Path to peace and enduring stability
No one who cares genuinely about this country, her peace, harmony and development can deny that Nigeria is in serious crisis. Anyone who is sensitive can perceive that the storms are gathering. And belief as well as trust in the competence of the leadership to manage the crisis to fetch us satisfactory results would seem to be waning, empirically speaking. Much of the eclipsing trust stems from the body language of President Buhari himself, and absence of a convincing display of empathy and deep feeling for the calamity that befell the Nation, referencing Benue State in particular. What was left of the faith in critical sections of our society evaporated with the meeting the President had with seven Northern Governors who had gone to him to ask that he begins to warm up and rehearse for the magic year, 2019. The governors came out of the meeting gloating at a press conference they had with State House correspondents subsequently which painted the picture of an unfeeling Administration, lacking in compassion. The meeting was in the midst of a national mourning in which the President was supposed to be the chief mourner. Their spokesman had the temerity to rub salt into injury, telling us they had no apology for their conduct.
Predictably, alarm swept through the land: what manner of unfeeling governors are these? Blinded by their ambition for a second term, they were unable to read the mood of the nation. The attitude of the President started to lend credence to charges of divided interest and clanishment. From outcries assailing his Administration the President did not sufficiently demonstrate he had a good grasp of the complexities of our country, the plurality of her people and diversity of their cultures. Apart from visiting Makurdi, particularly on the day of the mass burial of the victims of the rampaging Fulani pastoralist herdsmen, he ought to have made a national broadcast to demonstrate his pains and to sternly warn the Fulani pastoralists, “Enough is Enough,” and that he would not accept just one more loss of life. It will be recalled that when Obasanjo was getting irritated by the activities of OPC (Oodua People’s Congress) in his time, he directed the police to shoot at sight anyone who called himself an OPC! In law it may not have been right. The objective of averting an immediate danger was unmistakable. If Buhari had spoken in such a stern manner, he would have demonstrated to the whole world that dirty water could be thicker than blood. And what do you do to dirty water; you throw it out as good riddance to bad rubbish.
Since the running development in the Middle Belt axis ensued, there have been concerned reactions from eminent people from across the land, from no less a personality than Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka; former Commonwealth General Secretary Emeka Anyoku has spoken; so have former Speaker Na ‘Aba, Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto; stormy petrel Dr. Junaid Mohammed; Major-Gen. Lawrence Onoja; Prof. Ayu; Major-Gen. Zamani Lekwot; Col. Yohanna Madaki; Prof. Zacharys Gundu; Dr. Raymond Ihyembe and Amb. Hagher to mention but a few. Of course, Prof. Ben Nwabueze is relentless in his salvos. The Northern Intelligentsias led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; Chief Godwin Acha Ogbole and Prof. Charles Adeyinka Adisa have all have their profound say. The Southern Leaders Forum featuring Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Dr. John Nwodo and a host of others not only paid condolence visits to Makurdi but solidarity statements in Benue people’s harrowing hour of sorrow.
Seemingly in response to the culmination of the worrisome sordid direction of events in the land, interventionist groups have arisen which may be regarded as new forces taking a wider view to check the country’s slide to chaos and confusion. One group is led by Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, Dr. Jhalil Tafawa Balewa; Prof. Pat Utomi; Sir. Olawale Okunniyi; Comrade Isah Aremu, Akin Osuntokun, Donald Duke and Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim; Tony Uranta with Col. Abubakar Umar Dangiwa; Dr. Oby Ezekwesili and Civil Rights Activist Ayo Obe as ex-officio members. Femi Falana is a member heading the legal team. The other group that cannot be ignored arose to press the issue of restructuring to a logical conclusion. It is worthy of note that it is a group of South West eminent persons, a majority of whom that can be largely described as apolitical, not linked with political activism, all over 60 years in age. Take as examples, Olorogun Sunny Kuku of Eko Hospital; Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, a former vice-chancellor; business consultant Dr. Amos Akingba; renowned neurologist Dr. Seyi Roberts, Dr. Ebun Sonaiya and Dr. Ladi Awosika, both promoters of National Health Insurance; business mogul Michael Ade-Ojo; another industrialist Dele Fajemirokun; financial wizard Tola Mobolurin, Olumide Sofowora, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and General Alani Akinrinade. The group is called Voice of Reason (VOR).
