The spate of insecurity in the country is something else, and it keeps getting worse, especially in the past few years. The Boko Haram menace has done a lot of harm in the northern part of the country, with bandits now jumping into the fray to add to the misery of the northerners. As if that is not enough, herdsmen have as well seemingly gone on an unredeemable onslaught on citizens of the country in different parts of the country. These have resulted in an outcry from different parts and sectors of the country to the Federal Government to find a solution in order to abate this crises of insecurity that seems to be on the increase everyday.
Although a lot of groups and individuals both within and outside the country have voiced out their concerns on the issue, especially, during the Chibok girls saga and most recently, the Leah Sharibu case and the ruthless killings in Zamfara state which led the famed TV presenter, Kadaria Ahmed, to lead a protest, the opposition party in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have also cried out on several occasions calling on the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to sit up and handle the security situation in the country very well. It was infact one of the areas that the PDP focused on in its Presidential Election Campaign.
Just recently, Governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after holding a meeting, called on the President to with immediate effect, declare a state of emergency on because of the spate of insecurity in the country. According to the PDP governors, they were very concerned about the security situation in the country as it has rendered a lot of people helpless, citing cases of farmers who were unable to go to their farm to work for fear of being kidnapped or harmed by rouge herdsmen of bandits. The PDP governors also said that this situation if left unchecked, could eventually lead to a food crisis in the country.
The PDP had as well heavily criticized President Buhari for not being able to tackle the situation effectively, saying that he was not competent in discharging his duties.
While some have agreed which the major opposition on this stance, it is noteworthy to consider if the opposition party are actually making this move to call out the President out of a genuine concern they have for the citizens of the country or if it’s because they are only about trying to use the dead ones to whip up sentiments from the populace against the Federal Government.
This is actually worth considering as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), were in power for 16 years before the All progressive Congress displaced them. Now, there were some security challenges faced by the PDP governments who handled the affairs of the country for that period, but were they able to contain the challenges effectively? Let’s make a case study of two of the most troubling security cases during the PDP era.
The Niger Delta Militant Saga
The genesis of the problem which led to the emergency began in the early 90’s over disagreements which occurred between the minority tribes of the Niger Delta and the foreign petroleum corporations who were operating in the region. Fast forward to 2004, militant groups such as the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) and the Niger Delta Vigilantes (NDF) began to spring up. NDPVF was led by Asari Dokubo, while NDV was led by King Ateke Tom. These armed groups unleashed a reign of terror in the major Niger Delta towns and cities such as Warri and Port Harcourt.
Foreign workers with the large multinational oil companies such as Shell were often kidnapped with heavy ransom being demanded by the militant groups before they could be released. At other times, there were threats of pipelines being vandalized and the militants were also engaged in oil bunkering. The problem began during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and spilled over into the government of former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua both of whom were members of the PDP.
President Yar’adua eventually succeeded in toning down the security challenges in the region to a considerable level after he introduced an amnesty program for the militants which majority of them accepted. President Goodluck Jonathan further consolidated on the gains of the Yar’adua administration on his dealings with the militants making security a bit stable in the region even up till now.
The Boko Haram Menace
Boko Haram was founded in 2002 during the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo but began operating during the government of former President Umaru Musa Yar’adua when the leader and founder of the group Mohammed Yusuf was killed in an extra judicious manner following an uprising by the group. After coming under the control of Abubakar Shekau in 2009, the group became extra violent and carried out terrorist attacks in the northern part of the country.
The group have displaced more than 2 million Nigerians from their homes and have murdered thousand others since they began operating. The group in March 2015 pledged allegiance to the ISIL and became the Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP).
They became more ruthless during the tenure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and carried out the world famous attack on school girls in the Chibok community of Borno State. This led to widespread outrage with the #bringbackourgirls campaign gaining traction worldwide.
The government of President Goodluck Jonathan was not able to effectively tackle the menace, although during the last months of his tenure in 2015, some gains were made in the fight against the insurgents. The current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is still battling with the menace as it stands now, as the terrorist group have just refused to be silenced.
This brings us back to where we started from, the PDP may have tried to eradicate or at least lessen the Niger Delta militant crisis, but were largely unsuccessful at best and incompetent at worst in containing Boko Haram. So can their cry on the insecurity situation be said to be genuine? Or, are they simply trying to garner sympathy by faking concern for the many that have died due to the high rate insecurity in the country, so that they can be considered worthy of being handed power in the country when next the opportunity presents itself? Only the PDP and its leaders knows the true motives behind their actions.
But you can let us know what you think of this situation on the comment section below.