PENDULUM BY DELE MOMODU
Fellow Nigerians, I’m sure, just like me, you’ve been wondering what could be driving the Federal Government of Nigeria towards pushing the country into perdition and collapse. I’m very convinced that President Muhammadu Buhari has no plans of succeeding in the governance of the country as a whole, or indeed of his beloved Northern part of the country, otherwise how can any serious leader not see the dangers and peril ahead. Practically every section of the country is in one turmoil or the other. And the lamentations are getting louder by the day.
At the end of the day, on greater reflection and rumination, as I travelled back from Port Harcourt to join in celebrating and felicitating with the dynamic and resourceful young female entrepreneur, Oyindamola Samira Lami Adeyemi as she celebrated her birthday yesterday, my conclusion is that Nigeria actually needed to have a leader as standoffish as Buhari to push our country to the brink of disintegration and it is now looking like a matter of time, seriously. It is not by coincidence that my hurried flight to join a small group of other close friends, including my great friend and brother, Damola Aderemi, Dr Deolu Akande and Dr Tunde Ayeni, in rejoicing with Oyindamola Adeyemi on her birthday, prompted me to ponder about wither Nigeria with Buhari in the saddle?
The beautiful, brainy, bright, classy Oyinda (as she is fondly called by friends) is the new face of Nigeria’s future. She is a cross between Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria. Her mother is from Gombe State whilst her father is from Ondo State. She is an entrepreneur par excellence who having conquered the male dominated world of Heavy Construction with her company, Still Earth Construction and Realty Limited, has delved into another male oriented space, that of upstream Oil and Gas services, with her exponentially developing company, Tirex Petroleum and Energy Limited. For young entrepreneurs and visionaries like Oyinda, with the background of both local and imperious Ivy League academic credentials that she possesses, the future of Nigeria lies in its cohesiveness and unity, which allows its citizens to enjoy its size and might as its strength, not only in Africa but also globally.
A unified Nigeria is feared by all for the giant leap that its young leaders like, Oyinda in the business world and Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, Burna Boy and Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Wizkid, David Adeleke, Davido, and others in the entertainment industry and Medical Doctor, Dr Onyema Ogbuagu, a leading contributor to the breakthrough in the Pfizer/Biontech COVID-19 vaccine, can deploy in bringing Nigeria to global focus and attention. Similarly, Nigeria can be the subject of dread for the international community, because of what its balkanisation and being split will mean to the world, as there will be large number of displaced persons that would be victims of the tragedy that would unfold, if the country is to break up into small ethnic nationalities that the prophets of doom are foretelling with their drums of war and warmongering.
I soliloquised and thought about how President Buhari and his aides and acolytes seem impervious to the ruination that Nigeria is being propelled headlong into at breakneck speed. Indeed, it seems that they are enjoying the giddy ride, as they justify all the monumental aberration that the Government has foisted on the people in the name of carrying on with Fulani hegemonistic propaganda and mantra. If we continue with this administration’s mad pursuit of imposing one tribe over others, and violently suppressing the yearnings and aspirations of the others, we will soon come to the cataclysmic end. We will all dance and partake in the macabre orgy of wanton destruction and death that will be unleashed on the country and its poor uncomprehending citizens. To me on sober, sombre contemplation and cogitation it seems this doom is what the President and some of the people closest to him wish for and desire. Perhaps there is an element of truth in what I previously considered to be the Niger Republic agenda!
Unfortunately, there seems to be no ambitious or vigorous opposition on ground to stand fast and firm and, insist that the country must return to the basic founding principles of true Federalism, where each Federating unit is free to chart its own course.
The biggest opposition Party, PDP, is already misbehaving like a victim of proper African jazz. It is sad that the Party that should naturally find it easy to pay the APC back with its own poison is talking plenty nonsense. How on earth can PDP leaders that should urgently cash in on the dwindling popularity and fortunes of APC be talking of zoning the 2023 Presidential slot to the North East after eight years of monumental disaster brought upon us by the APC? Sadly, the other younger political parties and politicians are simply not formidable enough, either individually or collectively, to challenge and defeat the status quo. This is my candid view.
My prediction is that Buhari may force Nigeria to break up violently if care is not taken. His I-don’t-care attitude is just extremely dangerous and bodes ill for the country’s future existence.
In case he has not read the communique issued at the end of the Pan-Yorùbá Meeting, on March 17, 2021, at Mapo Hall, Ìbàdàn, Oyo State, I hereby forward it to him in full. I’m yet to see a more powerfully worded summary, from one of the largest Nigeria ethnic nationalities, of the pestilence, superintended by Mr President, that is desperately trying to finally crush and exterminate Nigeria as a nation:
“We, the Yorùbá Leaders of Thought, comprising Ọbas, Chiefs, policy shapers, politicians, technocrats, intelligentsia, security-related groups, and socio-cultural groups, have met and decided for the Greater and Common Good of the Yorùbá, as follows:
1) The Yorùbá are resolute in their determination not to stand idle and watch our space and land desecrated. Only an arsonist allows a fire to burn and destroy. We will not permit strangers to abuse our hospitality and desecrate our hallowed land and our sacred spaces. Indeed, we invoke the ancient maledictions reserved for such malefactors. Our forests need no permission to swallow them.
