The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
– Chapter 2, Section 14 2(b), Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
… there is more that binds us together than divides us.
The coordinated bomb blasts in Kano on Friday, 20 January has, yet again, brought to the fore the dire state of insecurity in the nation and the disconnect with The Presidency. While local and international media reported over 100 deaths at the time, the statement from The Presidency, 24 hours after the event, stated, “… seven persons were confirmed dead and others wounded.”
Over a few hours on Friday night, the ancient city of Kano was rocked with over 20 coordinated bomb attacks and gun fire. This was in the same city that had remained peaceful, save police intervention, during the protests focused on government waste and corruption.
We are very disturbed that this happened a few days after Kabiru Umar (aka Kabiri Sokoto), the main suspect behind the Christmas Day bombings in Madalla, escaped from police custody and there’s still no word on his whereabouts. Mr President has on several occasions stated that the Nigerian perpetrators of these despicable acts and their international funders are known and will be brought to book. He also recently stated that some of them are in his cabinet.
We state categorically that given the sequence of events over the last 6 months, Jama’atu Ahlus Sunnah Lidda Awati Wal Jihad is not about a Muslim north and a Christian south, but a country that refuses to hold true that we are all created equal and have the same rights regardless of our states of birth or origin. Though their base of operations has been in the north, they’ve killed Christians and Muslims. The unity displayed during the protests, with Muslims protecting churches and Christians forming human shields while Muslims prayed demonstrated to Nigerians and the world that there is more that binds us together than divides us.
We note Mr President’s visit to Kano within 48 hours of the tragedy, which is unlike his response to previous bombings. On the same day, three explosions rocked two places of worship, killing 8 people in Bauchi.
Over 700 lives have been lost since last year and there is still not an end in sight. This is 700 times more than the lives lost in Lagos during the protests on government waste and corruption. However, it’s Lagos State that plays host to military personnel and tankers. None of the service chiefs have been queried or sacked in the fall out from this tragic loss of lives. There is something wrong!
The battering of the Nigerian psyche as well as the destruction of lives and property should not continue. We ask Mr President, as the Commander-in-Chief and Chief Security Officer of this nation, to live up to the oath he took on assumption of office.
We commiserate with those who have lost friends and family members over the last year in these senseless killings. Our condolences also go to the management and staff of our partner, Channels Television, on the loss of Mr Enechie Akogwu, their Kano correspondent. May all their souls rest in peace.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
EnoughisEnough Nigeria (www.eienigeria.org) is a coalition of individuals and youth-led organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through advocacy, activism and the mobilization of the youth population as responsible citizens. The coalition includes The Future Project; Paradigm Initiative Nigeria; Education as a Vaccine (EVA); Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND); RISE Networks; Chocolate City Group and EME.
EiE Nigeria created the RSVP (Register|Select|Vote|Protect) Campaign to leverage technology, especially social media to mobilize significant participation from citizens in the 18-35 age bloc in the 2011 elections and beyond.