I should begin by stating that Dr. Obadiah Mailafia is one of the most profound shining lights of Nigeria. He’s an intellectual giant who can stand his own anywhere in the world.
His economic and socio-political analyses of international, Third World, African and Nigerian affairs reflect the depths of his well-grounded intellectual judgements garnered from one of the world’s most prestigious citadels of learning, Oxford University.
Unlike most of us in this part of the country who have chosen to comfortably adopt the defeatist attitude and give in to the threats and domination of the northern oligarchy, Dr. Mailfia believes that his ivy league education would amount to naught if he doesn’t deploy it to speaking out against obvious state-sponsored injustices, especially those against his immediate communities.
Communities that are being flagrantly despoiled daily through an agenda cooked up by the conspiracy of some of his fellow Middle Belters and many others in the core north, under the very watch of the Buhari government.
This erudite economist, scholar and social commentator’s views and opinions are still being sought after and respected today within Nigeria and internationally, even after his tenure as Nigeria’s Central Bank Deputy Governor.
Also, he has been one of the most vocal, strident and powerful voices shedding light and exposing the truth behind the unabated and unwarranted violence and brutality being unleashed on the minority peoples of the Middle Belt and other parts of Nigeria.
In his analyses, which have elicited widespread support, he has been able to point out the horrible truth that there’s a deliberate and well-orchestral plan by forces and interests in Northern Nigeria to decimate the Middle Belt’s minorities in order to achieve an agenda that Uthman Danfodio started in 1804.
Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Southern Kaduna minorities, etc., are still bearing the brunt of this today as their innocent peoples, especially women and children, are being massacred in cold blood and dispossessed of their ancestral lands.
Mailafia’s ‘original sin’ is that he pointed accusing fingers at the Buhari-led federal government for, first, deliberately turning a blind eye to these heinous murders, pogroms, goings on against the minorities.
Second, Buhari’s government has taken exception to the fact that Mailafia, just as other Nigerians who have been bold enough to speak out, has unequivocally maintained that the federal government may be complicit in the on-going killings because they have refused to accept that it’s Fulani herdsmen that are responsible for most of the bloodletting being perpetrated in Southern Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria’s central region.
That’s why we, the wretched of Nigeria, especially in the Middle Belt, hold him in high esteem and will stake our necks for him in this his most trying moments.
Paradoxically, we are committed to following Dr. Mailfia in every step he takes as he’s being persecuted by the powers that be because we equally share and have a huge stake in his ‘original sin’.
To be sure, we believe that his uncommon moral courage shall prevail over all of today’s powerful but effervescent forces of religious and ethnic cleansing and hegemony.
And, above all, history shall, as usual, ultimately vindicate Dr. Mailfia and eternally shame our persecutors. It’s just a matter of time.
Chris Gyang, Jos, Plateau State