Re: Sowore, Alaafin Aole and Murder In Wukari

As I flipped through the pages of Daily Asset Newspaper of Wednesday, August 14, 2091, I stumbled on an opinion piece written by Festus Adedayo, and titled: Sowore, Alaafin Aole and Murder in Wukari. And it is the first of its kind from him that I’ve read, I must confess.

It took me a while to come to term with writing this rejoinder and that explains why it is coming late. But like they use to say, it is better late than never.

I must also confess that the article was an interesting read from the start to finish more for the reasons of lessons the briefly rendered Yoruba history, even though it is a misplaced anchor for the entire write-up with a special emphasis on the Oyo Empire and a handful of the Alaafins whose reigns were marked, like Yoruba would say literally, either by years of surplus or lack than for the unbiased appraisal of national issues covered which is necessary at a time like this.

Of course, he strikes a chord of sensibility in one or two instances, but overall, the article for me is no more than a fulsome howl from a man suffering from a rabid hatred for the person of President Muhammadu Buhari.  

For how can a man with such intellectualism goes through an assignment as to score Mr President’s performance so far in office and considering the decay by the decades the country has been through, even if he was his student, and concludes that he was not deserving of any mark.

If he is not, to borrow the word of Joe Igbokwe, from the pit of hell, I don’t where else such a damnable character could have existed up till this moment who he did not see anyone good thing from the Buhari’s presidency.

Take, for example, his claims that no former Nigeria’s leader reign has been enveloped by violence, chaos and gross disaffection of the three regions like Muhammadu Buhari. By three regions, it is easy to conclude he was referring to South-south, South-east, and South-west.

To put the record straight, violence and chaos are not restricted to these three regions. If anything, it was a national nightmare and long predicted by visionary developmental economists who have monitored the mismanagement of the nation’s resources by successive administrations.

There is an ongoing war against the insurgents in the North-east which has its roots some ten or so years ago. Before then we had militancy and Kidnapping in the South-south which today has snowballed into a tempting industry of sort for an army of unemployed youths across the length and breadth of the country.

In the North-west and North-central, there were flares of criminality in the forms of banditry and cattle rustling.  They have been there but were recently spiked as the war on insurgents hot-up perhaps as the blood-thirsty insurgents got decimated and are running for their lives and alternative sources of livelihood.

As for the incident of disaffection coming from the South-south and South-east, it is understandable. The two regions are the stronghold of the opposition in Nigeria’s present political mapping whose ambition of unseating the President hits the rocks as soon as it was conceived.

This and many more acts of brigandage all around the country is also as a result of political class unpreparedness to concede defeat in the keenly contested general elections of 2019.

I’m particularly not impressed or swayed by his admittance of the universality  of gun-related violence or violence for short citing the example of the United State of America which has been battling to curtail it.

The aspect that gives me concerns the most was his conclusions that President Buhari has been doing nothing about it unlike the western democracies and their establishments which he claimed would acknowledge the problem and are also doing something to prevent it.

Agreed that this is so, how come the problem has not disappeared. Rather it has continued to escalate say for instance in a place like the United States where gun-related crimes have not only been on a sharp increase but have been there.

Now to the condemnable killing along Ibi-Wukari road in Taraba of three top police officers who were on a covert operation to arrest a notorious kidnap kingpin Hamisu Wudume, by soldiers from 93 battalions, the president as the commander-in-chief, in addition to immediately calling a meeting of the security chiefs, also ordered that an investigative panel be constituted inline with best practices obtained elsewhere to look into what transpired.

However, it seems people like Adedayo are not satisfied. The fact that the panel was even headed by the defence chief Gen Gabriel Olanisakin, amounted to the Nigeria Army being a judge in their own case.

Perhaps he would’ve loved to see the President himself stepped into the fray directly to prove a point of seriousness the incident deserved.  

Unlike Mr Adedayo, I’m not here to join issues or take side with any of the parties involved. Rather I will wait for the panel to conclude its mandate. Then we can take it up from there.

Now to the scam artist who cloaked himself in the garb of a revolutionary, Sowore. The position of Mr Adedayo on the matter is not only laughable but questionable.

To him, Sowore is a rights activist and his harangue in the hands of the relevant security agencies is a needless one. His call for revolution, he continued, is not new and that the same is virtually echoed in the marketplaces, homes, mechanic workshops, and offices across the country.

Nothing can be more condescendingly low than the way the writer compared the talk in beer parlours and all such informal settings about the possibility or otherwise of a revolution in Nigeria to the one Sowore was reportedly planning.

His suggested modus operandi to the DSS would’ve been to merely remind Sowore that revolution is a swansong that’s today sang in every nooks and cranny of the country. 

But people of Adedayo’s ilk would’ve turned around to mock the government if indeed it took chances with Sowore and his brigand cohorts. Instead for those masquerading as opposition to call a spade a spade they are busy siding with old and new lawless elements to wreck havocs in different parts of the country.  

Adedayo sounds more like an agent of darkness to have likened the Sowore’s arrest by the security service as an act of Hitlerian tyranny and an ultimate chronicle of a government that has a natural hatred for freedom of expression.

I still wonder how he didn’t realize that his description of Buhari as a president who isn’t bothered or cannot be bothered by happenings in the country whether it is one of the mutual suspicions, killings, needless divisions and ranked hatred is a fallacious inference.

The president from all indications is doing everything humanly possible to counter the conspiracies and plots of the average Nigerian politician who thrives on the politics of bitterness, who only sees the system as good if he wins an election and bad if he doesn’t.  

Only the blind or mischievous analysts would deny that the president ascendancy came at a time the country economic fortunes was on a downward slide. And his occasional references to it may appear to be a deliberate exercise in finding an excuse. But even in the midst of lean resources the country no doubt has made appreciable progress in all areas however difficult it may be for people to see it.

Agreed that there are Opalabas (broken bottles) along the path of Buhari’s presidency, but to say he’s got a penchant for hitting his foot against the stone is not only spurious but would indicate that he prefers living in pain than in painlessness. Only the insane does that. And I’m quite sure Muhammadu Buhari is not insane.

And contrary to the warped narratives of hopelessness, misery, and doomsday scenarios Festus Adedayo wants to push, Buhari will go on to be like the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who led Britain during one of its most difficult existential period.

Her present challenges notwithstanding, Nigeria will be great and prosperous and the rats will squeak as they should and the birds tweeter in their known voices.   

PS: Now I understand why his appointment as a chief press officer to the senate president was opposed by many party loyalists. And by the way, like I said in a related article some time ago, I don't see how someone will be criticizing a government and still want to join same. If what I saw in the article to which I've responded to is how he has been writing about the government then it is a case of not being true to what he was preaching. And that's most unfortunate.  

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