By Olawale Oshun
The Nigerian Tribune marking its 70th anniversary is itself a historical attainment, particularly in Nigeria where business generational succession is an anathema.
Yet, it shouldn’t be a surprise, being an Awolowo legacy. I doubt if any biological or political child of Awolowo would be negligent or reckless enough to allow Tribune go under. All those who have worked for the Tribune since inception must have complemented the vision of the founder and the biological children who have labored strenuously to keep the tabloid on our breakfast table ever since.
Tribune is, however, not the basis of my intervention today. General T.Y. Danjuma, one of the three main dramatis personae at the 70th anniversary, is.
I also would not have made him the subject of this intervention but for the reactions that trailed his speech at the celebrations. What did TY Danjuma say that had not been said in respect of our nation in recent times?
First, he contended the Yoruba have lost their voice. Second, that it would appear no one now cares about what is happening to the nation. And finally, that if he says what he knows to be happening to the nation today, people would lose their sleep.
It is the reactions by some Yoruba leaders that got me worried. If any nationality is in any danger of physical emasculation today, it is the Yoruba people. If, however, there is a nationality that is in self-deceit and completely discounts the danger facing it, it is also the Yoruba. Or, how else can we interpret the reactions of the various Yoruba leaders to a very innocuous observation by the former Chief of Army Staff who before now had seen the country in her utter nakedness.
There is always a seemingly deepening confusion amongst Nigerian elites; the confusion on the surface stemming from a seeming lack of understanding of the difference between a message and a messenger. It is as if they are coterminous.
The Nigerian elite especially the political genre, to my mind, deciphers correctly and appropriately the difference between the two. Their hypocrisy is the reason I speak of a seeming confusion. There is none; they only create one to suit their selfish and political purpose.
At the critical stage in which the country now finds itself, it would be a sin to look at Gen. Danjuma with the same prism as his message, for to do so is to court danger unabashedly.
Let’s critically examine the three planks of his postulation. The General said every Yoruba is losing his voice. Is this statement true or false? That is what should be addressed. In speaking of every Yoruba, I can imagine that the phrase includes the current elected or appointed political leaders.
It also includes political leaders who, by virtue of their former offices, remain leaders or play vital political roles. Business leaders, traditional leaders, and the ordinary Yoruba people are equally included. Danjuma’s first contention is that they have all lost their voice.
Critically evaluate the role of the categories of Yoruba people identified above. Do they still have a voice in the affairs of this country? One of those who countermanded TY’s position stated clearly that Yoruba have not lost their voice, and the other suggested the Yoruba were being set up against other Nigerians.
Both spoke about the General’s motive or intention. To me, the issue to ponder upon is whether the present crop of elected Yoruba officials, be they governors, senators, representatives, assemblymen, council chairmen and councillors have had a voice in the ongoing imbroglio.
There was a time, when Lagos State under Bola Tinubu came in and out of courts challenging the infringement of the constitutional rights of Lagosians to create new local government areas, seeking to uphold the statutory rights of Lagos over land ownership and, if I could recollect correctly, being a member of a collegiate of states judicially challenging the revenue sharing process.
Of course, there would be a contention that Lagos State government was in opposition at that time, but that the present crop of governors and senators are no longer in opposition but in bed with the central government, one that looks them directly in the face and tells them off, or treats them as would an opposition government .
If we argue that Tinubu’s government was then in opposition, what happened when the interests of the core north were purportedly threatened by the Jonathan government? Did Kwakwanso, along with those Baraje led out of the PDP convention, not belong to the central government they confronted? They acted firmly once they perceived that the interest of their people was threatened by the central government.
Yoruba business leaders have never had spine nor voice in any matter that concern their people. We are all living witnesses to their roles during the trying Abacha days; that selfish attribute thrives till date. They are always in bed with the government in power.
Even where their clout is limited to the state or region, they are ever conscious of the need to mute their voice to protect their fiduciary interest.
Can Danjuma be said to have mis-spoken as it relates to Yoruba traditional institutions. Other than the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi who had painstakingly and consistently spoken for the Yoruba people and for all other oppressed Nigerians by advocating for constitutional restructuring of our country, which other Yoruba Oba has spoken out? Many of these traditional rulers are into other pursuits, some bedecked beyond decency, cat walking as if they are in competition with celebrities and designers; some wearing religious crosses louder than those of the renowned priests of yore, and turning their palaces into fellowship centers , thus abandoning their people, their culture and religion. I doubt if many of them can speak Yoruba language without intervening English words!
