Why Abiola Must Have Died In Vain

By Ikenga Chronicles June 12, 2018

Why Abiola Must Have Died In Vain

–By Onyemaechi Ogbunwezeh

1. A Timeless Vision!

In spite of the fact that the death of every man diminishes me, since I am a part of a race that lost its member; there seems to be some people, who must die in vain.

This may not inhere in the retributive dimensions of reality. It may not be thanks to the insanities of karma. It may not also be the fault of the gods guarding the portals of individual destinies.
Far from it!

Shakespeare was right. The fault Dear Brutus is not in our stars, but in ourselves that we are underlings!!! It has always been that way in human affairs. The stars are just that; stars. Men are the major actors in the affairs of men. Society rises and falls at their actions or inactions.

In our context, some lives will be wasted due to the fact that a society that is allergic to reality and truth has commissioned its own collapse. That the lives of certain members of our species and nation would be treated with ignominy and unparalleled indignity is thanks to our festival of unjust choices, cowardice, and silence which has enthroned injustice as a tradition in our milieu.

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It seems that Nigerians as a people are in perpetual slavery to self-deception. We are so very allergic to reality. Truth for us is whatever consolidates our unexamined prejudices. We are so allergic to the tides of reason that any challenge to the primitive fatalisms, lazy illusions, or invincible ignorance scaffolding our neurotic presumptions, sees us rising with unemotional ruthlessness to crush that challenge with all the bad will and ignorance that we can muster.

This is why a Nigerian will rise up and proudly declare himself very happy, to be exploited by a Preacher. Even though the tenets of his religion, and the codex of self-respect forbids his pledging himself as a slave without the chance of manumission to any man; his ignorance and juvenile naiveté armed him with the effrontery to celebrate the supreme insularities of his narrow-mindedness in the village square. [i]

This is equally why Nigerian pseudo-intellectuals and intellectuals alike are very busy playing the gladiatorial shows of mutual tribal denigration, instead of marshaling their intellectual resources against the retrogressive forces that has tied Nigeria to the pillars of poverty and decay. These petty listserv wars are not any more the “my Mercedes is better than yours type”. If that is what it is, then we would simply accuse ourselves of being fundamentally petty and have gone on ahead to other preoccupations. Instead, our petty wars have assumed dangerous and irredeemable dimensions since we have, instead of rising collectively to fight evil, resorted to “my thief is better than yours” kind of petty war. Machiavelli couldn’t have invented a more genial game to occupy and distract all the freshly-minted professors of ignorance, plaguing the Nigerian cyberspace, while clever crooks have hijacked our politics; and pursuant to that, laid siege to all that we hold dear and have cause to cherish. In other sociopolitical circumstances, people have used the technologies of the age to rise against oppressive structures. The Egyptian and Tunisia revolutions are cases in point here. But Nigerians; worse than every other species of African humanity, are employing it in the adoration of their tribal pettiness and hawkish narrow-mindedness. Our educated elite are so tied down in our parochial internet warfare that we have all become CASUALTIES in the language of JP Clark.

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This surrender to Machiavellian distractive pastime of mutual assured self-cannibalizations, accounts for why some of those with whom we started this vigil to keep the ravenous wolves off our commonweal, conveniently fell asleep on their consciences, and switched over their allegiances, not to the values that gave us a chance at progress; but to the insular demands and narrow exigencies of personal profit. Pursuant to that moral volte-face, they not only sold out the struggle to the enemies of our collective progress. They finally shed their masks, revealing fully morphed Orwellian monsters of the same dysfunctional order. They masqueraded all the time as nationalists. The only thing needed to make them ditch their pretenses, was a whiff of money, a ministerial appointment, or portfolio.

If these pseudo-nationalist vuvuzelas just accepted the bribes and left us alone; we would have conveniently continued the struggle, shaking them off as some of the excess baggage of every struggle. But they left our ranks, instead of being faithful to the traitorous trajectories they chose; turned around and started eyeing our legs, as if we are wearing animal hooves. And they are ready to shoot us pursuant to that vision. Reuben Abati has been co-opted to that bandwagon of thievery, where like others before him, he would be the propaganda vuvuzela of those who plunder the country. This is so that he would redeploy the skill he used in attacking the status quo, into whitewashing and excusing those infamies he raised orchestras of dissent to sing against. Many others have equally been thrown a bone of vacuous appointments, to draw these half-hearted watchdogs off their perch at the gates.

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The most frustrating part of observing the Nigerian experience lies in the fact that Nigerians always want reality to yield its visions to their neuroses and fictions. The infinity of this collective stupidity lies in the fact, that in spite of our ostrich-like dispositions and incredulous fatalisms, reality keeps on defining itself daily to our experience. We remain frozen in our filth, claiming not to know why in spite of our pretenses to efforts, we are not progressing. But the point is simple. Any society that venerates unearned privilege has torpedoed the fundamentals of a just and fair social order. Since justice is the basis of peace in every society, such a society has created a whirlpool of social discontent, which would ensure that the society either implodes on the weight of its own iniquitous contradictions, or self-destructs in an acrimonious war over privilege.

