Remembering Gani Fawehinmi: 10 Years on


Remembering Gani Fawehinmi: 10 Years on

By Taju Tijani

ARRRGH…..what a remembrance! Ten years ago, the icy cold hands of death snatched Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi away from under our watchful nose. His warrior bow was unstrung by the Almighty God who called him home to a final resting place away from the ding-dong double wahala of his iconic search for a just Nigeria. What a monumental waste of a precious soul. His death has proved the mortality gene of all living humanity.

Ten years ago, Gani – as he was fondly called – was freed from the chains thrust on him by destiny. The old DSS routine interrogations for his activist role are no more. The nightly rumination on which way Nigeria was going has come to an end. The humble tears he shed for a drifting Nigeria was dried forever. No more foamy, fulminating harangues against unjust laws and state injustice.

As the remembrance of his legacies pierce us with grief; as his good deeds leave us with gnawing pain, as we stare at death, the inevitable apparition appointed for all the living, suddenly it dawn on me that after all Gani is now a free man. He would no longer weep for Nigeria. He would no longer trouble his restless soul for the grieving souls of the poor he defended until death. His rancorous moral churning within at the humiliation of a potentially great nation has stopped. Gani could no longer be blackened by the African sun. Death has quenched our hunger for more of Gani. His teeming, loving audience could no longer shout for more. His show came to an end on 5th September 2009. The admiral has sailed away into the unknown.

Though Gani died some ten years ago, his show has to go on. Personally, Gani’s death was more vexing than painful. Vexing because nobody foresaw an early death for this legal icon. Vexing because pedestrian public advocacy for the betterment of the bottom-mired Nigerians died and was buried with him. Vexing because since Gani’s death nobody has stepped in line to wear his lionised crown. The legal savannah has lost its own warrior king. Where is the regent who could fit into the mantle of Gani – our philosopher king? Gani, to borrow a popular British phrase, was the diamond geezer.

Gani was the leader’s leader. He was the man who was quick to step out of line. The man who undertook bold, new things with bottomless energy, innovation, creativity, and sheer courage. Gani was the man who brought humanistic renditions to the learned vocation of law in order to elucidate, educate, enlighten, civilize and encourage the sanctity of our questing spirit for the progress of our nascent democracy and freedom. This month, we remember Gani as the neoconservative lawman who initiated action-oriented campaigns against the state to enthrone measured blend of justice, equality and liberty for all.

He could not stand still and watch oppression ravaged the land. Gani was the man who laughed at death and was afraid of nothing. He did not shy away from the baying death of the soldier’s bayonet. He did not believe in the cautious, timid, cumulative process of social engineering. Rather, Gani spoke truth to power and brought disrupting incursions into the silent tyranny that characterised Nigerian military regimes. Chief Mike Ozekhome calibrated this sentiment when he aptly said: “He fought the military intellectually with superior logic and reasoning because he was an intellectual giant in his own right, he was a deep seated researcher, he was an archivist, he was a philosopher, a great historian, he was even literary and poetic in many of his expressions, he was pugilistic in fighting the ills of the society and Gani was a terror and the ultimate nemesis of dictatorship and tyranny. So the fear of Gani during the military era was the beginning of wisdom.”

Malam Balarabe Musa, one time Governor of Kaduna State once remarked that Gani was “a frontiersman, indefatigable in his struggle, energetic in the pursuit of his objectives, and compassionate in his commitments; Chief Fawehinmi was everyone’s quintessential lawyer, political activist and human rights advocate.”

Again, ten years after his death, who will wear the mantle of this awesome man of action especially in this era of President Mohammadu Buhari’s dark chapter of repression of dissent and anti-democratic tendencies? Who, in a nation of 200 million people, will rediscover his fighting spirit, a cause, and like Gani, bring renewal, accountability, justice and fairness to bear on our failing social democracy? Gani lived and left a memory that resonated in our hearts and minds regardless of class, tribe and political affiliations or hegemony. Abami eda, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti was another fearless, fiery and provocative genius who, since death, a replacement could not be found.

This month, we mourn the passing away of a great Nigerian. Today, we mourn the loss of one of our brightest legal jewels. Today, this column celebrates the heroic, heady and tireless activism of Chief Ganiyu Oyesola Fawehinmi. However, beyond the facile symbolism of a cenotaph at Ojota and the renaming of streets after his good name, legal minds in particular and younger generations in general must embrace his legacy of shining courage, personal sacrifice, implacability, stoic consistency and heroic tenacity.

Yes, beyond our yearly celebrations of his life couched in cannonade of praises, there must be a resurgent spirit of timeless activism against elitist hegemony that underwrites our unending poverty, unemployment, tyranny, repression, inequality, hyper corruption, bastardization of our institutions and moral paralysis.

Today, we celebrate Gani, a man who, in 40 years, had marched, testified, went to countless jails, written, orated, debated, petitioned, proselytized and committed repeated acts of civil disobedience in order to keep successive governments on their toes.

Gani came and had his finest moments in our law courts. How many of our younger generation lawyers are ready to follow his carbon footprint? Thank you Gani for touching our lives. Continue to rest in peace. Goodnight all over again.

Tajutijani@hotmail.com

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Afro-phobia: Defying South Africa, Nigerian geniuses and scammers By Taju Tijani


Tongues are clattering. Tails are wagging.  Adrenalin rage is on the boiling point. A ground swell of rising tide of negative opinion is bitterly working against Nigerians from Andalusia to Zimbabwe.  And that is for real!! Arguably, today, diaspora Nigerians are the most endangered species on this planet.  Simply put, all eyes are on Nigerians and there is a mysterious global coalition of hostility, suspicion, aggression, and red hot hatred against us. This neurosis of deadpan universal enmity against Nigerians has calcified over time to morph into an ongoing hubris of unrestrained murder, harassment and wanton destruction of properties of Nigerians especially those in the diaspora of ahistorical and forgetting South Africa and its neighbouring countries.  

