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Dead Men Walking [Guest Post]

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“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

I remember walking along a footpath with two friends in Ijebu – Igbo, Ogun state when we noticed a hole in the ground and curiously I asked my friends to join me in fishing out whatever must be hiding in it. My friends who did not share my curiosity paid me no heed and said they didn’t want to get biting by a snake, they would rather pass peacefully without disturbing what ever animal had found solace in the hole.

That experience stays fresh in my memory because it stirred in me thoughts about the lazy Nigerian, who in fear of death or suffering has refused to challenge the status quo and demand good governance from his leaders. Only a few have resolved to become agents of change while defying the corrupt tendencies of our Nation’s leaders. I am however glad that few youths are part of the ranks.

What is worth living in a life filled with fear, uncertainty, public negligence, lack of good education and insecurity? Let’s no deceive ourselves, we are dead men walking.

Call Nigerians names like “Lazy african scum” or “scary cat” that however, would not rouse them from their laid back posture towards government activities. All you keep hearing is “you wan die, life sweet o”.  Later on when there is a power failure or they witness one of many factors that still makes Nigeria a 3rd world country, they sit in their houses and rain curses on government officials. Little wonder it is rumoured that our government officials visit the shrines of local priests for rituals that would help ward off curses and evil which their fellow country men in frustration have cast upon them.

In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.” We cannot keep dreaming of a Nigeria where everything works and life is beautiful, we must take off our jackets, roll our sleeves and get busy forging the Nigeria of our dreams.

The monies meant for national development are being squandered by politicians and their croonies. They have filled banks with money, bought properties and still have an excess of 2 billion naira which they hide under their beds. Yet we continue to live like nothing happens, in the words of Fela, we keep suffering and smiling.

If only we could find 25 Million youths, who are ready to become active agents of change. We would change our country in a short time.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. mayor-d

    April 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    is true talk..i like d issue you treated.

  2. Paul Christian

    April 6, 2012 at 4:53 am

    Its no surprise that a lot of us accept Nigeria the way we see it. However, it is very annoying and heart breaking that we can not do anything to change our situation. Everybody wants good life but don’t want to work hard to achieve it (no body wants to die,but everybody wants to go to heaven). If there’s any avenue that can lead us to that change we want or deserve,I am ready to be part of it.

  3. Samson daniel

    April 6, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Dats tru talk dia,,,if only dis amount of pple will com out 4change in our great country NIGERIA den dey will be a new NIGERIA 4us 2stay.

  4. Matthew Ebuloku

    April 6, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Good talk by Samson Daniel. Dead men walking. 2million youths to start the revolution is good.
    Now, you have the vision stir it up and others ‘ll certainly join you. It takes one man to create something. Create d awareness d more; call for meetings; create a coupon where interested youths ‘ll sign up indicating their interest and u ‘re on the move. Will ‘re in support of ur idea. Cheers.

  5. Ugonna

    April 6, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Nice article. But you sef, what did you find in the hole, or you couldn’t summon courage to go alone? Charity begins at home. You don’t have to wait until your friends join you to discover something or to make a change.

  6. Lawal

    April 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

    Indeed we nigerians are living in worldly hell.A country with an absolute unproductive population dreaming of becoming one of the word’s best economies by the year 20-20-20 without a head start and a zero effort.The rich country has left its masses with nothing to be proud of.What a pity!

  7. Na Engr Kevin

    April 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Enof talks C”MON lets just start dis change movement ryt away, to me i can be able 2 raise up 2 150-200 youths wen u ppl are ready I will b waiting also 2 move with u. Lets get it going already okay…

  8. Ben

    April 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Pls who wrote this? The writer think exactly and similarly what i saw in Nigeria, can i get ur contact?

  9. Enter your name...EMMANUEL JOHN

    April 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    think we can form a group that’ll be tag “street government”. present our case well non violence manner and start sweeping these streets we own, cos believe the youth with strength and vigour will be determined to find out what’s in every open hole without fear of any snake bite, lets wake up brothers and save our nation from ruin.