Beatifying unearned privilege is a mistreatment of fairness. It corrodes the pillars of social justice. In such a circumstance, everyone fights belligerently to gain a foothold into this club of diseased privilege. And admittance is mainly by hook and crook. I am not surprised that many Nigerian young people have become scam artists in other to hit it big. Those who are not versed in those dark arts have taken up crude guns and become kidnappers; wrecking families and our sense of security; and inflicting untold harm across our land in order to make millions that will launch them into this club of diseased privilege inaugurated by Nigerian politicians and their friends.

The Feast On Abiola’s Grave Continues

History has forever been a teacher on this point. Once a society cultivates and attaches religious significance to the fruits of crime; it creates furrows of discontent, which would never spell progress for this society. Obscene inequalities that favor the privileged at the expense of the commoners have never augured well for peace, which is a basis for progress and development. Such a society enthrones notorious obnoxiousness in public life; creates a monster and vocations out of lawlessness, which all culminate in a rogue instruction for the society to cannibalize itself and feed on its children.

This is the evolutionary path Nigeria took even before independence, which ended up making our nation an acidic cocktail of corrosive values; a citadel of consolidated corruption; a nest of killers; an amorphous mass of seething discontented sectionalisms, very busy masquerading as a people; and an unworkable dysfunctional monstrosity just waiting for the next explosion to disintegrate.

This is the basis of why no one can ever smell justice in this land that is daily accursing itself and its acquaintances.

2. Shakespeare comes to Dinner!

Even though the trial of Al Mustapha has continued to refocus attention on the death of MKO Abiola, the reasons Abiola may never have justice done him, or to his memory are not far-fetched. Metaphysicians of our realms and the commentators of our public spaces may spend eternity battling their presumptions. They may spend inordinate amount of time reviewing history, creating frameworks or crafting scaffolds of understanding what happened. They may be seething with rage or expressing chagrin that such a monumental miscarriage of justice could ever occur in a land that prides itself with having so many brilliant intellectuals. One cannot but suspect that we are all now concerned because Shakespeare was right! We are not concerned primarily about the quiddity of justice. We are concerned about the personality, whom injustice was inflicted upon. Nigerians have grown not to care about principles but about personalities.

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There may be many reasons for that, but I suspect that we are focused on Abiola because the death of beggars invites no comets. Many a town-crier on this day, would gladly forget his gong at home. No one enjoys being the herald of insignificance. When insignificance dies, stars go about their normal charges. Where this departure is not patronized with unconcern, it merits no mention to our choicest esteems. But when celebrities and princes sneeze; gravity itself pulls galaxies off the sky, to prostrate and fall over themselves in obsequious advertisement of vainglorious affectations in solidarity with a member of the college of the “high and mighty”, who had a fever; even if he be a dishonorable rogue. In Nigeria, people go on solidarity visits to the president to condole with him on the loss of a rotten tooth. Others take out costly advertorials on the pages of newspapers to congratulate a president, a governor, a senator, or a local government chairman, for the great and onerous job of impregnating his wife or mistress.

Observers of Dickensian England may accuse Shakespeare of anticipatory anachronism, in putting into the mouth of Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife, a reality that was more Dickensian in its raw putridity than many other epochs in history. But Shakespeare stands acquitted by the timelessness of his vision. His greatness lies in the fact that his observation is ancient and yet so new. His genius lies in his making literature reflect a fact that has been present in human history of all epochs. Shakespeare was the ultimate student of man.

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Stars, star obituaries, pomp, pageantry, and plangent wines attend the funeral of princes and princesses. Lady Diana was a case in point. The whole world seemed to have wept on that day. John Paul II, a Prince of the Church saw the world kneeling in tears at the memory of a Prince. Their final journeys are televised into billions of living rooms, so that those most unconnected with it by distance or acquaintance are compelled to contribute their own tears in front of their television sets to those of other serfs worldwide, who on this day are compelled to watch and demonstrate their sorrows for someone who may never have cared a hoot about them, their plight or their welfare. In many empires of history, royalty never dies alone. The Pharaohs made some slaves accompany them on their journey to the netherworld. Troops of human heads have been known to follow the funeral hearse of many a priest-king across Africa.

In fact, when a Caesar dies, Rome is supposed to stand still. But a pauper may get an unmarked grave for his troubles. The televisions are present when many paupers are suffering malnutrition as is the case presently in Somalia. This presence is not in solidarity to their plight, but primarily in solidarity to their ratings, profits and pockets; or at the instance of the generosity industry. Either way, the plight of paupers is a means to an end for many privileged rulers and classes of this world. Go ask the Dalits of India!

