Dino Melaye (file photo)
As for the person of Atiku, to deceive Nigerians that the same species of recycled elite and hegemony that have strangulated the nation to death and stifled the youths to irredeemable back seat, should still continue to experiment with the collective destiny of the people, is wickedness
By Ben Ogu
The problem in the country Nigeria, both in church, religion and politics, is the resentment and prejudice with which entrenched religious and political establishments confront the uncomfortable truth.
It is a resentment not predicated on the fact that something is not true, but a resentment and prejudice over who said it, why and how it is said by certain persons, as if truth and the freedom of speech is the monopoly of class, rank or position.
But if the country is a commonwealth where all are stakeholders for good or bad, and if to salvage it from its drift to the abyss is a collective duty, then every citizen has the right in good conscience, to participate in the truth to save it.
I am a priest, and neither a fan of politics nor admirer of bad politicians. A priest should, without being partisan, but as a witness of truth, most appropriately be involved in the objective truth that should salvage the people. This is very urgent.
This is why I am not interested in the partisan, political sophistry of Dino MELAYE anchored on the quargmire of contradiction and self-dimunition, but concerned in the fallacy and absurdity of his argument and assumptions on present political dispensation.
For one to posit that a man, whether Peter Obi, Atiku or any other, is the “finest Nigerian”, intellectually mobile, sagacious and evidently qualified to do the job of leadership, yet asserts in his presumption as the Nigerian political time keeper, that the time of such a person should be postponed and deferred to an unknown time, is to reduce oneself to ridicule, object of insincerity, malice and epitome of bad will.
As for the person of Atiku, to deceive Nigerians that the same species of recycled elite and hegemony that have strangulated the nation to death and stifled the youths to irredeemable back seat, should still continue to experiment with the collective destiny of the people, is wickedness.
It is rather their wickedness that should be postponed to the farthest of time, to spare the people a breath and respite for recuperation.
As for the Nigerian project of unity, permit me to be pessimistic, if that so be. The Nigerian project of unity, from foundation, structure, formulation and origin, seems terminally irredeemable and a mirage.
It is indeed, the original unification of 1914 that makes it ununifiable, given the attitude of the original unifiers, the incompatible and incongrous unifying components, which is the people, culture and religion and the colonial inability to blend and harmonize them.
It therefore seems to me that, given the above intrinsic handicap, the remedy for a better, truly united and viable state of Nigeria is impossible. It therefore seems to me that, no political party, individual politician, including present Peter Obi, Atiku, or Tinubu, is capable and will ever be capable of bringing any panacea to it.
Granted that Peter Obi, by his evident personality and credentials, posits the propensity and proclivity of making a difference from the old yeast, Nigerian ailment is a project beyond individual capacity and ability. This is because the most perfect and well intended politician will always be sabotaged, betrayed and derailed by those that enjoy the present establishment, and bring him to their model.
With the two negative elements of religious and ethnic entitlement and their prioritization over proficiency, patriotism, productivity and merit, the project of a pan Nigeriansm and unification will always be an evasion, an impossibility and futility.
Since, according to Dino, it is true that mistrust is imbeded between the North and South, East and West, West and North, East and North, etc, and is the clog in the wheel of Nigerian true unity, it means unification is impossible. It is this that makes those who advocate for the alternative of unity, including restructuring and peaceful separation more realistic and amenable, though theirs is an uncomfortable call of truth, because discomfort is the commonest reality and expression in the resentment to truth.
But though genuine unity is impossible in the Nigerian structure, there is no harm in trial, especially with alternative and new methods. The generation of Atiku, Tinubu and their parties have been tried and found incapable of unifying and mending the country, but rather worsened it. It is now proper to try alternative and different hand and method as now proffered by Nigerian youths, who bear the greater brunt of Nigerian menace, and have coincidentally and unanimously opted to discard the old and failed dispensation in favour of an alternative in Peter Obi.
The projection of Peter Obi and the Nigerian project is that he might make a difference for the country to function. But given the predisposed intrinsic nature of the structure and the character of the people, even Obi’s best will not make it function and work.
Those with the sense of established entitlement, those who insist that Nigeria is their exclusive patrimony and property, either to rule or dominate, and the external forces who want Nigeria to remain a permanent parish and pawn for their interest, will as usual sabotage and derail Peter Obi, to prove him wrong, as a proof that he is not better than others.
At the end then, it will be proved that the solution for Nigeria is not a matter of individual or political party, or the matter of marrying many wives across the Nigerian states, but that only the uncomfortable call for separation is the ultimate solution.
So, wether Obi, Atiku or Tinubu wins, there might not be a panacea for Nigeria, as it seems by nature of formation and character of the people, that Nigeria is predisposed to remain a vicious circle, until the uncomfortable truth of separation is heeded.
Ridiculous enough, the reasoning of Dino Melaye on the value of unity runs riot against true value and only coforms with our national misplacement.
This is true of the the arrest and incarceration of both Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu for seeking self-determination and referendum against the unity projet, while doing nothing about the massacre of the citizens, because, unity is greater than human life.
But for the moment, if the youths have unsolicitedly and spontaneously taken up the challenge of a democratic revolution which excludes the old dispensation and already tested political parties and politicians, to experiment through Peter Obi, it takes only a senseless argument to tell them to postpone it till another time, in favour of a person whose best credential is matrimonial diversification and agglomeration across the ethnic groups, as one who will unite Nigeria.
Whoever and from wherever any person marries is his personal kitchen proble. What value does the multiplication of marriage of Atiku from Yoruba, Igbo or the North impact on those places and Nigeria in particular? Or, is it not an indictable economic irresponsibility to marry many wives and produce multiple children to add to the country’s senseless consumerism?
In fact, the choice of traversing of poligamous proficiency and dexterity by Dino as qualification index for uniting Nigeria is evidence of a country of clowns and misplaced value.
But how is polygamy the quality and capacity for unification, and how is unity and unification of a country a prime value over living with human dignity and freedom, whether in unity, disintegration or apartness?
Except for military strength for territorial defence and preservation, homongous population and unity is not an essential factor and measurement for integrity and success. There are great and vibrant countries in the world today whose population is less than five million.
The integrity of a nation is the quality of service measured in quality of security, essential amenities, human dignity, freedom and the ability to sustain the citizens.
Unfortunately, the military strength of the country is used against the citizens, while the population has worked for deficit, and the human quality most degraded and dehumanized.
But if we have tried unity and unification of the different segments over a hundred years of failure, and big population is a mere satire and is not functioning, but rather, constantly seeks for the opposite, why not try division as opposite and imperative alternative, to see if it will work? What is important is the dignity of the human deposit of the country and not unity or size of the country.
Therefore, the old saying of Gowon that “to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done” is no longer sacrosanct and in vogue in the present reality, where people are united in penuri and death.
What manner of unity in which people are caged together and slaughtered as ram and dehumanized as trash at the expense and interest of others? This is the uncomfortable and supreme question. To feel paranoid when the truth of division or separation is mentioned, is the expression of discomfort and insincerity of those who relish in the negative outcome of the unity.
You shall know the truth and the truth, even when most uncomfortable, shall set you free.
Rev Father Ogu writes from Mbaise, Imo State.