Can we then speak of former office holders: governors, senators, ministers, the persistent office seekers etc., Do they have any voice at all? Maybe, some of them had voices in the past, but today, do they have any?
That leaves us with the hoi polloi, the ordinary citizens like many of us, what voice do we have? The muted one that craves to seek a living through squeezing water from stone? So why dismiss Danjuma’s message? Why castigate him simply because he is Danjuma? He might have allegedly had our beloved son Francis Fajuyi murdered in cold blood at his behest with no tinge of remorse.
He might have been one heavy hand that aided the installation of successive presidents in our country including Obasanjo and Buhari.
And recognizing that the nails of any one donning lice infested clothes may never be clean of blood, would Yoruba themselves not realize that they have muted for long and only just being reminded? Would Yoruba themselves not acknowledge that the reason they had not dared to stretch their necks out or raise their voice is that ordinary words alone landed Sowore in detention?
Will being a retired military general, and a wealthy billionaire obscure his capacity for reading the country’s existential index and speaking out? If not, why trivialize his message?
Danjuma’s second postulation was that it would appear no one cares about what is happening to our country. Again, can we take the message in its literal form and leave out the messenger? I believe we should if truly, we believe in the survival of the country.
Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, the military under the nozzle of their gun hijacked the country for almost 30 years, and the civilians have also under the delusion of entrenching democracy ruled the country for 30 years.
The ruling clique, be it military or civilian have had an almost equal proportion of opportunities at building or raping the country. I contend that sans the brief period between 1960 and 1966 when the founding fathers comprising Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe struggled to build a federation, have we had any semblance of government and or governance in our country? A government exists because those who exercise authority and those over whom authority is exercised care about their country.
If the duty of care is lacking or insufficient from either of the parties described above, no governance can be said to be taking place.
Danjuma’s message is that no one cares about what is happening to the country. Is this a fact or not? That is what should be interrogated. Descending on him in a derogatory manner only serves to becloud the situation.
Finally, Danjuma’s declaration that if he says what he knows, Nigerians would not be able to sleep. What is false in this innocuous statement that some political hatchet men are arraigning him before a firing squad? Really, are Nigerians sleeping with their two eyes closed even now that he has not said what he knows? Are we?
Do you dare sleep with the spate of kidnapping and degradation of human lives that sustainably stare all Nigerians in the face? The other time, a one-year old boy in a church’s kindergarten looked over by religious church wardens disappeared in daylight.
Can his parents sleep? A professor returning from serving as external examiner was shot in cold blood in daylight, and a retired Deputy Controller General of Prisons undertaking a trip was shot and murdered in cold blood. Can and will their wives and families find sleep, even as justice is not delivered to them.
Let Danjuma speak what he knows. It is unlikely to exacerbate our sleeplessness. If it does, it may be that it would fast track our journey to making and moulding the country into our desired form. A country in which all nationalities would have and experience justice and equity, one in which none ever again dominates the other. Let Danjuma talk so this journey can be shorter.
Happy New Year.
Hon. Oshun is chairman Afenifere Renewal Group and former Chief Whip, House of Representatives.
‘Amotekun, What Is The Arewa North Afraid Of?’
By Charles Ogbu
The level of apprehension, paranoia, and panic that has gripped the Arewa North since the inauguration of the Yoruba Regional Security Outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun (which is not even going to bear arms) is indicative of something very positive for the non-Caliphate rest of the country.
In the entire southwest, there are state owned vigilante services helping to provide security for the locals. In the East, you have the Forest guards in Enugu, the Homeland Security (not fully operational but has been approved by the police) in Abia and one of the best organized vigilante services in Anambra. Yet, neither the Northern controlled security agencies nor the Attorney General has declared those ones illegal.
Well the answer is not far fetched.
It is not really the Amotekun the Danfodios are scared of. It is the fact that a Southern region was able to find the needed UNITY and COURAGE to look beyond partisanship and other mawkish considerations by setting up a regional security outfit to protect their people from a govt sponsored terrorist group masquerading as cow herders. The Caliphate sees this as a form of defiance on the part of the Yoruba. But even more than this, the Arewa North fears the ripple effect of the success of operation Amotekun and one of those ripple effects is that other regions which have been victims of the murderous indiscretion of the fulani killer herdsmen will follow the Yoruba example by setting up their own regional security. And when this is replicated in most part of the country, you will have Organic Restructuring even without amending the Constitution. This is their biggest fear.
