens in most parts of the country.
These made many to ask if our leaders have empathy in them?
It’s obvious that most parts of the country have become slaughterhouses where criminal elements have been launching attacks on various local communities killing and thrashing every human life they’ve come across, while in some highly gruesome and ghastly episodes, even domestic animals weren’t spared.
In most cases, burning the houses of the victims is the last operation engaged by the bloodthirsty assailants. This is no doubt; it intended to wholly erode every sign of human habitation.
What a wicked human! It is a pity, that the same North where President Buhari and all the present Service Chiefs came from, yet the zone is the hotbed of the senseless killings.
In part of Benue and Taraba, the killings were either for communal reasons or kidnappings for ransom, while in the three states of the eastern part; Borno, Adamawa, and Yobe, it’s purely Boko Haram’s hothouses.
The Northwest states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina and Kebbi, banditry and kidnapping cases are the order of the day with their neighbouring states of Niger and Kogi from the central zone witnessing upshots of the similar attacks.
To cap it all, the criminal elements are everywhere with different modus operandi and magnitude of fatalities.
The north is certainly a disaster prone. It’s always becoming horrendous and sickening.
I recently watched with a bleeding heart the two gory scenes where Nigerians were massacred like chickens in a country they call their own.
Seeing their lifeless bodies littered everywhere in the lurch villages, some are even walking away distant from a security formation put there for their protection, tell a doomed.
Sadly, the victims died without any help from the authorities who have taken constitutional oaths to protect them.
Today, the front pages of our news dailies are horrible with some depicting dead bodies covered in sacks and riffles brandishing criminals also occupy some space always. Recently, barely two days ago, over 50 people were mercilessly killed in Faskari village of Katsina state and another 81 were massacred in Gubio village of Borno state.
In just a spate of a day, we’ve over a hundred lives lost in the hands of Boko Haram and the rampaging bandits operating in commando style.
In Katsina, even prior to a protest by the victims, it is pathetic that they could not be protected by the government.
These were only the reported cases that caught the attention of the media, many people have gone in similar circumstances unnoticed.
Sometimes, security agencies would report successes against the criminals, while in some cases; those on the warfront were seen complaining over defective weaponries, or mismanaged welfare packages by their superiors.
These senseless acts have cast a doubt in the minds of the populace. So many of our soldiers and other security personnel were either killed or sustained life threatening injuries in the line of duty but their families were left with the burden.
Most of the victims post all these on social media to get peoples’ sympathy. If all these are truly happening, how do you expect them to be more patriotic?
In a despicable preference, Covid-19, which has because of its lucrative nature, guzzled billions of naira and it has attracted the attention of our leadership and well to do individuals in our societies than any other thing.
In a ceremonial manner, so many contributions were received with a packaged media hype including customizing the stuff or taking photos during the presentations of the donations in the name of palliatives or stimulus packages.
What a conspiracy! Apart from the huge interventions by the federal government, a cash donation of over N22 billion was received just to fight the new horror in the mirror which kills us slighter than the criminal elements.
The palliatives distribution has been a conduits of siphoning funds and the promulgated spendings were fraudulently done with no sign of any positive impacts while citizens are dying of hunger and in the areas subdued by the bandits, it’s either one is being killed by the hunger or by the criminals.
In fact, where some of the governors and leaders show most concern is in the areas of imposing stringent measures and unbearable restrictions. But on the contrary, the Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum is an exceptional political leader as he distinguishes himself from the other empathy deranged governors.
It’s evident that, in a build up to the 2015 general election, any bit of security breach, it would be attributed to the then government of President Jonathan indifference and ineptitude.
Today, the same people who were at the frontline scolding the previous administration, are now at the helm of affairs and people are still dying in a most reckless manner, yet they are pretending not to know or playing media politics with the whole issue.
Remember in those days, in our mosques and churches, people have prayed fervently against the previous leaders with some even crying in congregations, yet nobody is saying anything serious about the killings going on in the country today, not alone crying.
If you didn’t remember Baba Buhari crying about the sorry situation of the country so to speak, when he was scheming to clinch power, I do and many of us will definitely remember.
It now takes stance pressure to even issue a statement in the aftermath of some of these attacks. The northern leaders are now sitting ducks who hardly talk.
Where is the empathy now and how has it easily fizzled away?
Let true be unambiguously said, we are humans first before, believing in any religion or aligning with any political party, let us protect the sanctity of human life and have empathy to the humanity in us.
Any government that fails to protect the lives and property of its citizens is a failed government.
It’s better for the leadership to relinquish their position of power than sitting shamelessly looking at people being killed at will by criminal elements.
I pray to Allah (SWT) to give us leaders that will fight for us not those who are fighting to either steal or drain our treasury. May He protect the helpless people of Nigeria who are living in despair, despondency and trepidations, while leaders and their families are living in comfort.
Kera is a journalist from Kaduna.