The Northern Intelligentsia group hinted at the problem of indigeneship which the current herdsmen crisis has thrown up. Indeed, what the group that has Prof. Attahiru Jega as member, has done is to bring into sharp focus the issue of indigenous landowners. As we are learning the hard way, we can see that no legislation can do anything about land ownership other than perhaps streamlining things. Where such exists the nature of governance structure must be different from what we have in practice in the country at the moment.
Indeed, that the constitution is falsely labelled as a Federal Republic Constitution shows that it recognizes the imperative of Nigeria being a true federation. The agitation in the land, therefore, is proof that the spirit of and intendment of the constitution has not been realised. How much more loss of lives is the land going to witness before the Buhari Administration, hardened in mind, sees reason and does the needful to save our country from needless disaster? Former President Obasanjo has had a rethink and has said restructuring should not be swept under the carpet. It is such a rethink we should expect from President Buhari.
As I did state in this column recently, Nigeria is not a settler nation. It is a country of nationalities. It is a land of people with a proud history and cultures. Indigenous people. They are landowners. We must note that people are tied to their lands, to their soil. It is such that when the chips are down people are more likely to defend their land with their all from elements they may regard as invaders. I draw my examples from fire-spitting General Onoja, Paul Unongo and Amb. Hagher. Just a casual observation will reveal that a newspaper reader will read a short report editors call a brief about his village before bothering about national news! The reason is that in the building of his body the rays of the sun, of the moon, radiations from the soil, from the sea or ocean if born near them, the radiations of the plants, of the wind, and what expectant mothers eat presumably from local plants, all combine in the fashioning of the body. That is why in nourishing the body everyone relishes his native dish. It cannot be for nothing that selling of yams and okro, and hold it, even bitter kola, is a flourishing enterprise in any European country which has a sizeable Nigerian population. No matter how long a person may stay in Europe or America, any discussion about Nigeria elicits more than a passing interest in him, and you get more animated when it concerns your village or town. And so, the saying goes, “There is no place like home.” Is there nothing to say about a sense of family reunion when at Christmas we long and prepare feverishly to go to our hometowns and villages and Lagos and Abuja become empty, of course, fuel availability permitting?
It must bear repeating to say that life on earth has a purpose. It is not an accident as assumed, not even the place of birth. The purpose of life is spiritual as every human being is a spirit, only recognized as a soul with finer coverings when the body is discarded at earthly death. The animating core remains the spirit. The formation of nations, therefore, must be such that will enhance and guarantee the fulfillment of that purpose. A life whose purpose is not fulfilled is a wasted life. And so, we are warned in the Scriptures: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his life?” Losing of life refers to eternal damnation and erasing of name from the Book of Life. God created man and human beings formed nations. In doing so, they put them together according to their own severely limited devices. In fashioning nations, we are expected to have recourse to the eternal principles governing all life, called the Laws of Creation which give expression to the Will of God. Any law is the expression of the wish of the law giver. The Laws of Creation known on earth as Laws of Nature, Ethereal Laws in the beyond, Spiritual Laws and Divine Laws, depending on the Realm concerned, are all and the same and uniform in their manifestations. Not only are they eternal, perfect and unchanging because it is the Power of God that drives them, they are incorruptible and self-acting. So, we cannot violate them without dire consequences which we are witnessing in all countries of the world.
The Law governing the formation of countries is known as the Law of Attraction of Homogeneous Species. It is the Law of Similarity. As it governs the colony of fishes, so does it govern the world of birds or the colony of elephants, or lions or goats. Everyone is attracted to its own kind to form friendship, company or unions. It does not require a star gazer to tell us that it is invariably countries with heterogeneous population that have exhibited grave problems of harmonious statehood. It cannot be otherwise. Can we not observe that it is easier for people who have a lot in common in terms of language, culture, aspiration and world view to get drawn to one another and live together in harmony than with people who differ significantly? The differences are defined by the varying degrees of inner development even though we have the same spiritual origin and the same goal. Inner development is a function of the exercise of the inalienable free will. Each human being has the inalienable right to make choices.