  10. adedunmade

    April 7, 2012 at 12:37 am

    Thanks for the comments guys. We really need to move nigeria forward.

  11. Jonah Alex

    April 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

    The change will went must start 4rm our individual life’s then d change wil reflect collectively,AM READY 4 D CHANGE.

  12. Enter your name...

    April 7, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Nice article in there, we really need to take the bull by it horn, so unfortunate that this country that is blessed by God Almighty with different resources is going thru hardship by approx. 95% of her citizens. Must we continue in sin that His grace will abound, is it until He takes the blessings from us that we will know how…. God forbid. Please let us team up 2gether for that change I’m ready to be part of it. Hala me and I’ll be there. God bless this country Nigeria. 4rm Bush

  13. Olaitan Martins

    April 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    It is better to die while fighting than to die when sleeping, iam ready for the fight

  14. Enter your name...

    April 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    U make a good and brilliant observation.. It’s just exactly the same thing i discused with a friend this morning. I’m so glad at this article and i think no time is better than now. We the youth is the country itself, and the future depends much on us. We realy need to change ourselves and make a positive reflection of it in the larger society… And for me, i’m on the move already…

  15. paulinus afam obi

    April 9, 2012 at 2:45 am

    Broda, ur article makes alot of senses, and i concur with you. I everly ready 247. I ‘m already a member. We really need great changes in our country. However, I stil remains Biafran.

  16. JayNICE

    April 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I fill inspired and challenged at the same time with this article, i used to think that am the only one that realy feels the mess we are in, in this country Nigeria. I have already decided that what is right in the eyes of God will be my command no matter how difficult or even easy it might look. let everyone who have read this article take a wise step by changing their ownself, b4 they start thinking of changing this country. Thank U and God bless Nigeria.

  17. Ben

    April 12, 2012 at 7:35 am

    I respect one man the legend fela . He foresaw all this which he lamented. Many people hate him because of his life style with out not knowing that it was what he foresaw that drive him to that life style. When the revolution started in Egypt and Libya many people vowed and decided its either they fight and die than to be rules by poisonous serpent, selfish government. But here in Nigeria we are afraid and less concern to know what is inside hole. Truly we are walking corps ,as a living human, which area of life is functioning well in this country? just mention one. Is it judiciary where if you can Loot public treasure, if you get indicted, you get less than six months to stay in prison later every body will respect you with different award and chieftancy title, while if you stole one bread you get life in prisonment if not jungle justice where the will kill you before the police will arrived. Is it light, road, security,medical system, human right and name them. Every body is afraid we no want to die !!?? And they knew that we are not ready to stand up for our right, that is why its business as usual. Our ruler are busy looting our money sending it to develop country where it will safe and buy property, build hotels and company. while here in Nigeria they move on v.i.p and escorts. They know and don’t believe in this animal jungle country call Nigeria .to be continue………

  18. Ben

    April 12, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I respect one man the legend fela . He foresaw all this which he lamented. Many people hate him because of his life style with out not knowing that it was what he foresaw that drive him to that life style. When the revolution started in Egypt and Libya many people vowed and decided its either they fight and die than to be rules by poisonous serpent,and selfish government. But here in Nigeria we are afraid and less concern to know what is inside hole. Truly we are walking corps ,as a living human, which area of life is functioning well in this country? just mention one. Is it judiciary system where if you can Loot public treasure, if you get indicted, you get less than six months to stay in prison later every body will respect you with different award and chieftancy title, while if you are poor and stole one bread you get life in prisonment if not jungle justice where they will kill you before the police arrived. Is it light, road, security,medical system?, human right? and name them. Every body is afraid we no want to die !!?? And they knew that we are not ready to stand up for our right, that is why its business as usual. Our rulers are busy looting our money sending it to develope country where it will safe and buy property, build hotels and company. while here in Nigeria they move on v.i.p and escorts. They know and don’t believe in this animal jungle country call Nigeria .they are above the law while law is made for the poor and lesprivalages Nigerians sorry! to be continue………

  19. Osaze

    April 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    All of you are just theoretical, what is the way forward? How were Wole Soyinka and co able to subdue the colonial masters. It is time to drink from d cups of our elders. If you must stage a protest or fight for your right you need a BACK UP. Wise is he who lives to fight another day, even the writter dreads death at this point in time. Controlled appeal to a wicked constituted authority isnt a child’s play. Think twice, though cowards die many times before their death but D valiant neva taste of it but once. GBAM

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Opinion

Who Will Explain Coronavirus To Buhari?

