About 40 years ago when the Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida held the forte as the Commander-in -Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, a dare devil armed robber also ruled the underworld in the Asaba – Benin environs.
Lawrence Nomanyagbon Anini terrorised the society. He virtually became unsurmountable for the police to contain. His name sent chill running down the spine of residents and travellers along that route.
Anini left oceans of blood in his trail and caused so much mayhem to the extent that a mere mention of the name, Anini would cause stir and make people to scamper for safety.
Anini became a nickname for petty thieves, all armed robbers, those who “ate” church money, corrupt men and women, indeed all deviants in the society.
It was at the height of the audacious escapades of the real Anini and his disappearing act after every operation that President Babangida, directed a question on the activities of the notorious robbery kingpin towards his Inspector – General of Police, the late Etim Inyang by querying him publicly, “IG, where is Anini?” That question invariably embarrassed the Inspector General of Police but served to spur him and the Police Force to put on its thinking cap, explore creative strategies which led to the arrest, trial and conviction of that mindless, blood – sucking and notorious armed robber to death.
In present day Nigeria, the war waged against Nigeria, Nigerians and foreigners by the trio of Abu Mohammed Abubakar Bin Mohammed al Sheikawi alias Darul Akeem wa Zamunda Tawheed or Darul Tawheed popularly known as Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haram, Abu Musab Habeeb Bin Muhammad Bin Yussuf al Barnawi, leader of Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) and Abu Abdullahi Ibn Umar Albarnawi necessitates that question for the serving President and Commander – in – Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.
In posing this question to President Buhari, one takes liberty from the fact that he is now a democratically elected President who is accountable to Nigerians. Who would have had the temerity to question Buhari, the no nonsense General in his hey days as a Military officer? President Buhari should take a lesson from the man who overthrew him in his first outing as Head of State and turn to his serving Security Chiefs, pose that question to them and demand an answer.
The fearsome troika led by Shekau have, since 2002 disorganised, devastated, abducted, killed and razed down villages in the North East of Nigeria, their gangs have abused, raped girls and women, married many off against their will and caused unbelievable pains and trauma by their terrorist atrocities.
The case of Shekau is mind – boggling; here is a man who has been allegedly killed many times. In 2013, it was reported that he was fatally wounded in Sambisa forest and a year later in 2014, the Nigerian Army also alleged that he was killed in battle at Konduga! And yet, in 2015, he was reportedly killed and in 2016, the Nigerian Air force reported again that he had been seriously wounded! This then is the proverbial cat with nine lives!
The activities of Boko Haram and their affiliate terrorist groups have greatly blurred the good perception of President Buhari. Here is a man, who as General Officer Commanding the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army, mobilized his troops and unilaterally pursued Chadian troops far into Chad when they occupied some territories around the lake Chad region in 1981.What has happened to Buhari who would stand up to the Chief of Army Staff and the President of Nigeria. Where is the Buhari who is wired to put his people first in his assignments?
A leader must take charge and take responsibility. A leader must answer questions and it is in the discharge of one’s obligation to work in the public interest that one pops this question: President Buhari, where is Shekau of Boko Haram? Where is Abu Musab Bin Yussuf, spokesperson of ISWAP? Where are their foot soldiers, their collaborators and sponsors?
Nigeria and Nigerians deserve to know and quickly too.