As for Miyetti Allah, their fears are understandable; no thief will be happy that his victim has decided to put measures in place to secure his home.
What the Jukun people of Taraba just did, announcing their own security outfit is what every non-Caliphate part of this forced union needs to do. Don’t just stop at showing solidarity to the Yorubas, come out with your own regional security outfit. This is not about the Yoruba as a people. This is about every region in the country making a bold statement that a govt which has refused to protect her citizens has no right to stop them from protecting themselves especially when the killers of these citizens are being protected by the same govt.
There is something the Southeast can learn from Amotekun.
The fact that both the official inauguration of Amotekun and the back and forth verbal gymnastics with the affidavit Attorney General are being handled by the duly elected governors of the SouthWest (most of whom are APC and even in their first term) has a lesson for Ndigbo: YOU CANNOT LIBERATE A PEOPLE WITHOUT BEING IN CHARGE OF THEIR POLITICS. It is your being in charge of their politics that will give you the needed legitimacy, platform as well as the structure to be their savior. As a matter of urgent importance, we must take more interest in the caliber of men and women managing our affairs at home. If we don’t, by 2023 which is almost here, this same crop of politicians will still be running our affairs and no amount of social media insult and name calling will change that. When your regional politics is controlled by men who think of their political interests before thinking of your safety, you stand absolutely no chance of being liberated. You can dislike your politicians. But you cannot hate politics itself because it is the key to everything including your liberation. Political power is the number1 controller of all other powers. It is the reason some clown in Abuja can sit in some office and declare a regional security effort illegal. It is also the reason the Yoruba governors who are resisting him haven’t been “gifted” with Python dance.
~ Charles Ogbu is a social-political analyst and a good governance advocate.
Amotekun By South-West Is Illegal: How To Respond To AGF’s Opinion
By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
The governors of South West had recently established Amotekun, a regional security organization to protect the people of SW. Mr. Malami, the attorney General of the federation has declared this formation to be illegal. The leaders of SW, SE and NC have cried out against the proclamation by AGF as not correct and Mr. Falana, a well know civil rights leader and a respected attorney has said the AGF is wrong. Merely saying that the AGF is wrong is a timid response to AGF and the federal government that the represents.
No matter what the Supreme Court declares as the constitutional requirements, the first law of nature is self-preservation. Anybody, who fails to protect himself from any enemy has himself to blame. Any government that is incapable of protecting its citizens has lost the authority of the people. And lost the reason for its existence. The leaders of SE, SS and NC should go beyond verbal challenge of AGF’s opinion (it is only an opinion). They should move on to form their own versions of Amotekun. They should also sign a cooperative agreement whereby an attack on one Amotekun is an attack on all the others.
The reign of King Muhammadu Buhari has been nothing than a reign of terror. It has showered a situation in the places around and below the confluence of Niger and Benue where neither life no property is safe. Ordinary citizens, in pursuit of their legal businesses are kidnapped and killed; their property, like farm lands, have been taken over and if they dare resist, their lives go with the property. These criminal activities are blamed on Fulani Herdsmen, yet nobody is in the police custody, nobody has been tried. The laws and the law enforcement apparatus are incapable of protecting innocent citizens from the attacks by enemies within and without.
We the people have absolute right to protect ourselves and in situations where one cannot do so by himself, one should form alliances to help. That is what Amotekun is intended to do.
Man is not made for law; but laws are made for man.
What should the federal government do?
1. The FG should listen to the voice of the people (onuorah) and hear the fears that are driving the formation of Amotekun.
2. The FG should come to the negotiation table in good faith and negotiate with the zonal leaders to amend the laws and allow for the regional protection forces and establish the modus operandi by the forces.
3. The regional leaders must show that they could control the forces they have created so that they don’t become another kind of armed marauders. In USA each municipality has its police force which calls on neighboring police for help in difficult situations. This round robin calls go all the way to the state and FG police until the emergency is resolved and eventually to the armed forces of the US if the enemy is from without.
The emergence of Amotekun is not good for Nigeria, but it is an opportunity which if seized would make Nigeria better and safer.