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Coronavirus (COVID-19), an exorable doom, threatens life on the planet. It is exorable because it is conquerable. This explains why world leaders are taking the charge to combat this ominous apocalypse. It is a time for leadership from the fore-end; a time when citizens must hear their leaders speak to them; see them take action, making assurances and fulfilling those promises. The counsel, consolation and firm statement of a leader is imperative at this moment.

In Canada, Justin Trudeau, prime minister, despite being in self-isolation and his wife battling the virus after contracting it at a conference in the UK, is leading the fight against this dreaded disease from the fore. He is providing regular updates of the efforts of his government to roll back this scourge, listening and speaking to citizens.

In a popular broadcast on March 13, Justin spoke to citizens of Canada announcing measures to relieve the financial stress brought on by the pandemic on Canadians.

“We do not want any Canadian to have to worry about whether or not they’re going to be able to pay their rent, whether or not they’re going to be able to buy groceries, or care for their kids or elderly family members. We need to make sure that Canadians have the options and the ability to follow the best public health advice and keep themselves safe,” he said.

In the UK, Boris Johnson, prime minister, leads the struggle against coronavirus. He provides updates, alongside health experts, on the measures his government is taking to tackle the spread of the disease. And in the US, Donald Trump is not shying away from speaking to Americans on the virus.

As a matter of fact, President Muhammadu Buhari’s lapses are often easily dismissed by his supporters or by Nigerians who do not know better. Some of them say, ‘’ Why must the president speak when the minister of health and the NCDC DG are already doing that?” This is a contemptible rationalisation of incompetence. Are they suggesting the president lacks the capacitance to understand the issues?’’

Really, I surmise the president has been walled off the ‘’candid cameras’’ over the years by his handlers – not just now – because he lacks the intellectual propensity to understand and discuss incisive issues. The last presidential media chat he held was in 2015 and it was a woeful outing. Also, his non-choreographed media interviews have been abysmal to say the least.

The truth is the unfiltered Buhari is a vacuously gaffing one. On October 14, 2016, standing beside Angela Merkel, German chancellor, Buhari said his wife, Aisha, ‘’belonged in the kitchen and the other room’’, when he was asked to comment on the first lady’s criticism of his government.

On April 18, 2018, at the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, the president said the young citizens of the country he leads are lazy.

“More than 60 per cent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education free,” he said during a panel appearance with world leaders at the forum.

In a February 2016 interview with UK Telegraph, Buhari dropped another clanger. He said the young citizens of his country have a knack for criminality and should not be granted asylum in the UK.

With the Buhari experience, it is indubitable that Nigerians must place a high premium on education — not just certificate – in choosing their leaders. The cost of electing leaders who do not have the intellectual grit to understand and handle matters is far too high.

The senate has asked the president to speak to citizens on this threat, and Nigerians are also asking the president to speak to them. This is an abnormality. Citizens must not beg to hear from their president. But because it is Buhari involved here, we have to beg and even excuse the crass inefficiency and vacuity.

Perhaps, the president is still trying to get a hang of it. I think he has ‘’capable handlers’’ who can break it down to him in ABC.

Mr President, speak to your citizens. The words of a leader are more resounding and assuring than the blandishment of proxies.

PS: Let’s follow all health protocol as advised by the NCDC.

• Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water.

• Cover your mouth and nose properly with handkerchief or tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing. You may also cough into your elbow if a handkerchief is not available.

• Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.

