It would have been so easy if anger could solve problems. We would have chosen the path of the prophecy of the legendary Bob Marley of blessed memory. “A total destruction, the only solution.
They aren’t no use, no one can stop them now!” Quite obviously, the civil war that seemed to have been avoided in March 2015 on the heels of former President Jonathan’s concession of defeat to retired General Muhammadu Buhari, is now looming large more than ever before. Who didn’t feel a chill up the spine when the carefully choreographed theatre of the absurd played out at the collation centre of election results on that fateful sunny day when ex-Minister Orubebe starred as the notorious bad boy and angel of doom? Who didn’t feel the eerie air of silence that seemed to have paralysed the nation in expectation of the second Act?
Again, who did not heave a sigh of relief when Goodluck Jonathan finally did the needful and called Muhammadu Buhari on telephone to concede the obvious defeat that was only waiting to be announced? Who?
Of what relevance is that today, though, in the face of dreadful realities portending danger and misery for the Niger Delta and the rest of the country?
Indeed, every fair-minded analyst knew what it meant for Nigeria when news broke out that former President Jonathan performed the historical act that was done before him only by Dimeji Bankole at a lower level, to concede electoral defeat and congratulate the rightful winner. We knew the pit of hell that Nigeria was rescued from and agreed that Jonathan deserved accolades.
Tragically too, we knew very many things that we did not want Jonathan to get away with. One generally known fact is that no nation on earth makes budgetary provisions for the re-election campaign of any political leader. Nigeria was no exception. Yet information dominated the airwaves of the free flow of hard currency for gratifications to mobilise support from all nooks and corners for Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election. Ridiculous pictures hit the airwaves, of an incumbent president kneeling and crawling for prayers before witches, pastors and imams. Millions of dollars were paid for spiritual salvation and physical manipulations.
Today, thanks to the dogged but expected efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari, these issues are no longer speculations but common knowledge that will soon be widely validated by judicial pronouncements. Government and party officials, who knew so well that there was no budgetary allocation for the re-election campaign of the president are now trying in vain to feign ignorance of the source of the money that was disbursed to them to prosecute the president’s re-election campaign. The giver and the taker of stolen money are often considered trapped in the same cage in the spirit of the law. Ignorance is no excuse.
The same applies to a cousin or next-of-kin of the president, who is officially awarded a $40 million contract and is paid upfront in full for doing nothing.
A lot happened prior to the elections too. Sanusigate ended up in some Pricewater charade with whistleblowers rather than the perpetrators of crime being hunted beyond all bounds. The perpetrators revelled in triumph and emptiness, believing in the power of the highest political instance. The brigandage of an elitist clique called the shots in the land much to the amazement and fury of the discerning minds. A nation was simply bastardised by drinkers of liquor and many who should have known better.
No doubt that the anger was immense that Jonathan sought to paper-over with the virtue of conceding an electoral defeat that was not orchestrated to look as such. The sweetness of the moment was compounded by memories of the vicious rape committed on a single nation in the belief of raping the nation on a turn-by-turn basis and from region to region. Worse still, it was led by a man who, Nigerians erroneously believed, was blessed with the highest possible academic decoration as a symbol of intellectual superiority.
Now, we know that former President Jonathan is immensely constrained intellectually by virtue of his actions and omissions. Discerning Nigerians – not the half-educated and emotionally overwhelmed soldier-bees – had long come to terms with this reality and accepted that an internationally brokered soft-landing (even though only speculated) for the ex-president may be grudgingly accepted in the interest of peace. That much was the status quo until Sahara Reporters threw the bombshell. We will come to that later.
No one anticipated the enormity of the theft that the former president supervised until fingers started pointing at him repeatedly, as the legitimator of the loots that turned the Central Bank to a self-service snack bar. The deliberate weakening of the Nigerian Armed Forces through the free ride granted the Generals to loot the coffers blind was complemented by the suspected arming of rebel forces in the creeks with warships from Norway, as far as we know in public space. Former President Obasanjo worried aloud about fighters sponsored by President Jonathan, who were receiving military training overseas. His open letter claiming the stock-piling of weapons by Jonathan’s men is no secret to the nation. Today, some militants are boasting of missiles to strike the presidential palace.
It all started with the curious and sudden resurgence of secession agitation led by one pathetic but fully misguided agent of the invisible forces that was quickly tamed and quarantined by the forces of re-organised authority. Having been frustrated in that angle, the forces obviously regrouped and activated the alternative option of restarting the Niger Delta militancy, again, under the pretext of marginalisation.
They proceeded to launch treasonable sabotage attacks on the economic lifeline of the country and did not care that they were subjecting their region to the more serious collateral impact of environmental hardship. While speculations have been rife on the evil project being the brainchild of political sponsorship, no one saw the bombshell coming that indeed elected and trusted officers of state in charge of public funds would come anywhere near sympathising with the diabolical notion of the criminals in the creek.
