Today is June 12th, our nation’s Democracy Day and I have some home truths to tell.
The struggle for June 12th was indeed a noble, worthy, cataclysmic and monumental one. It was also something of a nightmare which littered our fields with many corpses and soaked the very foundation of our nation with blood, sweat and tears.
I can confirm that because I was deeply involved in it and for many years I, along with many others, fought for it’s actualisation.
Many were martyred, many were jailed, many were tortured and many were compelled to flee into exile.
Great essayists, keen minds and profound writers and thinkers like Professor Adebayo Williams, Professor Wole Soyinka, Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Justice Adewale Thompson and the great Chinwezu kept us going, fuelled our courage, stirred our passion, inspired our spirits and ignited souls with their powerful essays which we read eagerly and voraciously wherever we found ourselves in the world.
This was an intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological conflict and struggle and we threw everything that we had into it.
Chief MKO Abiola was our hero and leader. He was the symbol and rallying point of the struggle and both he and his wife Kudirat sacrificed their lives for it.
I commend the Buhari administration for naming June 12th as our nation’s Democracy Day and I believe that Abiola deserves it. Yet this noble gesture, as commendable as it is, may well be too little and too late.
I say this because the Nigeria of today is the Nigeria of Buhari and not the Nigeria of Abiola. And this presents us with a very different set of challenges which have resulted in a far greater existential threat to our country than the annulment of Abiola’s June 12th presidential mandate and his subsequent murder ever did.
Consider the following. In Buhari’s Nigeria the President is from the core Muslim north. The Senate President is from the core Muslim north. The Chief Justice of the Federation is from the core Muslim north.
Again in Buhari’s Nigeria every single security, intelligence, investigative, military and para-military agency in the country except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim.
This begs the question: do the southerners and indeed the Christians have any place or any meaningful stake in Buhari’s Nigeria?
Yet it does not stop there. In Buhari’s Nigeria the core north says “no” when we say stop the genocide. They say “no” when we say restructure. They say “no” when we say establish a federation. They say “no” when we say establish a confederation. They say “no” when we say stop the hegemony.
They say “no” when we say Nigeria is a secular state. They say “no” when we say stop the Fulanisation. They say “no” when we say stop the Islamisation. They say “no” when we say Nigeria belongs to us all.
They say “no” when we say the northern minorities can lead the nation. They say “no” when we say there are many in the south that can govern the country.
They say “no” when we say Nigeria is not an appendage of Saudi Arabia. They say “no” when we say we are equal regardless of tribe or faith.
They say “no” when we say free Leah Sharibu. They say “no” when we say we are not their slaves.
They say “no” when we say we demand a referendum.
They say “no” when we say we want to leave the marriage and break the union.
They say “no” when we say stop playing this dangerous music. They say “no” when we say stop indulging in this dance of death.
They say “no” to everything and to everyone that seeks to resolve our differences in a reasonable and peaceful manner.
And so it has been for the last 59 long and turbulent years of our existence as an independent state and sovereign nation.
Little did we know that in 1960 we had merely replaced our external British colonial masters with a new set of internal ones.
We locked ourselves into a strange and deceitful web and became enmeshed and entangled in a complex catalogue of self-induced and self-inflicted woes.
Today we are a people under occupation and our land has been desecrated by the precence of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of extremly violent, dangerous, well-armed, blood-lusting, blood-crazed and blood-frenzied terrorists and killer herdsmen who are just waiting for the signal from their masters before they unleash unimaginable horror, terror and hell on our people.
Must we wait until we are slaughtered like flies and buried in mass graves, like the Biafrans, the Bosnians, the Tutsis, the Jews, the Congolese, the Armenians, the Red Indians of North America, the Aborigines of Australia, the Incas and Aztecs of South America, the Ouigas of Mynmar, the Yazidis of Syria and Iraq and countless others, before our eyes open and we demand to leave this tinderbox?
Can anyone blame Prince Adekunle Odunmorayo when he said,
“The demand for restructuring is cowardly, useless and unachievable. Damn any restructuring. We want out of this charade. We want a new nation: we want Oduduwa”.
The Prince, who is my kinsman and a proud son of Ile-Ife, has spoken the minds of millions.
Yet it does not stop there. Permit me to add the words of one of the greatest, most moderate, most conservative and most respected leaders of our nation who fought to keep Nigeria together during the civil war, who has dedicated his entire life to that cause and who has had the privilage of leading the country on at least two separate occassions.
