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The whole history of progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom and yet, deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters…Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted. – Frederick Douglass.
The Shiites of Nigeria will no longer wait for Godot! After they failed to be treated according to law by the APC/Muhammadu Buhari administration; after the judiciary, the so-called last hope of the common man, failed them, they have decided to take their destiny in their own hands, as it were. After the government blocked its ears to the voice of reason, the Shiites are now pursuing their cause in the streets. Reason and commonsense having failed, rage and emotions have taken over. And blood is flowing freely. No government in the history of this country has had this much shedding of blood in peace time. It is like those hellish days in Rwanda when an international newsmagazine screamed on its cover “There are no more demons left in Hell; they have all gone to Rwanda” The demons are all now trooping into Nigeria, relocating from all the hot spots of the world – Syria, Libya, name it! The Buhari administration is welcoming them with open arms. It is even fighting tooth and nail to gift them colonies and settlements all over the country. While the controversy over RUGA rages, the government, in the way it has handled the Shiite issue, is wittingly or unwittingly creating another Frankenstein monster the same way its predecessors created Boko Haram. Dictatorial regimes have a way of radicalising their own people. Ordinary people; peace-loving citizens when pushed to the wall will fight back. All over the country, the Buhari administration is pushing people to the wall. The Yoruba of the South-west already have their back to the wall. Even the deaf can glean that unmistakeable message from statements emanating from all manner of likely and unlikely places in the region. Only a few errand boys and lackeys of the powers-that-be are playing to the gallery with the way they trivialise a very serious issue. Government appears not to be interested in doing the needful in the South-west, in the same way it arrogantly snubbed the Shiites until the Islamic militants forced it to listen by fire by force. Will the South-west also need to toe similar line of taking its demand for the protection of lives and property to the streets before government takes it seriously?
Force does not suppress popular agitations. Killings are also no effective deterrence. Dictators get to realise this only when it is too late. “… Those corpses of young men, those martyrs that hang from the gibbets, those hearts pierced by the gray lead, cold and motionless as they seem, live elsewhere with unslaughtered vitality. They live in other young men, O kings! They live in brothers, again ready to defy you…Liberty! Let others despair of you! I never will of you” (From “Poem of the dead men of Europe…). Guevara succinctly put it when he said: “Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms” How many receptive ears have heard the Shiites’ cry for justice and how many hands are reaching out to the weapons of the slain? The Presidency plays Pontius Pilate when it attempts to wash its hands off the rage of the Shiites and its avoidable consequences.
Tanko Muhammed everywhere!
Listen to this debate in an African parliament:
Honourable Madisha: Half of people in this parliament are stupid!
Speaker: Hon. Madisha, withdraw that statement.
Hon. Madisha: I withdraw the statement. Half of people in this parliament are not stupid.
Speaker: Thank you; let’s proceed.
How intelligent is the speaker in question? Hon. Madisha only played on his intelligence and took him on a jolly ride. The first and second statements by Madisha said exactly the same thing. So, he withdrew nothing but only adumbrated it. It is like saying “the cup is half-full” and “the cup is half-empty.” Hon. Madisha still got away saying half of the people in the parliament were stupid!
Standards have fallen everywhere, particularly so in this country, Nigeria. Many will tell you that the so-called dichotomy between educationally-advantaged and educationally-disadvantaged states is where the rains began to beat us. When candidates scoring 2% are admitted into Unity secondary schools, how do you expect them to cope? Yet, they must be pushed through! When people who barely managed to go through college find themselves in commanding heights, what performance can you expect from them? Mr. President’s school certificate controversy comes to mind here. Going by the trending school certificate and other results of the now confirmed CJN, Tanko Muhammed, we shall be expecting too much from him if we want stellar performance. Federal character is one policy whose implementation has ruined merit and excellence across board, especially in federal establishments. Ask those from the southern part of the country working in federal establishments; they have tales of woes and frustration to tell. The “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop” internal colonialism they suffer is one reason why it is an impossibility fashioning Nigeria into a nation. Beyond competence, though, is the deliberate choice of our leaders across board to engage in rigmarole, like I believe Tanko Muhammed did at his Senate screening, any time they want to obfuscate issues. El-Rufai, Osinbajo, Tinubu, Oshiomhole, not to talk of Lai Muhammed, are fond of this. Everywhere now, technicalities are used to deny justice and serve vested interests. How did Tanko Muhammed himself become CJN? Expecting him to talk straight on the issue of technicalities is like preparing the noose for him to hang himself on a future date. Or what do you make of a Buhari who reasons that since Kano and Bayelsa each have the same number of senators, then, the Constitution cannot be fairer to all? That, certainly, is not the height of Mr. President’s intelligence. They get unimaginably ridiculous when they bend over backward to defend the indefensible and serve vested interests – not that they are nit-wits.
