Nigerianeeds real men and women now. Nigeria needs real leaders immediately. I do not mean politicians alone and certainly not just Jonathan. I mean ordinary Nigerians who are playing any role whatsoever in church or mosque; in civil society or in trade unions; in the universities or other places. Nigeria needs our traditional rulers who may be the last respected power figures to rise up and save the nation. If these people do not rise soon, there will be no country to talk about. For those who would like the country to break up, there will also not be their desired country for there will not be Arewa, Oduduwa, Biafra, Delta, etc, states. The fractured nation will not coalesce into the desired configuration. Here are the tell tale signs.
The Onitsha Incident.
It is alleged that the reported riot in Onitsha began because of the unconfirmed report that a Hausa police man killed and Igbo driver. Before the matter could be investigated and blames apportioned, riot had erupted. Conflicting report said that some Hausas could have been killed or wounded in the incident. If so, may their souls rest in peace. If not we thank God. But it is only a matter of time before this kind of incident would result in a more deadly riot. V
It may not necessarily be because some Hausa police or soldier would kill an Igbo person in Igbo land. It could happen even when an Igbo officer kills an Igbo man in Igbo land. All that would be needed is for somebody to allege that the incident involved a Hausa person and all hell would break loose. The alleged killer could well be a Yoruba, an Efik, an Ijaw but it would not matter. The country is sitting on a tinder box and any striking of a match will send the walls ofJerichotumbling down.
The role of all leaders summoned to join the task force above is to calm the populace down. To show that people should be punished as individuals not by establishing a collective guilt. My friends on this forum who constantly write about Igbo hypocrisy, Igbo this and that, you Igbo, you Yoruba, the Hausas, the born to rule people are aiding and abetting the soon to be executed riots in all parts of the country. They are inciting hatred, in the desire to avenge an offence visited on them by ONE member of an ethnic group.
Group hatred is a dangerous thing.
The Threat to Wole Soyinka
There is only one Nigerian left. Maybe two. Wole Soyinka is the one of them. He has one major weakness in him. He is too Nigerian. It is a character flaw which seems to have been inherited for I cannot tell when he did not have this disease. When Boko Haram threatens to kill him they are threatening the nation and Nigeria. True he does not constitute the symbol of the nation (Mr. Jonathan carries that symbolism as the Head of State) but to most Nigerians Mr. Soyinka is the real bearer of the symbolism. To threaten to kill him and to actually kill him would result in the same situation as the Onitsha riot. Again it does not matter whether BH kills him or some disgruntled Yoruba person does so. He does not even have to be killed. All that is required is for somebody to raise a false alarm that he has been killed by BH and serious blood would be shed before he appears on television to claim that he is alive. It is time for the leaders to stand up in one voice and say that threatening individuals for their beliefs is unacceptable and identifying people who make such threats and seeing that they suffer the consequences of incitements.
Threats to President Jonathan
Mr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, by the grace of God with an assist from INEC, is the president ofNigeria. A threat or his actual removal from office would not augur well for Nigeria. I have read somewhere that "as Jonathan goes so goes Nigeria." This should not be considered an empty threat. There is much truth to it. And the reason is that much of the criticism of Mr. Jonathan, and the name calling are beyond belief and are personal and not policy based. It is becoming impossible for Mr. Jonathan to do any good as can be seen from his most recent appointments. Nobody he has invited to serve in his administration has been considered fit for the job, even when such people had established their credentials at home and abroad. Ribadu who was nominated to be the president of Nigeria by ACN and actually won a state; Ngozi Okonjo Iweala who had exemplarily run an international organization; Lamido Sanusi whose pedigree matches the Kennedy's and who has a proven track record in banking; etc are all regarded as unfit because they serve on Mr. Jonathan's administration.
These types of generalized insinuation of evil in these appointments make others hold to the idea that the threat to Mr. Jonathan goes well beyond him. The name callers are creating a devil where there is none. Those who carry on such nefarious propaganda, place the polity at the center of the tinder box.
They would bear full responsibility for any ensuing conflagration.
The incidents in Kano, Maiduguri, Jos, Kaduna, etc.
BH and those who create havoc in these places know neither Christians nor Muslims. They do not distinguish between Igbo and Yoruba or Kanuri. They are equal opportunity killers, and arsonists. But thy have been aided and abetted by their spokes people who see their criminal actions as directed to Christians, Igbo, Southerners, or what ever the latest flavor is. They are being helped and urged on by those in their communities who see these actions being carried out but keep silent. These people in turn are behaving like the good Germans who felt that since they were not Jews, everything was alright.
Our true leaders must raise their voices and speak in clear sentences to condemn evil wherever it raises its ugly head.
There are things we can do as a group and as individuals:
Think. Reason with yourself. Consider the consequences of what you want to say and the various ways it can be interpreted. When one writes "it is you Igbo who..." or similar expressions it pits one segment of the society against another. It creates a "we vs. they" environment prompting "the Yoruba...", or "the born to rule crowd that...." Under such an environment a minor incident would be transformed into a major Armageddon. You may consider yourself as a mere substitute teacher with no national following, but little drops of water have been known to eat through a rock.
As leaders in Church or Mosque or in civil organizations or as chiefs and elders, emirs, obas, etc we must address negative incidents initiated by people associated with us and unequivocally condemn them. It calls for uncommon boldness and courage to admonish a loved one.
The people impacted must show the same uncommon boldness and courage in condemning the evil but without assigning collective guilt. There are good Igbo, good Hausa, good Yoruba, good Ibibio, good Annang, good Igalla, etc, just as there are bad apples in each nationality. We must reject the bad but accept the good.
If we do our part there is chance that Nigeria might still be saved. If we do not, then it might be "to your tents Oh Israel." But we must be rest assured that there would be no Biafra or Oduduwa, or Arewa, or Delta tents to go to.
Do not expect President Jonathan to do it alone. He cannot and should not be expected to.
Consider this matter urgent. We have very little time left to act.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
February 9, 2012