The Nigerian State Must Show Who’s Boss, by ‘Tope Fasua

This type of impact pulls down the level of national discourse. But then, in truth, we cannot delude ourselves that we have reached the levels that other nations have, while living with millions of minds that remain bestial and in a state of suspended animation in matters of religion. The Nigerian state MUST show who is boss or else we submit our state certificate to the United Nations and carry on like wild beasts. Not only have we screwed up our economy and our society through myopia, sheer incompetence, but we have failed to communicate with and raise millions of minds to see things right and understand the true meaning of civilization. Civilization, remember, is the ability to live in large communities and to tolerate diversity and diverse opinions. We admit that we don’t want society to go into a spin where anything and everything is allowed. Yes. But one of the “things” that must not be allowed is for anyone or a group of people to rise up and IN SOME DISGUISE, kill another human being…not for religious purposes, for economic reasons or that they have committed a crime. We can’t just focus on Western excesses like sexual perversions, can we?

Thomas Hobbes described this primitive state of being where life was unpleasant, brutal and short. In this state, no one had a specific right to anything. A thief was not a thief. A thief was not a thief. He was simply acting out of survival instinct and therefore could attack anyone to collect whatever he had just to satisfy himself. Everyone was looking to defend themselves, and to kill and maim in doing so. It was the dark ages. But every morning and every afternoon the world was as bright as it is today. The sun shone to illuminate life. But the humans refused to see it. Anyone who still deliberately lives in the Dark Ages should be exposed for such a reason. Because at some point, human beings came together and decided to entrust their rights of self-defense to the state. Therefore, if someone wrongs you, rather than stabbing or killing them, you report it to the state to deliver justice on your behalf. The world has decided to abandon unpleasant, brutal, sad and short modes of existence. Alas, in Nigeria, with tens of millions of people in a dark frame of mind, shrouded in fanatical adherence to religion that leaves no space for deep questioning of their actions, we are in deep trouble. Will Nigeria break away from Sokoto?

The Nigerian state must show who is boss. Luckily, Buhari is not running for president in 2023. I have seen that almost all the aspirants have not talked about the despicable, bestial and animalistic lynching of Sokoto College of Education student Deborah. I don’t know how politics prevents someone from taking a strong stand in this kind of forum and that may be why I will never be a successful Nigerian politician. I think there must be smart ways to approach this particular issue. Maybe it’s too late, because the millions of street urchins are already on the streets protesting the arrest of two of them who deliberately and in cold blood took someone’s life and even set it on fire. During this time many young people recorded the incidence – some to show the great deed they had done to the glory of God, perhaps a few to point out the incidence because they knew it was so bad, so bad. The Nigerian state needs to show who’s boss or else, again, let’s go back to the United Nations and hand over the certificate of nationality because we can’t handle this anymore. Everyone involved must be adequately punished, no matter who they are.

But I notice that there are millions who support this action and that is where the problem lies. Millions of Nigerian Muslims say this is how it is written in their holy books. Some Muslims say it is not. The problem with religion is usually that two people read the same book but see different things. We have seen entire professors (especially the Imam of the Central Mosque in Abuja) assert that Muslims are obligated to KILL blasphemers. We read that the young presidential spokesman, Bashir Ahmed, wrote on Twitter that he believed in killing the blasphemers. Even Dangote’s son-in-law, who is himself the son of a former Inspector General of Police, Jamil Abubakar, says the sin of blasphemy – in this case with Deborah – is to murder the blasphemer. He has no excuse. Imagine a very young, courteous guy believing that sort of thing? Maybe his dad, the gentle MD Abubakar who is the president of the alumni association of NIPSS Kuru (the country’s number 1 think tank for eggheads), also thinks it’s correct. So in all areas we have senators, representatives, cabinet ministers, state governors, Supreme Court justices, top lawyers, accountants, consultants and of course the majority of politicians who believe the boys who murdered this girl – no matter how outrageous her comments are. and actions were – should be garlanded and paraded before President Buhari, for the next highest national honours. Here we have it; new GCFRs by their very distinguished action for God and country.

And there are other killers in our bankrupt nation. Prior to this nasty act of those… well, bastards, the latest scandal in town was the murder of two lovebird soldiers. The perpetrators somewhere in eastern Nigeria also recorded this. They recorded for the world to see as they commented on the wages of sin against their cause. They were part of a separatist group. After raping the rather beautiful and voluptuous lady with lots of bruises on her body, they proceeded to chop off her head while she was still breathing and then placed the head on her body. She frowned as she was beheaded. What a fate for someone in this world. The madmen then proceeded to rip out her vulva. It is debatable whether Buhari has lost control of this country. The man is a disgrace to himself. He is somewhere, occupying space and earning wages; he and his starboy assistant who are only interested in eloquent grammar but claim he has been totally caged for eight years. Thankfully, the starboy spoke out against this blatant outrage.

In the southwest of the country, we also have the phenomenon of the lynching of petty thieves. A few months ago, I remember seeing two of these charred bodies at Mile 2 approaching the Oshodi highway. It’s been a long time since I saw this. In the southwest too, we have lunatics who abduct and kill people daily for ritual purposes. It happens all over the country but is rampant in this region. The government MUST draw a line on one of them. Certainly, the religious attracts the most attention. Some of those who praised or ignored the killing of soldiers in the east, and the many police and other paramilitary workers who were killed by the dozens, are now amplifying and playing the “civilized” on the incidence of Sokoto. What is evidently troubling however, is how many northern Muslims support and believe to be true, just and proper, the summary murder of a blasphemer. People like Jamil Abubakar, who is a pilot, forget that the same sharia they cite condemns them ab initio. His father would have at least had his hands chopped off for theft. Is he saying that he was only trained on his father’s salary? If we embarked on summary beheadings, lynchings, etc., surely no middle or upper class person will remain whole in this country. I haven’t seen much support from southern Muslims though. The only killings of civilians that are not welcomed are those committed for rituals. Even their customers don’t dare to come out and greet such and such. But many Southwesters also welcome the lynching of armed robbers, many of whom may be innocent or in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Something tells me this is a watershed moment in this country. Something has to give. I am personally sick and tired of the primitiveness among our people. Admittedly, there are problems in all countries (knife crimes among black teenagers in the UK, gun crimes in the US – often also among blacks), but here we are in a situation particular. Our reputation is already in pieces. We are seen as a waste of space. We just can’t go on like this.

‘Tope Fasua, economist, author, blogger, entrepreneur and recent Presidential candidate of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), can be contacted via [email protected]

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