Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III led Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Nobel laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka has described the abduction of hundreds of Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara’s students, as a slap on President Muhammadu Buhari’s face.
The apex Islamic body in the North said that, the boldness of the bandits to carry out the abduction on the day Mr. President arrived Katsina State on a private visit and bring it up to his door step in his presence, is to further test the resolve of his Government.
In a statement it issued on Monday through its Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, JNI stated categorically that, there are lapses in Nigeria’s security architecture that need to be urgently and seriously addressed.
It however asked President Muhammadu Buhari to listen to the calls from Nigerians to revamp the security architecture and address the nation, adding that, “there are insinuations that for pecuniary benefits, some top echelon among the security operatives don’t want the insecurity to end.”
“If not, how can one explain the movement of the bandits in their hundreds on motor cycles without being detected? What happens to intelligence gathering that this heinous plan was not uncovered before it was hatched? How comes the bandits took their time, gather the school boys, heaped them on bikes and whisked them away without being rounded up by the security agencies? Mr. President needs to hearken to the call of Nigerians; REVAMP THE SECURITY ARCHITECTURE AND ADDRESS THE NATION!
“The Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) under the leadership of its President-General, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto received with absolute shock the most unfortunate story of the abduction of students from Government Science Secondary School (GSSS), Kankara, Katsina State, after shooting the security guard on the spot, at about 10:45pm on Friday.
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“This abduction in commando style is one tragedy too many coming on the heels of the infamous Zabarmari massacre just not long ago.
“This indeed is a sad reminder of the abductions of school Girls in Chibok and Dapchi of Borno and Yobe States of North-East Nigeria, and it’s an indicator that the powers that be don’t read the present through the spectacle of the past; this wouldn’t have happened.
“For the umpteenth time, we will continue to ask: for how long shall the masses continue to live in fear? For how long shall the Federal and State Governments continue to issue empty condemnations whenever tragedies stroke? Is the government and the security agencies so overwhelmed and thus cannot secure the citizens? Are there insurmountable challenges or acts of sabotage that the Government is hiding from the public? These and many more questions continue to bedevil every discerning mind within and outside Nigeria.
“The Kankara abduction was so belligerently orchestrated that it happened the day Mr. President arrived Katsina State on a private visit. Are the bandits this bold as to further test the resolve of the Government or smite the face of the Commander in Chief by bringing it up to his door step in his presence? This further proves what we once said that the bandits rule in many communities and do as they wish with impunity.
“If there is any worse outcome than the abduction itself, it is the fact that this is the most potent action to frustrate school enrolment in Northern Nigeria, as no parent will forthwith be comfortable to send their children or wards to boarding school despite the many enrolment campaign efforts by the Government. And it will even be callous for anyone to call on the traumatized parents to expose their beloved children to these unprotected environments to be used as fodder by bandits and insurgents at will.
“What baffles us the most is the government’s inability to locate the enemy’s actual enclave, the focal point of their strength and to devote all available means to rout them out or incapacitate them.
“Is it that the political will isn’t there? What really is the challenge or Nigerians don’t deserve to know from the government they elected?
“We nevertheless in a plangent mood commiserate with the families of the GSSS Kankara victims and wish them safe and immediate reunion with their respective children. We also pray for Allah’s continuous guidance, strength and stamina to all those on the battle fields against all forms of insurrections in Nigeria. In the same vein, we urge the people and Government of Katsina state not to get depressed; Allah, the Most High shall continue to be their strength in-sha’Allah.
“In light of the above, we call on Governments at all levels to with all urgency do everything possible and use any means possible to return the school boys.
“The Prayers of the JNI and Nigerian Muslims are therefore that: Government should spare no effort(s) to immediately return all the abducted students of GSSS Kankara. And then there should be no sacred cows – heads must roll for the repeated slackness.
“Government at all levels in collaboration with different security agencies should proactively rise against the tide of insecurity in whatever guise by nipping it in the bud, before it escalates; We must all be upright in our dealings and remember that we shall all account for our respective actions and inactions, thus we should be God-conscious.
“We should continue to seek Allah’s intervention to ending these orgies bedeviling our country, as well as return to Allah with all righteousness; repentance, remorsefulness, brokenhearted and seeking for His pardon,” JNI said.
