With guns you can kill terrorists; with education you can kill terrorism- Malala Yousafzai
Let’s be frank and straight to the point here. I promise to be incisive, deliberate, concise and short. People don’t read long epistles to John again, we rather prefer a summary, at best a one minute instagram video. What can be said in a few words need not many paragraphs.
I went on a trip once with a man who believed Nigeria’s ethnicity is an eternal albatross- an Achilles heel to progress and stability. He had asked me as a young lad, if I truly knew the history of the civil war. I had told him it was a Nigerian tragedy that claimed close to two million lives and the major actors cut food supply to win a war, forcing another military lieutenant to surrender and cower to intellect.
That’s not the whole story, he interjected. It was an ethnic problem. “Sir Ahamdu Bello was killed and that was the generation of the chaos. A chaos that has continued to slowly tear us apart till today,” he said. He had videos of the 70s and the Aburi declaration. He didn’t seem to lie, so I believed him.
Now, many conspiracy theories have been flying about. Most of them are thrown to jab the Owu Chief like Sam Omatseye. But I tell you what is surprising. What is surprising is that on this matter Wole Soyinka and Obasanjo happen to be on the same page. These two have been at loggerheads for as long I can remember. What does that tell us? We have clearly not been paying attention!
What is the aim of Boko Haram and the Fulani Herdsmen? Boko Haram has made their mandate clear enough- to eradicate Western education. In their little emergence, they have bombed churches, mosques and schools. They even abducted school children to prove this aim. The ISWAP rose from the ashes of their charade and continued with the same mandate. The result is the continued captivity of Leah Sharibu which doesn’t seem to bother anyone these days. Not the emirs, governors, President or you inclusive.
The Fulani Herdsmen are no better. They have continued to rape, maim and decimate anyone or anything that stands in their path, since time immemorial. All three groups- Boko Haram, ISWAP, Fulani Herdsmen are on the list of deadliest groups after Al-Shabab and ISIS. Credited with the deaths of thousands of lives. None of these groups can boast of formal education guiding their ideologies and best practices. So whether it is fulanization they are concerned about, or outright bloodshed, we are wasting saliva over the matter of apportioning blames or deciding who has a moral dictate to face the media or not.
Obasanjo was grossly misrepresented by the media. His speech in that church wasn’t only about the Islamization agenda, the media though should be blamed for such a screaming headline- we might call it yellow journalism or outright sensationalism of the news. Nevertheless, the attention was good as well.
Nigerians are self-righteous, behaving like they are without sin and so the Egba General shouldn’t speak. Nigerians are also good at apathy- allowing lesions to fester on their skin before they speak. They forget that there is no messiah for them in this matter. The Owu General has raised a vital issue that should be tackled irrespective of the messenger- the message comes with great introspection into what kind of leaders we have been having, but on the contrary, it has become a haven for blame and ethnic division. Which is not important now.
On the other hand, a growing mythical evil has cemented itself in the North and is gradually taking centre stage in establishing a foothold. First, it was Boko Haram, from the ashes has risen ISWAP and the killer herdsmen best known as Fulani Herdsmen. If we add the bandits and kidnappings to it, we will have four different evils in Nigeria, gradually growing unchecked.
Many people have viewed this descent as the North fighting back and hopeful that the revolution will sweep its way from the North down south to the Atlantic. I fear the revolution is an Islamic one like General Olusegun Obasanjo hinted. The newest wave of Islam in Nigeria occasioned by the Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen is radical. It is not peaceful but a brute demonstration of forceful conversion. Failure will result into abduction, rape or death. You best believe that nobody is coming to save us; even the Government are not concerned. Most Governors have taken up housing in Abuja and other nations of the world. Their children do not even school here. Hence the need for introspection.
The evil has risen. It has taken the North and the central is slowly caving in. Achebe books have come to fruition. Things are really falling apart and the centre is struggling to hold. When it all carves in, we would say there was a country. In all of this, the average Nigerian is unperturbed, dismissing the Owu’s chief assertions as the likely predictions of an European Cup football competition which should be taken with a pinch of salt, or loser talk.