On 11th June 2019 former President Olusegun Obasanjo said the following to Premium Times:
“Now you have a situation where three top officials of Government will be from only two northern zones. Ahmed Lawan (who has been pencilled down as Senate President) is from the North-East, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria is from the north-east and the President of the country is from the north-west. They are all from what we call the core north. How can you have that kind of arrangement and then be absolutely insensitive to it?”
For a modeate and conservative man like Obasanjo to express his legitimate concerns in this way and for him, at an earlier date, to have confirmed the existence of the Fulanisation and Islamisation agenda, is noteworthy, significant and telling.
Given this only a compound fool, a village idiot or a delusional simpleton will dispute the fact that Nigeria is in trouble and that we are sitting on a time-bomb.
Frankly in my view the time for long debates and discussions about our sorry plight and deep afflictions are long over. And neither do I believe that our debilitating problems can still be fixed or rectified.
To those that still share the erroneous belief that we ought to remain in Nigeria I urge and challenge you to consider the following and reflect on our trying predicament.
Those that believe that they own this nation and that they were born to rule it have been insensitive, savage and unrelenting in their quest to conquer our space and they have boxed us in a suffocating and murderous corner.
Every attempt to build bridges with them and reach out to them in love and friendship has failed due to their insufferable arrogance, rappacious thirst for power and unquenchable desire to dominate every sphere of our existence and aspect of our lives. And this applies to every single ethnic nationality in Nigeria who they believe must bow and tremble before them.
What more do we need to see? What more do we need to hear? What more do we need to say?
From a great nation that was once blessed with so much potential, hope and promise we are now nothing but a blood-soaked and demon-infested enclave of sociopaths, meglomaniacs, power-crazed savages, godless barbarians, callous cow-worshippers and bestial cow-lovers. It is only in Nigeria that the life of a cow is more important than the life of a human being!
This begs the question: are we under some strange, inexplicable, mysterious, ancient and binding Luciferean spell?
Is this the work of satan? Have the conjurers of the dark path been at work? Has the Queen of the Coast done her worse? Have they tsken us to the forest in the dark caves of the village?
Are voodoo and magic at play here? Have we been enchanted by the Army of the Dead? Have we been bound by the Whitewalkers that reside beyond the great icy northern wall?
Have we been cursed by the wizards, witches, goblins and orcs of Mordor? Have we been jinxed and hexed by the dark winter forces of the evil Nightking?
Yet spell or no spell, what exactly are we still waiting for in this land of blood, carnage and shattered dreams that is known as Nigeria?
Will inspirational words of faith and hope about a better tomorrow and the gentle expression of lofty ideals about the beauty and power of national unity stop the southern march of the terrorists, herdsmen and hegemonists?
They have already conquered, occupied, pacified and enslaved the entire Middle Belt and the rest of the north. They are now well on their way to “dipping the Koran in the Atlantic ocean” whist flying the flag of their great patriach and forefather Usman Dan Fodio and galloping with fury on his ancient white war horse. Must we wait for them to arrive before taking our leave?
The solution to our problem is to chart one of two courses: to either roll over in submission and let them sodomise and enslave us until kingdom come or to dig deep, find our courage, stand up boldly, hold our heads up high, say “no more” and break out of this godforsaken gilded golden cage.
There is absolutely nothing sacrosanct about this godless and inequitable union and entity. The truth is that time is running out for Nigeria and there may no longer be any alternative to a break up.
They say where there is no justice, there can be no peace. How can there be peace and peaceful co-existence in Nigeria when there is no justice or equity?
What we have is the peace of the graveyard where everyone speaks in whispered tones or is too scared to speak at all.
What we have is the silence of two mighty armies facing and sizing up one another in the field of battle minutes before the onslaught begins and the chaos, turmoil, carnage, madness, savagery, butchery and barbarity unfolds.
What we have is the awkward and eerie silence, fuelled by years of latent hate and resentment, that reigns when brother is about to slaughter brother. These are indeed truly dangerous times as the clock silently ticks and d-day approaches.
Unless there is a divine intervention, at some point the break up that everybody fears is inevitable. And sadly, because no-one is ready to be reasonable and to talk, it is likely to be a very bloody one indeed. May God grant us peace and may He guide and help us all.
Happy Democracy Day!
Femi Fani-Kayode is a lawyer, a Nigerian politician, an evangelical christian, an essayist, a poet and he was the Special Assistant (Public Affairs) to President Olusegun Obasanjo from July 2003 until June 2006. He was the minister of culture and tourism of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from June 22nd to Nov 7th 2006 and as the minister of Aviation from Nov 7th 2006 to May 29th 2007. He runs a syndicated column on The Trent. He tweets from@realFFK.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.