CURBING THE SPATE OF ANGER IN THE LAND
By: Augustine Omilo
In 2022, it was reported by the World Health Organisation, WHO that there are about fifty million Nigerians with mental health challenges. This alarm deserves a place of priority in the health administration of the country. It should be especially so because the global health agency felt short of simply saying that many people in Nigeria are suffering from insanity.
Embarrassing as this assertion may appear, recent happenings in the country suggest that WHO may not be far from the truth. The incessant killings in the country can be traced to the spate of anger in the land arising from economic frustrations. And this is traceable to the failure of government’s efforts towards making the nation’s economy viable enough to accommodate the needs of the people in the areas relating to feeding, affordable health care, insecurity and unemployment.
To say the least, there are so many people in the land suffering from depression. One reason is not enough to cause this ‘ailment’ named anger which has little or no scientific cure. Some of the reasons include; the inability of government to address the cases of agitation among ethnic nationalities. Even though these agitators sometimes vent their anger on the wrong innocent citizens, they deserve attention from government at all levels. Other causes of uncontrolled anger in Nigeria include hunger, economic hardship drug abuse which often leads to depression.
A young man was recently reported to have hacked his father to death in Kano state. His main reason for that heinous act remains so flimsy that one can only assume him to be under the influence of drugs or insane. Still, it was a harrowing experience for a six-year-old girl, Sherifat Usman who was stabbed severally by a fleeing woman, Fatima Malam with intention of killing the child.
Another similar incident occurred in Rivers State where a young man identified as Osaro Owate was arrested for allegedly killing his mother with a hoe in Alase community in Eleme local government area of the state on the 13th of May 2023.Though the suspect claimed that he has been having spiritual problem for over thirty years, his action was traced to an argument between him and his mother over twenty thousand naira (N20,000) which was to be used to buy clothes for a burial ceremony.
Two EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) operatives equally killed one of their colleagues over arguments relating to the appropriate place to keep some exhibits recovered from a suspect in their custody. Anger played an avoidable significant role here. The case of Inspector Ubi who shot and killed a young trader in Asaba last month is still fresh in the memory of concerned citizens of Nigeria.
On Thursday, 17th of September, 2020, a man named Emeka Ezimadu went berserk and killed two of his children at Okpuneze Uruagu in Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
All these are different from the increasing number of fellows angry about the outcome of the 2023 elections. Many of them are venting their anger on the judiciary ahead of the outcome of the various electoral cases pending in courts of competent jurisdiction. This set of people appears to be unmindful of the fact that this same judiciary has helped many politicians in the past to recover their mandates at different levels.
Before the elections, many politicians and party supporters also lost their lives as a result of political squabbles among the political class. Along this line, many officers and men of the armed forces also paid the supreme prize.
It is therefore necessary for the incoming administrations at both the state and federal levels to begin preparations towards returning the nation to the path of peace again. The lopsidedness in the political appoint strategy of the Buhari-led federal government must be addressed in manner that will assure Nigerians that every geopolitical zone is important in the Nigerian project.
As provided for in the constitution, security of lives and properties of the citizens must be seen to be treated as the primary aim of government in the country. Leveraging on the claim by Garuba Shehu who recently told Nigerians that the out-going federal government employed twelve million Nigerians in the agricultural sector, the next government must ensure that these agriculturally employed people are allowed to have unhindered access to their places of “federal government employment”. Benue state must not further be denied its rightful position as the food basket of the nation.
With the jostling of the high and mighty among the senators-elect for the leadership of the 10th senate, attention must be paid to the lacunas noticed in the country’s electoral laws. Amendment of these and the constitution of the federal republic to ensure equitable zoning of political offices, especially at the presidential and state levels deserve utmost priority.
On the whole, Nigerians must understand that killing of each other or slapping public officials on assigned duties will aggravate the anger in the land. Therefore, there is need for all to sheath their swords with anticipation that leaders have sufficiently learnt some lessons on governance from the current happenings in the land.
Interestingly, the federal government has just announced her readiness to move against the rising cases of hypertension in the country. She can as well add the fight against anger to that.