For the umpteenth time, Southern Kaduna is making headlines for the wrong reasons. Brutality and carnage is the new normal there, all the while as human life fares just as good as the dignified life of a poultry specie.
In the midst of the gloom, there seems to be something beautiful to hold on to – the realization that the lives of the men and women of our security forces matter more than those they are tasked with securing. It is in light of this great discovery that the powers that be have saddled them (security forces) with the noble task of nipping in the bud a peaceful protest against the reign of terror in their (Southern Kaduna) sub-region rather than employing what is left of their military “might” to stamp out the elements that do not wish Southern Kaduna, Nigeria and humanity well.
You may recall that it is on record that in a bid to underscore the fact that the lives of the men and officers of our security forces is of utmost importance, a certain occupant of the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House took it upon himself to expend the revenue of his taxpayers on murderers who deserve to hang for taking law into their hands, instead of risking the lives of our men and officers by embarking on a futile exercise to bring them to justice.
As expected, he was made to suffer the slings and arrows of scathing criticisms despite his noble intentions. Little did his critics know that he was only being prudent – a stratagem stolen from The Art of War (by Sun Tzu) to the effect that the ultimate art of warfare is ensuring victory without exhausting your energy or recording any casualty.
From an economic standpoint, the resources committed to the training of our personnel make it unhealthy and imprudent to send them to early graves without them doing much for a country that has given them more than they expected and needed.
A respected gentleman in the ministry informed me that it takes an average of 950 million naira to develop the job application online portal. Providing training kits for the duration of their training, I was informed, amounts to 15 billion naira. It takes 10 thousand naira to feed a trainee per day. In the course of training, the medical care they receive is the best you can never get in the country, with the cost stated around 200 billion naira. Upon qualifying as men and officers, they receive wares valued at a minimum of 200 thousand naira per head. Feel free to calculate the cost of training a hundred thousand personnel. By my rough calculation, if we factor in the allowances due to trainers and what we term “miscellaneous expenses”, we would arrive at a figure counting in hundreds of trillions of naira.
Certainly government has not spent that much on the people of Southern Kaduna to warrant the government to risk the lives of its security personnel in order to protect their lives. This is not an issue of deciding who lives and who dies. Rather it is giving priority to a greater good – in this case, the cost of training and recruiting those who would fill the vacuum that would have been left by the security personnel killed.
Of “recent”, we were made to stomach the news of the mutiny by some soldiers in the vanguard of the unending war against Boko Haram. It is bad PR for this country to record another show of discontent by our security forces over the unnecessary killings of their comrades in a conflict that is not theirs and about which they have not expressed any wish to meddle in. They have always maintained that they are comfortable serving as gatemen for the politicians ruling and ruining this country and being in the security detail of their convoy as they go about displaying their godlike status.
I may be wrong in my view. But I need to know: How do we explain the fact that in an area where 24 hours curfew has been in active mode for months, monstrous men that know no mercy are having a field day in an area that is under the surveillance of our able and capable men and women of our security forces? In answering my poser, I dare to say: Let us let them be, please! They cannot come and go and kill their selves.
Forget the muscles they parade around and the sophisticated firearms they carry about, they also like life and have girlfriends, wives, children, parents and many dependents. Why should they risk their lives for a life that is not theirs? They are not Jesus and moreover, Jesus’ sacrificial offering of himself was a one-off, final and complete and as such there remaineth no more sacrifice that is required.
Some would say patriotism and the sense of duty demands that they make sacrifices for the peace and welfare of the country but if I may bluntly ask in Nigerian Pidgin English: Who Naija help?
I commend our security personnel in Kaduna for proving they are still useful by roughing up people whose grievous and outrageous crime is to go out to protest the persistent threats to their lives and properties. They have shown that they are powerful to the extent that they can choose the battles they wish to fight and to also watch as callous men beat people without any intervention from them and that they can still force the people not to cry.
In conclusion, it is beyond reproach and any peradventure that #SouthernKadunaLivesMatter but it is also true that the lives of our security personnel – who are excellent at silencing innocent and helpless citizens – matter more.