Nigeria: “The  Gods Are Not To Blame”

We just celebrated 55 years of independence without any at self-advertisement, but simply as a matter of fact, if there is anything I am proud of it is the fact that I am a Nigerian. And, it is my conviction then and now that Nigeria is the hope Africa.

My people say that one does not hide the dead from the grave digger. my love for Nigeria will not allow me close my eyes to the “katakata”. (as the late Afro-beat king Fela Anikulapo kuti said) and my pen cannot stop bemoaning the fact that my beloved country is endlessly grouping in darkness and decaying inexorably in a fearful downward trend despite all her seeming enormous human and material resources –Apologies to Olusegun Adeniyi.

One of our ancestors, John Mbiti observed that “Africans are notoriously religious” True talk! But, I will quickly paraphrase it that Nigerians are extra notoriously religious yet ‘wuruwuru and magomago’ (apologies to professor Humphrey Nwosu) is an article of faith. Churches that dot every nooks and crannies of our society are filled to capacity on Sundays, mosque and shrines are not also left out yet the concomitant increase in corruption and other social vices remain mind boggling. I am a catholic and believe in “one true God creator of heaven and earth” however, I cannot come to term with the pathetic fact that Nigerians “believe so much in God and also fanatically believe in corruption, tribalism, nepotism, and injustice.

I, see this not only as hypocrisy but a perfect representation of the biblical analogy of worshipping two masters at a time. Anyway, whether this is a possibility will be left for theologians to tackle. In an article I wrote last December (Nigerians: preying and praying) I expressed my discomfort over the lack of faith-in-action in our religiosity “if our religiosity is not impotent, how possibly can one explain the lack of correlation between our display of goodliness on Sundays and Fridays and what happen is our day to day lives as Christians, Muslims and Nigerians”.

Praying to God while our leaders indulge in crass accumulation of primitive wealth is not an option it is totally not of question if Nigeria is to take her rightful place in the comity of nation. I think it is not God’s business that sweet moments have always been a chanced rarity in Nigeria. I have painfully watched for the past sixteen years of civilian rule as hope turned into hopelessness, joy into sadness, expectations dashed and dream buried yet we allow our political leaders to have their peace while are keep knocking at the door of God.

Nigerians have been submerged into heart breaking poverty not of their own making but because the powers- that-be have vowed to do everything but provide people oriented projects, programmes and policies. Nigerians, have trekked miles crossed rivers climbed mountain and endured sleepless night just to earn a dignified living standard yet it is still an elusive trophy.

Let me, state as forcefully as possible that ‘the Gods are not to blame” Like Ola Rotimi captured in his cerebral play. From Sokoto to Balyesa, Borno to Lagos events points to the fact that God has other important priorities them to come in rescue of a Nigeria that her leaders have chosen out of freewill to espouse lootocracy as art and science of governance. The corruption, injustice, tribalism, bad governance and poverty is solely a creation of the Nigerians elites and political class. God had settled Nigeria. It is left for Nigerians to settle themselves by doing the needful politically, socially and economically now that the APC is in charge.

Nigeria: The incorruptible Kukah
I had adversely reframed from joining of the arrays commentators after our beloved Bishops “state- of- the- master” caused a literary riot. My hesitation as well as caution was not out of fear but my dislike of false hood, ilogicality and pedestrian rationalization.

Mathew Hassan Kukah, who don’t know him? Though he is serving the church in Sokoto his constituency spreads as for as the begging and end of Africa. For those who have come in contact with this son of Kaduna whose conviction is unparallel, resilience uncommon and character legendary, he needs no introduction. He is not only a catholic Bishop of repute he is also a major shareholder or “ Sarkin Bakar dole’’ as the Hausa will say in other domains Like controversy, social justice, conflict resolution and interfaith dialogue.

In comparative term Bishop Kukah is one Nigeria priest who actions and inactions project as a contemporary John the Baptist or Jeremiah. I admire his courage and ability to tell the truth no matter whose ox is gored or elephant lost. When the late goggle wearing Junta turned Nigeria into his fiefdom and a Hobbesian empire Kukah was among few Nigerians that dared the tyrant at the risk of their lives. In those dark days, while cash and carry imams and pastors formed a conspiratorial alliance with the Junta and smilled to the bank or out of fear closed their eye to the impunity going on in the nation Kukah kept on shooting the elephant.

