Connect with us

EDITORS PICK

USAfrica: Danjuma’s amnesia and toxic advocacy for anarchy. By Chidi Amuta

Published

on

Danjuma’s amnesia and toxic advocacy for anarchy.

By Dr. Chidi Amuta

Special to USAfricaonline.com

Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, retired army General and former minister of defense, stands out in glowing notoriety on the scale of anti-heroes produced by Nigeria’s history of violent disruptions.

Endlessly rewarded by all regimes since after his 1966 bloody emergence as military supremo and poster coupist, he has also emerged as easily one of Nigeria’s wealthiest men, mostly for reasons other than his industry, corporate ingenuity or even plain hard work. On account of his long-standing presence in power circles, Danjuma has managed to anticipate some audience whenever Nigerians are pressed by bad governance to desperately seek an alarmist town crier. We are clearly at one such moment once again.

Therefore, Danjuma’s latest outburst on the sad security situation in the nation falls into a familiar pattern. For a veteran coup maker, the exploitation of public disaffection to align with the general drift of public opinion is a familiar gimmick. But this time, while Danjuma’s outburst on the epidemic of killer gangs virtually all over the country may be in tune with our collective pain and anger, it ricochets with loud echoes of Thomas Hobbes’s picture of anarchy when the state is absent.

Nigerians are united in their concern about the rampaging impunity and uncontrolled audacity of murderous Killer gangs and herdsmen all over the country. We are all worried that a band of armed bandits under the guise of either cattle herding or sectarian zealotry have been allowed to terrorize the entire nation and in the process make nonsense of an overstretched and disorganized security apparatus.

Those with any sense of history cannot but sleep with one eye open as tragic insecurity engulfs the northern half of the country with unfamiliar trends: cattle rustling, kidnapping for ransom, Janjaweed like scorched earth attacks that raze whole towns and villages with industrial scale casualty figures.

Ordinarily, President Buhari is not my kettle of tea. Characteristically, the President has displayed a less than keen interest in ending the menace of these killer gangs while in the process allowing all manner of tales to spiral around the crisis. Similarly, both the military and the police have repeatedly proved impotent on the matter of containing killer herdsmen and other casual killer squads, again tempting all manner of unsavoury conclusions. This situation has not been made any better by the uneducated utterances of high government officials like Buhari’s Defence and Information Ministers and even the chief of police, respectively.

There is, of course, no justification for the apparent tacit support, which all manner of killer gangs seem to be enjoying under President Buhari. This conclusion is above the politics of the moment. No definition of partisanship can outsource these killings to an opposition party. The failure to take absolute responsibility for the security of the lives of every Nigerian can only be ascribed to one factor: crass incompetence and lack of executive decisiveness. No previous administration has presided over such a massive decimation of Nigerians in peacetime.

While these concessions remain valid, Mr. Danjuma’s choice of venue to cry out about the Taraba chapter of the new national killing sport – a university in his home state- does not quite fit into his erstwhile branding as a national elder statesman. The industrial scale sporadic killings of innocent citizens that has become the identity badge of the Buhari presidency is not localized to Taraba or Danjuma’s Jukun ethnicity. Nor are they geopolitically skewed in any way. Anambra, Abia, Delta, Ekiti, Benue, Nasarawa , Plateau, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano states have all been theatres in an ever expanding national killing field featuring killer herdsmen and other migrants and vagrants .

If indeed Mr. Danjuma is concerned about the abuse of the military and its use to aid and abet violations of people’s rights, why is he just waking up now? If Mr. Danjuma wanted to atone for his murky past and acquire a national voice, where was he when the same military over which he had previously presided repeatedly (according to Amnesty International and most local observer groups) committed the mass killings of unarmed IPOB and MASSOB sympathizers in Onitsha and other parts of the South East?

Maybe it is also part of the attributes of men of immense power and wealth to develop amnesia even on matters that they themselves presided over. Maybe I was the Defence Minister under whose watch the little town of Odi in Bayelsa state was reduced to rubble. I was probably the Minister of Defence when Zaki Biam in Benue State was similarly flattened by tanks and armoured vehicles.

Danjuma is a privileged citizen who has full unfettered access to the president. I have lost count of how many presidential advisory committees he is chairing under the Buhari presidency. There is no indication that Mr. Danjuma has tried and failed to get a presidential audience to air his views to Mr. Buhari on these and other matters. I guess it is easier and more convenient to seek audience to canvass yet another oil bloc than to proffer suggestions on how to improve the state of our national security. Since Danjuma was playing to the gallery, he could have gone the whole hog by openly canvassing suggestions on which the public can engage the government in search of ways to improve a bad situation.

While the idealism and fire of youth can tempt those angry with government to scream at high pitch, the wisdom of age dictates that elders do not rouse the rabble or pull down the homestead. Danjuma’s statement may fit into his definition of freedom of speech. But it steps overboard into the realm of irresponsible utterance and even treasonable incitement.

