While majority of the citizenry in the western part of the country and yonder may be preoccupied with the sad events that led to the nullification of the June 12 electoral election adjudged to be the freest and fairest election ever conducted on Nigerian soil, their counterparts in the North- eastern states of Bornu, Adamawa and Yobe states are not bothered by this for reasons not farfetched. On the contrary, they will be grinding their teeth and blaming providence as they celebrate exactly one month of uninterrupted lack of mobile telecommunication signals as part of steps deployed by the special forces in the troubled states in crippling the nefarious and condemnable acts of Mallam Shekau’s led militancy administration in the states and many other northern states albeit not affected by the Emergency rule, at least for now.
Ever since the Military commenced the offensive exactly a month ago, life has not been the same for the local subjects. Not only has economic activities nose-dived as the popular Monday Market now operate at the whims and caprices of the Joint Task Force, the lack of communication has also affected the people but psychologically and economically.
One baba Musami, an Orange seller in front of the University of Maiduguri when asked how life has been since the present military operation had this to say, “ it has been a mixed feeling for us here since the fresh batch of soldiers were sent in here. It’s a mixed feeling in the sense that, normalcy have been restored in the metropolis but we are paying dearly with harsh economic situations. My oranges and other fruits are long finished and I cannot order for another stock as I cannot communicate with my suppliers and I am forced to feed my family from the sales I have made”. Toro Gimba, a final year student of the university also complained bitterly about the network shutdown. “I was on my final year project before the whole network brouhaha and haven’t been able to communicate with my parents all this while. I don’t want to talk about the part where I have no money to even complete a 3-square meal. It is really pathetic”
Mallam Baana, a Keke Napep rider, gave a different narration. “Every day, the J.T.F piles up dead bodies at the Morgue without any official account or report. You need to perceive the stench that oozes out from a remote area in the metropolis where dead bodies are been piled up and covered with sand. What we do not know is whose bodies those are. Whether those of members of the insurgents or those of innocent citizens only Allah knows all…..” he concludes as he continued his ferry business under the hot temperature with beads of sweat running down his face and without any handkerchief to bring him succor until our reporter handed him one.
Riding through the streets of Damaturu the capital city of Yobe state, one comes face to face with a deserted settlement. It’s either the local subjects who have the wherewithal have travelled to other states or stay indoors for a great part of the day. As for the poor members of the society, life has never been this tough and they cannot wait to celebrate the end of the insurgency.
Yola, the Adamawa state capital is not left out in the whole miasma. One Laureta a graduate student who had come to check the mobilization list for her National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) and had travelled from Yola to Maiduguri told our reporter that, “the poverty rate in the state had tripled recently as a result of economic breakdown. Food item prices skyrocketed and the price of services in likewise manner” meanwhile she gave no word with regards to the rate of killings as the social media had been silent on the matter since the shutting down of telecomm services.
It is totally unthinkable how life has been in the troubled city of Maiduguri and its environs that has been the hot-bed for the activities of the Islamic fundamentalists. The recent step taken by youth organizations in the troubled states in giving out classified information leading to the capture of terrorists in their nests buttresses the fact that the local subjects have had enough and cannot take more.
President Goodluck Jonathan sometime assured African Leaders at the AU Summit that the emergency rule will not last the constitutional six-month period. While that promise remains pending, it is unimaginable how it can be lived if the Special Forces drafted to the state do not make substantial level of success by combing the entire states for terrorists and their hideouts.
Nkannebe Raymond tweets at @yung_silky