 

This prehensile hostility; this monstrous rejection, this cold relationship, this generational antagonism, this demonic afro-phobia, this endless hatred, this unrelenting worldwide xenophobia against Nigeria and Nigerians should be seen from two prisms. First, self-inflicted. Secondly, the entrenched hatred epitomises the unhidden and virulent jealousy of Nigerians for their abrasiveness, ability, arrogance, confidence, creativity, high intelligence, panache, perseverance, radiance, visibility and their inimitable achievements in all human endeavours worldwide. Nigerians are over-endowed with these shining attributes and anywhere they go they wear some of these enviable characteristics on their faces. Now let us unbundle that rare humanity called Nigerian. 

 

Nigerians are born into wealth. Their nation has overabundance supply of black gold – crude oil. Nigerians are mysteriously a prideful race whether rich or poor. There is something elegant about Nigerians. Whether in freedom, or in chain, we are quite elegant people.  We are the chosen African race. We have abundant natural resources. We breed like philandering rabbits and populate our space with more children. Our unverified population today is knocking 200 million heaving humanity of black faces. Even albinos!!! Whether to celebrate or cry over the nocturnal over time we spent in copulating with our women, I do not know.

 

However, Nigeria is a self-harming nation. It has inflicted so many wounds on its dignity, honour and pride so much that we are now seeing the negative harvest in the ongoing annus horribilis unfolding locally and internationally. When Donald Trump called Nigeria a shithole, we recoiled in mad rage and defend our nation with blind emotional patriotism. Is Trump a truth teller, alarmist or plainly racist in his unflattering description of Nigeria or not?

Let us be honest, Trump is………………….  Yes, you can fill the gap.

 

All the global insult, rage, dehumanising treatment, rejection and both the afro-phobia and xenophobia against Nigeria is self-inflicted. When Nigeria, a towering giant, becomes a Lilliputian, the right to respect, honour and adulation is lost forever. When a supposedly intelligent people could only manage to create a chaotic, poor, and dysfunctional society, the world will mock that intelligence and reclassify us a laughably stupid people. If a Nigeria that is meant to be seen as a rich nation has been relegated and pulverised into the deepest end of poverty for the majority of its citizens, the world will treat every absconding economic migrant with hostility, brutality and rejection. Our brutal treatment in the hands of afro-phobic South Africans and our mistreatment in the hands of white racists of Europe and America is self-inflicted. We are meant to live like kings and princes. We are meant to be a shining nation of pride for the black race. We are meant to be a marker for excellence, wealth, orderliness and true peace and prosperity but we are the antithesis of these redeeming virtues.

 

We self-harmed ourselves by our greed, selfishness, warped sense of patriotism, ostentatious lifestyles, wobbly judiciary system, executive excesses, lack of visionary leadership, non-accountability of state looting, too much protection of elites from prosecution, suppression of dissent, suppression of the poor through armed coercion, lack of introspection, tribal impunity, do-or-die politics of cabalism, incompetency and inability to create a functioning society of equity, justice, prosperity, peace, harmony and fair distribution of wealth. Also is the moral decay of any sense of shame among corrupt politicians.

 

This is the siren we beam across the world. This is what the whole world currently know about Nigeria. This is the carrion we daily feed the world and like hungry lions, they are feasting on all our aberrations and damning us with various stereotypes that accord with their fancies.  Nigeria, by its bad gene and bad behaviour and attitude, has shamelessly continued to prompt the racist trope that Africans are naturally prone to chaos, stealing, corruption, venality and mismanagement. So when the Chinese, Ghanaians, Indonesians, Libyans, Malaysians, Moroccans, Saudis and South Africans treat us like animals and with the vilest of savagery, they are responding to what we project to the outside world – a chaotic, dysfunctional, poor, corrupt, inept and clueless nation pretending to be rich, big and smart but very inconsequential socially, morally, economically and politically.

 

Our new status as a poor country has decapitated our once thunderous voice as Africa’s leading nation. Our poverty and corruption have shrunk our moral voice across the African continent and the world. So whatever we are now reaping from Andalucía to Zimbabwe was what we have sown inside Nigeria’s 59 years of disastrous political and economic experimentation. South Africa’s brutal manhandling of Nigerians is made possible because the South African nation knows our leaders are stone cold, deaf and dumb and will do nothing. We are now a powerless nation – we lost our power to inept and indecisive leadership. We live in a failed state of our own making. Thank God for the Nigerian students and ordinary people who rose up to say enough is enough, Nigeria would have turned yet another humiliating cheek and look the other way and allowed a documented savagery of 11 years against Nigerians go unchallenged. This is one crux of the matter – we are the architects of our own misfortune.

 

On the other hand, we draw hatred and hostility globally by that strange mix of nobility and villain in every Nigerian. In the diaspora of Africa, Europe and America, Nigerians are the leaders in any index of achievement.  We are Africa’s geniuses and its enviable over-achievers. In medicine, law, academia, civil service, business, pastoral ministration, restaurant and creative industry, Nigerians are massively well represented in the diaspora. Once a Nigerian leaves that limiting and creativity-suffocating space called Nigeria, the Nigerian spirit in the diaspora will hunt down all attainable honours. Globally, our achievements, laurels and successes become instant source of enraging envy and mad jealousy. Worse, we announce our presence with loud siren of big cars, big homes, big talk and Gucci wears. Nigerians with foreign passports want to act more American and European than the American and European owners of such passports. There is no room for any subdued pretence and humility with the humanity called Nigerian. These set of Nigerian achievers are the nobilities by any standard and deserve our respect and pride if we can overlook their loutish and arrogant carriage in any gathering.