Once the choices are made he is bound by the consequences. Legislation, constitution, custom and what have you, to alter this will always be futile. Conscious and unconscious longing to have this ordinance of the Creator obeyed is the primary reason for instability and outright shooting wars in several parts of the world. That peace will be elusive until the countries abandon their own devices and align with Creation Order. This means that all countries must come to the recognition of these higher laws and adjust to them accordingly. There must be loose unions such that each people within a country can run their affairs according to their own light and at their own pace without interference. Those who stand in the way of the realization of this have another Law to contend with here or hereafter. It is the Law of Reciprocal Action which stipulates that whatever a person sows, whether in thought, speech or deeds he reaps in multiples. A grain of maize attracts 400 other grains clinging to one ear of corn and several ears to a stalk. If the fruits are not ripe for harvesting in a particular earth life, the sower will be obliged to be born again in a re-embodiment called reincarnation where he will have to lead the campaign for the disintegration of his new country in atonement for his previous obstinacy and calamitous error. The unfortunate aspect of this in these times is that we are in the End Time. There are shrinking opportunities by the day now for reincarnation. All human beings are now writing their final examinations. It is now either, or. Higher knowledge spreading on earth in the present time reveals that the choice before mankind today is Salvation or Damnation!
What approximates the ideal in the circumstances of Nigeria today, therefore, is Restructuring so that within Nigeria as their country each people can govern their own lives, run their affairs according to their own standards and at their own pace. They are expected to make their mistakes and learn from them. In the process their inner being gets polished for refined conduct in the running of their affairs outwardly. Chief Awolowo once said that a unitary governance structure breeds hostilities.
In December, 2014, during his campaign for nomination, potential candidate Buhari said as follows: “If you nominate me in December 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my Administration will: ‘Institute action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true federalism and the federal spirit.’” In that campaign promise, he also said under Item 6, in my record, that he would: “Restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient, and adequately compensated public service sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teeming youth.”
That time to restructure, dear President, is therefore now. The fears and, indeed, fallouts of such a re-reordering, to use Professor Soyinka’s word, in terms of loss of revenue for states or zones that may feel or become temporarily disadvantage are adequately catered for in the 2014 National Conference Report. Restructuring is the path to peace, stability and progress in our land. The ultimate solution for all nations can’t but lie in obedience to and application of the Laws of Creation.
The vogue in town is Surrogate Motherhood, homage we must pay to the technological wonders of our time. It could be harrowing for a woman who longs for a baby to stay childless for a considerable length of time. Except where the husband is mature, the relationship the couple becomes easily strained. Many a man is wont to say, “Look, what have I got from all my efforts?” The woman begins to lose confidence in herself. There are gossips in the neighbourhood; there is backbiting among friends as soon as she turns her back. Some who may have travelled and returned perhaps on holidays ask with a tinge of mockery: “Are you still looking unto the Lord for the fruit of the womb? And what are you doing about it?” The mother-in-law mounts pressure on her son to look for another girl as she is eager to carry her grandchild before she passes away. All kinds of advice are thrown at her.
Friends or relations drag her to prophets or prayer houses. Gynecologists are besieged. There is going up and down for counseling. In desperation, the lady in her closet, sobbing, continually asks, “Lord, why me?” Some on their own get a younger lady for the husband so the family can have a child to call their own, and on whom to lavish love and care and who would keep the family name.
That is the picture in our environment. It is, therefore, ladies hail the coming of the scientific wonder that makes surrogate motherhood possible. What is surrogate motherhood? Kim Kardashian, the U.S. showbiz lady, has just had her third child via a surrogate mother.
The full treatment of this subject next week.
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