By Jude Eze
On February 02, 1602, when the global icon of English literature, playwright and poet — William Shakespeare published one of his major signature drama books, he was caught in a logjam of ideas, as to what could fit its title. But his genius quickly overran his confusion, and he named the book “Twelfth Night Or What You Will.”
It is becoming difficult to isolate a single topic of interest for discourses in present day Nigeria. Before one could conclude one’s essay on a particular subject, multiple fresh developments have erupted on the same subject, that not just invalidate but also antiquate one’s earlier conclusion. And thus one will be left with the option of either deleting/rephrasing, or missing out totally on syntactic coherence.
It is worrisome how fast things occur these days in our sociopolitical milieu, and how monstrous those happenstance are, as they portend unpalatable future for a country like ours in desperate need of transformation. So, as I found myself in stalemate of what should be a suitable theme for this week’s musing, amidst forest of countless incidents deserving attention, I borrowed from the English literary giant, to title it: “Nigeria’s dilemmas or what you will…”
Which one should we discuss at the expense of the other? Is it the PDP internal discordance that has set them on autolysis, and which inadvertently sends a wrong signal to Nigerians that they should expect another messiah (LK 7:20)? Or the APC’s chronic delusional disorder on the steering wheel of governance? Because while the former continues in its identity crisis, adorning its long-expired ruling party tunics, and in customary plebification, ready to give its presidential ticket to the highest bidder, the latter glued to its reliquial garb of opposition pressure group unsure of its flag bearer as at press time.
Shall we concentrate on Peter Obi’s trending popularity among the electorate that is turning into a crusade of cult followership, and how his recent resignation from PDP, the party he joined after leaving office as governor in 2014, having discovered that they’re strange bed fellows is changing the narrative in national politicking? In the open-secret gang up against him by emperors of the party, we saw a practical demonstration of what the fiery 20th Century Catholic Archbishop of Florida, and Tele-evangelist, Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, meant in his autobiography titled “Treasure in a Clay” when he said that “chastity scandalises harlots.” Obi’s preachment on purposeful leadership and moral probity scandalizes the party cabals, and it forced him to join Labour party. Ike Abonyi who has been spokesperson to two past national chairmen of the party, having seen the rot in the current configuration of the party wrote that the difference between PDP and APC is the distinction between six and half dozen.
Shall we dwell on shambles of their primary elections and forget the endemic tragedies in South-East which vindicated our submission here last week that socio-political extremism prevalent in the zone is by far worse than socio-religious ones subsisting in the North? Just as we tried hard to take chill pills, and pretend that nothing happened after gunmen whom our security agencies prefer to call “unknown” kidnapped, and beheaded Hon. Okechukwu Okoye, of the Anambra state House of Assembly, a certain Harira (Fatima), an innocent woman from the North was mauled down along with her four kids. Many Igbos who condemned the killing of Miss Deborah Samuel few weeks ago in Sokoto, hypocritically maintained sealed lips on the incident.
How can one justly make commentating outing without stopping by, to weep for a moment, for a country whose government is under constant threats from bandits who abducted her citizens in a mass transit train two months back, and had sent an ultimatum to execute the victims, should government further delay in paying the ransom.
Or should we sweep it under the carpet, that barely four days after the Catholic Bishop of Gboko diocese sanctioned Rev. Fr. Hyacinth Iormem Alia for joining partisan politics, purchasing APC Guber form in Benue, which breaches section 285.3 of the revised Code of Canon Law “(clerics are forbidden to assume public offices which entail a participation in the exercise of civil power,)” the controversial spiritual director of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka has sent another signal, unbecoming of his clerical state, from the sanctuary, that “one of his sons will be the governor of Enugu state.” It shows that Bishop William Avenya, of Gboko is everything Bishop Calistus Onaga of Enugu is not, in terms of presbyterial administrative competence. Fr. Alia who has won the primaries, is following the footsteps of Late Rev. Fr. Moses Adasu who disobeyed all wise counsels and joined partisan politics, and was elected Governor of Benue state on January 2, 1992.
Can we be guiltless if we refuse to highlight the culpability of FG which, for long had slammed terrorism charges against Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho, and Omoyele Sowore while the Attorney General of the Federation threw the list of Boko Haram sponsors allegedly released by UAE authorities under the table?
And before you could spell “jack,” Rochas Okorocha’s house was ransacked, and the Senator, arrested in gestapo style by those who are supposed to be law enforcement agents. The Buhari-led administration has vehemently refused to be civil in dealing with perceived enemies whether real or imaginary. We must prepare a lot of answers for our children when they pose questions of why our constitution presumes an accused person innocent, yet we treat him as convict.”
Our attention can be on 2023, in a forced pretence that we must not remember the situational irony, in which Kano state Commissioner of police, as well as the Executive Secretary of the state emergency management agency had struggled through their noses to force it down our throats that the explosion which got many school pupils wounded and clothed in bloods was not a bomb but mere gas explosion from a nearby welder’s shop, which itself was unharmed.
Within the same week, Prof. Soludo left Anambra state to Abuja to visit Nnandi Kanu in custody. And for evidence, he took pictures of himself and the leader of IPOB. Reacting to it, some factions of IPOB claimed the man in the picture is not Nnamdi Kanu. They said it’s another man wearing a mask. They went ahead to point out that FG is trying to kill Nnamdi Kanu and release a cloned version of him to the unsuspecting public.
What a smart act of vigilance from IPOB!
Those praying for a quick release of Kanu, believe that once he’s out of custody, he would effectively harmonize the activities of various factions of IPOB. But the implication of the “forensic” analysis of the pictures of Kanu we saw is that if Nnamdi Kanu is to be released today, his first major challenge is to prove to all his followers that he’s not a clone. What if he fails to prove it to all of them?
Kanu didn’t know that the cloning narrative he foisted on the person of President Muhammadu Buhari since 2017 when he underwent prolonged medicare in London would boomerang on his person so soon.
Once again, Nigeria’s dilemmas or what you will…
Jude Eze, a public affairs analyst can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org