 

We equally have the villains. The mad, bad, rebellious and utterly desperate Nigerians who daily walk a tight rope of crime, fraud and drug peddling abroad. US recently closed down a $64million dollar cyber scam – an audacious heist run by Nigerians. UK also is littered with Nigerian fraudsters from pastors to lay men.

Nigerian crime is becoming the normative paradigm of media consumption where editors are too glad to ridicule our reputation before an audience that is forever sceptical of our questionable wealth and braggadocio.

Law enforcements in the diaspora have all reached frustration point at the consistency of Nigeria’s crime – an aberration that is fast ossifying any grace and respect we have left.  Each scam is finding ready persuasion in the imagination of the scammer – he must build a big house, have fleet of big cars back home in a Nigerian society of clamorous egotism that demands us to be successful at all costs. Our politicians contribute immensely to this bad behaviour. Our politicians live like rock stars – massive homes, massive salaries, stupendous privileges, endless flow of champagne and private jets. Davido, WizKid, Olamide, Alhaji Teckno, Kunle Gold, Nollywood and Yorubahood stars all operate from the same script and sing the praises of money and more money. Either by crook or hook you are meant to be rich in that torn and conflicted society called Nigeria. So these set of Nigerians are victims of the lying language of money and will do anything to get rich or go to jail or die trying.

 

In conclusion, all hands must be on deck to save the image of Nigeria and Nigerians. The South African afro-phobia is a seismic moment to look inward and dredge the depth of hatred, hostility and rejection Nigerians naturally draw in the diaspora. Nigeria phobia is turning into a neurosis in the global space. Our politicians must be exemplars of financial, social, moral and political integrity. Nigerians of whatever variant – nobility or villain – are products of their social conditioning. It is time to be good ambassadors of decorum, dignity, humility, integrity, social grace, temperate and law abiding citizens anywhere we take the Nigerian spirit to, be it Johannesburg, Accra, Abidjan, Banjul, Berlin, Dubai, London, New York, Paris, Rome and Rio.

 

tajutijani@hotmail.com

 

IPOB: Perpetual war for Biafran homeland


IPOB: Perpetual war for Biafran homeland

By Taju Tijani

The Indigenous People of Biafra, popularly known as IPOB, is moving away from its fringe habitation in Nigeria and morphing into an international anarchic organization in its aggressive dream for Biafran homeland. This militant movement of nascent self-determination which regrouped after the aftermath of the old Biafran valorous mythology, represents the conjunction of the unfinished turbulent events of our civil war and the continued reaffirmation of radical Ndigbo for a Biafran paradise.  Today, IPOBians in the diaspora are in a desperate and dangerous race to recapture a Biafran homeland by any means necessary.

The global resurgence of IPOB agitations for a sovereign Biafran motherland represents a failure of all the past emotional paean to reconciliation and integration of the Igbo nation immediately after the civil war. Therefore, caught in a time capsule, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu defiantly announced a collective Igbo frustration and the need to exorcise the humiliation of the past while making a preparation for a new Igbo homeland. There are troubling kernels of questions to be answered. Is IPOB preemptive global amalgam of coalition of forces symbols of hope, freedom and eventual independence for the Ndigbo?

Can we regard IPOB diaspora mobilisations of clannish solidarity as highly durable political strategy designed to reinforce their allegiance to a separate Igbo identity? Is IPOB perpetual wars on both domestic and foreign front symbols of their collective disaffection with their massive exclusion and marginalization in the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari?

However, the Fulani cabal that run Nigeria are averse to an active agitators who are politically enlightened. They prefer compliant mugus and passive zombies. President Mohammadu Buhari knows that there are workable alternatives to our forced unity but he has to work assiduously to hide that truth. Consider the deepest agitation of Boko Haram. The Revolution Now movement. The Biafran/IPOBians. The Omo Oduduwa. The Niger Deltans. It is one direction: separate destiny! As I write, Southwest governors are trialling an autonomous security arrangement to protect the Yoruba from the mindless kidnapping and butchery of their people by Fulani herdsmen in their region. One indivisible Nigeria has landed us into chasms of darkness for the past 59 years.

 

The rising cry for autonomy, dissolution, regionalism, separateness or independence are our best hope of meeting the developmental aspirations of our people. IPOB, Oduduwa and the Ijaw’s strident agitations for self-determination are the answers to Fulani overpowering dominance of other nationalities.  This is the crisis of political disengagement in an unwieldy federal structure. Our unity does not encourage mass access to politics except for a stupendously rich few.

 

Where the Yoruba are passive and cautionary, the IPOBians believe in their invincibility in war. Here, one can detect a bewildering political hyperbole that seems to come so naturally to an average warring Biafran that is fast becoming a neurosis for the tribe.

Chief Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, of blessed memory, created that warrior illusion and the embers of that warring myth are yet to die in the imagination of an average Ndigbo. Yes, the Igbo are courageous and valiant tribe, but must those shining attributes continue to intoxicate the mind of younger generation of IPOBians so forcefully as to lead them to the trenches of Mazi Kanu in his revolutionary awakening?

On the other hand, we must admit that the IPOB hubris and the energetic clamour for a Biafran homeland exemplify the fragile nature of our unity as a nation and exposes the complex and uneasy bonding of different tribes into a contraption called Nigeria, where we eye one another with fatal hatred and uneasy jealousy. It is this mutual tribal dissonances that allows IPOB to proclaim, with eloquent voices, the virtues of a future Republic of Biafra. Biafrans are saying that the enforced ache of unity must be separated by force and not by peaceful means.

On the balance of futuristic projection, we can affirm that IPOB is mapping a new trajectory for all competing nationalities in Nigeria by calling on them to stand up and fight and destroy the yoke of Fulani bondage that had kept Nigeria in perpetual darkness since our independence. IPOBians are saying that as long as we continue to collude in the manufactured consensus of Fulani capricious diktat without challenge or meaningful dissent, then the constituent nationalities that make up Nigeria will forever remained subject to arbitrary injustice, tyranny, harassment, exploitation, irrelevance, backwardness, castration, poverty and frustration.

