Willing to go: Why I Want To Be A Rep -By Sesugh Akume

Filed under: Political Issues |

Here’s a reason I want to be a Rep: within this week alone up to 100 Nigerian soldiers have been murdered by the terrorists. General Buhari, the head of state, and commander-in-chief have said nothing about it nor will he. The man doesn’t care, nor could he care less. This isn’t the first time.

Recall that for years as commander-in-chief he never for once visited the troops in the northeast. When Col Abu Ali and his colleagues were murdered, the whole country went quiet! Everyone was in a sober, sombre and mourning mood including pro-Biafra advocates whom one would’ve thought would taunt Nigeria and those who still believe in her. For those few days, there were no political, religious, cultural, regional, or whatever divides. What mattered was this irreplaceable loss, and the young family he left behind, plus the circumstance of his death. Everyone was touched and showed it, except Buhari, that is. Even when a state burial was arranged in Abuja, Buhari had cause to go to Edo for politics on that very same day, delegating his chief of staff to represent him. Such heartlessness!


Sesugh Akume


It’s clear from the evidence that a lot of our troops has gotten worse under this regime. In December 2015, the #BringBackOurGirls movement was with the attorney-general, among other reasons, to make a case for our troops doing life sentences for refusing to commit suicide under the Jonathan regime. Our troops weren’t equipped but were expected to fight the terrorists with their bare arms. At first, they were sentenced to death, later commuted to life sentences. We were and remain of the opinion that that’s very, very unfair. As we speak those people are still serving life sentences. Buhari cared nothing about it and did nothing.

As the service chiefs are buying property in Abuja, Dubai and everywhere else, and living in luxury people’s husbands, children, brothers, cousins, friends, neighbours are being killed like flies, owed and denied their benefits right there in the warfront. When not killed by enemy bullets they’re dying of cold, malnutrition, malaria. When injured they’re on their own. When dead no one tells their loved ones. Next, their families are evicted from the barracks. Next, they cheat them of their benefits. This counterinsurgency war is big business. It’s making people rich.

In all of this who is speaking for the troops and their welfare? People who stake their lives for the rest of us. Who is asking about the $1 billion Buhari said he needed to route the terrorists he has repeatedly lied were defeated? How was it used? So many questions to ask but who is asking them and demanding for answers? The Senate, the lazy senate declined holding their plenary in honour of our fallen troops. That’s nice, but so what? How many more plenary would they pass as the killings are daily, instead of demanding answers and stopping this shame? I’ve heard nothing coming from the House of Reps. Nothing.

Today, Buhari met with politicians ahead of his election. If Nigerian troops died, that’s their business. If Nigerians are mourning it’s none of his, it’s best to spit on the corpses of the bereaved (as they have no graves, and to trivialise the whole matter. Beyond expressing myself here and elsewhere, and marching on the streets I could join hands with colleagues, as a Rep to force this system to respond. We’d keep the service chiefs busy sweating and answering questions as against being idle and attending activities of political parties. We’d make Buhari so sweat he’d forget his election is in less than 3 months. We’d so upset and upturn this rotten system that keeps getting worse to become responsive. Do politicians have no shame? We’ll show them!