• Avoid self-medication, report to the nearest health facility when you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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Opinion

Sanusi: Once Upon An Emir, By Wole Olaoye

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We are all potential Ex-es: ex-student, ex-director, ex-lecturer, ex-senator, ex-governor, ex-president, ex-oba, ex-emir…. The inimitable Zik famously reminded us when he had a spat with Ukpabi Asika that Ex was an inevitable prefix for any human being as was evidenced by the fact that a certain young man who would someday become an ex-Administrator, was the son of an ex-postmaster!

So, what’s so apocalyptic about Sanusi Lamido Sanusi joining the ranks of ex-potentates? Nothing? Everything! Don’t ever think that bell you are hearing is tolling for the former Emir of Kano. No. It could be signalling the beginning of a comprehensive demystification of traditional rulership by plebeians holding tenured political power. In centuries past, no plebeian messed with the traditional institution. The halo of nobility, the sheer vastness of a prince’s hereditary powers, rights and privileges, made the subject know his place.

Yesterday’s subjects are today’s political sovereign. They make no pretences to sophistication. They load a gun to kill a spider. When you dethrone a monarch and then deprive him of his liberty, forcefully banishing him to a place without electricity and potable water, you are playing god. If it was all a public relations Olympics, the calm dignity with which Sanusi handled the humiliation made people all over the world admire his chutzpa and hand him the gold medal. A

Life and its many puzzles! Why is it that for some men and women, “their sleep is taken away unless they cause some to fall”? What do you do about an ego that knows no satiation? As the Preacher in the Good Book timelessly says, “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full… The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear content with hearing… there is nothing new under the sun”.

The Yoruba have a poem that says just that. “The horse struts and frets and then dies. Being a veteran walker is no immunity to getting lost. Nothing new under the sun. I’ve seen kings reduced to slaves; and servants who mounted the throne. Haven’t my eyes beheld both river and sea? Haven’t I seen a hunchback on spindly legs, and a midget climbing a ladder to add condiment to the soup pot? Tell me, has anyone ever started a building from the roof?

The new Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero, is a cousin of his predecessor. As royal intrigues go, when the dust is settled the sword will be sheathed and brother will embrace brother. That is the way of princes. Eventually, outsiders will realise that all they can ever be in palace politics is outsiders. Our very own Nobel prize winning Kongi was not amused by the scandalous extra-judicial detention of the former emir.

He put the emir’s travail down to his progressive stance: “Emir Sanusi was a one-man EFCC sanitisation squad in the banking system, taking on the powerful corrupters of that institution…. “Most important of all, and most pertinently for the nation, Sanusi was one of the early warning voices against religious extremism whose bitter fruits the nation is currently reaping….

The doors of enlightened society remain wide open to Muhammad Sanusi. As for his current crowing Nemesis, a different kind of gates remain yawning to receive him when, as must, the days of governorship immunity finally come to an end.” Support for Sanusi is not limited to radical voices.

Veteran technocrat Alhaji Ahmed Joda penned a panegyric in support of the ex-emir: “The purpose of this letter to you is not to commiserate with you, because I know that you must have known the likely consequences  of the principled position you have taken. The reality we must face in Northern Nigeria is that the evil forces of feudalism that have kept us in bondage for so long are still there and fighting. You have been the only voice that has been telling us this truth….”

It is easy to kick a man given a pin-fall by fate, or piss on the grave of a fallen warrior. Dead men don’t bite. Real friends show up when you are in life’s valley. Say what you will, I would rather have a friend like Nasir el Rufai when the chips are down. In the midst of all the turmoil, conspiracy theories have surfaced to the effect that the dethronement is but a political sleight-of-hand to propel Sanusi to Nigeria’s presidency in 2023. Caution! Let’s separate the issues. Political succession is totally different from fundamental human rights. Sanusi is not my next president.

My views on power rotation are well documented. The ex-emir will go down in history as a champion for the rights of the poorest of the poor. He advocated for a new Northern Nigeria where old backward practices such as the almajiri system and irresponsible parenting will be abandoned. His was the voice crying out in the desert, lift my people up from the cesspit of penury. The attempt to demonise him after dethronement through various allegations, including one on religious fundamentalism, is dead on arrival. The same fate will befall the vilification of El Rufai on account of his loyalty to Sanusi. Please quote me: Modern challenges can never be resolved with a resort to medieval solutions.