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Some may contend that the rich also cry. But there is a gulf of difference between the tears of the poor and that of the rich. The tears of the rich are turned to music and verse, by mercenary minstrels and trumpets-for-hire, who sing the praise of a saint or scoundrel for a fee! But that of the poor are gnashing bouts of attrition engendered by pain, suffering and helpless hopelessness. There is no music to accompany those staccatos of painful inelegance. There is no harmony in suffering. Poverty as music never wins a Grammy.

Shakespeare may also not have escaped the intelligent but misconfigured ire of Marxist philosophy, which would naturally construe this Shakespearean observation, as a reflection of the oppressive class structure availed us by capital induced feudalisms. The poor are conditioned into worshipping the oppressors, whose riches are most times predicated on their poverty. They are the ones who cry the most at the death of princes, even when the prince must have been a rapist of their humanity.

3. Comets and Nigerian Funerals

While other societies roll the trumpets out in celebration of their achievements, many a Nigerian love rolling the trumpets in celebration of ignominy. The more brazen our thieveries are, the louder we trumpet our celebrations to insult reason and affront ethics. In this regard, I am yet to see a people so allergic to reality and so much in love with theatrics like Nigerians. Owambe has risen to connote a tragic waste of time and resource in a delirious, Unoka-like, lazy love of ease and merriment. We love to pull down the galaxies to attend our celebrations, even when we are celebrating our infamies!

Ask Bode George!

Bode George is a convicted crook who stole close to $1 billion dollars of the Nigerian people’s money, while micro-mismanaging the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). He was one of those rare privileged thieves to be convicted for those crimes and sentenced to Kirikiri Maximum security prisons. In China, people like Bode George are executed for such massive corruption. But in “Justicia Nigeriana”, he got only two years imprisonment for defrauding the country of massive amounts of money. I have seen youths languishing in Nigerian prisons for donkey years for stealing a piece of bread. I have seen many a Nigerian executed for stealing the equivalent of 20 cents. But this career crook, who as a military governor pillaged the resources of Ondo State, and went on ahead to clean out the treasuries of the Nigeria Ports Authority, with a history of kickbacks and inflated contracts that raped Nigeria of billions of dollars, was sentenced to a two-year holiday in Kirikiri.

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I never read the court asking him to make restitutions for this brazen thievery, and damage he inflicted on his charge. He was allowed to keep his loot. He went to jail, did his time, and on coming out, headed straight to that place nominated by Jesus Christ himself as a “den of robbers”- the Church; to celebrate his release from jail! The church service was a part of the series of celebrations lined up to welcome a thief back to his perch, and to reintroduce him into a political reckoning upon which, if future opportunity permits, he would sit to pontificate over other heists.

What does one expect?

The Church or mosque has always been the natural watering-hole for such mean-spirited rogues. Many religious outfits and persuasions since the dawn of history have been the refuge of thieves and impious rogues, who fleece the people in the name God.

Suffice it to note that Nigeria is presently rediscovering its own religious renaissance of all discredited bouts of medieval nonsenses and neuroses. All the crimes of medieval Christendom are now reincarnating in Nigeria under various forms and persuasions. The European medieval witch-hunt, which was inaugurated by human ignorance during European dark ages, has now found a home in Nigeria. Nigerian children in Akwa Ibom State, southern Nigeria, are being labeled as witches and executed by the impious neuroses and arrogant ignorance of wolves in sheep clothing, who call themselves “pastors”. And the State watches in incomprehensible incredulity and inaction.

Go ask Helen Ukpabio!!!

It does not end there. Randy Nigerian priests and pastors, seeking to take carnal advantage of psychologically gullible or economically vulnerable members of their congregation, now readily invoke incubus and succubus-European mythological nonsense and evolutionary hangovers of our ignorant past-as the slave masters of our beautiful Nigerian women. Many of these pious idiots conjure theologies that are pieces of superstitious nonsense that superlatively insults human reason. For instance, one such preacher contended that the reason for the infertility of some feminine members of his congregation is, because they millions of kids in the ocean while mating with Succubus and incubus. Some contend that the reasons why some Nigeria women are still single and are yet to get married is because they are married to water spirits. They never factored into the equation that many Nigerian young men are leaving the nation in droves, thereby depopulating the pool of marriageable young men available to these young women. But since every problem in Nigeria has a “spiritual” root, the “curse” in their roots must be exorcised or “washed” in Nigerian parlance. And these cost hundreds of thousands of naira, which these poor, economically bludgeoned women must cough out to have their roots washed of all spiritual curses!!!