LAST WORD: The rate at which Nigerians are being murdered abroad is alarming. The noise our government and people are making over it is, however, hypocritical. Charity, they say, begins from home. If Government treats Nigerians as if their life is worthless here at home, how can the same Government demand that Nigerian lives attract premium abroad?
Segun Dipe’s write-up is not a rejoinder but an attempt to provoke you. I buy Tribune every Sunday because of your column. I believe he wrote all those to please his paymaster. Worry less about it; he cannot pull you down. – K. F.
Whoever wrote Gov. Kayode Fayemi’s reply to your “Eventually, Gov. Fayemi wins the argument” suffers from questionable integrity and does not fear God. Permit me to insist that you still publish me even though you have said he has apologised and you would like sleeping dog to lie because of appeals from other quarters. You need to know how much I regard you and your opinions. Let me tell you I can die for your sake should anyone rubbish you or speak ill of you. Look at how he tried to circumvent you by going straight to the editor! Why he did so is anyone’s guess. He knew there was no iota of truth in all that he wrote; he only wanted to portray you in bad light. He claimed to know you but in actual fact did not know you or he pretended not to know you. Let me say that BB is God-fearing; a man of proven integrity; forthright and born-again Christian and pastor who fears and adores no one else but God Almighty. He cannot be lured, like the writer in question, by the things of this world. He does not mind whose ox is gored when it comes to telling the truth. BB is always on the side of the helpless that you people are oppressing. In conclusion, let me say that the Ekiti election was not an election properly so-called but coercion, subversion of people’s will and war fought and won with “federal might.” It was the Ekiti election that gave people the signal that the General Election would not be free and fair as we later saw in states like Osun, Kano, Kaduna, Lagos, etc. I want you to know that it is God that will judge all the judges and on the Day of Judgment, Nemesis will catch up with all evil doers. Remember the bible says every act of not saying the truth is sin and no sinner will go unpunished. No sitting governor, even president, can rubbish what BB stands for – which is truth and justice. – Marcus Jadson.
Your rejoinder to Governor Fayemi was surfeit. Since Fayemi’s “Man Friday” has initiated moves for reconciliation through a trusted third party, I humbly advise that as a man of God, kindly bury the hatchet. Forgive and forget. Let love be the message. It is not a sign of timidity but maturity. Spoiling for a fight is not and can never be a good option. It will be too acrimonious and it will cause distraction from a good cause, which your column is known for. Pleas rise above petty squabbles. Kindly stay focused on how to make Nigeria better through your incisive articles. The ink in your pen shall never dry! You shall continue to increase in wisdom and knowledge! – Yacoob Abiodun, Hayward City, California, U. S. A.
I write to say a word or two on the Shiite Muslim’s protest at the National Assembly and Senator Dayo Adeyeye’s comments. Well, Adeyeye has succeeded in saying nothing. An event is the mother of another event; we must not forget the parentage. The issue on ground is beyond the perfidious argument of Adeyeye. If we may ask, why were the Shiite Muslims protesting? The answer is simple: The executive recklessness of Buhari and his cohorts is the reason for the protest. He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. The fingers of the Presidency are stained with the blood of recklessness. Courts of competent jurisdiction have made pronouncements concerning the Shiite leader, which Government has disobeyed. Adeyeye should tell the world why Buhari has not released the man. Instead of navigating a panorama of deceit, red-herring and lies, what stops the National Assembly from summoning the Attorney-General to tell the world the reason behind the satanic incarceration of the man? I need to state, respectfully, that I am not in support of the Shiites’ modus operandi, even though they have every right to organise a protest. Buhari, however, needs to do the needful. If they have negotiated with Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen, why can’t they call the Shiite Muslims to a round table? Are they not Nigerians? – Ralph Akintan, Esq.
“Politicians kill, judges bury…” is on point. Our judiciary has, indeed, nose-dived abysmally that, sometimes, it worrisomely confers credence on the aggrieved resorting to self-help, which tends to be leading us to the Hobbesian state of nature where life was ‘nasty, brutish and short’ – Alfred Mulade.