Monday, August 30, 2021 12:02 am
By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
Aboki: Satanic verses have come into the belly of the land! We need to pronounce a ‘fatwa!
Orezime: Fa what?
Aboki: A fatwa fa! This nonsense is getting too much!
Emeka: A fatwa on who please?
Aboki: On the vandals who desecrate the religion of Islam! Allah must be angry with those scoundrels and if we keep silent in the face of evil the land will pay for it!
Orezime: This is a secular country. If you make any attempt to impose a fatwaon anybody, I will simply migrate from Nigeria! Enough is enough!
Obukohwo: Migrate? Why should you migrate? Nigeria is not Afghanistan!
Kalio: What is the difference between Nigeria and Afghanistan?
Tunde: Nigeria is Nigeria; Afghanistan is Afghanistan! Period!
Aboki: Nigeria is not Afghanistan. Nigeria cannot become like Afghanistan. Nobody in his right sense can contemplate Islamizing Nigeria.
Emeka: That’s the point. Nobody in his right senses! Can those fellows in power be said to be in their right senses?
Aboki: Look here, no one can impose the harsh rule of sharia all over Nigeria. I assure you. As a practising Muslim, I know that most of those who mouth sharia cannot live in a country like Afghanistan! Is it those men who steal public funds or who frolic with women, married or unmarried, or who secretly consume alcohol or who love the good life of Lagos or Abuja that will impose Islamic rule?
Tunde: So, what the heck is going on in the country?
Aboki: Good question! The matter is out of their hands!
Kalio: Out of the hands of who?
Orezime: This is a serious matter!
Emeka: You mean that the powers-that-be have created a monster that they can no longer control?
Aboki: It is Allah Himself who has revealed this to you.
Tunde: I see things differently. It seems that there are two or three conflicting and contending forces in the country, battling to control the land, to control its resources. The Commander-in-chief seems to live in an abstract world and fails to grasp the enormity of the problem.
Emeka: Is that why he is trying to bully the media?
Obukohwo: Of course. The government is afraid of the truth being said in the media. A false narrative subsists within the government. It is so distant from reality that even their own children and family don’t believe it. The narrative is that all is well and that some mischievous persons simply want to distract the president from his rescue mission.
Aboki: The President is aware of situation. His interpretation of events and course of action may be different. The interviews he gave to Arise News dispelled any doubts.
Kalio: Notice that the journalists who interviewed Governor Ortom were invited by NBC. The man who made the verbal attacks was not invited!
Orezime: Governor Ortom has immunity.
Kalio: There are bigger issues to handle than deal with opinions expressed by distressed Nigerians. Consider the invasion of Nigeria Defence Academy by terrorists.
Emeka: That one was an insider’s job. To breach the security of NDA is not beans.
Aboki: Exactly! Whoever did it, had connections inside the formation. CCTV did not capture them. perimeter guards did not see them!
Tunde: Even after they were abducted, no soldier could pick up their arms to stop them at the gate or wherever! Is this giant so weak and terrible?
Obukohwo: A nation that has terrorists troubling it but concentrates on opinions expressed by citizens is like the proverbial hunter who carried an elephant on his head but was using his toes to search for crickets!
Orezime: How did this disaster come on us? I should have listened to my friends and migrated to Europe long ago!
Tunde: The NDA attack has taken the insult on the Nigerian state to another level. The soul of the nation is at stake. All over the world, killing security personnel provokes intense revulsion and action by the establishment. The NDA terrorists are cheeky, very cheeky. They have dared the government. And the government ought to respond in kind. After Kabul Airport was bombed by ISIS-K, President Biden swore that America will go after the perpetrators and make them pay. That was very presidential. That was reassuring. And I trust America. It is not enough for our President to say that the attack will not dampen the spirit of the Nigerian military.
Emeka: This is what baffles us about the president. He has vowed to go after secessionists from the southeast and has deployed the Nigeria Army to deal with IPOB. Why can’t we see that kind of action directed against the terrorists? Does he hate the Igbo?
Aboki: It is not a question of hatred. There is a blind spot somewhere. If the president hates Igbo, what about the senior security advisers who know the obvious threats that the terrorists pose to Nigeria, why don’t they take the right actions?
Kalio: The Buck stops at the desk of the Commander-in-Chief! If he does not give the permission who can….
Aboki: Permission to strike at criminals? Come on! There are certain responsibilities attached to certain offices and you do not need permission to act.
Obukohwo: There is something sinister going on. The north is suffering the consequences of insecurity than the south. So, it is not a north-south matter. Do security men who are of northern extraction need the permission of the C-in-C to protect their people? They have been overwhelmed. Period.
Emeka: Then they should resign or be fired for inefficiency!
Orezime: Who will tell the king that his mouth has an offensive odour?
Aboki: Does the king not read the newspapers? What about the advice from ACF in which they called for the resignation of the NSA? These things are not hidden.
Tunde: This is the time that we need a statesman at the helm of affairs or ask Mr President to become a statesman. Nigeria needs to be rescued. Nigerians need a rescue. We need decisive action to stem the tide of disintegration and save the nation from a disastrous implosion. The recalcitrance of an individual or the greed of a cabal of government is not enough to imperil the lives of millions of people. A criminal is a criminal anywhere in the world, name the so-called bandits by their name- terrorists. Any nation which treats terrorists with kid gloves will pay dearly for it. The people, the common people, north and south, Muslim, and Christian, must proclaim with one loud voice: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! This is our chance!
*Professor Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha, University of Lagos.