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Between Nigeria & Ukraine, By Nnamdi Nwigwe

•Ukrainain neighbourhood after onslaught by Russian troops

Television clips on the ongoing war in Ukraine are sad to behold especially when children, women, and the elderly are the victims.

The propaganda arsenal of the East and the West on the cause and course of the war is in full force, such that the onlooker from afar, is in a quandary as to which side to believe.

But what cannot be in doubt is that people are dying, structures, infrastructures, and superstructures are being savagely destroyed by human beings who are not near enough to see the horror they are causing by pulling the trigger of their gadgets!

We in Nigeria have joined the rest of the sane world to condemn the senseless wastage of both man and his creation in Ukraine!

But are we any better in our country? How many innocent compatriots are 'wasted' every day by criminals operating under names like herdsmen, bandits, Boko Haram, kidnappers, and armed robbers?

How many infants, school pupils, students, and their teachers are currently languishing in the hands of their abductors in the forests for years now, practically abandoned to their fate by the State?

Go to the camps of the Internally Displaced People (IDP) across the country, particularly in the North, and see how they are being looked after. Officials in-charge of caring and catering for them steal palliatives donated to the camps. Female victims are raped by officials and at times by rampaging criminals!

Once in a while, one Civil Society Organization (CSO) or the other pops up to arouse the conscience of the nation and its leaders.

Depending on the intensity of their advocacy some moves would be made by the authorities and soon enough the military comes up with a self-serving news release that some kidnapped people had been rescued. And then everyone goes back again to sleep. But must this continue this way?

Politicians are out once again to ask for our votes to elect them to be President, Governors, or Legislators. How many of them have made any reference to the insecurity in the country, the fate of those still in the hands of their captors, and their thinking about HOW to get them freed by the Government?

How many of the media houses and their correspondents bother to ask the politicians about these forgotten compatriots?

We may share in commiserating with the people of Ukraine on their travails following the invasion of their country by Russia, but let’s not lose sight of the daily scourge and the Hell Nigerians are going through, even when there is no formally-declared war.

Our prayer is that Nigeria quickly returns to a state in which the State (no puns intended!) reasserts its authority by reclaiming the monopoly of force that criminal non-State actors appear to have appropriated for a long time now.

Bottom line; Nigeria and Nigerians are worse off than the Ukrainians and our media and public affairs commentators should not pretend otherwise.

•Nnamdi Nwigwe, a veteran journalist, writes from Owerri, Imo State.



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