After any kind of event that renders havoc to the lives and properties of people, it is a normal and expected practice for such people to want to identify the causes and those responsible for such disasters. An individual or family affected will turn to the state via its security forces and other related agencies and expect these to start investigations with the hope of bringing those responsible to justice and putting in place measures that will impede the reoccurrence of such damaging acts in the future.
In the past few weeks, Nigeria has been hit by more than a few disastrous events, some of which are traceable to nature whilst others are simply and clearly man made. Sad as they were, unfortunately, there is nothing new, peculiar or completely unexpected in such events. Any analyst worthy of being termed fair, objective and even just slightly prepared would have easily predicted any of the woes that fell on the country lately.
The road accident that claimed the lives of about thirty-four people on the kilometre 14, Akure-Owo road was due to badly built not user friendly roads and the barbaric, senseless and callous driving habits that abound on our roads. Crying is natural, praying is necessary but neither is enough when dealing with situations of these magnitude, if we truly want to avoid these kind of road accidents in the future on that same road and elsewhere, we need to seriously review the way our roads are built. Most civil engineers will readily advice that our roads need to be wider and better sign posted with instructions advising people where to slow down, where not to overtake etc. We need leaders that are caring and bold enough to force those erecting obstructing structures to go, we need leaders concerned and diligent enough to make sure that contactors build roads worthy of the money allocated for such projects. Yes you are right, corruption is a big problem here so let us also extend our list of wanted people and add anticorruption officers conscientious and capable of making sure that most of the money allocated for roads reach destination.
It is not only the famished roads consuming our people lately; water has joined in drinking many of them too. It must be said however that the flood that first hit Lagos and later Oyo state and that affected areas I enjoyed visiting during my restless youthful days as a student in Ife such as the Onipepeye section of Old Ife Rd, Oke Ayo, Yemetu, Bodija Estate, Olomi, Eleyele, Apete and Odo Ona-Elewe were not some sort of unforeseeable and thus unavoidable nature sent event. It has happened before! The water corporation and other authorities claim that tragedy struck because water exceeded the capacity of the dam so the rest had to overflow, according to them it was overflow of the dam which caused the flood and the devastation hence it was a natural disaster. Case closed? Not at all sirs.
A major aspect of the Ibadan water tragedy is very much linked to the problem of building on waterways, it is people not nature building in the water paths, another major aspect is the diffused practice of disposing refuse in inappropriate ways, again it is people not nature disposing rubbish in drains. There is an urgent need for leaders with the required capacity to look into these problems; we desperately need leaders with the ability to educate people and to warn them against these self destructive acts. Those in government must come together to say never again to such disasters. In Oyo state completing the Ogunpa/Kudeti drainage basin and channelling the River Ona and Ogbere River basins will be a good starting point.
In this chronicle of tragedies, the events of Jos and Abuja stand out because they were intentional malicious crime masterminded by callous coldblooded self-serving enemies of peace and the people. They have killed, disgraced and scared the country; they have rightly been described as terrorists and they have been declared wanted as such by the state through its security agencies. For we the people however not only terrorists are wanted. We urgently want a commander in chief that looks and act like one. Mr. President, please show your anger and pain, grab a microphone and say in your own words that those who kill Nigerians will be found and dealt with. Let them know that you are capable of dealing with them and not scared of them. Leadership is not just about doing, you also need to show you are doing and feeling. Lead Dr. Jonathan lead!
No need to mince words here, our security officers and indeed our intelligence agencies in general have clearly failed us because they were not capable of avoiding these massacres. These butcheries were planned, funded, equipped with people and resources and successfully executed under the noses of our secret services. It is time for them to come out and tell us what exactly they lack as an organization. In the meantime whilst they continue looking for terrorists we the people need more service and less secret.