Conversation Nigeriana (7)

Conversation Nigeriana (7)

Monday, June 28, 2021 12:01 am

Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha

Kalio: The threat letter from some faceless fellows to attack Delta State shows how bad the situation has become in the country!

Emeka: Too bad! Yet the DSS did not spring into action to unravel the common criminals!

Tunde: These are not common criminals o! They are a special breed of state-supported outlaws who act with insulting impunity!

Emeka: Common criminals they are. If they were Igbo boys, Aso Rock would have dropped a bomb on their entire village. I’d never seen any Nigerian leader display such bigotry before now!

Obukohwo: It’s always been there. This time it was blatant. They are forcing it in our faces, daring the rest of the country!

Aboki: This is not nice. I know what is going on in Kaduna, in Zamfara and some parts of Katsina. We are sitting on a keg of gunpowder!

Orezime: There is no gun, there is no powder jor! Everything will end soon. We manage to get off the bitter precipice somewhat!

Kalio: Is this why we are pushing our luck too far? There is always a first time!

Orezime: Prophet of doom, get thou behind me!

Kalio: I understand your approach. You don’t want to face the ugly realities before us so you may enjoy the millions of dollars in your foreign account! You think it will last forever?

Tunde: Nothing lasts forever! Even forever does not last forever, you know, forever is time-bound! Forever does not exist outside space and time. States, nations outlive leaders or rulers, good or bad leaders. Dictators are not forever. In relative terms, their time is short. In no time, they will be wiped out from memory, from the good books. Time is their enemy.

Orezime: You too know book jor. But if we make you president, tori go get k-leg! Grammar no be governance!

Tunde: it is only a philosopher-king that can make a difference in Nigeria now. The politicians who think of pockets and banks only are still in charge, or waiting to take over the reins of government. It is a tragedy that we must confront as a people. We are mortgaging the future of our children to carpetbaggers and sea pirates. The elite must rise to save the nation from the scum who currently pose as leaders!

Obukohwo: Can the elite save itself, lead a revolt against the elite? In the words, is it not a contradiction in terms to dream that the elite would revolt against itself? 

Tunde: The elite club has strata; though their common goal is self-enrichment, if they discover that one of them, or a class of them is a threat to their common destiny, they are likely to rise. The billionaires in Nigeria would readily align with any new group of persons who develop a plan to legitimately kick out those who want to permanently disrupt the equilibrium which secures their wealth! 

Aboki: This plenty grammar pass me. How can Nigeria be better? What can we do to stop the descent into ethnic war? We in the north are disturbed too. You think because the president is our kith and kin we are happy with the chaos that has become Nigeria? You are wrong!

Orezime: Why don’t you guys speak up? Why don’t you call him to order?

Aboki: That is the problem; our culture is different. We do not fight any man who is in power. God has given him power. If God says no, it will all come to an end.  We do not want to challenge God.

Tunde: What about the Arab Spring that removed all the tyrants in Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt? Is it not the same religion you practice?    

Kalio: What about the killings that took place in the Caliphate after the Prophet left? Did they not disagree with the leaders?

Aboki: Where did it take them? Answer me. Where has those attacks and killings taken the countries? Look at Libya?

Obukohwo: This matter has a twisted face!

Tunde: Exactly, but we are the ones making it complex and complicated. Speak out against oppression or failed leadership. God will be on your side. The main challenge is how to manage diversity, how to manage the different ethnic groups in the country without making one ethnic group feel less important.

Emeka: In our case, the minority ethnic group claims to own the country. How many Fulani are in the country? Are they more than Hausa or Yoruba or Igbo people? No. What right have they to claim that they are born to rule? It is highly provocative!

Aboki: No one is born to rule over a country as diversified as ours! Most of us in the north are opposed to open grazing. We know what it has cost us as a people in the past, and is still costing us. But the owners of cattle are the powerful people, big men. Those guys who lead the cattle around, trekking from Kaduna to Oyo or Ondo, do not own cattle! It is a harsh life! It has to end.

Orezime: This is interesting! A northerner does not support open grazing? This is news to me!

Kalio: Of course I have always known that not all northerners support open grazing. How many of them are into cattle rearing? It is a tiny minority that is holding the nation to ransom!

Obukohwo: That is the history of power! A tiny minority usually holds the larger society to ransom! The time has come for another national conference called by the National Assembly! We must save Nigeria!

Aboki: Another talk shop! Waste of time! The current National Assembly has no such liver anyway. Even if they did, where will funding come from? Be realistic fa!

Tunde: There you go! Funding will be a problem, yes because there is no budgetary provision.

Aboki: You see…

Tunde: But it will not be a waste of time. It will be time for ventilation. Dialogue in a complex polity as ours is part of nation building. The government would then feel the pulse of the people! As long as talks are going on, there will be hope that a resolution is on the way. It will reduce tension. The talk shop will make recommendations that will be transmitted to the National Assembly. The will of the people must triumph. You can only delay it. You cannot kill it. The genie is out of the bottle already!

Obukohwo: Yes, the genie is out of the bottle. The current administration has highlighted the differences which exist among ethnic groups, the narrative that one small ethnic group is born to rule. No nation can accept that in the 21st century.

Kalio: It is a matter of time. if this government refuses to hold talks because of the recalcitrance of one man, the next government will be forced to do so!

Orezime: Especially if we elect a man who has no military background! Those fellows are often too rigid. They believe that altering course because of pressure from the people is an affront to their dignity. Democracy is about the people, not the leaders or rulers!

Emeka: Write a letter to Aso Rock and make that loud and clear: democracy is about the wishes of the people, not the locked mind of a set of rulers!  

 Professor Eghagha can be reached on 08023220393



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