Indeed, like me, many Nigerians are waiting and hoping they will wake up soon from a deep sleep and understand that the bombshell exploded by Sahara Reporters was just a dream after all.
The yet-unrefuted Sahara Reporters report contends that governors of the Niger Delta region with the exception of Cross-River and Edo State are presently in an open and brazen gang-up to kill the war against corruption as it affects their region by calling for the abandonment of corruption charges against politicians from their region. This is supposed to be in return for the cessation of pipeline-bombing hostilities. In this extremely outrageous ploy, it is yet unclear if they enlisted the support of the only government Minister so far perceived to be hardworking and productive, or if this Minister – himself from the region of the tamed trailblazing secessionist agitators – has been a part of the criminal design all along.
No surprise that the teeming majority of Nigerians who voted for a clean-up of the system to reset the button of decency, are now up in arms and extremely infuriated. The blackmail that was planned by these governors, who now stand under the serious suspicion of at best sympathising with the criminal activities of the Niger Delta militants or at worst, having sponsored them all along, seems predicated on the obnoxious thought to fall back upon, that the resources being from the Niger Delta justifies corruption by politicians from that same region. They, therefore, hold the belief that the state can be legitimately blackmailed in this respect.
Many have been wondering why former President Goodluck Jonathan in his abundance of wisdom has so far failed to speak up on the atrocious acts of his kinsmen. Now, there is a sense of knowing why it has been so. Yet, a more intelligent approach of openly disowning the rampaging criminals, whether he sponsors them quietly or not, would have been the least strategic move to expect. It is reminiscent of the game that he played in the run-up to the Presidential election of 2015. Even though all indications pointed to his re-election ambition and efforts, he kept mute on the issue for a very long time and even denied it outright when confronted directly. On one occasion, he was quoted as telling his predecessor, Olusegun Obasanjo that “I have never told anyone I wanted to run for re-election”.
With the bunch of pedestrian advisers surrounding him, he will, sooner or later, end up ostracising himself in the international community, where the same people who have been awarding him questionable democracy prizes will begin to question his integrity and the role he is playing in destabilising his country. Most pathetic of all is the lack of constructive remorse in the attitude of the former president under the evidential yoke of consuming vices. With evidence mounting by the day, of the unprecedented monumental scale of corruption directly coordinated by this former president, he still nurses the hope of bullying his way out of the stinking quagmire.
In his failure to learn from history, he is unable to see what his presidential bullying has turned his party (the PDP) into. He bullied his way into presidential candidacy in the spirit of ‘having it my way or the highway’. Denying his party, the option of a strategically more qualified candidate, he ran for re-election and lost woefully and today, his party is in tatters. Again, he is trying the same diabolical tactic using the Niger Delta as a springboard. His pawns are the ganja-smoking sons of Jah and militant-minded governors of Nyesom Wike quality that were foisted on us by allegedly compromised Supreme Court judges. In the end, all signs are pointing to the fact that the Niger Delta may as well be left in tatters like PDP as a historical presidential souvenir. If the meaning of “Goodluck” is to leave a trail of disaster wherever the former president goes, I will gleefully wish the Niger Delta good luck.
For now, though, the fury and outrage that the so-called governors of the South-South plus Ibe Kachikwu have triggered in the public should be encouraging enough for President Muhammadu Buhari to bring out the General in him pretty quickly in spite of age-induced frailty. Indeed, in the depth of my anger at this willful sabotage to spite the aspirations of a nation for good governance and a return to casual sanity, I would have advised the president to summon an emergency meeting of the Council of State to declare the urgent need to arrest former President Goodluck Jonathan there and there, declare a State of Emergency in the rebel states of the Niger Delta, arrest the governors and have them tried for treason, and declare an all-out war on the Niger Delta until the militants are wiped off the face of the earth.
Unfortunately, though, anger does not solve problems and innocent souls will bear the brunt. No matter what happens, this is a battle that Muhammadu Buhari must win by hook or by crook. By defiance and doggedness! Without surrendering, without retreating! No region in any nation is ever granted a free ride to corruption – golden egg or not. Nigeria will not be an exception.
Every well-meaning Nigerian will now be best advised to brace up for the impending revolution to topple the forces that will not let Nigeria be. At individual level and at the level of voluntary, non-governmental organisations, the time is fast approaching to seize the sceptre and grab the bull by the horn. Preparations should start here and now, to pick up the gauntlet and deny evil forces the taste of victory. Nigeria must survive and together, we will blow ‘em all up!
Frisky Larr is a German-based Radio/Television Journalist and author of Africa’s Diabolical Entrapment.