The irony of all of this is that President Buhari is in London for the U.K.–African Investment Summit, where he intends to attract a bit of foreign direct investment. He forgets, however, that a key prerequisite for attracting foreign investment is security and social stability. It would be foolhardy to think that any serious investor would risk investing in a country where the most important highway leading to the nation’s capital has become a haven for kidnappers and bandits.


While tens of families laid their dead to rest and at least a hundred other families are still searching for kidnapped and/or missing loved ones after a major terrorist attack on the dreaded Abuja-Kaduna highway, President Buhari and other top government officials were enchanted by a selfie-taking contest with the British-Nigerian boxer, Anthony Joshua.

It is hard to tell whether the average Nigerian no longer values human life or whether the government has completely lost its sense of duty. Otherwise, how does one explain that after an attack on the convoy of the emir of Potiskum which, according to a PREMIUM TIMES report, claimed the lives of 30 people, while 100 others were kidnapped, yet, public servants and citizens alike seem a lot more interested in how low Anthony Joshua prostrated, rather than how low the current state of affairs has gone in our dear country?

While President Buhari’s indolence is not surprising, the dubious silence of Northern elites and the shameful loafing of members of the National Assembly is an excruciating reminder that Nigeria’s political elite are a mindless gang of self-serving individuals who care less about how much blood is shed, as long as they maintain their hold on power.

The irony of all of this is that President Buhari is in London for the U.K.–African Investment Summit, where he intends to attract a bit of foreign direct investment. He forgets, however, that a key prerequisite for attracting foreign investment is security and social stability. It would be foolhardy to think that any serious investor would risk investing in a country where the most important highway leading to the nation’s capital has become a haven for kidnappers and bandits. This is without mentioning that the president’s home state is struggling to deal with a notorious group of bandits and criminals who unleash terror on innocent citizens.

The federal government and governors in the North-West must respond quickly and decisively to what could easily become a full-blown militancy in the North-West. So far, President Buhari has escaped serious criticism from his kinsmen for obvious reasons but northern elders must ask themselves if all they want to bequeath to their children is instability and social unrest.


But the attack on Umara Bauya, the emir of Potiskum is a bit different from the usual, though a lot more worrying. Ansaru, a breakaway faction of the deadly Boko Haram terrorist organisation, claimed responsibility for the attack. Worth mentioning also, is that Ansaru, an al-Qaeda linked terrorist group, had last October announced its return to Nigeria after losing its sting largely due to the arrest of one of its key leaders, Al-barnawi in 2016. This calls for serious concern, as they will be in fierce competition with Boko Haram and Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) in a battle for supremacy and possibly a sick and twisted contest to see who can unleash the most violence.

In a recent intervention, Bulama Bukarti, a security and conflict analyst with a good understanding of the insurgency made the point that “Last Ramadan, Ansaru released its first tafsir in Fulfulde, an indication that it is trying to recruit and radicalise Fulani bandits with excellent knowledge of the terrain and years of experience.”

If Ansaru is allowed to establish itself in the North-West, with the military currently stretched thin in the North-East, then Nigeria might be in for another decade of conflict with catastrophic consequences on human lives and the nation’s resources. It must never be allowed to happen.

The federal government and governors in the North-West must respond quickly and decisively to what could easily become a full-blown militancy in the North-West. So far, President Buhari has escaped serious criticism from his kinsmen for obvious reasons but northern elders must ask themselves if all they want to bequeath to their children is instability and social unrest. More importantly, young northerners and Nigerians at large must ask themselves a simple question: What kind of future do I want to have in this country?

Ayodele Adio, a communication strategist, writes from Lagos.