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And ….The Man Died!

“The man dies in him who keeps silent in the face of tyranny” - Wole Soyinka

And …. the man died!
From Lagos Island to Lake Chad; Calabar to Sokoto, Ilaje Ese-Odo to Yola and Port-Harcourt via Abuja to Kano, tyranny has surged in the land called Nigeria. It has been a while that things have no longer been at ease in Nigeria, but the tyrannisation (pardon the poetic licence) of the social and economic milieu has not really been part of it. Or one could argue, the tyrannisation in this respect has never been this excessive, punitive and pervasive. Tyranny has never been so completely far reaching across the corners and crannies of the land as is being presently witnessed.

This on-going tyranny in the land, occasioned by the need to make up for lack of know-how in the act of governance, exacerbated by unmitigated acts of corruption across the facets of this administration, is being visited on the land with impunity, without any sense of restraint, without any sense of moderation but with a concentrated stone heartedness. This continuous infliction of tyranny is a perfect study in “I don’t care attitude”, totally devoid of any sort of humane feelings, or milk of human kindness, even for the innocent. It is a manifestation of sadism, savagery and sickness.

And…the man died!
Tyranny has not only surged, it is becoming an acceptable norm in the polity. This normalization of tyranny as a matter of course has been attested to by the ability of those who are expected to be the conscience of the society to rationalize mind boggling irrationalities. They defend every conceivable indefensible. They redefine morality. They turn long held logic upside down. They redefine what is culturally acceptable contrary to long held beliefs that formed the bedrock of raising the young. They do it with gusto, shamelessness, conscienceless and befuddling enthusiasm.

They excuse every conceivable inexcusable act. They glorify in opprobrious hypocrisy. Like the maggot in the depth of faeces, they convey ludicrous comfort in these acts of ignominy. They do not give a damn that the young is watching, listening and imitating their odious inanities. They do not care about now of all of us not to talk of the future of the imitating youngsters. They are like larcenous locusts leeching the luscious lucre licentiously; leaving in their wake, fuddled citizens in a flustered society; a society that has become uncertain of its virtues, perplexed about its morals, unsure of how to react to the obvious debasement of its philosophies of life and own understanding of normalcy.

And….the man died!
Yes, in each of them, the man died. The man died in those elder statesmen who turned to look elsewhere as tyranny is being visited on our land. They are collaborators and enablers of tragedy on the polity. Those who had voices and could speak for the voiceless but chose not to do so; those who see injustice and explained it away; those who saw decadence in the corridors of power but deodorize such and gladly manufacture inanities to defend such anomalies, the man dies in each and all of them.

Leaders of and in various communities who have become foot soldiers for a government going from one wrong to the other; compromised civil society leaders who have become soporific; conscienceless human rights groups helplessly saporified; petulant political gladiators; empty headed godfathers; yellow journalists who have redefined the meanings of integrity, responsibility and professionalism; pulverized professors professing pathetic theories permeated with porosities are all engaged in this virulently vexatious vogue.

And…the man died!
In the President, in whom much hope was invested and misery was reaped, the man died. In the President, who made promises of alleviating poverty during campaign but rather exacerbates the level of hunger in the land, the man died. In the President who promised to declare his assets but goes to odious lengths to explain why he could not do it any longer, the man died. In the President who promised to reduce the cost of petrol but ended up increasing it astronomically, the man died. In the President who promised to increase the value of our Naira but rather devalued it beyond recognition, the man died.

In the President who promised to fight corruption but found himself defending corrupt staff and lieutenants, the man died. In the President, to whose attention the corrupt practices of and by his henchmen were brought but rather decide to keep quiet and do nothing about such, the man died. In the President, who left out his personally nominated Chairman of the EFCC out there to hang dry and eventually fed him to the wolves, the man died. In the President who promised to kill corruption but whose Secretary to the Federal Government awarded over 272 million naira grass - cutting contract to himself and could not say or do anything about it, the man died.

And….the man died!
In the president, whose ethnic members in Fulani herdsmen are murdering, maiming, raping, and looting across the land but could not address it, the man died. In the President, under whom genocide against the Southern Kaduna people is being perpetrated without let or hindrance and refused to do or say anything about it, the man died. In the President under whose over 500 Shiites were murdered in broad day light and was obviously unconcerned, the man died. In the President under whose nose innocent self-determination protesters think they are in a democracy and thus chose to exercise their rights but were murdered repeatedly, and he did and still does not give a damn, the man died.

In all those cheerleaders who supported, aided and abetted the violation of the rule of law in the pursuit of justice, the man died. In all who see nothing wrong in the violation of court orders simply because we dislike the victim, the man died. In all those who defend their own political associates when they engage in corruption but yell crucifixion without conviction at the top of their voices when others are accused of similar allegations, the man died. In all those who run from pole to pole to manufacture excuses for every action of any government, past or present without respect for fairness, equity, balance and justice, the man died.

In all the Senators and the members of the House of Representatives that have sat for almost two years without any bill that could impact the lives of Nigerians positively, the man died. For refusing to be accountable to Nigerians and holding themselves as well as the executive arm of the government responsible, the man died in them. In all of them, parasites on the purse of the country, lining their pockets and feeding fat on the meager resources of the country, the man died. In all those who are rationalizing the on-going extension of the horizon of the vestiges of poverty, want, misery, woes and death across the country because their party and those they like and support are in government, the man died.

And ….the man died!
Most importantly, in all of those who keep silent in the face of the on – going tyranny in this country, aiding and abetting through various acts of commission or omission, covertly or overtly, directly or indirectly as this tyranny rages across the land like a wildfire, the man died.

“In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.”

- John F. Kennedy, in his Inaugural Address January 20, 1961

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Articles by Remi Oyeyemi

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