Nigeria and the silent majority
The founder of this newspaper refused to be silent in the face of governmental-wrong, even when a despot thought it best to cashier him on the long questing route for peace. In spite of his exit to the land of permanent silence years after, his newsprint has maintained its streak of excellence, it publishes well researched materials and avoids sycophantic news reporting, is wholly and strictly without fail, a national paper which approbates to no region or individuals. I wish Nigerians aren’t known for silence in the face of wrong and tackle governmental persons for accountability, for nationalism. If this were the case, the politicians from the regions where these herdsmen come from would have been pushed into taking action with governments to end the barbarity, after all cattle rearing, established as a thriving economy for herdsmen with a substantial workforce, servicing the whole country wouldn’t be considered positive if brigands go about killing people in whatever guise.
Might it not be necessary for the population commission to start an indentured scheme to know the original and hardworking herdsmen amongst the lots, so as to separate the criminals hiding under the radar of cattle rearing? Cattle rearing all over the world have had to be adaptable and inventive. The challenges of access to fresh water, over grazing, have tested herders to their limits. If the practice is to become sustainable in Nigeria, it has to become more reliant on technology. Most of the lands in the north have to earmark and be given for grazing (Cattle and sheep) on native pastures, if Nigeria is keen on making an impact on the pastoral industry.
People do not wander around in the world with cattle meant for commercial purpose any longer. I understand that cattle rearing continues as the highest value sector in farm production but the wanton criminality by herders shouldn’t be tolerated. I see herders with guns, with cutlasses in the city strolling around (the latter not for defence in the bush). One sauntered past me yesterday acting like the country belongs to only him. Should this continue? All responsible states demarcate boundaries for grazing pasture with a description of their boundaries. People who trespass on lands without land grants are expelled and they move inland in search of areas of pasture for grazing cattle and sheep until those also are demarcated.
This issue is worrying and the action of these so-called herdsmen is nothing short of height of barbarism. How dare they place the life of cattle far and above that of humans? Yes, all lives are sacred from a tiny crawling ant to humans but sacrificing the life of men for animals is the most perverted, barbaric and unacceptable step. The inaction of this government on this ravaging recurrence is more concerning. I hope it’s quickly nip in the bud before it spiral out of control.
I wonder when we’ll extricate ourselves from this self-induced pervasive darkness. We live on hope but without talking. We love silence in Nigeria. “Nigeria Must Define Nigeria For Herself. Has Nigeria defined herself yet? As a people and a country, we leave the state of affairs in Nigeria to chance. Any wonder why people hold the state by the jugular from North, South, East and West, a case of human Sisyphus.
Today the state recognizes most of these folks as elders and they trot around with CVs that they assume to be compelling yet are extremely shallow about national life and its purpose. Everyone is a Pastor, Bishop, Sheik or Chief Imam and we may soon hear of a Pope in Nigeria someday. It was the late human rights activist Kunle Fadipe in his piece “where are the elder statesmen?” published in The Guardian, Wednesday, June 25, 2014 who said and I believe it to be so, that, ‘‘the leadership problem is compounded by lack of sincere and genuine elder statesmen who can be trusted to be nationalistic and patriotic in their statements and actions. What we parade as elder statesmen are no more than mere unrepentant ethnic jingoists, political contractors, busy body sycophants, and sworn enemy of our collective aspiration as a nation.”
Until Nigeria defines herself and reinvent governance and nation hood, we may see many more crying jags. The Nigerian state allows many a people to pervert everything good.
Until the state becomes sensitive enough to have the gumption to challenge the “realities” bad people will continually “pervert the law” at the cost of national growth. Great societies develop: they willfully pursue learning to grow while we indulge in the blame game; I guess it must bring some sort of comfort to have scapegoats for all our ills and not to have to take personal responsibility. There seem to be no ground rules for anything in Nigeria, reason why issues of national security can even be questioned by any group.
Does disorder thrive in our society? Do we suffer from a frontal lobe crisis? On the political scene, so-called leaders play on prejudices to divide and tear Nigerians apart. While there are challenges to be solved, politicians abdicate responsibilities and engage in violent rhetoric which leaves me overwhelmed and which embarrassingly dominates the news media. Synergy is highly needed just like in the aviation industry where the cabin crew, pilot and engineers work in sync and no one considers himself above the other. When an ex-governor accuses a sitting governor for thievery and the sitting governor replies by describing the former governor as someone who lacks parental upbringing and admonishes his supporters to beat up the former governor on the day of a re-run election should they see him at a polling booth, then I don’t know what else to ascribe it to and it is becoming synonymous with our politicians.
Abah wrote from Port Harcourt
You can’t count on politicians to help fight for our future and to take us out of adversity. The First World War might not have happened if the majority especially The Great Powers (Germany, Austria, and Italy versus Russia, France, and Britain) had jointly condemned the act instead of forming alliances to go to war.
The same can be said about Hitler. If the majority had not been silent for too long when he started his fascist movement, and shirt-fronted him, he would have been banished to the quarters of irrelevance. In retrospect, it is wondrous how only 23 men sent over 70 million people to their deaths in the Second World War. Just as the cases mentioned above, Nigeria lags behind in many things, thanks to the silent majority.
It’s becoming a generational problem in Nigeria, I guess. Due to a silent majority, Nigerians are simply not interested in knowledge. Why did I see houses under high tension wires in Rivers State? Oh! How I hankered for the funds to move to a zoned district then.
Once I even wanted to relocate to Jos before all these killings because of the beauty of the city and clement temperate weather. The silent majority sat idly by as a bunch of thugs messed up that good town. Once someone told me that a governor is a grass-root governor. I laughed. He isn’t I told him. They lean on government patronage. Ask him to decamp to a less known political party and contest the next gubernatorial election; he wouldn’t win the ward election in his polling unit. How many governors are still relevant after their tours of duty?
Let’s not discuss the duplicity of the silence of the majority in the outrageous pensions for ex-governors. Or even at the way politicians have turned youths into gangsters serving a Molotov cocktail. The rule of the mob has taken over the rule of law in many places.“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” – Benjamin Franklin.