The wise say two wrongs don’t make a right. But three wrongs make a right in Nigeria.
First wrong: lunatic soldiers shot dead an innocent civilian along with three well-trained Intelligence Response Team policemen on national duty in Taraba State while the military hierarchy dipped the memories of the murdered Taraba Four in a cauldron of excreta by justifying the killing with an insane logic and writing ‘kidnapper’ on the foreheads of each of the brutally slain men.
Second wrong: hip-hop artist, Tekno, opened a new chapter in entertainment madness in Nigeria as he danced publicly with naked ladies on a moving truck in Lekki, apologised but later released the video of the shameful dance, daring federal and state governments to do their worst!
Third wrong: unsuccessful presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was arrested for treasonable felony, clamped into jail to learn which is superior between his chaotic activism and Federal Government’s jiggery-pokery. Ironically, Sowore is cooling his heels behind bars under an administration headed by a former military tyrant, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, who torpedoed a democratically elected government on December 31, 1983. Sowore, when the ultra-sluggish Buhari government clamps its rusty fangs on you, 45 days may become 45 weeks or 45 months, depending on when its five faulty vital organs – brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs – jerk alive and work simultaneously.
I am no fan of Sowore because the rhetoric of his political struggle doesn’t provide a viable alternative to the tragic Buhari misgovernment. However, I won’t condemn him for standing up to his belief that the nation, indeed, needs a revolution erupting right inside Aso Rock. On his foundationless incarceration, I stand with Sowore, whom I expect to rise with the tide of the sympathy provided by his imprisonment and saturate his conviction with depth henceforth. Sowore’s political agitation is still in the realm of convulsive student activism. It is a fry in comparison to the whale of the fearless political convictions of the departed patriots like Chinua Achebe, Gani Fawehinmi, Tai Solarin, Beko Ransome-Kuti, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Bamidele Aturu, Ola Oni etc who constantly challenged the status quo and called for a revolution through their actions. With vision and dedication, may Sowore’s advocacy mature from infanthood to adulthood, Amen!
Interestingly, some of the living activists I respect and whose opinions on issues I look out for are Pastors Tunde Bakare of the Latter Rain Assembly, Lagos, and Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre, Lagos. I also admire the fidelity and brilliance of Femi Falana (SAN) and the robustness of Oby Ezekwesili’s dialectics. I cannot forget the patron saint of Nigerian activism, Baba Wole Soyinka, who at 85, is still fighting for the attainment of a just society. I pray for the repose of the souls of the nation’s dead patriots and wish those living protection from the flying bullets fired by government agents.
In terms of disregard for court orders and the rule of law, the Buhari military junta of the 80s and his current government are two blind eyes in a thick skull. A former National Security Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Col Sambo Dasuki, detained since December 1, 2015; Shi’ite leader, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky; and a journalist, Jones Abiri, detained for two years on allegations of cybercrime and terrorism, have different tales to tell. A country with scant regard for the rule of law won’t respect the sanctity of life. The back-and-forth between the police and the Army over the Taraba barbarity can never happen in the US. If, in the wildest imagination, it does, be sure that President Donald Trump would come out blasting and the merchants of death in army uniform would, by now, be on trial. If news reports are anything to go by, the Buhari Presidency didn’t strongly condemn the killing but lackadaisically described it as ‘unfortunate’ – through the National Security Council. Passivity on the killing of the Taraba Four is another classic Buhari example of atrocious leadership.
The brainless excuse by the Army authorities that the vehicle conveying the policemen and suspected kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Wadume, refused to stop at THREE consecutive checkpoints by soldiers – hence the shooting – reveals that commonsense is in flight mode within the Nigerian Army. If not, how would the Army want Nigerians to believe that ONE police vehicle would drive through the Wall of Jericho mounted by soldiers at THREE consecutive checkpoints? Who born the policemen? So, when the ALMIGHTY policemen drove through the first checkpoint without stopping, the soldiers there sang the National Anthem and greeted them with 21-gun salute? When they drove past the second checkpoint, the soldiers there recited the National Pledge and stood rooted like zombies? It was when the policemen reached the third checkpoint that their abracadabra, (the Yoruba call it egbe), became impotent and the soldiers at the checkpoint were informed through telepathy that the policemen had refused to stop at two previous checkpoints, abi?
I have repeatedly come across soldiers’ checkpoints at midnight along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and Esa Oke-Efon Alaye Road. Nigerians can bear me witness that no vehicle can drive through soldiers’ checkpoint without being forced to stop. If soldiers can mount Walls of Jericho in the South-West that’s free of insurgence, nothing short of the US-Mexico Border Wall would be erected as checkpoints in Taraba, a North-East state atrophied by insurgency. Army spokesperson, Col. Sagir Musa, said the murderous soldiers were responding to a “distressed” (sic) call; he should show Nigerians the distress call log and reveal how much the soldiers got to unchain and free Hamisu who was unhurt despite the rain of bullets on the police Toyota SUV.
I feel the pains of numberless Nigerians whose innocent relatives have been killed by the police. I feel the pains of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, who heads the IRT; he could’ve died if he was in the vehicle with his men. Unlike Alozie Ogugbuaja, the fearless anti-establishment police spokesperson of the 1980s who said military generals ate ‘peppersoup’ in the day and plan coups at night, Kyari is a pro-establishment cop, whose glittering career is likely to end as the Inspector General. Kyari couldn’t rock the boat, but he stood up for his murdered men by listing their achievements, whipping up enough sentiment against the Army in the process. A joint police-army committee has been set up to investigate and ‘bring the curtain down’ on the case as usual. Indeed, this is a period that calls for a national dirge.
But it’s the period when a raving Tekno and his unclean ladies chose to sing and dance naked in the public. The noise that has taken over Nigerian music in general is worse than the aftermath of the collapse of the Tower of Babel. Since Nigeria degenerated into total decadence, especially since 1999, the themes of sex, money and merriment have been the preoccupation of Nigerian music. Where’s the genius that produced ‘Let’s Live in Peace’ by Osita Osadebey; ‘Osa Enweghi Aku’ by Oriental Brothers International Band; ‘Sweet Mother’ by Nico Mbarga; ‘Time Na Money’ by Mike Okri; ‘Osondi Owendi’ by Osita Osadebey; and ‘Opportunity’ by Olive De Coque?
Did this country produce Hubert Ogunde, IK Dairo, Rex Lawson, Yusuf Olatunji, Orlando Owoh, Adeolu Akinsanya, Haruna Ishola, Ayinla Omowura, Epo Akara, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, Art Alade Snr, Bobby Benson, Sunny Okosuns, Ras Kimono and the abami eda himself, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti?
Thank God we still have the songs of Sir Victor Uwaifor, Commander Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade, Jimi Solanke, Tunji Oyelana, Orlando Julius, Kollington Ayinla, Bongus Ikwue, Remi Olabamiji, Sir Shina Peters, Akeem Kareem, Salawa Abeni, Sade Adu, Onyeka Onwenu, Majek Fashek, Terra Kota, Felix Leberty, Chris Okotie, Femi Kuti, Beautiful Nubia, Asa, Akeem Lasisi, 2Baba, Falz, Timi Dakolo etc to remind us that music has a place for sanity and morality.
I’m sorry I didn’t include Hausa music, I don’t understand Hausa.