In a statement he issued on Sunday titled, “May Day! May Day!! May Day!!!,” in commemoration of the 2018 Workers’ Day, Prof. Wole Soyinka, said Nigeria is on a terminal nose-dive and that its pilot, who he noted is missing, must cry for international help as many had advised, and described the ongoing killings in the country as “ethic cleansing.”
The nobel laureate who said May Day, that he uttered thrice, signified a distress call, adding that long before its adoption for that function, however, and more traditionally, there did exist Labour (or Workers’) Day, dedicated to the entitlement of workers to the value and dignity of their labour.
According to to PUNCH, Prof. Soyinka noted that the Nigerian constituency was left to determine which attribution – or both, or none – was deafeningly clamorous on May 1, 2018.
“No matter, one feels it a duty to call the attention to the painful convergence of both appropriations. Could such a co-option serve equally as summons for a last-chance, eleventh hour reprieve?,” he said.
The celebrated playwright also drew what he termed ‘eerie parallels’ in the country’s current situation to a “certain May Day disorder, one in which that distress call was never heard.”
He further likened the present state of things in Nigeria to the Aeroflot Flight 593 of September 28, 1994 in which all passengers died because the captain unprofessionally left the pilot’s seat for his family members while he went to salute the passengers.
Soyinka said, “After preliminary official denials, the undeniable – and tragically inappropriate factor of the crash was formally acknowledged – a laissez-faire, unprofessional conduct with human lapses, among which nepotism – by that, or any other name-loomed large. The captain was not even in the pilot’s seat – others were! They were the pilot’s family – mostly his children.
“The family member who actually begun the spiral of disaster by pulling the wrong control leaver was – the Captain’s son, to whom his even younger daughter, some moments earlier, had yielded the controls. The pilot’s seat had been turned into a family game of musical chairs.
“Where was the Captain? Somewhere along the aisle, saluting the passengers – all quite proper, and indeed encouraged by regulations. He had placed the plane on auto-pilot – just as this nation has been for some time – so he walked between the seats, dispensing and acknowledging greetings – it was a long flight to Hong Kong, after all.
“The plane went into a sharp turn after the wrong lever was pulled, and the auto-pilot disengaged. The original flight pattern was annulled -does that echo a campaign manifesto? – and the plane was now in unqualified hands. It took ages for the pilot to regain his control seat as some passengers were already tumbling from their seats into the aisle and he had to fight his way through bodily obstacles. All that, from reconstruction of events.
“The ‘black box’ – or flight recorder – indicates that the pilot never even got round to shouting ‘May Day’ over the radio – he was too busy struggling to restore the plane’s technical functions, shout instructions, pull the plane out of a nose-dive, and attempt to right the craft – too late!
“Now flash forwards one decade to our present, and recall the number of desperate organisations calling on the Nigerian captain to bury his pride and cry ‘May Day” across all airwaves. Call out for international help to rescue a nation on its terminal nose-dive!
“There has been no sign of willing, while the screwed-up plane is now in its corkscrew dive. Even if this captain regains his seat before the crash, it is open season whether or not, like SUV Flight 593, it will not stall, and head straight for Zuma rockface. Strangers are in control in the cockpit. Put simply, the captain is missing. The rockface is in right in our faces.”
He further called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order all land usurpers in the affected towns and villages across the country to vacate the forcefully occupied lands within 48 hours, and urged him to order the military and the police to treat illegal land occupiers as terrorists wherever they were found.
He said, “Give a nationwide order to all land-usurpers in the affected towns and villages across the nation to quit those forcefully occupied lands within a forty-eight hours deadline.
“Issue orders to the military and police that, wherever illegal occupiers are found, they should be meted the same treatment as are accorded terrorists. Instruct all agencies that, once cleared of usurpers, the rightful occupants should be escorted back to their farmsteads and villages and provided maximum protection.”
Saying that the government must go beyond arresting a token handful of herders caught with arms, he added that there were still hundreds of them in the forests.
He added, “It is not enough to back the anti-open grazing laws, so late in the day, but we shall leave that for later. Right now, the violated and dispossessed demand restitution, and with no further delay or subterfuge. All available forces should be deployed to right a hideous, unprecedented wrong that has left the nation drowning in blood – we simply cannot continue one day longer to endure this forceful feeding of human blood.
“The plain expression is “ethnic cleansing” and we must not beat around the bush. The shade of Rwanda hangs over the nation. Afterwards, we can move into reckoning.
“This spells meticulous investigation, identifying the high-placed sponsors within this nation, some of whom have launched mercenary units to intensify carnage and chaos in order to stem the stride of Nemesis closing in on them for past criminalities, and the cascade of corrupt revelations.”
The celebrated playwright queried what the minister of defence, who allegedly openly justified the homicidal rampage of nomadic herdsmen, was still doing in the Buhari government.
Soyinka noted that there were still other pressing and disturbing questions which would be held back for now in order not “to impede the pressing imperatives and humane priorities of the current crisis.”
“Right now, however, the agenda has to be restitution. Restitution to the displaced, the maimed, the traumatised survivors and the nation’s suppurating psyche. The torrent of internally displaced persons is a national shame, and the growing number of the kidnapped an embarrassment.
“The plane cannot remain on auto-pilot as hitherto, while the pilot strolls up and down the aisle, assuring passengers that all is well. A Happy May Day – hopefully in the not too distant future – to all who labour for humanity.”
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Illegal Abortions Responsible For Mysterious Deaths In Bauchi: State Govt
Bauchi State Government has revealed that the mysterious deaths recorded in the State has been as a result of illegal abortions.
An investigation carried out by the Bauchi State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has revealed that illegal abortion by unqualified medical practitioners is the cause of mysterious deaths in Azare and other local government areas in the northern part of the state.
According to reports, no fewer than 200 women have died in Bauchi as a result of this and there are projections that the number could be more at the end of the investigation.
The Executive Chairman of the agency, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this Friday, May 29, at an interactive session organized by the Bauchi State Public Health Media Network.
Mohammed said the deaths resulted from unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by both married and unmarried women of childbearing ages who, after becoming pregnant, visited quack health workers to terminate the pregnancies.
He said the lack of understanding of the importance of child spacing as well as ignorance of what to do with such pregnancies had become a major problem to family health in the state.
He emphasized the need for adequate sex education for the girl-child by parents, particularly mothers, to reduce unwanted pregnancies, thereby reducing deaths from complications.
Ondo Govt Arraigns Suspected Killers Of Funke Olakunrin
The Ondo State Government has arraigned four men suspected to have killed Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of the National Leader of Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
Recall that it was earlier reported that the Nigeria Police Force handed over the suspects to the State Government.
They are Lawal Mazaje from the Felele area of Kogi State, Adamu Adamu from Jada area of Adamawa State, Mohammed Usman from Illela area of Sokoto State, and Auwal Abubakar from Shinkafi area of Zamfara State.
The suspects were arraigned on Friday by the government at a Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Akure.
Lagos Govt To Shutdown Markets Violating Social Distancing Order
The Lagos State Government has threatened to shut down markets in the State violating the social distancing order.
The Corps Marshal, Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), Gbemisola Akinpelu, gave the warning on Monday at the Command Headquarters in the Oshodi area of the state.
In a statement issued by the Head, Public Affairs Unit of LAGESC, Adebayo Kehinde noted that the order is coming from the State Ministry of Environment.
He reiterated the commitment of the agency to monitor markets across the state to ensure that the directive of the government is being adhered to strictly.
He urged the traders to maintain environmental cleanliness around the markets and stop trading on road setbacks and drainage.
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