By Yahaya Balogun
“The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny.”
- Prof. Wole Soyinka.
The ultimate measure of a country is how its leadership and followership (ir)responsibly activate their cognition in times of national crisis. There is a complete failure of leadership in Nigeria. Leadership is about responsibility resulting from accountability and consequence. Sunday Igboho is a glorified new normal in the nauseating and sorry lexicon of Nigeria. Whether Sunday Igboho is lettered or unlettered, filtered or unfiltered, his crudest action is expected in a Hobbesian society (i.e where life is short, brutish, and nasty) like Nigeria. Sunday Igboho and his supporters see his action as a clarion call to Professor Wole Soyinka’s axiomatic expression above. Sunday Igboho seems a consequential child with primitive and maneuvering stature. He seems in a self-styled posture to be a representation of a region hollowed out in the beleaguered contraption called Nigeria. Sunday Igboho has become what I call an emeritus hero made on a platter of gold by a pariah state. He should be encouraged reasonably to wake us all from our nauseating slumbers.
In a nutshell, every bold citizen of Sunday Igboho’s ethnic enclave has a moral and ethnic obligation not to be subjugated by the partiality of the northern oligarchs and its geopolitical enablers from the South. All Nigerian leaders (including Buhari) from the inception of “nationhood” are to be blamed for the current strife in Nigeria. The impending political and ethnic inferno hovering over the country will not only consume iridescent Sunday Igboho, it will consume the leadership and rueful followership, altogether. Nigeria is dangerously journeying on a road glowingly paved with selfishness, deliberate indifference, arrogance and ignorance, ethnic chauvinism, etc., and it is a road to nowhere!
When leaders have failed in their moral and ethical responsibility to protect citizens, all kinds of moral and ethnic militias are inevitable, and they will be morally justified to protect their people. Though I have never subscribed to lawlessness and division or disintegration of the country, but when a state fails to protect its citizens from the privileged invaders, the people have moral and willful justification to protecting themselves. Any act of intimidation and oppression by the state will be abhorrent to the entire and seemingly “banana” republic.
Meanwhile, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander. If Inspector General of the Nigerian Police can order the arrest of Sunday Igboho, what of all the irritant Miyatti’ Allah leadership’s inflammatory outbursts of the past, and heinous crimes of Miyetti Allah’s invaders. Any forceful attempt to unlawfully arrest Sunday Igboho (though, I don’t know much about this trending man) will be counterproductive. Sunday Igboho’s order of arrest is a misnomer and diversionary attention from the insecurity in the land. His arrest will garner sympathy for a man purportedly mobilizing to wake a sleeping government that closes its eyes to other glorified and privileged northern militias and dangerous herdsmen. The arrest of Sunday Igboho will further threaten our fragile unity in Nigeria. Nigerian leadership is known to excusing responsibility for irresponsibility and mundane. The leadership has always lacked responsible priority to meet the yearnings and simple expectations of the masses.
The following simple solutions are crucial, and should be considered in a jiffy to resolve our intractable problems in Nigeria:
1. Restructuring of Nigeria with a truly national conversation.
II. Adequate representation of all aggrieved geopolitical elements in the country as representatives.
III. Provide adequate security and jobs for all citizens.
IV. Rebrand a nation conscripted by the Brutish colonialists for their administrative convenience.
V. Mobilize every citizen to come together to heal the ailing nation.
VI. Make a painful emphasis that: what we will lose will be more than what we will gain from the country’s disintegration.
VII. Amicable, mutual or consensual divorce from seemingly a forced age-long marriage of convenience.
The current situation in Nigeria is purely a failure of leadership, and the naughtiness of the followership. The mutation of Sunday Igboho in our collective consciousness is a direct result of a dysfunctional society. Unless the leadership partners with the followership, and come together to douse geopolitical tensions, there will always be more of Sunday Igbohos ready to be spontaneously evolved from our sociopolitical conundrums.
Inextricably, no matter the number of achievements President Buhari’s administration must have claimed, the insecurity, inequity, and unfairness in the system will further create a polarized nation, fuel chaos, unrest, and hopelessness in the country. The current arrangement in Nigeria is fraught with injustices, ethnic jingoism, and inefficient leadership. It is not sustainable development, and the ineffectual Buhari’s administration on security is claiming more innocent lives. One life lost is too many in a society bedeviled with nauseating contradictions. Buhari’s stance on safety is a failure that is nullifying the achievements of Bubu in nation-building.
Sincerely yours, anything short of the itemized salient points above in the interim, or an intervening time, is like journeying in our collective blissful ignorance on the road to nowhere!
Balogun wrote from Arizona, USA.
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