The ‘New’ Nigeria and Season of the Long Knives

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How time flies, and how tides change! The Nigerian society has steadily grown signs of critical transitions. From a country of decent, law-abiding, peace-loving and God-fearing people; to a social space replete with all manner of anti-social attributes: moral turpitude, love of impunity, lawlessness, violence and blood-cuddling acts, all of which translate to manifest godlessness. There is also a manifest chicanery in public governance, which seems to have come to stay. While people in government display the worst level of moral bankruptcy, the society engages in devious acts, both of which are running the state aground. The mass media capture this in everyday reports, with gory tales and grotesque pictorials to share, of gruesome murders, some bomb detonations, or rape incidents, some ransom-accompanied kidnaps which may end up in permanent disappearances, ritual killings, domestic fisticuffs leading to homicide or severing of body parts, among other cases that show the complete degeneration of the human mind.

The wind that blew across the nation last week was particularly turbulent. On Monday, it was reported that a terrorist group, Boko Haram, was on rampage again in Borno and Kano killing some policemen (that has become the fad now and everyone, including government, seems to have resigned to fate, that the group must strike and kill somebody every day). On Tuesday, newspapers carried a report of the strike of Boko Haram in Gombe in which two policemen were killed. Also, National Mirror generic ivermectin for dogsStromectol 3 mg tablets 222 reported the case of one Ayantayo, who, with his friend Akanbi, was apprehended and paraded by the Oyo State Police Command in Ibadan for allegedly beheading and cutting off the limbs of Ayantayo’s female lover shortly after an overnight romp. That was on Wednesday. The Wednesday papers also carried different stories of Boko Haram’s strikes in some northern towns, in which people were either killed or maimed.

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Aside the daily Boko Haram stories, there also were the regulars, such as cases of kidnapping and robbery attacks in the southeastern states of Nigeria; murderous rage of armed robbers along Lokoja-Okene-Abuja road; clashes of political thugs and road transport workers in southwestern Nigerian states, including the violent disruption of and ripples trailing the botched fifth Adefarati Lecture in Akure; as well as the many cases of official corruption, particularly the foul smell that keeps coming from the subsidy probe.

On Thursday, the worst happened. Book Haram took its clueless war to the doorsteps of the media. In what was apparently painstakingly worked out and which demonstrated the level of organizational sophistication the Boko Haram operations have matured into, the gang simultaneously carried out bomb attacks in Abuja (the seat of power) and Kaduna, in which some media houses (Thisday, The Sun, and The Moment newspapers) were singled out for attack, while also staging a gun-battle with security forces in Jos. The incidents left several people dead and properties destroyed. The terrorist group, which claimed responsibility, offered misrepresentation of the group by the media, among other frivolous explanations, for the bombings of the newspaper houses. They bragged that more attacks on the media would come shortly.

Terrorism, like suicide bombing or gun-battle with security agents, was unprecedented in our clime. Bombing media houses was even more unprecedented. The closest we have ever had to all of this was the 1986 letter-bomb incident in which Dele Giwa, a daring journalist and founder of the Newswatch magazine was killed. Other cases were the 1995-1998 General Sani Abacha-orchestrated state terror, of which the recently convicted former Chief Security Officer to the late dictator, Major Al-Hamza Mustapha was the linchpin. Even then, the Abacha terror was a series of isolated cases of the intimidation of political opposition, which is commonplace in places with dictators. It was nothing near this Boko Haram monster.

Indeed, the entire previous week was full of incredible stories of what a society should not be. And this has been the case since last year. Sometime last year, a 30-year old man reportedly snuffed out the life of his new beautiful banker-bride. A 75-year old man recently raped a 5-year old girl. Some secondary school students travelling from Abuja to Lagos were recently ambushed by a gang of robbers and serially defiled somewhere in Ogun State. A woman, just last Thursday, was reportedly arrested for killing her husband with a brick over a mere argument about where the grain meant for the home was being diverted. The question of smuggling the food for the family to a male lover was probably the undercurrent. It has been one case of cruelty after another. It still boils down to the same issue of a broken moral chord. My hunch is that the society is showing symptoms of a terminal moral disease.

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My question: Is Nigeria thus becoming an apt description of the Hobbessian state of nature, where there are no regards for laws, and where everyone revels in anarchy? When Thomas Hobbes did his classic on the ‘social contract’, he did not have the 21st century in mind. It was pre-modern England, by way of prescribing a firmer control of the state by the king, whose absolutism should however, be premised on the provision of the good life for the people. And when Chinua Achebe wrote Things Fall Apart, it was the character of Nigeria in the prelude to colonialism he was trying to capture. However, no other words could describe the present level of decadence better than that three-word sentence, Things Fall Apart!

Also, although authored in another Nigerian social context, Wole Soyinka’s The Man Died buy diflucan single dosediflucan price uk could not have explained any other situation better than the lack of will and courage to fight the current scourge of terrorism on the part of government and the ‘brave’ Generals of the so-called ‘best military in Africa’. Indeed, the man dies in him, who suggests dialogue with common criminals as the solution to domestic terrorism. And when Niccolo Machiavelli charged the leader in his treatise, The Prince online zyban zyban online kaufen to be firm in governance, to be only concerned about favourable results rather than being wary of what stepping on toes, as well as not to trust anybody around him in the quest to secure and keep power; he was not suggesting that all other affairs of the state should be abandoned only for a personal agenda to be realized. Machiavelli was in agreement with Sun Tzu in his 333 arimidex treatment for dcisAnastrozole generic cost Art of War, that only the adequate security of the state which he governs, can guarantee the leader’s personal security or personal agenda. Let President Jonathan learn therefore, that if he must be re-elected in 2015, he must tackle the many security issues of the state, which are capable of consuming any national aspiration or personal political ambition.

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