MUSWEN PRESS RELEASE: WHERE ARE WE GOING FROM HERE

History is an embodiment of experiences. It regales in teaching such experiences to humanity from time to time and from generation to generation. At a precarious time like this, when life seems not to be what it used or ought to be, Nigeria surely needs to draw from such experiences. As a people of different tribes, tongues and religions colonially fused together to form a nation in which citizens have coexisted through thick and thin for over a century we suddenly find ourselves at a crossroad even after fifty years of independence from the British colonialists. Yet, we have not genuinely and sincerely asked the vital common question that may put us back on the track of peace and harmony. How did we reach this stage?

Rather than asking this prospective question we willingly allow the primordial tribal and religious sentiments to grab the better parts of our mindsets by surrendering to the forces of Satan at the expense of our well known Godliness. The cultural values that once served as our rein and bounded us together as one people under the divine command of one God suddenly collapsed and tore us into pieces. We now see ourselves as Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba or Muslims and Christians instead of fellow Nigerians that we are, thereby forgetting the great advantages which we had derived from our tribal and religious diversity.

The result of all these is that we are now mutually suspicious of one another on the basis of the same diversity that had held us together as Africa's greatest nation. Today, with an intended determination of some unscrupulous people to throw away the baby with the bathwater, albeit for selfish and parochial reason, our falcon has decided not to hear the falconer again. And in this, things are rapidly falling apart and the centre no longer holds even as the future is being seriously rendered irrelevant. Where are we going from here?

With all of us on board, the Nigerian ship currently drifting aimlessly on the high sea of uncertainty without a compass seems to be heading for the rock (God forbid) even as those we regard as sailors have been fully drunk of lotus. Youths are the future and hope of any nation. Like security dogs, they need proper care and training if only to ensure the security of the future. If they are left without care they may become like rabid mad dogs barking and charging randomly at their custodians. This is the current situation in Nigeria. Due to years of neglect and abandonment, our youths have grown so wild and so untamable that they can now hardly think of anything beyond killings and wonton destruction of property. All these have resulted in implacable insurgency which all Nigerians are forced to grapple with willy-nilly.

The current overwhelming insecurity in the country is like a suffocating smoke oozing out ceaselessly from a chimney. To stop such smoke from polluting the environment, it is necessary to quench the fire that produces it. Dispelling the smoke while the fire keeps burning, which is now the case in Nigeria, can only amount to effort in futility. MUSWEN has expressed this fear severally in the recent past while calling on the government to address insurgency and other insecurity problems from the root and not on mere surface as now being done.

By our investigation and discovery, the main cause of youth's restiveness resulting in insurgency is CORRUPTION at the highest level in the land. This has been confirmed repeatedly by some well-meaning, concerned Nigerian citizens as well as foreigners. But surprisingly, the louder the drum over corruption sounds the wider the fire of corruption spreads.

Most Nigerians had thought that the recently contrived national conference would fundamentally tackle the two major issues of corruption and insecurity with a view to reducing both drastically but unfortunately, there was no indication of such. This means that Nigeria is back in the rotten square that saw us to this stage while the so-called national conference remains a mere jamboree that it was seemingly meant to be. Where are we going from here?

Now, the cry in town is either about ethnic cleansing or religious persecution or economic castration or political gangsterism all of which are allegedly perpetrated with absolute impunity. And the longer this horrible situation lingers the wider the gap in communication becomes. To worsen the situation is the unguarded and violent utterances of some so-called religious leaders in the country who are incessantly singing the tune of war with unbridled shamelessness. Such leaders have been consistently linking the insurgency in the land to Islam alone even when most of the victims are Muslims. They are also alleging a possible spread of Boko Haram carnage to the southern parts of Nigeria and allegation that is a suspect given the incident of some Christians feigning the same Boko Haram somewhere in Ikonifin, Osun State, just a couple of months ago.

Hmmm, countries that went through this kind of situation in history never survived it. Thus, if the current prevailing trend continues unabatedly, it will be doubtful that Nigeria can be an exception? And with such a hopeless case where are we going from here? God save Nigeria!

Femi Abbas
Media Consultant, MUSWEN