The full implication of Danjuma’s call for self help in matters of self-defense by citizens goes beyond his immediate constituency. It is a toxic epistle on political philosophy of a most decadent variety. This dangerous epistle is addressed to all Nigerians who today feel increasingly exposed and vulnerable to these marauding killer gangs. It is simply a call to arms against fellow Nigerians and a tacit defiance of the state and its security apparatus. It announces and inaugurates the onset of a state of nature, a land of everyman to himself and God for all of us.

If we were to revert to a state of nature, the armed masses in defiance of the state would be out in the streets machetes, Dane guns, bows and arrows, clubs, cudgels and all. Even a dysfunctional state with the weakest semblance of law and order and a monopoly of the instruments of violence is still our best guarantee for the protection and defense of our residual freedoms, holdings and rights. Our challenge is to make the state work through the periodic regime changes that democracy guarantees.

But in the nightmare universe of Danjuma’s toxic advocacy, the strong will kill the weak except the weak come together in mutinous gangs and arm themselves for self-defense since the state, according to him, has failed.

For Danjuma, the state is failing, Nigerians should go back to a state of nature;  similar to what Thomas Hobbes described,

Chidi Amuta

a place where anarchy reigns and life is short, nasty and brutish. It was the fear of this descent into anarchy that prompted Thomas Hobbes to argue for the necessity of order under a sovereign authority: a leviathan.

Danjuma who owes his emergence, prominence, fame and fortune to anarchic decapitation of a sovereign wants a nation of anarchists.                                                                   •Dr. Amuta is Executive Editor of the USAfrica multimedia networks [since 1993] and USAfricaonline.com. He is based in Lagos, and is the author of several books.

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

CHIDO

Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers of her artistic excellence. By Chido Nwangwu

Published

on

@Chido247

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

Aretha Franklin who made an outstanding entry into both gospel and soul music with the release of her first album in 1956, titled ‘Songs of Faith’, died today, August 16, 2018, at her home in Detroit. She was 76 years old.

Aretha was born on March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee.

She is the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and affectionately and deservedly called the Queen of Soul — especially in high regard for songs such as “Respect.” She was a part of the U.S civil rights movement.

I believe that Aretha Franklin’s melodious voice, dignity and clarity were triple drivers which continue to make her artistic excellence a trans-generational gift to humanity.

By Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher of USAfrica [Houston], USAfricaonline.com and author of the soon-to-be-released 2018 book titled MLK, MANDELA & ACHEBE: Power, Leadership & Identity

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

EDITORS PICK

USAfrica: Nollywood actor Kenneth Okonkwo’s misguided hustle for Buhari

Published

on

By Attorney Jane Ikezi
Special & Exclusive commentary for USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com
A controversial political video by Nollywood actor, Kenneth Okonkwo has been making rounds in the social media.

In the video, he endorsed the non-performing and overwhelmed President of Nigeria, retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari for the 2019 election. Okonkwo said, “I am an ambassador of good governance…he (President Buhari) is committed to good governance. You can’t get a better person than President Muhammadu Buhari….”

Really!?
Ordinarily, I would have simply said to myself that “Silence is the best answer to a fool”; but a lot of fools rule the world because people kept silent.
To whom much is given, much is expected. Mr. Okonkwo has a platform, which he has been blessed with through acting, with support from the Igbo for many years throughout his acting career. This is particularly true given that he is known primarily for his Igbo language films, which brought him to fame in Nigeria. Especially, the movie called Living in Bondage.
Lest anyone be deceived or suffer from amnesia, let me enumerate some of President Buhari’s failures and atrocities:
– Brutal attack of unarmed civilians
– Outright refusal to recognise the right of self-determination of the Indegenous People of Biafra. This is an internationally recognised right.
– Increase of economic hardship throughout the country. People are starving.
– Increase in mortality (particularly with young children).
– Mortuaries are filled to the brim and families lack money to claim bodies of the deceased.
– Increase in joblessness due to lack of opportunity. Yet, Mr. Buhari refers to Nigerian youths as “lazy.”
-Citizens are brutally dealt with for simply expressing their political views, as Mr. Okonkwo is doing).
– Medical and Academic institutions are in disarray and squalid conditions. Is that not the reason President Buhari travels to Britain for medical care and his children are educated abroad?
– Increase of Internally Displaced People in Nigeria, due to Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen activities.
– Nigeria has not met its Millennium Development Goals, whereas other least developed countries that were on the same point, have surpassed their target.

The list goes on and on… Why must people lack in the land of plenty?

Moreover, let us remember that President Buhari’s order of Operation Python Dance, a brutal military operation, left many dead and Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, leader of IPOB and his parents remain missing.