Therefore, IPOB is fighting a perpetual war with the Fulani internal overlords and their Ndigbo collaborators by carpet bombing their fortresses with drums of resistance, agitations and global protests. In their daily action, the diaspora IPOBians are reinforcing a painfully obvious reality that change, freedom and liberty cannot take place in Nigeria without a combination of unrests, revolution, fights, bullying, resistance, rascality and war. Their mission is seen as a life-or-death fight to the finish against a system that had dissembled other nationalities and reduced them to second class citizens in a fictive ‘One Nigeria’ of Fulani hegemony, domination, brutality and arrogance of power.

Of a truth, agitation will remain a part of the democratic process. Legitimate protests oil democracy and align it toward justice, fairness and equity. Nations break up when there is unequal partnership. Kosovo ceded from Serbia. Yugoslavia broke up. Scottish has had a referendum to exit from the United Kingdom. Southern Sudan is today a sovereign nation.

The fault line of every human is to yearn for freedom and IPOB in its combative posturing is manifesting this trait, however badly executed. Whether we like it or not, self-determination of the nationalities is the politics of the future and the cure for the haemorrhaging nature of our unity. Self-determination by the nationalities will encourage bolder innovations, common touch, faster community and grassroots development, homogeneity and less hidebound than one Nigeria of disparage interests, desperation, dominance, injustice and oppression. Oduduwa republic is on standby. Biafra is on standby. Boko Haram republic is on standby. Niger Delta republic is on standby.

The aftermath of the proscription of IPOB in Nigeria has led to the establishment of IPOB Diaspora Punishment Squad (Koboko Team) dedicated to humiliating, beating and arresting all visiting Igbo politicians espousing one Nigeria once they are caught in all Western capitals. What is still raw in IPOB’s soul was the murderous suppression of its members during the Umuahia, September 2017 military operation called, Python Dance. IPOB then accused all the South East governors of complicity in the killings of IPOBians by federal forces. Today, the fear of massive beating of these governors when they travel abroad has led to a mass recanting of their involvement in the crime against IPOBians in 2017.

Since Nigeria is covenanted to democratic ideals, President Buhari must handle agitations, protests and dissentions with a democratic spirit, patience, tact and high diplomacy before Nigeria snowballs into bloodbaths. Omoyele Sowore should be released as a gesture of new democratic paradigm.

Arguably, all the incongruous social and political aberrations in Nigeria do not encourage oneness but a determined and urgent separation of destinies from the centre. In fact, unity is promoted by the most unhinged Northerners to further their dominance and advantage in all areas of national assignments. Northerners are overrepresented in all the juicy and important posts in this country. Also, the ongoing narrative among Southern Nigerians is that the weaponisation of Northern Fulani herdsmen against the Nigerian state has become so normal, that, a new nadir was recently reached, howbeit brazenly, when President Buhari mooted the idea of RUGA – the seizure of fertile land for cattle colony!

What we have seen through the repelled RUGA policy was the final provocation in the pantomime of our forced unity and the exposure of President Mohammadu Buhari as a dangerous, devious and tribally-driven leader on a mission to open more tribal fissures among southern states that opposed his colonialism project, aptly called RUGA. In the eyes of our tiny, slave masters, Nigeria should remain a mugudom where the genuine aspirations of 200 million people for freedom is forever denied by clowns who could not survive if we go our separate ways.

In the face of all these national shenanigans, IPOB has to go on a global mutiny and vigorously project a spirit of ownership of Ndigbo land, oneness, respect, dignity and rights.  We may all view their modus operandi outside the shores of Nigeria as eccentric, rascally and confrontational, but there is no doubt that their spin, message, sound bites and call to arm are all resonating in the pliable minds of sympathetic, young generation of Ndigbo who, someday, dream of Republic Of Biafra.

tajutijani@hotmail.com

31st August, 2019.

 

Ekweremadu: Tears and Scars from Nuremberg


Ekweremadu: Tears and Scars from Nuremberg

By Taju Tijani

If it is true that violence is not a subject for polemic and madness is not a subject for satire, would I then be allowed a writer’s license and deploy irony and state how shamefully ironic is the parade of compassion for Ike Ekweremadu, the former Deputy President of the Nigerian senate, over the karate chops and happy slaps he received from IPOB brotherhood in Nuremberg?

Predictably, the attack on Ekweremadu has forced a sharp blast of reactions from the rational to the irrational; from the artisans to the intellectuals, from the political class, with its duplicity, to the internet warriors, from mainstream media to the plethora of pluralized and digitalized YouTubers on daily steroid of manufactured scandals, panic and conspiracy theories. With Ekweremadu, the netizens were on a roll!!

In Nigeria, there is no person more secure in his impregnable fortress than Ike Ekweremadu as a former deputy senate president. He is the cony eternally secured in his rocky burrow. In the bearpit of Nigerian subculture of political hierarchy, he has lavish access to state security for ease and comfort from dawn to dusk and back again. In an age of radical insecurity and post-IPOB conflict with the state, Ekweremadu must be provided with armoured tanks and AK-47 wielding security officers as a bulwark against the hordes of “hooligans”, “jobless”, “unpatriotic”, “ignorant” and “violent” Nigerians who are jealous of his political stamina and his induction into the league of billionaire politicians.

Therefore attacking Ekweremadu who is one of Nigeria’s finest politicians in faraway Nuremberg in a rumble of dirty slaps, karate chops and Kung-Fu kicks was, to the political charlatans, the height of infamy and the most telling political disgrace for this powerful son of Enugu. It was a kind of a rude shock to behold the mighty Ekweremadu, a man used to authoritarian modes of domestic governance, to be so humbled by some diaspora “hoodlums” unfit to be one of his drivers at home.

