Musing Over Kano Terror and Sanusi’s Aphrois By Funmilola Ajala
Before this raving ‘King Nebuchadnezzar’ maxim from Kongi exponent, Prof. Wole Soyinka; former president Olusegun Obasanjo, had last week renewed his now perennial verbal diatribe against the incumbent political lords inside Aso-Rock.
In this particular instance, the Ota farmer directed his regurgitated angst against President Goodluck Jonathan for – among other germane national partum – his handling of the comatose economy, ballooning financial graft, and more importantly, national (in)security occasioned by rampaging terrorism.
Obasanjo specifically laments what he chose to describe as “President Jonathan’s (poor) understanding of the Boko Haram phenomenon, suffered from wrong reading and wrong imputation.”
To him, Boko Haram has since graduated into an “industry” which may be difficult to tame by this administration.
As always, OBJ has never been blessed with universal consensus whenever he ventilates his opinion on topical national nay global discourse; there is no difference this time around either. Many Nigerians share Obasanjo’s sentiment as a true definition of all that is currently wrong with the country. They argue that president Jonathan’s dilly-dally attitude on tackling the insurgency headlong is a reflection of his typical pusillanimous mode to many other equally crucial state matters.
On the other hand, there is a school of thought which appeals to some sets of Nigerians, too. This group believes that Obasanjo’s conclusion might not necessarily be borne out of genuine altruistic concern towards his fellow countrymen in the north-east, but simply an extension of a carefully wrapped political aggrandizement, peculiar to his overt vindictiveness.
One of the leading alumni of this school of thought is Ekiti state governor, Ayo Fayose, who openly castigated the Owu demi-god at a public function in Ile-Ife, for daring to yab Mr. President.
Regardless of where Obasanjo was coming from, it remains incontrovertible that the easiest way to score a Technical Knock-Out (TKO) without shedding much sweat against the Jonathanians is to ignite a debate weaved around insecurity. No matter the orisirisi narratives one sums-up to defend the Head of State, the jury seems fairly obvious about the verdict from clearly discontented population who live in perpetual fear of ‘Khalifa’ Shekau’s psychosis.
Notwithstanding which side of the persuasion one falls, everybody appears to agree that the month of November went down as one of the bloodiest in the history of a sovereign called Nigeria. In those 30days, Nigerians – spread across tribal, gender, and religious divides were sentenced to their early graves in the most gruesome and heinous rituals by Boko Haram. From Gombe to Damaturu, Pokistkum to Yola, and Maiduguri to Gamboru, the story is all but similar.
In the last 10days of the month, an unbelievable 200lives were permanently silenced in Maiduguri and Kano alone by some deranged individuals whose meaning of Islam negates sensibility.
However, the terror attack in Kano appears to have attracted more attention – for some reasons. It is said that the intrepid crime was orchestrated to send a message to whoever cares to note that despite Boko Haram’s long propagated ruse of wanting to plant a theocracy in the north, the mosque should not necessarily be considered a safe haven for whoever doesn’t share their obscured ideology.
Moreover, some isolate the attack as a direct response to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi, who reportedly sermonized his subjects to rise in “self-defence” against Boko Haramites. He said this while praying at the same grand mosque a week earlier.
Although the Emir was not around when the evil agents came calling last Friday, they delivered an unambiguous message, forcing the revered monarch into abruptly terminating his sabbatical in Saudi Arabia.
Upon his return to the scene of the carnage, a defiant Sanusi further suggests that the violence may have been in the pipeline for two months – this was seen as a face-saving attempt to deflate attention from having his earlier call linked to the barbaric incident. But that, unfortunately, also backfired as analysts have since bounced on him for being less ‘kingly’ in some of his postulations regarding the highly sensitive subject.
While it comes naturally appealing to join the bandwagon in throwing opprobrium at Emir Sanusi for his recent utterances, it is equally essential to comprehend the possible motivation behind his breviloquent countenance. Assumedly, Sanusi’s self-defence admonition might be an open advertisement for anarchism if one puts the far-reaching consequences under some microscopic analysis. Yet, I find it awfully illogical not to concur that Nigeria is already nearing a sort of Bermuda Triangle. The jan-gbala-jugbu currently rocking the Nigerian boat reminds one of the eve of Biafra War in 1967. There is a clear disconnect between the government and the governed as demonstrated by latest incidence of the citizenry venting their frustration on security agents in the immediate aftermath of a bomb blast.
That is a bad omen!
A classical exposition of the broken Social Contract in the Nigerian context could be found in the scenario where worshippers – with bare fists – descended on Kalashinov-trotting terrorists at the Kano mosque, killing 3 of them in an instantaneous mob action.
This inclination of resorting to improvised measures as substitute for established institutions obligated with providing security is distressing. This is simply a testament to the degree of erosion of confidence in our state machinery. These days, local hunters have literally assumed the lead in the fight against terrorists in the north-east. We must agree this is a short-term contingency capable of forerunning a long-term gradual descend into full-scale lawlessness. God forbid!
For who really cares about Scottish Whisky when ‘jollof’ herbs (called Paraga in local parlance) is readily available as antidote to early morning freeze? Hence, no one should fault Sanusi for reverting to anciency when modernity has all but failed. At least, his advocates will submit – perhaps rightly so – that Sanusi’s commitment to Kano’s Talakawas comes before allegiance to any sovereign. Can something exit in vacuum?
Here, I rest my case.
*You can follow Ajala on Twitter: @ajalatravel07
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