Just Before We Run Out of Patience


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Grilling. Appalling. Night came so hot. Morning came so cold. The crashes. The bombs. Gun boom. Blood everywhere, even on the holy pulpit. The mood of the nation is now filthy. Intemperance of murky definition is abound. Colourful things are happening which stretch the boundary between reality and fiction to its elastic limits. Mayhem is unfolding in the old empire. Insurgents in the North are dramatically raising the stakes; so blood is over spilling. The north had become ominously sullen, the kind of sullenness presaging desperation. The entire south is in noisy ferment of cheat.

Every attempt to rejoice over a quick win has always been decimated by the mindless killers of our national bond. We run the risk of travelling a long distance of optimism with the pace at which we are resolving our national confusion. As we trundle along this path, we are dissipating our patience inventory and when we run out of stock, we will move the mercenaries of our frustration to the altar of governance – the streets.

Just Before We Run Out of Patience.

IDPs in Gombe now in a feverish search of their souls. Borno remains the cemetery of its citizens. Yobe’s people are roasting in flame. Plateau is leading the league of abattoirs. Kano’s fate dangles freely in fear. The other time, Buhari put our security in the hands of God, invariably diminishing the essence of state protection. Like we would say in one of our childhood follies when we ‘use God to man our post’ in a five-aside soccer play – what a pure gamble of fate!

The Nigerian project has reached a critical brink of failure. The nation has become a helpless pawn in a play of giants. Even the fabled cat has a finite existence. The land is cursed with fuming blood. Dead bodies littering ruined churches and mosques. While this gang rape of innocent souls continues, we are continually treated to feast of sacks without a meaningful feast of decimation of our collective adversaries threatening our continued existence as a people who once shed tears for change.

Just Before We Run Out of Patience.

A new type of conflict, the first truly national war – for want of a better term – is beginning to envelope the entire country. Unlike the old type of warfare, this one is a war without defined battlefields or recognised combatants. The country is one vast battlefield and everyone is a potential casualty. Mufti is often the uniform and there are no bugles heralding different armies or flags announcing regional divisions. So everywhere you go, you just invite God to man your post and thrash state protection.

We have on our hands a situation in which the middle ground has been obliterated. In sane and ordered societies, when you are confronted by two mutually exclusive extremes and extremities, you go for the golden mean which combines the strongest attributes of both. But the post-colonial Nigeria is not a place of sanity and order.

Just Before We Run Out of Patience.

President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) needs to know that we need a genuine national consensus, not the cocktail of contradictions that borne the Jonathan presidency aloft and shipwrecked it. It requires a sober rectitude, tactical astuteness and strategic brilliance to plot one’s way out of conflicting passions. Talk of a converted democrat in PMB who still wants to bully corruption to a standstill without some jives of dictatorial tendencies. But for a man who has found himself in a great foxhole, bequeathed to him by a set of mindless opportunists, Buhari shouldn’t dig much into unforced errors with frenetic fury.

In its classical incarnation, the state was the most powerful embodiment of national aspirations surfeit with mystical notions as the ultimate guarantor and protector of the sacred destiny of the people and the society. This is true of any pre-colonial society. The template of nation-state like Nigeria has the capacity to politically transform serfs and slaves into citizens.

The right and claims of kings to divine heritage and lineage are curtailed by the rights and claims of citizens to elect their own sovereign and to replace them at will in periodic elections.

This should be a drumbeat of warning to the lanky former General. When do we stop dancing to the music of bomb?

By Jonah Ayodele Obajeun:

He is an Associate Fellow of Nigeria Leadership Initiative and
usually blogs at www.obajeun.com. He can be reached on
twitter via @Obajeun.

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