Prominent political actors like President Mohammadu Buhari, Senate President Ahmed Lawan and great many other compassion-driven ‘honourables’ have all offloaded a kind of self-protective narrative of political hysteria and righteous anger over the Nuremberg beating.

In the aftermath of the Ekweremadu Nuremberg head-butt, the international public relations space was determinedly quarantined by the Nigerian political class in an attempt to project a narrow agenda of elite solidarity without any thoughtful consideration to the genuine grievances of the overseas IPOBian/Biafran attackers. The most groveling sad figure among them all was Abike Erewa-Dabiri, the CEO/Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission. She came out to salivate on the salvation of the depraved Nigerian politicians. She has to talk tough and protect her political protégé with a vociferous and combative instinct against the hordes who live in Germany.  She has to be seen firing on all cylinders and reclaiming the damning ground lost to the usual deference, subservience, respect and adulation normally reserved for visiting politicians to Europe, US and Asia. Sorry o.

However, there is a clash of convictions in Erewa-Dabiri empty solidarity overtone of command, conquest, dominance and grandiloquent grandstanding. In all her stentorian effusion, threats and uncouth bragging, Erewa-Dabiri has further infuriated many Nigerians in the diaspora. Her unguarded statement has further imperiled the safety of future visiting Nigerian politicians. In her attempt to satisfy and placate her masters in Abuja, Erewa-Dabiri had to exhibit a classic demagogic behavior. She wants to satisfy the narrow privileged agenda of a tiny elites in a democracy that is fast unravelling as a dictatorship form of political gang up against the freedom of the Nigerian people.

Has Erewa-Dabiri ever spared a thought for the thousands of Nigerians washed ashore on the Mediterranean waters? Has she asked for assistance from Libyan authorities to fish out uniformed assassins who killed Nigerians like turkey shoot in camps in Libya?  Has she deployed same demonic anger against the South African police who are daily killing Nigerians with disdainful xenophobic impunity? Has there ever been any request to the governments of Malaysia, India and China for the cruel treatment and killing of Nigerians in these countries? Erewa-Dabiri partisan political sympathy for Ekweremadu was manifestly evil, unpatriotic, depraved and calls to question if we have two Nigerians. Is Ike Ekweremadu’s pampered life more valuable than the thousands of other Nigerians jailed, used and killed around the world? Worse was Erewa-Dabiri cavalier insolence by calling on the German government to fish out those who molested Ekweremadu. Her blustering ascription of arrogance was mind boggling. It showed a total ignorance of the democratic values of the Western nations.

In fact, German government, I dare say was encouraged by what Nigerians did to Ekweremadu. The government is happy that Nigerians are now taking their destiny in their own hands by going after the jugular of corrupt politicians like Ekweremadu who turned them into unwanted, hated and despised immigrants in their land. To the German security officers, it is within the democratic rights of Nigerians to vent their collective displeasure on political figures who are seen to be corrupt and non-accountable. In fact, a school of thought said that Ekweremadu was lucky. In Ukraine, the entire national assembly members were thrown into dustbins! The victims took the humiliating treatment stoically in full respect for democratic tradition.

Not in Nigeria. Erewa-Dabiri quick response and call for those who beat Ekweremadu to be arrested showed clearly that Nigerian politicians live in a virtual world of illusion and digital outer space. Help!  Now the stage is set for more beatings for these tribe of ignoramus and brazenly pompous politicians whose regular grand gestures to the pulverized people of Nigeria is nothing but the language of authority, command and threats. Diaspora Nigerians in America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere are now training their radars on any visiting politician for proper beatings to send home the message that they do not live under repression and authoritarian regime.

The Nigerian political class should understand that Nigerians in the diaspora have removed the imported fetters of servility, fear and obedience inherited through years of living under militarized, corrupt and rouge administrations.

In the western world, Nigerians have seen the true workings of democratic governments in action. This is their culture shock. When compared with our society, they realized that in Nigeria – a practicing democracy – politicians are above the law of the land. They realized that our common wealth is being squandered to indulge politicians’ prejudices for opulent living: prestige cars, billion naira mansions, heart-stopping salaries/allowances, private jets, foreign homes, blissful philandering and wasteful convoy. Diaspora Nigerians have come to realize that it is easier, as foreigners, to win election in their local boroughs in London, Paris, Rome, New York, Dublin, Amsterdam and Berlin than in Nigeria. What does that say about our heavily monetized, democratic chicanery?

In Nuremberg, the profligate monoculture of our politicians was challenged by men and women who, when in Nigeria, were castrated by dysfunctional, obsolete and oppressive system that frustrated every effort to enjoy the good life they now come to find in abundance abroad.

The Nuremberg beating was a testament to the fact that our entire economic paradigm is a threat to the continued survival of poor Nigerians. The Nuremberg rumble was an affirmative action to say that Nigerians in the diaspora are tired of unbundling their earnings to feed tired parents, brothers, sisters, cousins and unemployed relations. The Nuremberg episode was saying that the Nigerian politicians who lazily ignore the plight of Nigerians for a better life must themselves be forced to eat unpalatable yam from now on.

The Nuremberg beating was a way to find a solution to our irresolvable moral dilemmas and insoluble contradictions. It is to say that the excesses of Ekweremadu and our political elites have, over the years, translated into putting millions of Nigerians in hellish poverty. If there is too much dirt in the soup, even the blind man will know. That translates into saying that all Nigerians are aware of the fact that Nigeria is a breeding ground for a very tight, narrow clique of greed-addicted parasitic politicians who have turned Nigeria into a shithole of corruption. Diaspora Nigerians are aware that this state of play is intensifying hourly with every stolen public money, repression of opposition, profligacy, impunity, fraud, injustice and government inaction. And the only way to stop this paralyzing hemorrhage of our collective resources is to start beating, tearing the clothes and seizing the caps of our visiting conquistadors.