Additionally, let us not forget the brutal Civil War fought against Biafra from 1966 to 1970, resulting in the horrific and calculated death of millions of Biafran civilians, especially Igbos. That was a genocide. The same President, who Kenneth Okonkwo praises, played a role in that war.

It is a shame that Kenneth Okonkwo, an Igbo man, would choose a path in direct contradiction with his heritage and existence.

A while back, I read an article or a letter in which Mr. Okonkwo expressed his disagreement with the latest Biafran struggle. I disagreed with him (and still do) but like the French say, “chacun à son goût” (to each, his own). Nevertheless, I too have my “Red Line.”

I do not believe that Mr. Okonkwo should be condemned for exercising his freedom of speech in support and praise of President Buhari. On the contrary, the condemnation or criticism must be focused on the content thereof.

Earlier this year on TMZ, the U.S. television show, Kanye West (a musician) made derogatory statements about fellow African Americans regarding their history of slavery. Kanye West received a lot of backlash and repudiation after his statements, and rightfully so. He has a responsibility stemming from his ‘stardom’.

Whether he accepts it or not, his statements, albeit unfortunate, are heard by many people. Like Kanye West, Kenneth Okonkwo has a social responsibility to his people and that includes all Nigerians. In exercising his freedom of speech and civic duty, he should not loose sight of his social responsibility.

Kenneth Okonkwo, as the Igbo adage states, “use your tongue to count your teeth.” Is this the legacy for which you want to be remembered?

•Jane O. Ikezi is the New York-based contributing analyst for USAfrica multimedia networks, Houston.
Facebook Comments
Continue Reading

CHIDO

SOYINKA accuses OBASANJO of awarding OIL blocks in return for SEX

Published

on

Special to USAfrica [Houston] and USAfricaonline.com

 

Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka, calling former President Olusegun Obasanjo, a degenerate, liar, predator and sadist, has challenged him to swear whether he never awarded oil blocks in return for sexual gratification while he presided over the affairs of Nigeria.

Soyinka spoke in his Interventions VIII series, titled: ‘Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?’ also sub-titled ‘Gani’s Unfinished Business,” launched recently in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

He said Obasanjo knows him so well that he does not make accusations lightly and that he despises snide insinuations. “I now challenge you (Obasanjo) to search your soul, very deeply, and swear to this nation that you never awarded oil blocks in return for sexual gratification. I do not make accusations lightly and I despise snide insinuations. I believe you know me well enough. And I am no prude, I am not a hypocrite of sexual desire, nor am I interested in the seamy side of Power. Take your time, think deeply and remember that each day brings you closer and closer to your Maker and the Day of Judgment-going by your own

Chief Olusegun_Obasanjo355_via_USAfricaonline.com

professions.”

Soyinka said sex-for-grades as a solution to that burdensome energy seemed to have become the practice, saying that even when Donald Trump and Bill Clinton were accused of sexual misconduct, no one ever accused Trump of using his nation’s assets for a romp on the presidential desk of the oval office and that not even Clinton who nearly lost his office through Monica Lewinsky, was ever accused of passing off any of the White House heirlooms, or influenced contracts in return for sexual favour. “If I denounce you (Obasanjo) as a degenerate in need of help, remember that I do not require fiction. Verifiable truth is solemnly at my disposal. I do not concoct a thousand snipers for a thousand listed enemies of governance-one of the most impudent egregious fantasies ever manufactured by a former ruler, simply to destroy a successor and persuade oneself that one is a maker and breaker of governments,” he said. Soyinka also said that during Obasanjo’s celebration of the 10th anniversary of his Presidential library, the former president accused him of blocking his ambitions to become the Secretary General of the United Nations.

According to Soyinka, “could someone please stop crediting me with that level of international clout? Of course, I feel totally content and fulfilled with my contribution to that operation to ‘save our world’ from the clutches of a predator, sadist and liar-convincing evidence of which we provided in our successful diplomatic offensive-but the umbrage should also go to that very Femi Falana and the late Beko Ransome-Kuti, with whom I worked in close collaboration.”

Soyinka also said that under Obasanjo’s watch, and with proven collaboration, an elected governor was kidnapped, locked in a toilet and held there under duress to force him to sign cheques on the state treasury, saying that “he escaped confinement, thanks to a sympathetic policeman , but the state went up in flames. The state radio and television houses were torched. The House of Assembly and the law courts—my own special preserve-were vandalized. Who did you say was President at that time?” Soyinka made reference to a letter written to Obasanjo by Col. Abubakar Umar, in which the former military governor accused Obasanjo of awarding oil block indiscriminately and illegally. (News Agency of Nigeria and PMNews)

Facebook Comments
Continue Reading
Advertisement

USAfricaTV

Twitter Live

THE BOOK

Trending

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: