Nigeria and its democracy remain an enigma to the outside world. The country is also a paradox, a reminiscence of the ancient Marina, where there is water everywhere but none to drink. Nigeria is the envy of many countries… richly blessed. Name any mineral resources anywhere in the world and you will find them in this great country. The human capacity to harness these God-given assets is in abundance. But those charged with the running of affairs of the country can best be described as callous neo-colonialists from another planet. Believe me. The way they misgovern this country; the manner they loot the nation’s treasury as though there will be no tomorrow; their (arrogant) carriage in the corridors of power; their utterances and acquisitive tendencies as if they have signed a pact with immortality; their insensitivity to the plight of the common man and their playing God mentality, deciding who will be where in 2015, even though nobody knows tomorrow, make me sick.
I love this country so very passionately. I had several opportunities to jump ship and live abroad even when the economic situation was not as this horrible, safe from these purveyors of impunity and iniquity called Nigerian leaders. But I perished the thought. Looking back now, I am beginning to blame myself for being so unwise. And I call myself a Christian. Did the Bible not tell me in the Book of Proverbs that wisdom is the principal thing? And that in all my getting, I should get wisdom and understanding? Perhaps, I did not understand the ominous signs emerging in the horizon.
During the Shagari regime, songbird Onyeka Onwenu sang a tune she entitled: Nigeria, a squandering of riches. I cannot remember the lyrics of the song.
You can approach Onyeka for the lyrics. The song defined the level of profligacy of the time. However, when compared to the present-day intensity of looting, Onyeka’s hit tune patters into insignificance. And I just wonder why the singing machine has not deemed it fit to release a remake of the tune in tune with the present-day reality. Blimey! Onyeka cannot do that again. She is now part of the government that is squandering our collective riches.
However, in spite of everything, I still love this country. I remember the Nigerian Civil War (1967 – 1970). Those who survived the war will cringe at the playback of the hostilities let alone pass through a similar experience. That brings us to the endless drumming of war by the enfant terrible of the Niger Delta region, Alhaji Mujahedeen Asari Dokubo, who was not even old enough to bear arms when the Biafran War was prosecuted.
In his latest ranting, Asari Dokubo, the self-styled leader of the outlawed Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDPVF), had this venom to spew on the pages of National Mirror of Tuesday, February 4, this year: “If it is war the North wants, we are ready for them because Jonathan must complete the mandatory constitutionally allowable two-term of eight years.
“At home, we have regrouped and we have put our people on alert. In less than one hour, the way we would strike, the world will be shocked.
“If anybody does anything to Jonathan, we will retaliate. What we will do will shock the whole world. We will cripple the economy of the country not only in the creeks but also in the nation’s territorial waters.
“Let them not try anything. If they abuse Jonathan, there is no problem, he is THEIR president (my emphasis) but anything that will affect the interest of the Ijaw people and the entire interest of the Niger Delta will be resisted at all cost.”
“The defeat of Jonathan in a FREE and FAIR election (again, my emphasis) will trigger crisis.
“It will make better sense if APC picks its presidential candidate from the South-South. With that, there will be no battle for us to fight and it will make it easier for us. Whichever way it goes, it will enable us to continue our right of uninterrupted rule of eight years….”
Mujahedeen also took time off to lampoon the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Malam Nasiru el-Rufai. He described him as a political hustler who aligned with the opposition because he failed to get patronage from Jonathan. Dokubo also claimed that el-Rufai lobbied Jonathan through the Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark to secure appointment as Secretary to the Government of the Federation and later as running mate to Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election.
Well, el-Rufai is alive to react to Dokubo’s vituperation. But as you all know, the former minister is being harassed all over the place for making a simple legitimate declaration that there would be serious trouble if the 2015 election is not free, fair and credible. The operatives of the State Security Service (SSS), who have arrested el-Rufai for brandishing a toy gun, so to speak, are clapping for Dokubo who is wielding a heavy machine gun and spewing out treason… even if his benefactor is floored in a free, fair and credible election.
But does Dokubo truly love Jonathan as passionately as he wants us to believe? He is just gravitating towards the side of the bread that is well-buttered. Let us quickly recall some scratchy comments he made against the same Jonathan when the margarine on his bread was beginning to thin out.
Hear him in September, last year: “Jonathan is a disappointment to the Ijaw ethnic nationality and the South-South in general for his perceived failings in handling the crisis in the PDP by taming the dissidents.
“I am willing and ready to help him in 2015 but there is something wrong with him; he has been hijacked by some people and he is not doing anything to remove them.” He never named the hijackers.
It is quite clear now that Dokubo is a fair weather friend of Jonathan. Or how can one reconcile the point he made that if the APC picks another Niger Delta folk as its presidential candidate, there would be no war?
Jonathan ought to have called this cantankerous goon to order long before now if he really meant what he said that his “ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian”. His refusal to do so, suggests that Dokubo is echoing what is in his mind. The rest of the nation is sick and tired of the way Dokubo’s diarrhea mouth is running uncontrollably. What a country!
This piece was already in the labour room when the news got to me that Alhaji Asari Dokubo has also been picked by the SSS for questioning over his unguarded utterances. We are watching.