The Nigerian state must show who the boss is, By ‘Tope Fasua

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This kind of incidence drags down the level of national discourse. But then in truth, we may not deceive ourselves that we have attained the levels that other nations have, while living with millions of minds that remain bestial and in a state of suspended animation when it comes to religion. The Nigerian state MUST show who is the boss, otherwise we submit our certificate of statehood back to the United Nations and carry on as beasts of the wild. Not only have we screwed up our economy and society through myopia, sheer incompetence, we have failed to communicate with and lift up millions of minds to see things properly and understand the true meaning of civilization. Civilisation, mind you, is the ability to live in large communities and tolerate diversity and diverse opinions. We admit that we do not want society to go on a tailspin whereby everything and anything is permitted. Yes. But one of the ‘anythings’ that must not be permitted is for anyone or a group of people to get up and UNDER ANY DISGUISE, kill a fellow human being… not for religious purposes, economic reasons, or that they have committed a crime. We cannot focus only on western excesses like sexual perversions can we?

Thomas Hobbes described that primitive state of being where life was nasty, brutish and short. In that state, nobody had a specific right to anything. A thief was not a thief. A robber was not a robber. He was just acting on survival instinct and so could attack anyone to collect whatever they had just to satisfy himself. Everybody sought to defend themselves, and to kill and maim while doing it. It was the Dark Ages. But every morning and afternoon, the world was as bright as it is today. The sun shone to illuminate life. But humans refused to see it. Anyone still deliberately living in those Dark Ages should be outed for such a reason. For at some point, human beings came together and decided to vest their rights to self-defense in the state. Therefore, if someone wrongs you, rather than stab or kill them, you report to the state to do justice on your behalf. The world decided to move on from the nasty, brutish, sad and short ways of existence. Alas, in Nigeria, with tens of millions of people in a dark state of mind, enveloped by fanatic adherence to religion that creates no space for deep interrogation of their actions, we are in deep trouble. Will Nigeria unravel from Sokoto?

The Nigerian state must show who’s the boss. Thankfully, Buhari is not running for presidency in 2023. I have seen how almost every aspirant has not spoken on the matter of the dastardly, bestial, and animalistic lynching of Deborah, the Sokoto College of Education student. I don’t know how politics debars someone from taking a strong position in this kind of instance and maybe that is why I will never be a successful Nigerian politician. I think there must be intelligent ways of engaging this particular issue. Perhaps it is too late, as the millions of street urchins are already on the streets, protesting the arrest of two of them who deliberately and in cold blood, took someone’s life, and even set her on fire. All the while, many youths recorded the incidence – some to show off the great act they performed to the glory of God, maybe a few, to report the incidence because they knew it was so wrong, so evil. The Nigerian state must show who’s the boss or else, again, let us head back to the United Nations and submit the certificate of nationhood because we can no longer handle this one. Everyone involved must be adequately punished, no matter who they are.

But I notice that there are millions who support that action and that is where the problem is. Millions of Nigerian Muslims say that that is how it is written in their holy books. Some Muslims say that is not so. The problem with religion is usually that two people read the same book but come off seeing different things. We have seen whole professors (especially the Imam of Abuja Central Mosque), asserting that Muslims are obligated to KILL blasphemers. We have read the youthful Presidential spokesman, Bashir Ahmed, type on Twitter that he believes in killing blasphemers. Even Dangote’s son-in-law who himself is the son of a former Inspector General of Police, Jamil Abubakar, says the sin for blasphemy – in this very instance with Deborah – is to murder the blasphemer. He has no apologies. Imagine a very young, urbane dude believing this kind of thing? Perhaps his father, the suave M. D. Abubakar, who is the President of the NIPSS Kuru old student association (the nation’s number 1 think tank institute for eggheads), also believes this is right. So, across the board we have senators, rep members, ministers, state governors, supreme court judges, top lawyers, accountants, consultants, and of course majority of politicians who believe that the boys who murdered this girl – no matter how outrageous her comments and actions were – should be garlanded and paraded before President Buhari, for the next highest national honours. There we have it; new GCFRs through their very distinguished action for God and country.

And there are other killers in our failed nation. Before this nasty act by these… well, bastards, the latest outrage in town was about the killing of two lovebird soldiers. The perpetrators, somewhere in the East of Nigeria, also got that on tape. They recorded for the world to see as they commented about the wages of sin against their cause. They were members of a separatist group. After raping the rather beautiful and voluptuous lady with much bruises on her body, they proceeded to slice her head off while she still breathed and then placed the head on her body. She scowled as she was beheaded. What a fate to befall someone in this world. The crazy men then proceeded to slice off her vulva. It is a moot point to argue whether Buhari has lost control of this country. The man is a shame unto himself. He is somewhere, occupying space and drawing salaries; he and his starboy deputy who is only interest in eloquent grammar but claims he has been totally caged for eight years. Thankfully, the starboy has spoken against this egregious outrage.

In the southwest of the country, we also have the phenomenon of lynching petty thieves. A couple of months ago, I recall seeing two such charred bodies in Mile 2 on approach from the Oshodi Expressway. It’s been long I saw such. In the southwest too, we have crazy people who daily kidnap and kill people for ritual purposes. This happens everywhere in the country but is rife in this region. The government MUST draw a line over any of these. Granted that the religious one gets the most attention. Some of those who commended or ignored the killing of the soldiers in the east, and the many policemen and other paramilitary workers that have been killed by the dozens, are today amplifying and playing ‘civilized’ over the Sokoto incidence. What is disturbingly obvious however, is how so many northern muslims support and believe to be true, just and appropriate, the summary killing of a blasphemer. People like Jamil Abubakar, who is a pilot, forget that the same Shari’a law they quote condemns them ab initio. His father would have had at least his hands cut off for stealing. Is he saying he was trained only with his father’s salary? If we would embark on summary beheadings, lynchings, and so on, certainly no middle or higher class persons will remain whole in this country. I didn’t see much support from southern Muslims though. The only civilian killings that don’t get hailed is the ones done for rituals. Even their customers dare not come out and hail such. But many southwesterners also hail the lynching of armed robbers, many of whom may be innocent or be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Something tells me this is a watershed moment in this country. Something’s gotta give. I am personally sick and tired of primitiveness among our people. Granted that there are problems in every country (knife crimes among black teenagers in the UK, gun crimes in the USA – also often among black people), but we are in a peculiar situation here. Our reputation is already shot to pieces. We are seen as a waste of space. We just cannot continue like this.

‘Tope Fasua, an economist, author, blogger, entrepreneur, and recent presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), can be reached through [email protected]

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