If President Muhammadu Buhari is indeed interested in the future of Nigeria he should seize this opportunity or he will be forever remembered as the architect of Nigeria’s collapse.
~ Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba writes from Boston, Massachusetts.
Why Humans Don’t Live As Long As They Once Did – Reno Omokri
By Reno Omokri
Have you ever wondered why the animals in the Garden of Eden never posed a physical threat to Adam and Eve, or why the wild animals Noah kept in the Ark never attacked him and his family?
It is because in the beginning, God created humans and animals to be vegetarians. Don’t take my word for it. Let Scripture convince you:
Genesis 1:29 is for humans:
“Then God said, “I give you every SEED-BEARING PLANT on the face of the whole earth and EVERY TREE that has FRUIT with seed in it. They will be yours for FOOD.”
Genesis 1:30 is for animals:
“And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground–everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
The difference God made between the food for humans and animals is that we were only to eat fruits and vegetables that had SEED in it. While animals were allowed to eat any fruit and vegetable, whether or not it had seeds.
Yes, Cain kept livestock-Genesis 4:2. But he did NOT eat them. They were for sacrifice.
From Genesis 1 to Genesis 9, you will not find even one verse were any man or animal ate meat. So why did man and animal start eating meat?
Genesis 9:3 gives us the answer. That verse reads:
“Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the GREEN PLANTS, I NOW give you everything.”
Notice the word ‘NOW’. God gave man and animal meat to eat because the Great Flood had destroyed all vegetation on Earth. It took a while for the Earth to be revegetated.
But then you will notice something. Noah and his ancestors all lived extraordinarily long. It was only after Noah and his children started eating meat that their lifespan reduced. Let me give my readers some examples.
Adam lived for 930 years. His son Seth, lived for 912 years. Seth’s son, Enosh lived for 905 years. Enosh’ son, Kenan, lived for 910 years. Kenan’s son, Mahalalel, lived for 895 years. Mahalalel’s son, Jared, lived for 962 years. Jared’s son, Enoch, lived for 365 years, but never died. He was taken to heaven, alive. Enoch’s son, Methuselah, lived for 969 years (the man with the longest lifespan ever). Methuselah’s son, Lamech, lived for 777 years. Lamech was the father of Noah. Noah lived to be 950 years. You can find these information in Genesis chapter 5.
Now go to Genesis 11. After man started eating meat, Shem, Noah’s son, lived for 500 years, which is half his father’s lifespan. His son, Arphaxad, lived for 403 years. Arphaxad’s son, Shelah, also lived for 403 years. Shelah’s son, Eber, lived for 430 years. Eber’s son, Peleg, lived for 209 years. Peleg’s son, Reu, lived for 207 years. Reu’s son, Serug, lived for 200 years. Serug’s son, Nahor, lived for 119 years. Nahor gave birth to Terah, who was the father of Abraham.
So you can see that it was AFTER man started eating meat that we started to live shorter and shorter lifespans.
Consult your doctor and he will tell you that if you want to live a long and healthy life, you must stop eating or reduce your intake of red meat.
In Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy in the world, the eating of meat was banned for centuries. Google it. Even after the ban was lifted in the last century, the Japanese still rarely consume red meat. That is the secret of their longevity.
If you want to live a long, healthy and happy life, your chances are increased (but not guaranteed), if you can eat only fruit and vegetables. And not just any. Eat organic fruit and vegetables.
Think back to Daniel. Daniel 1:8 reads:
“Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not DEFILE himself with the portion of the king’s MEAT”.
Daniel was a vegetarian. Daniel 1:12 reads:
“Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but VEGETABLES to eat and water to drink.”
Daniel 1:15 reads:
“At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”
I am proof of Daniel’s word. I don’t eat meat. I eat only organic fruit and vegetables. I eat fish and seafood. Yet, I am stronger and healthier than my own blood brother who eats meat, despite the fact that I am 10 years older than him. He travels the world with me. I run everyday for an hour. He lasts 30 minutes and gives up.
I never get sick, even though my brother gets sick periodically. Health insurance is wasted on me. Without trying to be vain, I look physically good though I am 46 years old this year (2020).
Follow the word of God. Eat and live as it says you should. “It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.”-Proverbs 3:8.
If a doctor tells you you are going to die next month, you will make peace with God and man and start living right. But we will all die one day. Tomorrow is promised to no man. Why wait until death is imminent before having a conscience at peace with God and man?