Dear President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo,
You will understand Sirs if I do not stand on ceremony this morning. We lost too many people this weekend in Plateau State. Please be reminded that the primary purpose of your government is the security and welfare of the Nigerian people (Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, Chapter II, Section 14b). The Constitution you both swore to defend so solemnly before the God of Heaven, with Nigerians and the whole world as witnesses on 29 May 2015. We want you to succeed but you and your team have largely been unable to stand by this oath you took in 2018.
Your administration has been unable to prevent mass killings of Nigerian children, women and men across the country especially in Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara with other states not spared the brunt by terrorists and bandits.
There are all sorts of technological tools such as drones, satellites etc. and a willing international community ready to support your team with anticipating and apprehending these terrorists and mass murderers and their funders. Why has your administration been unable to successfully deploy these tools and assets to find the killers of these Nigerians and their funders and why have we continued to daily lose Nigerian civilians, policemen and soldiers?
The latest wanton killings of our children, sisters, brothers in Plateau over the weekend and other areas where there have been communal clashes demonstrates the glaring security failure for the whole world to see. And the killers continue to be emboldened. It seems as if for thousands of Nigerians who voted in this government, their reward has been death and untold suffering, hardship and loss of loved ones.
You have variously told us that the killers are bandits, foreigners and mercenaries etc. How do you know this? Where is your proof? Who are they? Where are their funders? With all the intelligence at your disposal and the success of your Bank Verification Number programme, how come your administration has not followed the money and fished out the killer-funders while using all at its disposal to anticipate and prevent these attacks and keep Nigerians safe? If the heads of the responsible agencies are unable to do their job, you should have, as a matter of urgency sacked them and appointed those who could. Our police and army officers are suffering too.
Has the Presidency become so inured to the loss of lives and the hundreds being displaced daily that it will not take urgent and radical steps to stop these killings? It is instructive that immediately a Major General in the Army was attacked by bandits a few days ago in one of our states, our security agencies swung into action, conducted air raids on the bandits’ hideout and caught the alleged culprits. They even arrested their alleged funder. It seems that this administration is not committed and willing to urgently secure the lives of ‘ordinary’ and poor Nigerian citizens, civilians and lower-ranking security agents but will move swiftly to ensure justice for a high-ranking soldier. I do not begrudge the major general his protection – He is first and foremost human and Nigerian like all of us and deserves the best protection and justice available. I simply ask you to ensure protection and justice for ALL Nigerians – even the poor in the farming communities you swore to protect. If you are unable OR unwilling to do this job, why don’t you resign?
I may get insulted by all and sundry who work with you or think they benefit by associating with you or by those from your particular circles and tribes and religious affiliations. I may even be persecuted by your security agents (I sincerely hope they have bigger fish to fry and terrorists to catch but who knows with the show of shame we have seen at Unity Fountain Abuja as they harangue citizens asking you to Bring Back Our Girls?) but the question now remains Sirs, where is your humanity? Do the pictures of those poor children not move you to radical and urgent action? What use is your power if you cannot use it for good? If you are unable to secure the lives of the Nigerian people against terrorists, ask for help from our international friends and more boots on the ground. There is no shame in that. I have no power to remove you. Only God who allowed you into your leadership position does. It is my prayer that He will have mercy on Nigerians and if you fail to speedily arrest this situation, save our lives by sacking your administration from your positions of power by any way He deems fit before this country descends into outright anarchy and appointing more competent and willing people into your positions. Amen.
Dear Heads of Foreign Governments, Nigeria’s allies, African Union, European Union and All Other Multilateral and Intergovernmental Bodies Worldwide
SAVE OUR SOULS! and yours. We all cannot afford to have millions of Nigerian refugees camped out on your doorstep.
Ms. Jonathan is a social worker and former staff of the United Nations.