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Friday, 18 April 2014



By: Eddy Ogunbor.
Last weekend, Friday 11th April 2014 to be precise, my daughters informed us (my wife and I) that they were going out to, as they will always say, “hang out with their friends”. We always laugh over this and thereafter advise them to “hang out” responsibly and moderately. This particular weekend, when they came back home, it was noticed that my younger daughter’s shoes had some traces of sand and on further prodding, she accepted that the “hang out” was in the open park.
Now, for those that frequent Abuja and socialize, Abuja has Parks and these are the usual places for relaxation. On impulse, they were advised to avoid such places for now because of the security situation in Abuja and especially the threat by Boko Haram terrorists that they will strike in Abuja and environs. Curiuosly, Abuja parks do not have adequate security checks!! Anyone could drive in and out with anything at anytime. In places where there are security checks, even in the five star Hotels, apart from metal detectors to check under the car chassis (that is, if the metal detectors are really effective), you are asked to have your car booth opened. The check takes only few seconds. Explosive devices are not only planted or installed underneath the car chassis or booth for crying out loud!! What about the car engine and the interior of the car!?
This discussion with my daughters was just one week away from the festive (Easter) holiday. The government and security agencies assured Abuja residents that they were “on top of the situation” and adequate security arrangements will be put in place during the festive period. The normal government and security agencies official response to all situations – good or bad.
Reasonably, security should have been beefed up in a responsive government, atleast one week before the festive period. For government and security forces, Easter was still a week away when all security personnel will be deployed to worship places because the “ogas at the top” will worship in these places and must be protected. The Parks were now left vulnerable and travellers in the motor parks (masses) were left at the mercies of the terrorists.
Was it any surprise that the terrorists struck at Nyanya Motor Park early morning on Monday 14th April 2014? Lives were lost and many injured. The country’s security preparedness was once again exposed to all and sundry. Expectedly, government moved to Nyanya Park. The who-is- who in government visited the motor park. Condolences as usual were conveyed to the victims (dead or alive), the relatives of the victims etc and to Nigerians. As usual, Nigerians were informed that government and security agencies were “on top of the situation”, “the perpetrators of this dastardly acts will be fished out”, “security is not only the responsibility of government” and “ politicians/people should not play politics with the situation” blah, blah, blah.
Finally, government moved to the various Hospitals (public and private), in full glare of national and local TV cameras, then promised full responsibility in taking care of all hospital bills. What did we find out thereafter, relatives of victims and survivors were asked to settle bills by the hospitals pending when government will settle the bills and therefore wait for refund. In Nigeria, knowing the way things work, getting refund will take eternity and some people in government will make a “kill” from this situation.
The medical team called for blood donations to save victims lives. Sadly, no government official and all the “ogas at the top” responded to the call. The British Envoy to Nigeria shamed them all and along with his members of staff at the British High Commission, became the first blood donors to save the lives of Nigerians in Nigeria.
The shock of all these had hardly sunk in on Nigerians, then followed the shock from the stable of the ruling party PDP, that is, the rally in Kano, to receive just one "decampee" to their fold, on the following day Tuesday 15th April 2014. This shocked most Nigerians to a state of “unshockability” (late Dele Giwa). The party bigwigs, including Nigeria’s President, danced, clapped, laughed and threw abusive words at the host Governor and the main opposition party, APC, in the country. This took over two hours of live TV broadcast, at a time Nigerians mourned, grieved and survivors still in different hospitals, still not certain of their chances of living.. This was, in the opinion of most Nigerians, one dance too many on the grave of the dead from the bomb blast and outright insensitivity on the part of these shameless politicians to the plight of the injured, still recovering in the hospitals and the relatives of all the victims.
Not done with that shameful act, on the same day, the President, some government officials and ruling party members jetted to Ibadan to celebrate with the Olubadan of Ibadan on his centenary birthday ( which was celebrated a day before) and photographed cutting a  special cake with the Monarch.
The country was further informed and shocked same day, while the ruling party and the President conducted the shameful rally in Kano, that over 200 secondary school girls were abducted by gunmen in  Chibok, a remote village in Borno State. Nigerians are informed by one of the girls that was lucky to escape, that the gun men came in buses, woke them up at about 9pm, ushered them into the buses and drove off with the girls at about 3am. A whole six hours and no security check points and no trace of security in the area for those long period of time they operated!? The girl informed Nigerians also that at least two of the buses broke down twice. Yet, no security agencies picked the terrorists up?
Then the mother of all lies and deceit by the military. The military spokes person, a serving General informed Nigerians and the world that the military rescued some of the girls, while the school Principals and parents of the girls debunked the the story. Nigeria’s Minister of National Planning, Bashir Yuguda was on international TV Al Jazeera talking through both sides of his mouth and lying to the world that, indeed the abducted secondary school girls were rescued by the military. On Thursday, 17th April 2014, the military shamelessly came out to retract their earlier statement that the military had rescued the girls. The military spokesperson claimed that the military was misled!!
The “celebrated” megaphone" of the ruling Party, Olisa Metuh, in an effort to gain political mileage from these situation, came on air and with a press statement, to announce and accuse the opposition party, APC and its leaders led by General Muhammadu Buhari of launching and master minding the Nyanya Park bomb blast. His ruling party towed the same line of accusation even though the security agencies informed Nigerians that investigations to unravel the perpetrators of the bomb blast are still ongoing. The good news is that General Buhari has given the ruling party PDP and its Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh a seven day ultimatum to retract their claims or face legal action. This is a step towards the right direction by General Buhari to redeem his image and put a final stop to these  unwarranted  and unsubstantiated falsehood by pathological liars. We await this retractions  anxiously.
This informed my decision to go on a three day mourning period, shunning postings on facebook in honour of all victims, dead or alive and to protest my disgust for the shows of shame and insentivities of government and the ruling party.

The President, as a result of the nation’s security challenges, on Thursday summoned an “extended” Security Council meeting, supposedly to include all security Chiefs, the 36 State Governors, DSS, DMI and NIA Chiefs, NSA, Defence Ministers etc, with the President to preside as the Commander-in-Chief. However, only the PDP Governors attended as the APC Governors were not present. Then another embarrassing situation of claims and counter claims ensured. The Presidency gave the impression that the APC Governors shunned the security meeting. The President’s “man Friday”, Godswill Akpabio informed Nigerians that the APC Governors were not invited as the meeting was only for the PDP Governors. Lai Mohammed, APC Interim Publicity Secretary claimed that the APC Governors were initially invited but, a phone call from the Presidency to one of the APC’s Governors aides informed them that the security meeting had been called off. Hence the APC Governors did not attend.

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