A wasteland of death

Our country is gradually becoming a wasteland of death and destruction, a killing field. While we commend the military for what it has achieved in the war against Boko Haram, there are genuine reasons for concerns over the new dimension of savagery that is being unleashed across the land on vulnerable people whose lives and properties are daily destroyed. With no plans for national reconciliation, a future of genuine peace looks bleak.

Years of banditry in the name of governance have left their mark on our nation. Over the years, an incompetent and corrupt political elite often resorted to recruiting and arming private militias to stay in power. Now, our people are suffering the consequences of the ubiquity of these militias. Our people are daily murdered in their sleep by hired killers, gangsters, herdsmen, and all sorts of criminals. We have never felt so unsafe in our country. This is the worst expression of corruption in the land. The Government should show greater commitment to keeping our people safe.

We remain saddened by the fact that despite our hopes, prayers and vigils, the fate of the Chibok girls still remains a pawn in the chessboard of power. We stand in solidarity with our children and their traumatised families. We continue to pray for a miracle believing that indeed, the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayers (1 Pet. 3:2).

It is indeed very troubling to hear about the kidnappings, forced marriages and conversions of young girls in our country. It would seem that we are only just scratching the surface of a tragedy that lurks around us, thanks to the culture of silence which breeds fear. I find it quite unacceptable that we live in a country where under the false claim of religion and culture, repugnant and inhuman practices that are injurious to the weak are acquiesced.

Our children must be allowed to grow up in an environment that enhances their dignity. This is why we are saddened by the scandalous decision of the Senate to throw out a Bill that sought to restore some dignity and equal rights to our women. If our mothers cannot have these rights, what chances do our daughters have? The failure of the Nigerian state to develop a moral template for managing and even celebrating our differences, leaves us more vulnerable as a society. Men cannot continue to hide under dubious cultural and religious claims to use power irresponsibly for oppression.