Sunday, May 23, 2021

As Atairu Goes Home: Responsible or Irresponsible Govt? By Isah Abdulazeez


While the nation mourned Lt Gen Ibrahim Atairu and other fallen soldiers of the ill-fated NAF201 Jet yesterday, the APC governors were in Kano to celebrate and party. It is already an open secret that the Commander in Chief of Armed Forces who Atairu directly reported to didn't find it worthy to attend his funeral rites. His vice who in the public domain is literally known as the “minister of burial” didn't even deem it necessary to represent his boss at least, he has been doing that creditably well. Oh, Atairu! Your only crime was that you stood to fight the common enemy confronting us as a nation.


One would have expected our leaders to borrow sense from Vladimir Putin who On 19 December 2016, attended the funeral of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Karlov, who was murdered by a terrorist group. Similarly, on March 24, 2018, French Policeman, Arnaud Beltrame, was killed by terrorists and Emmanuel Macron attended his funeral. Meanwhile, Buhari could fly all the way to Paris to attend meetings that he contributed little or nothing to. What excuse does he have to give for not attending a funeral that took place under his nose?


It is pertinent to state that actions like this show how irresponsible our leaders are. If someone of Atairu's status could die and no top government official was there to show him the last respect, there is no gain saying that indeed, cows get level pass humans (cows are more valuable than humans) in the eyes of the present government.

With incidents like this, how do you get the rest of the nation to be patriotic and put the nation first? If the fight against insecurity, Boko Haram and other insurgencies must be won, the Nigerian government needs to appreciate the effort of the front line fighters who risk their lives just to see that this nation is secured.


The presence of Buhari or his vice at burial ground of these gallant and brave men would have boosted the morals of others in the line of duty knowing fully well that the government appreciates their efforts.

A simple farewell speech at the burial venue by the president or his vice would have gone a long way to boost the morals of other officers in the front line.

But with this kind of action, one does not need a soothsayer to know that these men will put their safety and lives first before the nation. This is the major challenge or clog in the wheel of our quest to defeat Boko Haram. Our leaders just have a lot to learn, unlearn and relearn.

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