Currently trending on the public sphere is propriety or otherwise of the raid on elite members of the judiciary by security agents in pursuance of their clampdown on corruption. Honestly, I am not really bothered because of my confusion. We want to root up the seed of corruption in the land yet we howl and accuse the president of running a Gestapo-style government whenever the operatives of the state carry out their duties. Granted, there must be rule of law but all laws have limits. It would make no sense to alert a target you are trailing by giving him prior notice and allow him to hide his loot. But who am I to meddle such mattes. I take my bow and, like they say, as the Lordship pleases.
I am more concerned with ongoing debate as regards whether or not Nigeria should sell its national assets to shore up its finances. This is supposedly to enable it come out of the woods of recession into which its leaders had inadvertently plunged it through several years of loot, sleaze and profligacy. This proposition was actually initiated by the same vultures that ate up the soul of the nation but now want a rushed burial.
However, it behoves President Muhammadu Buhari to yield or decide otherwise. But before he does, he must be wary of history; that is on which side of history he would wish to be judged. In fact, that is why I am gladdened by the call for reintroduction of history as a subject in our schools. When the enfant terrible of Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose, set the ball rolling, nobody expected he would get from the most unlikely quarters, President Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, both chieftains of the All Progressives Congress, APC. As a secondary school student, I still carry the impression my history teachers planted in my formative mind. Unfortunately, I am now often baffled because some things I was taught are being muddled up by recent developments orchestrated by people without a sense of history.
That is why Nigeria is suffering. If we knew where we were coming from, then we would be wary of our today’s decisions and their impact on our tomorrow.
Perhaps, that was what Mr. President meant when he addressed Igbo youth corps members against activities of IPOB. Sadly, he was on the wrong side of history, pontificating on a history he has not learnt anything from. All sane Nigerians, yours truly included, are against bloodshed and violence of any sort; against anything that would lead to the balkanisation of this country if it can be avoided. But if our president wants to avert a repeat of our violent past, he must address the very issues that led to that sad chapter. It is not enough to say no to the Biafra agitation when you are feeding Biafra agitators with reasons to continue pressing for independence.
The leader of MASSOB, Chief Ralph Uwazurike, is not a man that can be easily broken. Like every other human, he has his own faults but I understand where he is coming from when he says that he belongs to the Mahatma Gandhi’s school and has proved overtime that he can never be crushed. Incidentally, both of us were together at Panjab University and trained under the huge influence of that great Indian ascetic sage. However, I never suspected Uwazurike would turn out to be what he is today. In a recent interview, he claimed to have come to India to understudy Gandhi but he never showed any signs of rebellion. That is why I call him the unlikely rebel but if he said that was why he came to India, I would say he succeeded. Though I have not seen him in the over 17 years he started his MASSOB, I still believe he needs to be listened to. The Biafra cry he reignited is gathering momentum every day, with more groups joining in demanding a reprieve for their beleaguered people being dehumanised and pushed out Nigeria by obnoxious official policies.
The same goes for the Niger Delta Avengers and other militants in the region. Government may pretend not to understand what vengeance they are in quest of but instead of threatening every moment to annihilate them, the best option remains to engage them in meaningful dialogue and address the apparent despoliation, degradation and rape of the region.
What I don’t understand is the glee with which illegal refineries are destroyed and publicised by the military, as if they have won a coveted prize. Yet we can’t refine petroleum, preferring instead to waste tax payers’ money to import fuel, even in this time of official recession. It is a shame that people government regard as never-do-wells could actually refine crude in ramshackle shanties while government clamps down on them for doing with ease what it cannot do despite the billions pumped into the industry. Commonsense wants to know why the expertise of these militants cannot be harnessed by legalising their illegality and set up a formal platform for them to contribute towards national development.
The same applies to the ones that produce guns. Nobody can discountenance the efficacy of the Ojukwu Bucket or Ogbunigwe war machine of Biafra. These can be replicated if we gather these locals and harness their knowledge for our common good and thereby reduce scarce resources wasted in arms importation. The best way to counter evil minded people from deploying knowledge negatively is by recognising and helping them to develop their skill in a formal, legal way that will equally benefit the nation.
The onerous task before Mr. President is to decide wisely on how best to tackle the multi-fold crises in the land. He should reflect on the past sales of national assets and conclude whether Nigeria was the ultimate loser or if it gained anything. He should look at the antecedents of those calling for the sale of national assets to see how patriotic these calls are. He should examine how other nations that had suffered recession came out of it. He should tell Nigerians the whereabouts of the acclaimed recovered loot from treasury thieves and what they are being quarantined for instead of being deployed to heal the economy. As history lurks in the wings to judge President Buhari, he has to really think deep before deciding on what to do; it is no easy task but nobody should pity him for doing a job he sought for as if his life depended on it.
However, the president would be smarter if he sold all roguery and unproductive Nigerians; those vermins in the National Assembly that guzzle our resources for doing nothing; those monopolists who want to pocket Nigeria and dump us all into their slave markets and all treasury looters. We have had enough of them and Nigeria would readily come out of recession if we are to get rid of politicians and their conniving goons at the corridors of power. Those are the things we need to sell if we can get buyers, all politicians and their evil clan; not our cash cows like NLNG and NNPC.
APC, the crumbling behemoth
Not a few Nigerians believed that the hasty marriage of water and fuel to create APC would combust after a while. However, we never bargained that the combustion would be too soon. With rumoured return of the acolytes of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to mother AD, which they pilloried not long ago for their unholy matrimony with APC, it is a matter of time before the behemoth comes tumbling down. To make matters worse, Asiwaju is being viewed from the prism of a worthy Yoruba son that must not be humiliated, judging from speeches so far, especially that beautiful mature response from Pa Ayo Adebanjo and commentry of Fayose. Frightened APC hawks are flying laughable kites of investigating Tinubu for anti-party activities. Let them go ahead and, in fact, expel him; that would be the final nail on the coffin. Is it not ironical that people that lack electoral value even in their wards are the ones deciding Tinubu’s fate? That is the absurdity of Nigeria and her politics, sorry, politricks. Nigerians wish all of these liabilities are included in the shopping list of those angling for the soul of the nation.All this, however, does not call for clinking of glasses by PDP; they are all the same.