Christopher Hitchens’ Q&A may someday apply to the ex-Kings College boy who’s now an ex-king.

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Opinion

Sanusi Dethronement: The North Only Beheads The Bearers Of Truth

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By Fredrick Nwabufo

Northern Nigeria is prostrate. It is the axis of uglies – banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, diseases, ignorance, and drug abuse. Alas! The region’s elite are aware of the problems, but look away because the disequilibrious status quo sustains them. What is petrifying, however, is that they maul and clobber at anyone who spits the truth in their faces.

I think, this is the mortal sin of Muhammad Sanusi II, emir of Kano – beyond his politics with Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano.

But wait!

The World Bank says 87 percent of Nigeria’s poor are in the north. And that while poverty is plummeting in the south, it is rocketing in the upper region.

READ: Dethroned Sanusi Will Be Under House Arrest – Ganduje’s Aide

“Poverty in the northern regions of the country has been increasing especially in the north-west zone. Almost half of all poor lived in the north-west and the north accounts for 87 percent of all poor in the country in 2016,’’ the Bretton Woods institution said in its report entitled ‘Advancing social protection in a dynamic Nigeria’ in February 2020.

In August, 2019, the federal government revealed that 1,460 people were killed by bandits in seven months. And that the north-west is the worst-hit by this bloody enterprise. The killings have steadied, expanding in proportion and execution in the region.

In his accustomed manner, Sanusi recently vocalised these depressing figures of retrogression in the north – as regards the World Bank report — earning himself praise from progressive Nigerians and reprimand from the usual suspects — those stuck in the cesspit of bigotry.

Also, the gadfly emir of Kano, whom I regard as the John the Baptist of the north for his vociferous condemnation of this status quo, is alone in his advocacy against irresponsible polygamy, Al-majiri and child marriage – practices the northern elite espouse. He is the face of a progressive north; the northerner of the new age.

As a matter of fact, on different occasions he had complained about the northern elite whom he said wanted to silence him for speaking the truth about the region.

‘’Our colleagues and compatriots among the elite do not like statistics. Numbers are disturbing. I recently gave a speech in which I said the north-east and north-west of Nigeria are the poorest parts of the country. This simple statement of fact has generated so much heat; the noise has yet to die down. The response to this speech has been a barrage of personal attacks and insults aimed at silencing any voices that dare shine the light on the society to which we are saying Bring Back our Girls,’’ he said at a lecture held to commemorate the Chibok girls abduction.

READ: Sanusi Breaks Silence After Dethronement As Emir Of Kano (Video)

And I guess they can only take the throne away from him but cannot take away his royalty in the community of decent humans. Really, I believe the emir would rather give up his throne than be gagged by the shareholders of iniquity.

To say the least, Sanusi’s dethroning was not unexpected. Ganduje had always shown his hand in this plot. Really, the emir of Kano never hid his dislike for him. But what is there to like about a governor who was allegedly caught on camera stuffing wads of dollars into his babariga? In the build-up to the 2019 governorship election in the state, the emir was not shy in expressing his disapproval to Ganduje’s candidature.

So, Ganduje, who considers Sanusi a ‘’loud mouth’’, plotted a bitter revenge after he was re-elected. He had moved to remove the emir in 2018 but for the intervention of some ‘’higher powers’’. However, he whittle-down the power of the emir by creating new emirates from his domain. He was not done though. He rustled-up allegations, set up probe panels – all in the desperation to embarrass Sanusi.

But Sanusi was still talking.

Really, one of the most abrasive places to exist is in the circle of non-progressives. You talk different, think different or act different, they will feel threatened. Even when you try to clown around; the aboriginal clowns will still feel threatened because you do not look the part.

I think, Emir Sanusi is light-years away from the people he is dealing with in Kano government. He is needed more at the top echelon of government where he can contribute more meaningfully to the development of Nigeria.

Northern Nigeria is not ready for an emir like Sanusi. He is ahead of his time.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and journalist.

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