2) The Yorùbá, are confronted by the realization that we are living in a time of bad metaphors. A time when dogs do not hearken unto the whistle of the hunter and the rivers which have forgotten their sources, still continue to flow. The world is turned inside out, and the socio-political fabric of Nigeria is ripped into shreds. Today in Buhari’s Nigeria, the ship of state has veered dangerously off course, and heads almost irreversibly towards jagged rocks of destruction. Insecurity has reached such an abyss that hundreds of people are kidnapped in broad daylight with impunity.
3) The Yorùbá are convinced that Nigeria is on the verge of a catastrophic calamity, of potentially greater magnitude than either the internecine conflict of 1967 to 1970 or the brazen disenfranchisement of 1993! Nigeria as we know it, has embarked on uncharted seas, with nihilists as crewmen. We are a country divided along distrusting ethnic lines, exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own future, authoritarian by reflex and controlled as a personality cult by a section of the country. The relentless pursuit of power by a group of self-servers, the ruthless cabal that respects neither Equity nor Equality, with an entrenched sense of entitlement, has taken away any sense of belonging to this union, by the Yorùbá. When injustice becomes law, resistance will be a duty!
4) The Yorùbá announce their exhaustion with this Government’s obsession with Lies and Denials of truths and facts. Farmers-Herders clashes are denied despite photographic evidence of massacres and eye-witness reports of mayhem. Terrorists roam the land in the garb of herdsmen, killing, raping, kidnapping and maiming, with little or no reaction from constituted authority. A high-ranking Government official declares that bandits are not criminals.
5) The Yorùbá are perplexed by the fact that the Nigerian state is bombing the Eastern Security Network (ESN). Yet, the same Government is embracing and romancing terrorists. It is now safe to say this is a Government that panders to terrorists, protects terrorists, pays ransoms to terrorists, and prevaricates Terrorism, with absolutely no sanction by the Northern dominated security apparatus of Nigeria. How exactly can such a Government continue to seek the support of the Yorùbá going forward!?!
6) The Yorùbá hereby make known their opposition to Sheikh Gumi’s interaction with these dreaded terrorists. A video circulating on social media that shows the Sheikh trying to divide the Nigerian Army along religious lines is an abominable wake-up call. The Sheikh is guilty of incitement, when he claims that it is Christian soldiers who attack bandits to sow religious tension. To encourage bandits to be selective in their reprisal attacks and avoid women and children is tantamount to aiding and abetting Terrorism and sabotage. The Sheikh has forgotten that thousands of Christian soldiers have lost their lives battling Boko Haram and other Terrorists. The Nigerian Military is one of the few institutions that have resisted division along religious lines. By condoning Sheikh Gumi’s felonious pronouncements, the Government is allowing him to fan the embers of crisis, while hiding under the cloak of mediation.
7) The Yorùbá are convinced that the North is already at war with itself. Rather than face that situation squarely, the Northern-controlled Federal Government keeps trying to divert attention by teasing out conflicts in some areas and exporting crisis to other locations. The Yorùbá call it, “da bi mo se da”. It will not work. The Yorùbá will not swallow the bait and allow our hard-won inheritance to be consumed in the consequent conflagration.
Cognizant of the foregoing, it has become imperative that the territory that was known as Western Region under the 1963 Constitution, along with other peoples having affinities with the Yoruba Nation in Edo, Delta, Kogi and Kwara be organised in pursuit of our political identity and socio-economic welfare of all. Notwithstanding any politically correct labels, our quest is to think through and fashion out the pathway for the progress of our peoples at the homeland and across the world.
The Yorùbá hereby resolve as follows:
i) The Yorùbá have decided to embark on a venture of massive resistance to the issue of insecurity. Àmòtékún and other support systems, fully incorporating both Traditional and Modern security measures and systems have been integrated to form the South West Security and Stakeholders Group (SWSSG) which is presented to the Yorùbá and the world today. The role of SWSSG is the protection of our patrimony, our physical and human assets, our forests and our intangible legacies which have been inviolate and inviolable for over a millennium.
ii) The forests of the Yorùbá are sacred, untouchable, and out-of-bounds to terrorists. May the curses of all our forefathers hold to account all who attempt to cede even one inch of our forests to any ranch or settlement for the use of foreigners, despoilers, ruiners, ravagers and desecraters of our forests. Our forests house our spirituality, our Essence. Our Egungun, our Oro, our spirit, our food security, our culture, our Being!
iii) The Yorùbá distance themselves from the oft-repeated untruth that “Nigeria’s unity is non-negotiable”. This is nothing but a falsehood. Be it known, now and ever — “The unity of Nigeria is highly negotiable!” If we cannot be happy together, then let us find peace and joy, apart. Nigeria can only remain Nigeria if all parties agree to deal equitably with each other.
iv) The Yorùbá are resolute in their fierce determination to pursue vigorously our own chosen destiny to be FREE men and women, and never to be 2nd class citizens in our own land and space…”
A big thanks to my childhood friend, MOGAJI GBOYEGA ADEJUMO for this wonderful rendition of what is heartfelt by many diverse nationalities in Nigeria. He may have been speaking on behalf of any one of them.
This course, presently being pursued by President Buhari and his cronies, may well be a blessing in disguise because it is forcing leaders of thought, different from politicians, to stake their claim to this country and say it will not be destroyed by the pervasive insanity that appears to have afflicted a few people. Instead, there will be orderliness and method to how Nigeria survives as a fair organised and structured society or how it is dismembered into separate smaller but viable recognisable nations.
It is left to the President to decide which way the die will be cast and what his legacy will be, survival or ruin, continuation or cessation! God bless Nigeria always!!