Rumours of war and de-escalation of tension

“In any complex system, attack – however apparently intelligent – on a single element or symptom generally leads to a deterioration of the system as a whole”- Forrester’s First Law, New York Times leader 

Glad I read a compendium titled Should We Let The Bomb Spread and compiled by the United States War College and edited by Henry D. Sokolski. It is a comprehensive and thorough work done on the global interface of the proliferation of nuclear weapons that have the capacity of mass destruction. The 215-page collection of variety of painstaking works may be structurally concise but it is quite weighty in value and significance, especially in the world we are living in now. It appears that the national political upheaval which Nigeria is currently confronted with is, without controversy, not peculiar to the country. The thing is a global phenomenon, so to speak. Just a brush… the Syrian internecine war with rebels over who controls the rich deposits of uranium – vital raw material for production of nuclear armaments, the Arab World Uprising aka Arab Spring basically defining the wave of pro democracy protests and uprising that took in the middle east and North Africa beginning from 2010. Almost simultaneously, Gaddafi Libya, Mubarak Egypt, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali Tunisia otherwise called the Jasmine Revolution which actually triggered the subsequent (above mentioned) ones, engulfing the Arab region and the cascading effects that resulted in the disparate government of the territorial entities falling down like the pack of cards. 

Quite unfortunately in Nigeria prevailingly, the same mishandling of a genuine disgruntlement of the proletariats by the high minded and indifferent government officials in these other crisis torn nations is the same kid glove and insouciance ours have adamantly insisted to disregard the plight of Nigerians. How much more disillusioned can the masses demonstrate especially in a democratic dispensation such as they are hysterically trying to force it down the people’s throats to admit. Well, it has gotten too unbearable for the bona-fide citizens and whatever that have started happening markedly from the #EndSARS national protest to the present enthralling crisis could be rightly said to be the people ventilating their grievances against their rulers. 

As I make this literary intervention, across the federation, the execution of what was purported well orchestrated plan to impose certain strange laws on especially the Southern Nigeria through the backdoor by a sectarian people is in earnest. This is evil and stands condemned by every rational being. The international community, excluding our neighboring pan-African leaders, is doing nothing tangible to lend a hand except to prevaricate and pontificate. The mass protest (aka #EndSARS cum civil resistance that engulfed the entire regions of Nigeria and which threatened the very foundation of the country’s existence was a strong indicator that the uniting fabrics had long expired. But it was greeted not with any of the democratic crisis management tools such as lobbying, dialoguing, but with maximum military force.

Is it not a demeaning conduct for a leader who was elected to improve the lives of the people to suddenly turn against every opposition? The expression of grievances by the grumpy people of Nigeria is being responded to, not by a gregarious consideration of their concerns, but by such a gruesome command to make them receive the ‘shock of their lives.’ The list of anomaly of governance in Nigeria is endless; they are not also being perpetrated in the dark, therefore anyone who is not sentimental or partial, ought to be a living witness to the degrading things happening in the country. Several solutions (feasible as they seem) to the Nigeria problem have been propounded. In the eyes of the agitators of self determination of either Biafra or Oduduwa Republics, REFERENDUM or PLEBISCITE will suffice. On the other hand, the holders of political AUTHORITY in Nigeria may have been intimidated by the sound of the term referendum, but do find solace in RESTRUCTURING.

Demilitalisation of South East Nigeria is not just an expedient procedure to begin now but an absolute necessity to pave way for roundtable negotiations process to ensue. The South-east which is predominantly Igbo has been hitherto about the most peaceful region in Nigeria with only sparse incidences of infractions. But as it is currently, that regional tranquility has been punctured by the same federal government which is supposed to guarantee security of lives and property. The corporate existence of Nigeria is seriously shaken to its foundation with suspicion that, ab initio, the cords that bind the distinct people together are deficient.

For trying to correct an erring user, Twitter pulled down his incendiary post, pronto President Muhammadu Buhari’s media team went berserk. The government banned Twitter from Nigeria; one day, Nigerian government will try to ban the air we breathe. Time changes in the process of evolution of ideas, advancement of technology and scientific discoveries. Do our own political juggernauts know this? The dispensation of the ‘sovereign individual’ and whatever this translates to is already in earnest. Gone are the days when the existential activities of mankind can be effectively checkmated or immobilised by the government bureaucratic barriers. 

The average writer writes not just for pleasure but that his copious commentaries on current affairs may not just constructively criticise but purposefully proffer workable solution to the myriads of problems that defy previous efforts. If the contents of his writings contain certain gloomy predictions, the onus lies on the government to change policies in order to prove its extrapolations wrong. But to assume the emperor position, the ‘eze onyeagwanam’ (claims monopoly of knowledge) dictatorial regime, that will be inconsistent with our norm and therefore unacceptable. The position of a leader is sacrosanct and prestigious. It must not be rubbished by intransigence, fortified and inflexible stance especially with due regards to the plight and aspirations of the people. These people, magnanimity will demand, include those who voted for you and those who voted against you. Anything outside this conviction will corroborate the suspicion and perception of the generality of the Nigerian citizens that there is a skeleton in the cupboard, a certain hidden agenda, an ulterior motive, incubated in high places and its execution in early stage to be wrecked on the heads of the people of Nigeria.

Finally, for the reason that friends and foes alike no longer know where Nigeria stands as Abuja overpromises and underdelivers, regional powers are seeking solutions on their own – both through violence and diplomacy. This sugarcoated rhetoric, these earthmoving promises, the heaven and earth swearing, brandishing by our unsophisticated politicians have failed. Time for the reborn of resolute and realistic political leaders is now. Let me allow you to meditatively consider this objective counsel… “Mankind may have to choose between two extreme alternatives of committing genocide or learn to live henceforth as a single family” – Arnold Toynbee, British Historian (1889-1979); so help us God, amen.

Orajiaku, a freelance journalist and social activist, writes via 08035530832