After 103 days of medical vacation in the UK for an aliment without a name, president Muhammadu Buhari returns.
As a Nigerian who have prayed for his health even when my prayer point was not definite because I don't know the disease troubling his health, am happy and grateful to the almighty that he is back, and I want to believe he is stronger because if at least there is no written medical document to prove that, his voice sounds much better and authoritative than it was in the Hausa broadcast during Eid el fitir.
As contained in the 1999 constitution as amended Chapter 4 section 38&39 there is a freedom to thought and expression, and it is in respect to that that i air my thought about President Muhammad Buhari's Speech after his arrival.
In what appears a well written and authoritative speech, which should be aimed at dousing the political and economic tension of the country, the following points provokes my thought.
1) In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation.
This is a step too far....
It is expected that you keep abreast of events happening back home, if you would be diligent to the oath of office you swore in May 29 2015. But unless an amendment has been made to 1999 constitution that we don't understand.
What is the red line. Where is the red line.
In the wake of 2015 election that we can call the Genesis of hate speech in the country, there were no red lines. On social media we all knew the level of hammering and gunning that happened on social media to get PMB to that throne. In the expression of our constitutional rights Now, a red flag has been hoisted.
2) Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.
Nigeria's unity is settled, Agreed. But every single item on the face of the planet earth is negotiable except Death, and in some climes Tax. Our call is not for disintegration of Nigeria, because I personally enjoy the diversity in our culture.
I would not love to get a visa before I go see arugungu festival in Kebbi or Calabar carnival, not to talk of importing desert like "kuli kuli" or "masa" from the north. But we want a structure that would respect the diversity in our culture and beliefs.
A structure that would allow each federating unit to grow at their pace like we have in the days of Awo, Zik and Sir Ahmadu Bello. A structure that would not allow Yoruba going to farm with cutlass to be arrested and free a Fulani who straps a two edge machete to his body anywhere he goes in south west Nigeria and the police tells you "you know that's how they dress", where is the difference in the head shape of a monkey and Baboon.
A structure that would devolve powers to states, allow them to control their resources and give room for effective state agencies like state police rather the unified police system that is under staffed and grossly ineffective.
I want to ask who are the irresponsible elements, is it the citizens which PMB enjoyed their magnanimity during the 2015 elections and for 103 days in support and prayer when he was on medical tourism (a grand corruption in its own after humongous amount earmarked for Aso rock clinic), or his he referring to people like Nnmadi kanu.
Looking critically even when the cause is not just, Nnmadi kanu was responsible than most state governor's, my point of argument his coming from the sit at home order even when it is obvious he is leading them towards their peril.
Remember Ojukwu, he boasted the people on the other side would be surprised at what they would get but we all knew how it turned out.
The truth is that people are disgruntled with this structure that impoverished them, when it's obvious they are abundantly blessed with mineral and human resources.
Give us the control of our resources and see the cessation call die a natural death. For those who wants cessation at all cost, I urge them to look at South Sudan and reconsider their call.
3) Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.
Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.
Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;
• elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets
• kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,
• in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.
I am not in the military but have friends there, and with the media reports from the theatre, it does not appear the military is relaxed. But I would agree more has to be done in fighting insurgency rather than feed us with news of technical victory because there is no such thing in War.
Farmers Herdsmen clash should also be fought to a still if the economic diversification policy would ever work, and as a means to securing the lives of citizens which is one of the salient responsibilities of the government.
We should look into youth unemployment in tackling the menace of kidnapping, an idle hand they say is the devils workshop.
4) Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;
• economic security,
• political evolution and integration
• as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.
May I remind Mr President that he is the number one actor in bringing about the economic security, political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace.
Soon the polity would turn attention to 2019 election, even with my highly optimistic mind am afraid maybe we would ever get any of the promises made in your manifesto.
We are glad you are home and pray God almighty increases your good health and intelligence as you resume to execute your constitutional duties.
"When thorn enters your palm and feet, you sit down". Thorn is not only in our palm and feet but it has struck the whole body and there is an urgent need to sit down and talk it out.
The unity of Nigeria is not negotiable. Restructuring is not negotiable.
God bless Nigeria
Arasi Senior Kolapo