Nigerians in the diaspora are angry that they are the burden carriers for their families’ social, economic and moral poverty. And the best way to vent their collective anger was to beat a visiting politician, known for corruption, in fear that he may greedily cart home the whole yam meant for the yam festival. Habit die hard!!!

 

Fulani Fury: Buhari’s Radicalised Autocracy Against Nigerians (Part 2)


Fulani Fury: Buhari’s Radicalised Autocracy Against Nigerians (Part 2)

By Taju Tijani

Omoyele Sowore came as the fugleman to challenge the eccentricities of our national quietism that have, honestly, turned us into cowards. He believes that electoral democracy with its egalitarian posturing will never bring that seismic change to Nigerians. The newly elected governor of my state – Oyo State – Seyi Makinde, announced happily to his captive audience that he has made an asset declaration of N48 billon. That is enough ammunition for me to conclude that we practiced a monumentally monetized form of democratic, electoral and political farce in Nigeria. Sowore, smart, enlightened, realist knows that ballot box pretenses will not bring Nigerians those dividend of democracy as seen in other progressive nations of the world.

Ancient sagas and fairy tales all have their superhuman heroes and heroines. Activism is one route to die a hero or a heroine. However, activism is a hazardous job that requires you to live a fearless life. It is a vocation, especially in this part of our world, which demands that you court danger every waking moment.  Gani Fawehinmi fought the status quo till death. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti took activism scars to the grave. Beko-Ransome Kuti had his own baptismal fire as fighter for justice. The aim of Omoyele Sowore and #Revolution Now is sociological. There is no clear violent objectives in their struggle.

It is hugely redemptive. But that redemptive revolutionary process is trivialized  as constituting “subversion”, “treason”, “insurrection” and forceful “overthrow” of elected government.  In a spin of breathtaking stupidity, revolution is corrupted by this administration to mean an arm struggle. Let me answer to this stupid charge by quoting Wole Soyinka’s enlightened response to Sowore’s charge of treason.

“Deployment of alarmist expressions such as “treason”, “anarchist”, “public incitement” etc. by Security forces have become so predictable and banal that they have become meaningless. Beyond the word ‘revolution, another much misused and misunderstood the word, nothing that Sowore has uttered, written, or advocated suggests that he is embarking on, or urging the public to engage in a forceful overthrow of the government. Nothing that he said to me in private engagement ever remotely approached an intent to destabilize governance or bypass the normal democratic means of changing a government. I, therefore, find the reasons given by the Inspector-General, for the arrest and detention of this young ex-presidential candidate contrived and untenable, unsupported by any shred of evidence. His arrest is a travesty and violation of the fundamental rights of citizens to congregate and make public their concerns.

This is all so sadly déjà vu. How often must we go through this wearisome cycle? We underwent identical cynical contrivances under the late, unlamented Sani Abacha when he sent storm-troopers to disrupt a planning session for a similar across-nation march at Tai Solarin School, Ikenne. This was followed up by a personalized letter that was hand-delivered by the State Security Services to me under their summons, at their Abeokuta so-called ‘Annexe’ with near-identical wording to the threats contained in today’s release from the desk of the Chief of Police. At least, I was summoned, not subjected to a terrorist midnight arrest”.

What Soyinka’s righteous and reflective condemnation suggests is that Buhari has taken the needle of tyranny past the red zone. His paranoia and return to autocracy at the sound of opposition is nothing but a thoughtless disdain of liberal freedoms that come with democratic values. Buhari is fast inhabiting the archipelago of stubborn position: crush all oppositions at all cost. We now know, with Sowore’s arrest, that Buhari is not the ‘Baba go slow’ we imagined. When the circumstances suit him, he moves fast.  Sowore’s self-sacrificing sense of patriotism and his urgency of NOW must be welcomed by all positive, change-driven and progressive Nigerians. Buhari should smell the coffee and release this courageous, prisoner of conscience. Today!!! Professor Wole Soyinka said so! Femi Falana said so! Aare Gani Adams said so! Right thinking Nigerians said so! The #Revolution Now is asking a pointed question.

How can Nigerians remain suppliant in the face of mass insecurity, poverty, the demonization of popular protests, starvation, stupidity, incompetent leadership, tyranny, herdsmen genocide and police impunity? This is their struggle – Nigerian struggle. And in any struggle for change there must be a defining moment. Yes, in any push for radical change, something big must snap inside the sleepy citizens who have been subdued by tyrannical use of state instruments of coercion. #Revolution Now is an intellectual intervention to galvanize and an act as the catalyzing agent to accelerate a new order. A movement meant to wake up Nigerians from national amnesia that tends to turn cowardice into a virtue.

However, going by the voices of the combatants, revolution is narrativised as the harbinger of chaos, confusion and violence. Really?? If revolution will bring in chaos and violence, has twenty years of unbroken democracy not delivered Nigeria into the deeper end of chaotic charade and violence never seen in our peacetime? Are we not paying dearly with our blood for Buhari’s incompetence? Should we, as a nation, continue to hibernate perpetually in the daily darkness of death, confusion, decay, death and stagnation?

As you read this, we are ranked as the poverty capital of the world. In the face of this failure and shame, are we to be cautious in our criticism or be louder in our outrage?  Is this thunderous fall from the top to the bottom of the global hierarchical pole of prosperity ranking not enough to call out thousands of revolutions? Rather, Buhari is playing a high-octane, high-risk politics of fear that has led to the total collapse of faith in his competency to deepen our democracy.  He is showcasing the ripping muscles of a militarized presidency that intends always to act from a position of demonic strength against southern agitators.

