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Are we a joke to you, President Muhammadu Buhari?

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President Muhammadu Buhari has welcomed the release of the 27 students of the Federal College of Forestry Mechanization, Afaka, near Kaduna.

The president in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, late Wednesday night, congratulated the friends and families of the students over their release.

The president said: “We are happy they have been released.

“We express our deep appreciation to all the actors who contributed one way or the other to this happy outcome, in particular, the defence and security agencies, the officials of the Ministry of Environment and the government of Kaduna State.

”We thank Nigerians for their prayers.”

There we have it —the President is happy about the release of the students after weeks in captivity with bandits who would have meted unimaginable torture on them.

Besides the fact that it is very patronising to the citizenry, no details were released regarding the release of the students —whether via ransom payment or intervention by the security agencies which has led to suggestions that the President is indifferent to the plight of the masses.

Nonetheless, President Buhari dispelled such reports in a statement in April 2021, stating that such insinuations were ridiculous and misrepresented his effort to arrest the situation.

Buhari, who has consistently condoled with families of victims of persistent killings by attackers often believed to be from his native Fulani, described himself as one of the unhappiest leaders in the world.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari said there was no way he would be happy in the face of constant and gruesome killings of innocent Nigerians.

He said he understood the pains and trauma that families of victims of such killings went through.

The president related how his concern about the security situation in the country had necessitated constant security meetings with a view to understanding the issues and motivating the security agencies to live up to their responsibilities.

He said ending savage killings remained a key priority of his administration.

“How can I be happy and indifferent to the senseless killings of my fellow citizens by bandits? I am human and I understand the pains of the victims and their families, who have been traumatised and impoverished by constant ransom demands by bandits,” the president stated.

He said, “The politicisation of tragedy reveals the darkest sides of our primitive politics. Almost every week, I summon my security chiefs to get an update on the strategies being devised to defeat these mass murderers.

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“There is no issue that dominates my mind every 24 hours like security because, as an elected president, protecting the citizens of my country is one of the primary functions of my administration. I constantly listen to our security personnel in order to understand their problems and needs, and I have never hesitated to attend to those needs in terms of motivating and equipping them to respond effectively to our security challenges. It is, therefore, ridiculous to suggest that I am indifferent to these killings.”

The populace must be forgiven for not believing these assertions due to the laissez-faire attitude of every arm of government towards tackling this menace — this lack of proactiveness has snowballed into secessionist agitations across the country.

Furthermore, it is difficult to understand how banditry still thrives when the President on March 3, directed security agencies to shoot anyone seen with an AK-47.

The directive seemed like a challenge the bandits revel in —daring the Nigerian state to do its worst.

But as President Buhari stated after the release of the college students, we must be happy since “his administration wants to ensure that Nigerians lived in ”a country where everyone can move where they want, when they want without the fear of kidnapping and banditry.”

Author: Mayowa Oladeji.


Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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