Of Tyrants, Martyrs, And Heroes (Part 2) – Femi Fani-Kayode Writes
It is with the foregoing in mind that we must examine and critically analyse the performance of the Buhari administration. I have nothing personally against President Muhammadu Buhari and, as he knows, I have the utmost respect for his office.
Yet, like Oliver Cromwell and Sir Thomas More, despite the sign of the times and the hazards and perils of standing against injustice and tyranny, we must rid ourselves of our fears and speak the bitter truth. And that truth is as follows.
The more our government persecutes its perceived enemies, the more they are sowing the seeds of disintegration in our country. The more they oppress and attempt to intimidate those they seek to silence and subjugate, the more they engender anger, rebellion, alienation, enmity and division.
Nobody wishes to be part of a country in which apartheid, genocide, ethnic cleansing, islamisation, state-sponsored terror, religious bigotry and the selective application of justice is alive and well. Nobody wishes to be part of a contraption which seeks to empower and strengthen a tiny minority and which seeks to impoverish and enslave a pliant and docile majority.
If you want a country to remain united you do not go out of your way to kill, destroy, intimidate and tell lies about those that oppose you, that criticize you and that are not in your political party.
You do not attempt to relegate Christianity into being regarded as a weak, inconsequential and second rate faith. You do not burn the cross and attempt to shame our faith. You do not drag our nation into a military coalition of Sunni Muslim countries. You do not refer to concerned Christians as “religious bigots”.
If you want your country to remain together you do not get into bed with the Jihadists. You do not refuse to condemn the heinous activities of your kinsmen, the Fulani militants and herdsmen.
You do not tolerate the banning of preaching in public places, the banning of all-night prayers or the licensing and pulling down of churches anywhere in the country.
You do not condemn the bombing in Brussels and remain silent about the massacre in Agatu, the slaughter of the Igbo in the east and the mass murder of the Shia in Zaria. You do not behave like the King of the North and instead you conduct yourself like the President of Nigeria.
If you want your country to remain together you do not try to convict and jail your opponents for no just cause or attempt to silence them with sensational, salacious and baseless allegations and lies.
You do not use the security agencies to insult and threaten them on a daily basis and attempt to demonize them with half truths and mendacity before the entire world.
You do not impoverish the people with half-baked and ill-conceived economic and fiscal policies which have resulted in untold hardship, an unprecedented economic recession, high food and fuel prices, endless fuel queues, high electricity tariffs, the exile of the U.S. dollar, the unofficial devaluation of the naira, high unemployment and the lowest generation of electrical power since 1999.
You do not tell your people that you are ”not a magician” and that they have to live with the debilitating and traumatic fuel queues up until May.
You do not tell the Nigerian people to hold the vandals that are sabotaging our pipelines responsible for the lack of electricity that we are suffering and the perpetual darkness that we have found ourselves in. You do not throw 76 hardworking farmers in police cells in Enugu simply because they attempted to defend their wives, children and farms from the rampaging, lustful and bloodthirsty clutches of the Fulani militants and herdsmen.
If you want your country to remain together you do not tell your people that you will import Brazilian grass and establish grazing lands and settlements for Fulani herdsmen in the south.
You do not say that as a testimony of your so-called ”monumental efforts” to save the nation and as part of your contribution to national and international development our country will start producing toothpicks in 2018.
You do not say that we will send a man into space in 2030 when we can’t even produce enough petrol and refined products to fuel our cars and meet our local needs in 2016.
If you want your country to remain together you do not implement an economic policy that is nonsensical, counter-productive and irrational, that drives away foreign and local investment, that has killed the manufacturing and industrial sector, that has crippled farmers and the agricultural sector and that has turned us into a nation of poverty-stricken paupers and destitute beggars.
You do not implement a foreign policy that has turned us into the joke of the African continent, the laughing stock of the civilized world and the lackey of the Arab world.
You do not use your Armed Forces to intimidate your people or your AK-47-wielding ethnic militias to kill, crush and terrorize those that you consider to be subhuman slaves and second class citizens.
You do not attempt to break the spirit of those that refuse to worship you and bow down before you with brutal aggression and naked intimidation.
If you want your country to remain together you do not demonise President Goodluck Jonathan and leading members of the PDP and attempt to break them, humiliate them and destroy their legacy.
You do not lock up Col. Sambo Dasuki and Mr. Nnamdi Kanu indefinately, ignore court orders that have ordered their release and throw away the keys of their dungeons and cells.
You do not provoke God by using the machinery of state to ruin the name and annihilate the families, homes and lives of those that you hate and those that oppose you even though you know that they are innocent of any wrongdoing.
You do not denigrate and unleash your thugs on the people of the Niger Delta and you do not attempt to turn Nigeria into Africa’s North Korea.
These things that you insist on doing do not breed love, peace, joy, hope and unity: they breed hate. They also breed bitterness, defiance, suspicion, fear and rage and ultimately they will result in civil unrest and a bitter and prolonged conflict.
I do not believe in violence and neither do I call for or support the idea of an armed struggle. I am a man of peace and like Sir Winston Churchill, the United Kingdom’s greatest Prime Minister, once said I believe “jaw jaw is better than war war”. I do not subscribe to the logic of force and instead I believe in the force of logic.
However when a people are pushed up against a wall and when a government has as its primary objective the silencing and cowering of the opposition and the destruction and humiliation of leading opposition figures, things begin to change very quickly.
When dreams are shattered, when hearts are broken, when children weep, when widows mourn, when tempers flair, when hearts harden and when blood boils, the center cannot hold and things fall apart.
When men cry through the night for the future of their nation and when women wail in despair because there is no hope for their children, the center cannot hold and things fall apart.
Where the voice of reason is drowned, when lawful opposition is reigned in, when peaceful dissent is silenced and when the fury of violence becomes inevitable, the center cannot hold and things fall apart.
History proves that those angry young men and women that do not believe that they have a future in a united Nigeria and that do not share or care for our disposition for peaceful dialogue will eventually say “enough is enough” and rise up like an all-powerful, angry and erupting volcano.
They will push the rational and reasonable aside and they will pick up their weapons of war in a desperate attempt to break the yoke of slavery and liberate themselves from the bondage of servitude.
Let us pray that it never comes to that. Let us trust God that restraint and good reason will prevail. Let us hope that we settle our differences in a peaceful manner.
Let us pray that those that hold the reigns of power today will eventually change their ways. Let us hope that they remember that they will not be there forever.