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Worsening insecurity and the wild-goose chase for peace

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By Segun Ige

THERE’s nothing like experiencing an unvarnished, unadulterated, uninterrupted peace of mind. Peace, as a state of wellbeing, controls and contributes immensely to our emotional and psychological outfit, strength and stability, which in turn determine whether or not we’d be active participants in the social, physical and/or physiological realms. All these are delicate dimensions of the human reality that should not be tampered or tempted with yet inevitable existential distresses of death, denial, defeat, dejection, deprivation, harassment, and embarrassment.

There are two kinds of peace – internal and external. Obviously the two are intricately interwoven. And external peace is fundamentally a factor, facilitator and function of internal peace. The normal human mind does yearn for peace, perpetually, especially in troubled, trauma-filled, tempestuous situations and circumstances. Nigeria, as it is, is groaning and agonising under the heavy grips and whirligigs of insecurity, banditry, hypocrisy and malignity. In such a situation, it is, of course, expected that the overall leader of a state or nation should be a peace-oracle – even though he or she might not be a ‘peace practitioner’ – so that healing and health could be restored in the country in one way or another.

There have been lots of groundswells in the country which cannot even hold much water with respect to President Muhammadu Buhari’s London check-up travel most of which are utterly unappealing and undrinkable. From the elite side, it is sort of a cowardly silence of hypocrisy which doesn’t beggar public belief at all. From the common side, it was a rather ‘fight-like-hell’ ‘check-up’ on Buhari’s medical check-up. But why has, tentatively, Buhari gone on ‘sabbatical leave’, even at these turbulent times when leaders are extremely concerned about communal progression and pacification necessitated by the pandemic?

Apart from the pain wrought by the pandemic, aren’t we suffering an epidemic of insecurity, externally affecting our internal peace, that demands deliberative and decisive working together of all hands and all heads? By the way, I don’t think Buhari has necessarily gone to the U.K. because of how slippery slope the health-care system has been.

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I mean, we’ve got trained, medical experts here in Nigeria who’ve faithfully and committedly been on the frontline combating the COVID-19 pandemic. They are not weary. They are not tired. They are not afraid. And they are not going to give up and give in to the seemingly unquenchable fires of the pandemic. Oh, how long have the brood remained so ungatherable in the tarpaulin-wings of the hen, even at the sound-sight of a howling-hovering hawk!

Let’s be factual here: our health-care system as well as its workers is suffering; suffering from a pulseless electrical activity of a government grappling with the ‘plandemic’ of funding the oxygen of nationhood, while concentrating more on the carbon dioxide of immaterial non-essentials. Anyway, I hope Nigeria wouldn’t be hiring some pulmonologist, someday, to dissect the cause of year-long breathlessness and recklessness which have wreaked lots of havoc, danger and disaster.

This is the backdrop for which I believe Buhari should have stayed back to fine-tune the oxygen-providers of national development, in particular, internal security, by focusing much more on weightier matters.

To be sure, all the problems of insecurity are traceable to education and health. It’s either schoolchildren are abducted, kidnapped until one mind-boggling ransom is paid (as if one is making a sacrifice of restitution – but, in this case, repatriation!) on the one hand (even though the same story is potentially going to surface sooner or later); or the medical practitioners voluntarily resign, not essentially for fear they could contract the virus, on the other hand.

Indeed, the doctor strike which has been temporarily called off, may be underway again, which, I believe, is a pointer to how the life-savers, the care-givers – who go to the extent of endangering their own dear lives to save one or two – are disproportionately, delinquently depreciated.

Definitely, it’s not only Buhari who needs peace. I need peace. You need peace. Nigeria needs peace. Everybody needs peace. Needless to say, fleeing to one country for solace and tranquility is not the problem. But fleeing to countries which – through patience, pain and perseverance – have moved from Third World to First World – and not learning anything thereby – is the real problem. It was through hard work.

It was through determination. It was through perseveringly enduring the persecution and prosecution of a glorious and fulfilled land. And, above all, it was through Dreams.  Every developed nation has its own dream. More often mouthed is the American dream of emancipation, equality, tolerance and unity. As a mixed country, America has anciently, persistently and passionately been striving to meet up with the requirements of obtaining the prize, notably sliding back-and-forth because of the “epidemic” and “embarrassment” of gun-violence.

Here we are in Nigeria with far less comparative hybridity, supremacy and extremism, yet wishy-washying our ways to the top without any acute action anchored on solid visions serving as vehicle to move the country to the next level. We do need revolutionaries and visionaries who can conceive, believe and achieve the Nigerian dream – because that’s the only way we can take responsibility, and not remain perpetual liability, for the future of this country.

In the face of growing kidnapping, killing and shooting, the way out of this apparently most lucrative business enterprise of the year, as of now, is not by running away. It’s not by being psycho-emotionally traumatised and disillusioned, either, particularly by incendiary speeches of hate and incompetence extraordinarily pinnacled by the brazen brigands. It should, instead, be a clarion call of courage to remain unwaveringly and unreservedly rooted in the hands-and-deck of building a Nigeria where peace, unity, love and justice reign.

Ige, a Lagos-based journalist, wrote via: igesegunadebayo5@gmail.com

Vanguard News Nigeria

 

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