It would be a stretch to conclude that Buhari’s response recipe to all the chaotic killings across Nigeria is anywhere near fully cooked to reflect the revolution awakenings engulfing Nigerians. If President Mohammadu Buhari is blindsided by the fact that he is a lame duck president presiding over a failed state, he should understand that the revolution that would end Fulani’s generational oppression, tyranny, misrule, incompetency, despotism and autocracy is here. He should prepare his second tenure for more democratic street fights. Long live the revolution!!!

Fulani Fury: Buhari’s Radicalised Autocracy Against Nigerians – Part 1


Fulani Fury: Buhari’s Radicalised Autocracy Against Nigerians – Part 1

By Taju Tijani

How are Nigerians savouring the multiple ironies, paradoxes and aberrations that are unravelling under a demagogic and effete despotic President Muhammadu Buhari administration that is daily detonating grenades across Nigeria? Of a truth, we can now reveal that President Buhari apparently understands the domestic political benefits of unhinged despotism as a tool to crush the persistent geopolitical tensions that have coiled themselves around Nigeria like poison ivy. He has re-imagined autocracy, and at the same time, valorized the democratic process and set himself up as a man fighting a civil war with Nigerians. The untethering of his once concealed fang against urban and suburban activists, agitators, rights advocates and human rights campaigners is emerging as a self-legitimating pretext to shred rule of law while re-introducing military absolutism into our liberal politics.

First, let me start by stating that societies are mostly redeemed by the actions of individually good leaders and at the same time exposed when such leaders morph into wickedness, tyranny, despotism and wholesale suppression of voices of dissent. Today, this lame duck president is caught in the eternal dilemma of his own making. Four years into the Buhari presidency, he has rolled down the road of infamy, antagonistic resistance to alternative pathways, intolerance, absolutism, dictatorship, oppression and the lionization of libertarian democracy. Have you been keeping an eye on his despotic odometer? Then let us go for a drive.

Those who have been maltreated under his murderous lordship will include Sambo Dasuki, El-Zaky Zaky, Deji Adeyanju, Jones Abiri, Joachim Iroko, Luka Binniyat, Midat Joseph, Abubakar “Abusidiq” Usman, Ahmad Salkida and Samuel Ogundipe to name a few. Yes, the optimism and hope his coming generated in 2015 have been depleted by his rabid anti-democratic tendencies and the slide into virulent lawlessness. People are now questioning the long term viability of our liberal democracy. Under Buhari, democracy looks more fragile and the fragility is further compounded by his stubborn rejection of rule of law as a safeguarding tool against tyranny.

 

 

He one said that, “rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of nation’s security and national interest.” Nigeria, as a nation, I must say, is ripe for permissible deviants. Omoyele Sowore is the torchbearer for that trajectory. Evil, in the quotidian sense, is everywhere in Nigeria. How long Nigerians would then continue to be robbed and plundered by the very government elected to meet their welfare? Millions of Nigerians are snared in shitholes and may die unsung in dehumanizing conditions. Nigerians are programmed to be preyed upon without deliverers. Now, that determined Estherian cry of “if I perish, I perish” is written large on the subdued faces of Nigerians. The plundering, they say, is enough! The death, they say, is enough! The incompetency, they say, is enough! The impunity, they say, is enough! The insecurity, they say, is enough! The unassailable argument in our local halls, living rooms and food joints is that Buhari was elected to rescue this nation from the myriad of its horrible aberrations. Nigerians are no longer fooled by his grossly exaggerated and imputed integrity that has been badly eroded by the characters of his ministerial appointments.

In addition, helpless Nigerians are being made prey to rampaging kidnappers who are running amok through the length and breadth of our dear nation. Even in South Africa, Nigerians are sitting targets for xenophobic rascals in collusion with the local police who daily make mincemeat of Nigerian lives. Till date, Buhari has no answer to all the gruesome butchering of his own citizens in Nigeria, South Africa and other foreign lands.  Therefore, the conventional wisdom suggests that Nigerians have the right to pour the fury of their anger and encapsulates it into a revolution.

Why? Nigerians have waited too long to be delivered from the hand of hunger, unemployment, power outage, zero infrastructure and brazen killers known as kidnappers and Fulani herdsmen. They have waited to be delivered from the grip of executive inaction to fight corruption, stem bloodbath, stop uniformed criminality, stop Gulag-styled dictatorship and the audacious misuse of state –no, deep state – power in order to stifle public rebellion along with their legitimate protestations. Rather than engage, Buhari the ditherer, is meeting every opposition with tyrannical instinct. He is the leopard that cannot change its skin. Liberal democracy has not offered Buhari the deliverance he sore needs from the demons of Decrees 2 & 4 he once used as instruments of terror on helpless Nigerians during his jackboot reign as a military leader – an administration that was shaped by irrational brutality.

 

Today, President Muhammadu Buhari has repackaged, reloaded and recalibrated Decree 2 & 4 to muzzle, maim and shut down Nigerians in their quest for an equitable, just, safe, fair, progressive and peaceful nation. Clannish affiliation to his Fulani stock has hardened him to other voices of wisdom calling for solutions to the existential problems besetting Nigeria.

Nigerians are fighting an undeclared warfare with the Fulani herdsmen. Their diurnal and nocturnal activities have neutered the social existence of the South Westerners and travelers passing through their territories. Professor Wole Soyinka’s intervention and the call on Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the region has been ignored. South West governors are contemplating resorting to self-help. Buhari has continued to legitimatize Fulani’s kidnapping through inaction, body language, partiality, clannish solidarity and his hidden agenda to make Nigeria a colonized Fulanised land. He has never hidden his gleeful display of tribalism and belief in the ethnic superiority of Fulani over and above other tribes in Nigeria. For live evidence of this, check out his appointments – Customs, EFCC, Police, Army, NNPC, DSS, Immigration, etc. He has reinforced, through his appointments, what is now a conventional wisdom among Fulani hegemonists: we do not trust southerners with some appointments in Nigeria.

