Let me give my two kobo, and most of it is reflective…
The reality is that Buhari dares not speak to the South West, the North or the South in the condescending tone he addresses the SE and Nigeria’s youth. The man shows more deference to even Boko Haram, Bandits and other terrorists than he does to these two demographies. It shows that the South-East political class have a lot to reflect on. Why the disrespect from all sides?
The answer is simple: our political class are orphans and people like Buhari know it. They do not have the support of South-Easterners, and why is that?
Over the weekend, Ladipo Market in Lagos caught fire. The majority of the affected people were Igbo. Has a single Igbo governor said any words of comfort to the affected traders? Contrast with when there was a similar incident involving Northern traders back in 2012 when Kwankwaso was governor in Kano. The man hopped on a flight and visited the traders in Lagos, bringing money and palliatives for them. Why then, will they not see him as their leader? Why then will he not be able to give them some direction?
The result of an elite not ceding space can be seen in Sunday Igboho. At some point, Sunday Igboho was gaining traction and legitimacy in the South-West. The South-West political elite stepped up. Heck, we saw pictures of some of the Yoruba governors wearing the Amotekun uniform, and assuring their people that they were there to protect them. By providing that assurance, and even speaking more to the issues that affected the Yoruba people, they seized the space from Sunday Igboho.
Up until now, no South-East governor has even sent a bill for Ebube Agu to his assembly. Utterly useless.
To a man like that, everything is a nail that needs to be hammered. He does not get, and he is clearly incapable of getting, that going in hard only makes the situation worse. Just compare the security situation in the South-East before and after Python Dance or the crisis in the North-West before and after Harbin Kunama.
The hammer approach almost always exacerbates security threats.
Do we want to go back to the Niger Delta or the North-East? What made Boko Haram so bad? I admire the Shi’tes as peaceful, but if they take up arms, can I blame them? No.
The government has other effective tools to address the cause of the problem and the symptoms, Buhari simply does not have the mental bandwidth to use them.