Truth which is the guiding principles and rule of engagement in kuKah’s constructive criticism and other patriotic acts over the years, is no respecter of person, political party or government in power. He spoke the truth to khaki’s boys, the ruinous PDP regime and, I see no reason why he will stop telling the truth because of APC. Unlike most “brown envelope” addicted pastors that change colouration faster than a chameleon, His lordship has proven that he is a real priest.

Only unpatriotic citizens and undiscerning minds will drag his good reputation in mud for the priceless advice he gave PMB recently. Hear him, “through bringing treasury look to book is important, government must place premium on providing desired governance”. This Episcopal analysis captured the minds of civilized Nigerians. PMB was not only elected to recover the loot of Kleptomaniac politicians under GEJ government, he is also saddled with the responsibility of providing good governance, employment, peace and security rule of law, sustainable economic and infrastructural development. As a matter of fact PMB need sound mind and patriotic citizens like Bishop Kukah unlike sycophants and boot lickers who will make him believe he shares the grace of infallibility with the pope. If PMB and APC ignore Bishop Kukah because of Arewa social media warriors and sycophants, they do so at their own peril because leaders rise and fall in the back of sycophantic disciples.

Far back in my secondary school days, I read a play; the incorruptible judge “written by Olu Olagoke”. Bishop KuKah shared the same status with the judge in the play who refused to worship at the altar of bribery and corruption. His consistent inclination to speaking the truth like fearless Lamido Sanusi, outspoken Balarebe Musa, late social critic Gani Fawehinmi, highly critical Femi Falani and intelligently relentless professor Wole Soyinka is a rare quality Nigeria need at this critical stage of “changecracy”.

I am not trying to adorn His lordship with hypocritical garb of impeccability but to insult an elder and senior citizens of repute because he aired his view is “changemania” taken to a ridiculous dimension. Evidence shows that for more than two decades, successive government have made probe and loot recovery a special number but at the tail end, the more Nigerians look the less they see. So, what are the sins of Bishop Kukah? As an active citizen, he has made untold sacrifice and contributed immensely, for the growth of democracy and social justice in Nigeria. Going by his antecedents; his unblemished integrity, impeccable character and unequivocal advocacy for constitutional democracy is second to none. Most importantly, t May the voice of our Bishop grow ever stronger longer and clearer in the years that are ahead of us.

NIGERIA: WILL SARAKI CROSS THIS BRIGADE?
You don’t need to be told. The blind can see it, the deaf can hear it and even the dumb talk about it is a war; a cold war that will sooner or later become a “hot war” by two presidents. Who will become a victim or victor is one thing that I cannot tell. I am not a marabou and I don’t have dibia’s in my family lineage. All I can say for now is that heads will roll and someone will fall from grace to disgrace if care is not taken.

For those who don’t know, the Nigerian political arena is far dangerous than the dreaded kumirikiki forest in African night entertainment (Novel) of late Cyprain Ekwensi. It is a stage where every actor holds a phd in a politics I01 from the Nicolo Machiavelli university of the “end justifies the means”. Make no mistake about this. Nigeria political theatre is a burning bush that chicken- hearted lads don’t dare to come close to. Take it or refuse it, to say politics in Nigeria is dirty is to be economical with the truth. In fact it is “dirtier”, I mean that it stinks worse than all the dumps-sites and ghettos in Ajegunle put together. Put succinctly, our politics is a darkness that bats dread.

Of course, no tears for Saraki the Doyen of hallowed Red chamber legislature. When he did a ‘bubanriga coup’ against his party to wear a crown that was not meant for him ,he forget that do me “do me I do you” is a legal tender in Nigerian political market. Funny enough, he hid under the car in order to sneak to his coronation ground after Judasing his party interest. But, now that the lion is roaring right under his thrown where will he hide this time around?

Before his father (Dr Abubakar Olusola Saraki joined his ancestors some year ago his wishes were law and commands dogma in kwara state. He could even tell kwarans when and how to “Jowjow or “Skelewu” with their wives. The younger Saraki forget that Abuja is not Illorin where the mention of Saraki is a visa to get away with anything and everything.

