Animal Kingdom

December 31, 2008

Man if tamed or wild

Or even if he calls himself mammal

For he assigns in his wisdom

Since he is said to have dominion

 

But how is he different from a dog

If not less that friend of man

Or is he better than the cat

That rids pest free of us

 

Man is a peacock

Spreading his wings where he has no control

Man is a fowl

Defacing every clean place he finds

Yet but a little touch is gone

 

Man shines like a golden palace

A slice of ‘shit’ every one detests

A painted sepulcher

Open up and no one dare stays

 

A monster pulling down what he cannot build

Bulldozer scattering what he cannot gather

A pig averse to neatness and order

Oh poor man for no war Alexander weeps

 

Man is an animal

Thinking of the now and forgetting tomorrow

Selfish and conceit himself alone to care

Unthinking being him in all doth destroy

This animal called man

 

 

On Gov. Jang, the Federal Government and Jos Slaughter

December 31, 2008

One would have ordinarily considered the action taken by Gov. Jang of Plateau state against the Federal Government of Nigeria on its face value and condemn the Governor. As many other Nigerians, my first instinct was to question the rationality of the Governor’s decision in challenging the Federal Government in court over the constitution of a panel of inquiry on the latest Jos mayhem. But a careful consideration of the issues involved and a later reading of the interview granted to Sun Newspapers by Bishop Gbonigi which was published on the 30th of December 2008 in the same newspaper give food for thought before we condemn the Governor.

 

One would marvel at how the Federal Government reacted to the Jos crisis. The action of the wife of the President who visited Jos and refused to observe due protocols is as condemnable as it betrays that there was bias in her and perhaps her husband towards the governor. The wife of the President is not occupying a constitutional position and yet she was able to throw protocols to the wind. In a sane society, the Plateau state governor would order her arrest together with those of her entourage. What was her credential for engaging in such public display of lawlessness- wife of the President? While one does not begrudge her for her privileged position, she was expected to behave better in that circumstance. And the Army chief visited Jos again and ignored the state governor. Who in Gov. Jang’s position will be happy at such biased attitudes, insults and neglect of protocols? It showed they have no regard for Plateau people who elected Gov. Jang to govern them. Will it be bad if the state’s assembly declares them ‘persona no grata’ to their state?

 

It was clear that the Federal government and her agents have already taken sides on the Jos crisis. The interview by Bishop Gbonigi opened one’s eyes a little to the genesis of all these problems. I had always heard how the Hausas who are visitors to Jos had always wanted to ‘un-sit’ the Landlords. As someone who had visited Jos countless number of times in the past, I am not unaware of some skirmishes that used to take place among the Hausa tenants and the indigenes. But to read that the tenants wanted to turn the Landlords into ‘slaves’ was an action every sane human being would resist. One would think that ‘born to rule’ mentality has gone and gone for good. But what is happening in Jos shows the some Hausa people have not buried the mentality even if they pretend to have killed it. The good Bishop referred to the problem of the Hausa and Yoruba in Kwara state too but that is not the thematic preoccupation of this discourse.

 

The Governor is therefore right to invoke his constitutional powers if that is the case. Even if he cannot stop a federal panel of inquiry, he should be involved in constituting the panel to insure that people who are unbiased and whom the Federal Government has not ‘fed’ what to conclude are selected. The Governor will be right to insist that credible men who are honourable and known to be so in Nigeria constitute the Panel. For instance, people like Justice Kayode Eso, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Rev. Father Matthew Kukah, etc should head the panel whereas an honorable Muslim leader or faithful should be made the secretary. Why do I suggest this? Because religious bias has come into play and to make a Muslim the chairman of the panel will be most unacceptable to Plateau state indigenes who by the way are largely Christians. I am not unaware that the Chairman of the panel constituted by the President sounds like a Christian but how well is he known as a man of honour? He is a sole appointee of Mr. President. Gov. Jang is right to reject him and his panel. It is only a fool that will see the action of the Federal Government since this crisis and fold his hands to watch them play their script. I believe Gov. Jang is no such fool.

 

The Federal Government should be much unbiased in this matter. Whether it involves Muslims or Christians; Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba or Kanuri, we are all human beings created by God to live in peace. We are all Nigerians and the life of one is as important and precious as the lives of the others. The cold blooded massacre in Plateau state was appalling. It was as shameful as it was disturbing but an unbiased assessment is to be made on the crisis. One should consider the history of the crisis if a solution it to be attained. Unless a physician treats the root cause of an illness, it is likely to re-occur. We have to uproot this problem from the root. The Landlords has to be made to live amicably with the tenants but the tenants should realize that someone owns the land and not try to enslave him. If this is tolerated and not nipped in the bud, apartheid in South Africa or that of Southern Rhodesia (Today’s Zimbabwe) would be a mere joke to what people plan to do in Plateau state of Nigeria.

How AIG NUHU Ribadu ‘reconciled’ Generals Gowon and IBB

December 31, 2008

I stopped being an ardent supporter of Nuhu Ribadu the moment he allowed former President Obasanjo to use him. For an officer so intelligent, I could not understand how OBJ could manipulate him for his selfish purposes. This was part of the reason I was not happy when OBJ was promoting Ribadu without following ‘due processes’. However, whereas it was Ribadu’s fault that he allowed OBJ to use him, it was not his fault that he was promoted.

No one will doubt that Nuhu Ribadu did a great job for Nigeria as chairman of EFCC whether it was selective or not. And for those people whose grouse with Ribadu was that he was selective on the people he investigated, my question will be: but those he selected, did they steal at all? If they were thieves, I will not succumb to the argument that because thief A was not punished, thief B should go free too. Nuhu Ribadu did a great job in the selected ‘thieves’ that he tackled. Period.

I would have thought that the Police Service Commission would recommend Ribadu’s demotion in rank just a step down if it was necessary at all, but to send him back to the level of DCP shows that the members of that commission are serving a script written by someone for whatever purposes. I have no evidence to lay the blame either at the door of the powerful governor from the south- south or at the doors of the various ‘thieves’ that Ribadu called to account for their robbery. But the manner of his removal from EFCC ( which is not his father’s company by the way, and so no one was right to be  disturbed had he been removed with ‘due process’) and the events after that including his demotion and posting to the lions’ den in Edo police command raises more questions than answers.

And if Ribadu’s rapid promotion was an issue, if it raised unrest within the rank and file of the police force, what of the rapid promotions former President Babangida gave to himself? If we want to insure justice, that should be visited as well and IBB be demoted to the rank he should have been had he followed ‘due processes’ of promotion. What of the other former officers whose promotions were political? This ‘justice’ meted out to Ribadu should be extended to everyone who also had accelerated promotion. And what of General Yakubu Gowon? Who does not remember his rapid promotion? It was more rapid than Ribadu’s. Are Ojukwu and other military men who were his senior not wailing at his promotions? Justice should be done. General Gowon should be demoted and given the right rank which he should have merited until he ran into exile. If promotion can be given on merit not minding years of service, then Ribadu should be left alone because he merited some promotions due to his service to our fatherland. But if the ‘almighty’ Police Service Commission, demi-gods- Yar’adua, Okiro and Aookanda; and other petty gods and goddesses in Nigeria see some injustice that must be corrected in Nuhu Ribadu’s promotion, then let the justice be extended to Generals Gowon, Babangida and others. After all, Nigeria is one of the very few countries where people can become Field Marshals even when they have never ventured into a battle field. May God save Nigeria.