Monday, May 24, 2021 12:03 am
By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
Emeka: Hehehehehehe! Na wa for this country!
Aboki: What is the new wa?
Emeka: It was reported last week that robbers invaded the official residence of President Buhari’s Chief of Staff which is in the top security zone of the federal capital territory!
Kalio: What is the big deal about that? It must the job of an insider, someone very close to the property or to government! It is really no big deal. CCTV footage should expose the common thief!
Emeka: It cannot be a common thief oo that entered the house of CoS! Anyone who has the gumption to burgle the residence of the president’s Chief of Staff cannot be a common thief!
Aboki: But the Presidential spokesman has debunked the story!
Kalio: Whoever still believes that man? He spins lies all the time. it is a storm in a tea cup!
Emeka: It is a serious matter, this security breach. Some heads must roll!
Kalio: Be killing yourself over a small matter here. Thousands of Nigerians have lost their lives to bandits. Burgling the presidency is nothing jor!
Emeka: It is a big deal o!
Aboki: You believe it is ‘small deal?
Kalio: It is. We are just getting paranoid about this insecurity thing. Boko Haram has scattered our minds with reports that a flag has been hoisted in Niger State. Listen, in 1982, Michael Fagan broke into Queen Elizabeth’s bedroom in Buckingham Palace! Did the world come to an end?
Emeka: Queen’s bedroom in palace? What did he want with the Queen?
Kalio: Be asking me what a man wants in the bedroom of a beautiful woman! He wanted to take a cup of tea!
Tunde: Let us be serious please!
Aboki: Is this another ‘fabu?
Obukohwo: It is not fabu! Indeed, Fagan broke into Buckingham Palace twice, first in June 1982 and on 9th July 1982!
Aboki: Kai! That’s an ambitious thief!
Kalio: Or potential lover!
Emeka: There are some rotten minds in this place. Let me move back a bit!
Tunde: But after investigation, police report was critical ‘of the competence of officers on duty, as well as a system of confused and divided command! So, let us not take glory in a chance occurrence in the Queen’s palace.
Emeka: So, it is big deal. Heads must roll after that breach.
Kalio: In 2006, a man carrying a large kitchen knife scaled the fence of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s residence on 10 Downing Street in London before he was arrested!
Obukohwo: Britain must have poor security. MI5 or MI6 failed woefully!
Kalio: The White House has had her fair share of breaches too. In 2014, Omar Gonzalez jumped the fence from Pennsylvania Avenue and entered the north Portico doors, overpowered a Secret Service agent, ran further inside before he was tackled.
Aboki: Do you mean it?
Kalio: That’s not all! There have been many breaches of the White House. With all the security around the President, Ronald Reagan was shot.
Emeka: But not inside the White House!
Obukohwo: The truth is that any security mounted by human beings can be breached. Period! Prime Minister Indira Gandhi quoted Shakespeare when she said ‘there is no armour against fate’, when she was warned about her security!
Tunde: Is that why our own beautiful First Lady relocated to Dubai for some months, fear of security breaches?
Emeka: I don’t know about that. I thought she went shopping for her daughter’s wedding.
Obukohwo: Some said she went to rest!
Kalio: Husband rests in London, wife rests in Dubai! When will I be president?
Emeka: Dreamer? You think you minority man can become president? Not in this Republic.
Obukohwo: But Goodluck Jonathan became president!
Tunde: Accident of history! Never again!
Aboki: The powers-that-be are even reluctant to allow an Igbo man become president!
Emeka: This is why the country is unstable. There are fifth columnists everywhere undermining our national security!
Kalio: In my view, this government itself is fifth columnist in the history of governance in Nigeria. A government that came in with so much goodwill frittered it away within such a short time, pursuing wrongheaded policies and alienating the people!
Emeka: I guess you are right.
Aboki: My worry is this: is our president safe?
Kalio: My worry is this: is Nigeria safe? Are the people safe?
Obukohwo: That should be the greatest question: are the people of Nigeria safe? Obviously, they are not. That is the real problem! If the whole country becomes unsafe, it will logically extend to the leaders of the country!
Kalio: If the people are not safe, the leaders cannot be safe!
Aboki: I have always told my people in the north. There are too many hungry and angry young people in the northern part of the country. They were docile for a long time. Now, the genie is out of the bottle; only Allah can save the nation!
Emeka: But Boko Haram invokes the name of Allah!
Aboki: Don’t mind them. They are not Muslims. If they were, they wouldn’t be shedding innocent blood as they do.
Obukohwo: That’s difficult for me to believe! The impression is that they are carrying out a Jihad against other religions and people in the country.
Aboki: Dangerous nonsense! It is no Jihad. These are extremist groups which have no good intentions, who live with the mindset of 14th century fighters. Is it jihad to kill fellow Muslims in Kaduna or Katsina or Zamfara?
Kalio: Good question. So, why are mainstream Muslims not speaking up? Why is Sheikh Gumi their official spokesman?
Aboki: The politics of money and influence is at play. A true prophet of God cannot be asking government to pay a ransom to bloodstained-kidnappers!
Tunde: That is why I respect El Rufai’s position: no ransom should be paid to kidnappers!
Aboki: Hmmm! don’t take that man seriously. It is convenient now for him to say so now. Was he not the one who said in 2016 that his government ‘traced some ‘violent, aggrieved Fulani to their countries and paid them to stop the killings of Southern Kaduna natives?
Tunde: Perhaps the circumstances are different now! We learn every day!
Obukohwo: See the innocent children of the poor that have been killed by bandits and herders. When I saw pictures of the undergraduates who were slaughtered by those mindless kidnappers, I shed tears for parents. A government which says it does not negotiate with terrorist must put a strong security force on the ground.
Kalio: The government should know that winning elections, either by foul or legitimate means, is not an end in itself. Government has an obligation to protect the citizenry because it controls the state resources and security apparatus.
Tunde: I agree. The government is floundering. The general thinking among the ordinary people is that breaking into the residence of the Chief of Staff is sending a strong message to government. An insider could have done it to wake up the sleepy government! Nothing is impossible these days, especially with the security machinery being in the hands of people from one section of the country.
Aboki: Security is in their hands yet there is no security in the towns and villages. Something fishy is going on.
Obukohwo: Time will tell!
Professor Eghagha can be reached on email@example.com and 08023220393 (SMS only).