By Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
Any fellow with even the minutest knowledge of boxing knows that when a boxer takes too much punishment in the ring his manager throws in the towel.
This ends the fight, thus saving the boxer from further needless punishment that may even lead to death.
I think this boxing parlance has to be deployed in the larger interest of saving the Nigerian government from taking more unnecessary punishment.
It is very obvious that the government did not prepare adequately for its fight with the bandits or terrorists or whatever they deem fit to call their tormentors.
A key figure in the government is even talking of needing to higher mercenaries to help the regime in the deadly fight.
It will be akin to pitching mercenaries against mercenaries because, as Abubakar Kawu Baraje revealed, it was the foreign mercenaries hired to win the 2015 elections that turned into bandits and ill-assorted terrorists now.
In the circumstances there is no getting away from the fact that the government is wobbling and fumbling, to borrow the phrase of football coach Fanny Amun, while being knocked from pillar to post.
From Boko Haram to train-and-airport-bombers in the north, it has been punches galore for our hapless government.
The fixers and godfathers of the ruling regime should fetch a towel and throw it instantly into the ring to save the government from being knocked out cold.
This is not a laughing matter, and I am not laughing in this clear and present issue of urgent national concern.
I happen to be a boxing historian and I should know when a fighter is in serious trouble in the roped square.
The government happens to be in the middle of one hell of a slugfest and has been caught napping in defending what is left of the battered administration.
Forget all the bluster from the toadies and bootlickers of the regime, the government is unguarded, and the punches are coming relentlessly.
This government’s case reminds me of what I heard through radio-without-battery that happened to a certain boxer from Umuahia-Ibeku known as Abraham Tonica who decided to take on the then world boxing champion Dick Tiger.
The fight was barely a couple of minutes old when Dick Tiger unleashed a series of wicked uppercuts and haymakers on the jaw and face of the bewildered Tonica.
Abraham Tonica of Umuahia Ibeku begged his manager to throw in the towel by screaming: “Ala Ibeku-e, ihea obu aka ka obu igwe?” which means: “Land of Ibeku, is this man hitting me with human hands or with iron and steel?”
The towel was promptly thrown into the ring and Tonica thus survived until grand old age.
The cabal of the government can learn a thing or two from Tonica on the art of throwing in the towel in the nick of time to save a cornered man’s life.
There is no sweetness in holding on to power now that the country is almost bankrupt whilst the opponents keep pummeling with blows and bombs.
I don’t think it is worth the pains for the government to insist on going the distance when it can no longer breathe.
The government should quit like the American heavyweight boxer known as Max Baer who was accused of quitting too early while fighting the great Joe Louis.
The clownish Max Baer replied his critics thusly after hurriedly throwing in the towel: “If you wanted to actually watch the total annihilation of Max Baer you should have paid a lot more dollars!”
Now the government can follow this lead by telling Nigerians: “We are throwing in the towel because we can’t die for a country that is already broke!”
Tackling Nigeria’s problems is proving to be beyond the ken of this regime, just like the other American boxer later known as the Cinderella Man of boxing, Jimmy Braddock, who spent all of 15 rounds of a boxing match running all over the ring after an elusive boxer known as Tommy Loughran.
After losing the fight because he could not land any punch at all on the artful dodger known as Loughran, Braddock went all over the place asking anybody in sight: “Have you seen Loughran? I was supposed to fight the man this night.”
Just like Braddock could not land any punch on Loughran, this government cannot deal any blow at all on the many bandits and terrorists beating up on Nigeria.
Even if given a hundred terms or rounds or tenures or whatever, the government can do zilch against the tormentors.
Why not throw in the towel now by telling Nigerians: “Because of the national grid collapse and the concomitant blackout, we cannot see the bandits that we are supposed to be fighting!”
Dear Cabal, please fetch the towel and promptly throw it into the ring to save the government from total annihilation.
Call me the ultimate patriot and I will take a patriotic bow!