Buhari Not incharge, Kankara Abduction
Meanwhile, Soyinka said the recent “abduction once again of the nation’s children” in “Buhari’s terrain” is “a slap across the face of the Commander-in-Chief”.
He spoke on the backdrop of late Friday’s abduction of pupils in an all-boys Government Secondary in Katsina State; hometown of Buhari.
Soyinka condemned the security challenges confronting in the country in a statement on Tuesday titled “INFRADIG–A presidential comeuppance.”
He added that when the President was summoned by the National Assembly to appear before it amid the rising insecurity in the country, he (Buhari) didn’t initially consider the summon as below the standard of behaviour.
He stated that the President considered the invitation as a polite invitation to preserve the “tattered remains of his ‘Born-Again’ democratic camouflage.”
“That, to come to the present, constituted General Buhari’s response to the National Assembly’s invitation to drop in for a chat. He did not consider it infradig at the beginning. He responded to the polite invitation to rub minds urgently over a people’s security anxieties as one who still struggled to preserve the tattered remains of his ‘Born-Again’ democratic camouflage.
“However, his reversal of consent raised yet again the frightening situation report I have fervently posed: Buhari is not in charge. Whoever is, that segment of the cabalistic control obviously cornered him on the way to the lawmakers’ chambers and urged: Don’t! Their invitation is infradig! He succumbed.
“Beneath the dignity of a Commander-in-Chief! Well. The opportunistic homicidal respondents -Bandits/Boko Haram or whoever – thereupon picked up the gauntlet and provided a response in their own language: abduction once again of the nation’s children. They handed him a slap across the face, on his home terrain, taunting: See if that is more suited to your dignity, ” he stated.
He noted that he joined other people in using the word “Infra dignitatem” to any situation indicating assailing his dignity or statement unworthy of response.
He said, “Once, the word featured prominently in the repertory of Nigerian shorthand diction. Indeed, I grew up thinking that it was only one word, not two, and assumed also that it was English, not Latin: infra dignitatem!
“I joined others in applying the shorthand to any situation where I felt that my dignity was assailed, that a chore was beneath my status, an individual beneath notice or a statement unworthy of response. Sometimes of course, it came useful when one could not think of an adequate response. Then, carrying myself as I had seen others do, I hissed, shook my head in disdain, and walked away as I spat out the ultimate sanction: Infradig!”
According to the playwright, the nation is at war considering the latest abduction of pupils reminiscent of the kidnap of Chibok schoolgirls in Born State on April 14, 2014.
Soyinka said, “If only this latest outrage were a personal contest of slights between insurgency and power – alas, its resonance is felt far beyond! It is merely the latest in the serial stinging slaps across the face of the nation, and it draws blood from every sensing citizen. Over five years since Chibok, we have yet to anticipate, and to guard against a repeat. We continue to hand over innocent wards cheaply, en masse, to the agents of darkness and despair.
A government refuses to accept that, as indicated several times over, the nation is at war. At war within itself, and that it requires drastic measures, away from spasmodic responses after the dread deed, if there is any will left over to salvage what is left of nationhood. The appropriate expression here is “thinking outside the box.”
He also condemned what he termed banal responses to genuine calls on government for action against insecurity.
He said, “When others do, they deserve better than to be rewarded with banalities such as: The government will not be stampeded. The presidency will not be blackmailed. Stop politicizing the issue. The president is committed to preserving the integrity of the nation. We will not be bullied into abandoning our commitment to national unity The sovereignty of the nation is non-negotiable…. and so on and on, ad nauseam.
“Has anyone been detected marching to a contrary tune? Sure, we are assailed with such minority rhetoric from time to time but, is “unity” what is profoundly at stake? Does such predictable rhetoric remotely touch upon the existential anxiety of millions of humanity? Or are we confronted, at its most primary level, with a growing question of the ability of the nation to even feed herself?
“When defenceless farmers are set upon – what does it matter if it is fifty or a hundred? – are butchered in one fell swoop, harvesting their crop, does the sheer suggestion that they met their deaths because they did not seek military cover not speak to the parlous state of a nation, and her need to urgently “think outside the box”? What is tragically demonstrated daily in all departments of citizen survival is the need to overhaul the nation’s structural existence – beginning, obviously, with the imperative of guaranteeing that very existence. The rest is waffle. Vaseline massage on malignant tumour. National Infradig! Again, the Nation laments – and waits.”