To be continued………

tajutijani@hotmail.com

Unleashing Miyettiddon, El Rufai rascality and Tinubu 2023


Unleashing Miyettiddon, El Rufai rascality and Tinubu 2023

By Taju Tijani

“Official records of the early history of Miyetti Allah is sparse, the oral history by some members trace it to the 1960s while others to 1972 when the association was formed in Kaduna. The association’s early members were largely dominated by settled Fulanis whose early concept of Miyetti Allah was to promote the welfare of all Fulanis through self-help. In the 1970s, the organization was led by Muhammadu Sa’adu with membership in Kaduna and Plateau States. Sa’adu who was born in Jos but spent his adulthood in Kaduna was a key figure in the campaigns to get new members to join.

Both Kaduna and Plateau states had local branches affiliated with a local government or community. Meetings were irregular and not all national or state level resolutions were adhered to. But as the association expanded to more states, aims favouring nomadic education and access of grazing reserves by cattle breeders became a common theme.

A major goal of MACBAN is to be the umbrella organization of Fulani herdsmen within the country. The activities of the organization involves liaising with the government on behalf of pastoralists, land use rights, nomadic education and conflict resolution between pastoralists and farmers. The group also supports protecting and increasing grazing reserves for cattle breeders in the country. However, not all pastoralists intend to stay within grazing reserves and the organization provides information to convince grazing reserve sceptics among the nomads to buy into the idea.

As the major promoter of welfare of Fulani pastoralists, increase incidence of farmer-herder conflicts and cattle rustling since 2011 brought the previously unknown group into wider consciousness.

The group’s board of trustees is led by the Sultan of Sokoto and it receives funding from the board and other donors. The national chairman is elected every four years. When MACBAN was founded it received support from Sultan Abubakar III, Aminu, Emir Zazzau, Usman Nagogo, the Emir of Katsina and Ado Bayero, late Emir of Kano. The emirs of these emirates compose a part of the group’s board of trustees. MACBAN has a national secretariat at Kaduna and state offices”

Above is a clean sweep of Miyetti Allah’s history borrowed from Wikipedia. Today MA is no longer a localised and tribalised defender of Fulani cattle herders’ right, but a global self-idolising cabal of well-armed Nomads who are daily clogging this nation’s security aspirational artery.

They are now regarded as a privileged terrorist group. MA group is becoming too settled in their lawlessness so much that they have morphed into the fiercest demons. They possess such powers that the Federal might could not even cast out. I will therefore substitute the Allah here with Satan. Any group that is primed to do the will of Allah will not go about killing mindlessly as we see in Miyetti Satan’s operational doctrine across Nigeria. Their tenet is to kill for the protection of cows. The phenomenal growth of Miyetti Satan from a sleepy, docile, rag tag Nomadic cattle shepherds into a monstrous, notorious, demon-driven and hawk-eyed zealots boggle the mind. They have been managing to hold and control the murder hegemony in Nigeria for decades now. They have been able to sell into our consciousness fabled tales of invincibility, valour, fearlessness and mercilessness. They are now regarded as a privileged terrorist group. Nobody has punctured this orthodoxy.

Worse is the stoical silence of President Muhammadu Buhari to rein in the violence and murderous atrocities of Miyetti Satan. Rather the president has been retreating into the old essentialism of Fulani clannishness, tribal solidarity and that queer sense of belonging because he also own cows in his Daura cattle ranch. Nigerians have been shrill in their outrage against the blood lust tendencies of Miyetti Satan, but that strident condemnation has been contained with a brick wall of silence and weak response. Instead, placatory carrots have been offered to the Fulani herdsmen to contain their rage against defenseless and helpless Nigerians. The price is N100billion naira!!! That ugly tribe I called government has come to deny this humongous gift to Miyetti Satan high command, but there is no smoke without fire. Armageddon, I know. Welcome to Miyettiddon!!! More on this later.

The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is a venomous, courageous and direct talker. This Daudawa man holds an impressive academic record – University of London and Harvard Business degrees. He was the wiz kid Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 16 July 2003 to 29 May 2007.  He raised dust, created legend and left footprints of both achievements and controversies. Vainglory is essentially one of Rufai’s great attributes. Last week, he raised a storm by lobbing a grenade against the Jagaban of Borgu, the Asiwaju of Lagos and the National Leader of APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, BAT, for short. His argument, narrative, polemical assault, crude vulgarities and disrespect of Tinubu are all design to further reinforce his iconic signature as a dismantler of godfatherism in politics. He wants to be seen as an epochal figure that will redirect the course of Lagos political history of slavish and subservience attitude towards the whims and caprices of the mythic Tinubu, who, in all honesty, looms larger than life in South West politics.

El Rufai is a child of radical politics and a dedicated apostle to political belligerency that seeks to destroy hierarchical monolithic foe like Tinubu through polemical interventions, though theatrical and crude vulgarity. Someday, El-Rufai will embrace Tinubu and apologise for puncturing the delicate ego of the god of the Yoruba.

Is Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the race for 2023 or still mired the valley of decision? The full lunacy of our politicians is now full on. We are yet to inaugurate President Muhammadu Buhari and some selfish, power-driven, egomaniac and desperate politicians are about to start heating the polity with vaunting personal ambition that has nothing to do with the welfare of the pulverised Nigerian masses. Yes, desperate politicians may want to justify the virtues of preparing for 2023 poll now, but such blind obduracy and irrational haste for power must yield to reason. The ember of fire we all started in 2019 election – anger, distrust, bitterness, distrust, election rigging, judicial adjudication, appeal court errands and disenchantment – are yet to find a rational closure, so why would a Yoruba Jagaban Borgu or an Asiwaju stretch out his head on the carapace and expect not to be mercilessly cut down by the menacing and raging sword of that ambitious, feudal and hegemonic-driven Fulani man called El-Rufai?

 

tajutijani@hotmail.com