He played smart like a MBE the proverbial king Solomon of Ibo mythology but he forgot that it takes more than smartness to survival in the mucky water of Nigeria politics Ask Evan Ewerem, Chuba Okadigbo and Adolphus wabara if you are a doubting Thomas. In my earlier treatise (Nigeria;like Judas like Saraki) on the civilian coup of June 9, I observed that “for challenging his party Saraki must not forget the fate of Nza the bird who after a meal challenged his “chi” to a single combat. He must have played it smart but he must also remember that if a piece of meat becomes too hot the teeth will derive another way to chew it.”

Saraki succeeded in winning the mat but on whose land will he spread the mat? Would it not have been a better wisdom to win the land first before fighting for the mat? The day is dawn and someone must pay for his political sin. Each time a pass through the three arm zone since June 9, I always remember that, the day a brooms tick becomes stronger than the broom it should change its name to Iroko tree. Will Mr. President Saraki cross this bridge? Who knows?.

NIGERIA: BUHARI AND THE IMPUNITY OF YESTERDAY.

Saint Augustine is no doubt the greatest African son who applied his immense intellectual prowess in such a manner and magnitude that made the “oyibo” suffer acute indigestion out of jealousy. Born in Tagaste (Algeria) in AD 354, Augustine a professor of rhetoric’s was famous for his two widely read master pieces- ‘’the confession and the city of God’’. In the academic circle and must importantly the ecclesiastical arena his fame as a scholar and catholic Bishop remain undisputed for centuries. He is still one of the brightest skinning stars in Africa academic firmament.

If Saint Augustine was to be alive today, perhaps, he would have added the city of impunity to the lists of his ‘vade mecum’ because of the smoke rising from the kitchen of the 1914 British “cut and join’’ political experiment. Nigeria is a product of British impunity and impunity has become her political, religious economic and social DNA.

Even after 55 years of independence and nearly two decades of constitutional democracy, Nigeria is caught in the web of judicial rascality official and executive brigandage and legislative lawlessness. It is only in Nigeria that the constitution is a paper tiger. No need to beat about the bush she is a perfect representation of George Orwell’s (Eric Blair) Animal farm.

Grand merci, to Clara Shaw, Nigeria is a good name but the city of impunity captures better the existential reality in the tripod theory nation. It is only in Nigeria that 16 is an elder brother to 19- a Jonathanian theorem that professor Chike Obi will not find funny. where else will a section of the country be on fire and the president goes about dancing skelewu with his party men? Where does it happen that all nation security agencies DSS, NPF and their sister agencies are used as thugs for the ruling party. It makes heart wander in wonder that a VIP (very important prisoner) is walk freely the street of Abuja after extorting and killing hundreds of Nigerian job seekers. What other nation will allow the office of Madam – on top” (a useless and wasteful office that is foreign to the constitution) to disregard the constitution and rule of law? Where has it happened that governance or government is a rehearsal ground for corrupt, clueless and cowardly privileged political actors?

It is impunity that creates a system that sales justice to the highest bidder. Nothing breed impunity in a country like the sight of criminal, kleptomaniac government officials and ruthless government agents getting away with the crime they committed without any scar, living large of their spoils, lording it on the people and laughing at their face. The impunity of yesterday, the impunity of ex-president GEJ and PDP were endless Tufiakwa!

Now with the APC in the saddle at the centre we have started hearing the unpleasant tune played by the-drummer boy of the PDP. The DSS of Marylyn Ogar have not yet repented. They go about invading people homes and opposition government houses without recourse to the law. The code of conduct tribunal has woken from slumber and is only biting the perceived enemies of Aso Rock. EFCC and ICPC have returned from sabbatical and are now busy helping PMB to chase the stolen fund they participated in sharing in the first place. Today, all manner of minions and sycophants from the North have become political kings

PMB, APC and their college of irrational supporters must realise that Nigeria is not under khaki rule. This is democracy and in every democracy, there is rule of law, due process and constitutional provisions. We cannot claim to be fighting corruption when we employ undemocratic and unconstitutional means. No one can use a corrupted process and person to fight corruption and expect to achieve desired result.

We elected PMB because we were not comfortable with the city of impunity that ex-president GEJ (and PDP ) was turning Nigeria into. Nobody should now, when we have not fully recovered from the locust of PDP days, hide under the banner of fighting corruption to turn Nigeria into another zaire of Mobutu. PMB and APC must hear this; we say no to the impunity of yesterday.

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Articles by Eze Martins-hassan Esomchi