“I will deal with pipeline vandals like we did Boko Haram”: Is Bubu delusional?

From Beijing in China, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari (Bubu), has warned pipeline vandals to desist from destroying oil and gas installations in Nigeria or face the same fate as the Boko Haram sect. And while the nation has been faced with fuel scarcity and erratic electricity supply for a while now, Bubu, who as usual is addressing them from a foreign country, is confident that if they are ‘dealt with’ like the Boko Haram terrorists, the “madness” would stop.

“I am aware that in the last two weeks, the national grid collapsed a number of times. I hope this message will reach the vandals and saboteurs who are blowing up pipelines and installations. We will deal with them the way we dealt with Boko Haram,” said Buhari  at a meeting with members of the Nigerian community in China.

Bubu has a point; vandals deserve to be severely punished. Pipeline vandalism is one of the key factors crippling the Nigerian economy. According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the nation lost almost N200 billion in product losses and structure repairs just last year. Aside from the cost incurred, vandalism, which leads to the shortage in fuel supply, will in turn cause a shortage in electricity supply and contribute even more to the existing petrol scarcity.

However, Bubu missed it when he said they will be dealt with like the armed forces dealt with Boko Haram. Mr. President, are you in the country at all? You have not dealt, and you’re still not dealing, with Boko Haram. The terrorist group is still very active. Just last month, some four members of the terrorist sect reportedly disguised themselves as internally displaced persons and launched an attack on Tumpun village in Borno state which, in times past, has been their prime point of attack.

For a country that loves to boast about its achievements, is it not strange that Nigerians are yet to see the faces of those who have caused them so much sorrow and loss pasted on every newspaper publication? Should we then expect the same treatment for pipeline vandals? Should we expect in a few weeks that they will be “arrested and dealt with” by the Nigerian army?

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