May 6, 2021


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Tardiness and sabotage

7 min read

Our society (my avid readers would have noticed I feel hesitant using the word country because we have never made real attempt to build one in more than 60 years of statehood) is in bad shape. From independence we began a downward slide. Forget the lies we tell ourselves that our founding fathers were nationalists; if they were the kind of positions they took may not have been it. Review the positions of other African leaders of their era like Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kenneth Kuanda of Zambia and you catch the meat of my drift. Ghana and Tanzania keep giving us leadership lessons in spite of not being richly endowed like us. 

    As the years went by we kept moving from bad to worse. It took an added impetus during the military interegnum. With shallow political knowledge those guys went into real bastardisation of inherited institutions, funny enough including their unit and worst of it all was that they dealt fatal blows to due processes. When we distort processes it is easy for the knowledgeable to tell what the final outcome would inevitably be; every critical mind knows the end will be  disaster. Today, we are buffeted with highest degree of insecurity, social tension everywhere, conflicts, abductions, kidnapping, killings at every turn, no corner seems safe any more. Thomas Hobbes one of the greatest philosophers to grace the earth once spoke of state of nature where life and living is brutish, nasty and short. Many of us read the postulation while at the university, but one can say not many took it serious; to a lot of people thought it was a work of fiction but right before us, we are not just into it, we are neck deep in the kind of setting Hobbes warned humanity to do all to avoid.

  In our society today life has become so cheap, it has gotten to a point animals have far higher value than the humans. Human debasement is the vogue, persons are killed in hundreds and no one is shocked. It has become a new normal. Ask the leaders what is the root cause, and pronto you see them throwing their arms into the air in stunning perplexion, none of them seems to know the reason we ran into this big  trouble. They forget it is the outcome of the the seeds they sowed from independence and which they have kept sowing even as recent as yesterday; the tardiness with which they have  approached serious state matters is an issue on its own. For instance, talk of faulty electoral process one of the factors behind insecurity and general under development, our leaders’ first reaction would be to keep a straight face, then exhibit an attitude that sends the message that “it doesn’t matter for now after all this is a new democracy, we are still learning.” Truly, it doesn’t matter to them; in reality all they need are  battalions of bad boys to win an election. It is not about process but the outcome, yet they forget the soul of healthy existence is buried in a sound process. 

   They find funds to hire those felons, use them, go on to «conquer» state purse then leave the boys to return to the larger society, of course very frustrated, very bitter and as would be expected very vengeful too. Now imagine their recourse after seeing power and wealth and being denied same. The leaders on the other hand smile to the banks, which earn big returns without labour, wealth without productive foundation, we know nothing can be more dangerous to health of society than this. We know what this does to the wellbeing of society. We know how it can twist pregnable souls of the adolescents and plant crazy ideas. Meanwhile,  the army of misguided ruffians return to stay with the citizens. Anyone can guess what the relationship could be. This is where sabotage takes its root; this negative trend fuels a culture of rat race, might is the guiding philosophy in this race and in this game of the survival of the fittest, sabotage is a key weapon, opponents plan to make the one on top look bad. In executing this develish design not even the sacred is spared, human lives and large scale societal unsettlement are of not consequence, as far as the masterminds are concerned, it doesn’t matter how much pain is inflicted on society, what is paramount is achievement of the set goals.Goals that are narrow and most times self-serving.

Now this other angle. The nature of insecurity we see so far is pushing some of us into a rethink; it is beginning took as if acts of insecurity happening are not consequences of natural deviant behaviors; it is mind-boggling for instance how some incidents touching on insecurity happen these days. There seems to be something about choreography to it all. Students are abducted in say Kaduna, there is a rescue, another occurs almost immediately, before rescue is completed another one of similar kind happens in another adjoining state. Truth is, crimes hardly take this way except if it is  organized. If it is about hunger, then how come hungry felons have ability to organize in very large groups spread across very wide territories with all logistic implications? Criminals purchase armoured personnel carriers and AK47 riffles. How do these barbarians lay hands on these expensive weapons?

    Uses of evil is not restricted to persons; it can be employed by a leader in government to achieve predetermined ends usually very narrow objectives like shoring up sagging legitimacy, getting through a particular policy and programme and dealing with political opponents among others. Government can go on killing sprees and make it look like it is the victim. It can destroy public institutions and make citizens believe it is the result of system collapse. Public assets in our society did not collapse because they couldn’t be run efficiently under public management, they went down when imperialists from the West dedicated to expansion of the philosophy of private initiative educated their stooges to stop funding those assets. “Government has no business being in business” they told our leaders who bought into it yet didn’t see anything wrong with stuffing management positions with girlfriends, relatives and tribe’s men who had no record of competence in relation to task at hand. This is one of the acts of sabotage that has brought us to where we are today. 

How many of us still recall the Federal Government told us the other day the last  abduction of students in the School of Forestry somewhere in Kaduna State will be the last. The question: how did they reach such a conclusion? In the war against terrorism non-state combatants seem to know better the location of the terrorists than state intelligence officials. Isn’t it curious? A northern representative in the National Assembly made a potent point few days back. He said: “COVID-19 deaths, so we close the society, every tier of government running helter-skelter to find a solution. How many people has COVID-19 killed compared to terrorism? Why is our society not reacting same way to terrorism?” A pointed question, not so?

Sheik Gumi has shown us forests in at least two states where terrorists stay till now no look-in by our security forces. The question is why? In the wiping out of communities in Ebonyi State a whole settlement of foreign indigenes vacated their location before vandals struck leaving blood and sorrow. Till now not one person from such a large population could be traced and apprehended to say what they know about the dastardly killing in Ebonyi. In the mayhem in Imo State capital the invaders even took on the state police headquarters adjacent the Government House, shot for hours and still exited without a scratch. Afterwards Inspector General of Police within few hours found the invaders to be elements of Indigenous People of Biafra.

This is where thoroughness has its place and gains. Tardiness comes also in the manner those in power conduct affairs. Chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau goes fighting in a market, he ended up lampooning Biafra people, a case of mindset wickedness in high places. Of course it has consequences. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was in Owerri, to see what happened with the then Inspector General of Police, when the same federal government he is a part of sacked the police chief. Tardiness. Shambolic handling of state affairs. It is sure indication of rift, low esteem and not wanted. It is instigating enough. The president’s penchant for nepotism in his choice for a new police chief again settled for his region and religion. It is difficult to have peace without justice, equity and fairness. In all I say no to tardiness and to sabotage. It is time to sit and talk. Insecurity can be reduced by over seventy percent in two weeks if our leaders are sincere. True!