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This is the laughable situation empowered by ignorance, which many Nigerians are swimming in. Little wonder then, that our pastors now are so very rich as to be buying private jets, sprawling estates, and so on; while their common subjects go home to their powerlessness daily; without social safety nets to help their poor economic situation.

In fact, the Nigeria church, with the explosion of Pentecostal movements of questionable provenance all over the place, has risen to become an essential arena for the consolidation of ignorance. Here brazen ignorance is officially peddled by ignorant officials armed with the bible, holy water, and chants of “praise the lord” and Alleluia. In this arena, insane superstitions and fatalisms are crowned as dogma. Irrationalities and infantile neuroses and angst are not only confirmed but also canonized as absolute truths revealed by the Holy Spirit. Our poor, ignorant folks, who sought refuge in these arenas, go home with their ignorance multiplied and consolidated in such a reinforced dimension that is superlatively impervious to reason. Instead of getting the liberation from captivity promised by Jesus the Christ, the Nigerian Christian gets from his church, this debilitating aversion to knowledge. He gets from his church this sheepish and timid acquiescence in the face of rogue authority. He is taught faith that hates work and hopes on cosmic miracles. The catchy slogans of fraudulent provenance used to sell this debilitating mindset to him are convulsively manipulative as to make Joseph Goebbels look like an angel.

For the Nigerian poor, his temporal chance of momentarily forgetting his problems lies in entertainment, church, and sex. These have been the classical outlets left for the hoi-polloi to vent their frustrations by proxy, since the beginning of time. In ancient Rome, the entertainment was provided by the gladiators in the amphitheaters across the empire. The various gods of the Roman amphitheater provided the debilitating religion, which was of narcotic value, and deadened the people to their pain and made their fatalisms endurable. Sex was everywhere, and in every form to be had, even in the temples. To these petty gods of emotional release; the people have always surrendered their reason and allowed the ruling classes the leeway to indulge their imperial debaucheries until Rome fell.

In the present American empire, Hollywood provides the entertainment. Sex is everywhere to be had. American conservative Christianity has now come out of its non-political closet; to mix its fanaticisms with its racisms to arm its supremacist eugenics to power. To get to power, they must destroy Obama, or the country before they can descend on the immigrants like Hitler descended on the Jews. Ask the Republican Party!!!

Nigeria is an empire in its own right. It is an empire of dysfunction! The entertainment is provided here by Nollywood. Sex like all human pleasures is everywhere to be found. And the Mosques are so full on Fridays as to defy imagination, while the Christian Churches challenge that status on Sundays. Yet corruption and crime super-abounds in the country in the midst of mass poverty that is debilitating as it is criminal.

Examples of this abound in all empires both ancient and modern. The poor- the hewers of wood and drawers of water must be kept in their place, using Machiavellian classic preoccupations. Gigantic Churches must be built to tease their awe and exact their submissions to the will of a higher power. The fiction of a Higher Power has been hoisted on the hoi polloi since the beginning of time. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and most other Wonders of the ancient world were religious structures dedicated to gods and goddesses, to inspire awe and keep the poor in their place. Little wonder that Houphet Boigny built the world’s largest basilica in Yamoussoukro to keep the poor Ivorians praying, while this imbecilic gerontocrat looted the country to his heart’s content; bequeathing poverty, instability and conflict to the Ivorians under French supervision.

The poor masses are then always to be found in the Nigerian churches and mosques on any given Sunday or Friday. It was to the Christian version of this temple, where mass poverty mixes with elitist roguery of pharisaic proportions that Bode George headed after his release from prison. He went to meet his brothers of the cloth, who may never have been to prison, but are his ontological associates and confreres in this depraved business of scamming and defrauding the poor.

Ex-con Bode George went to celebrate infamy in a supposed House of prayer. Every retired sinner has a future. But whether Bode George is a retired one is left only for the god of his religion, and conscience to judge. But the fact remains that he lacked the decency to disappear from a public space that he made a latrine by his malfeasance. And he invited our idiocy to his celebrations. Many of us celebrated with him clad with Aso ebi. Most others watched in emasculated silence.

Bode George’s case is one other rotten example of Nigeria and Nigerians scuttling the tenets of decency. In that one swoop, we taught our posterity that crime is celebrated. We mortgaged our progress by empowering and tolerating such audacious celebration of social corruption. That celebration witnessed no protesters picketing the church to tell the thieves of our climes that we seriously disapprove of them and their crimes. Our churchmen could not rebel against a secular confrere of theirs. The silence was so loud that we could not hear their voices.

By our loud silence, we promulgated an unlegislated decree that crime pays, if you are shameless enough to rob generations of their wealth, even if it means dumping toxic wastes in your village. In spite of the hypocrisies of the Psalms sang at Bode’s welcome party; Nigerians collectively joined in singing the antiphon and refrain of a psalm of rogues; which reads: “Our big thieves don’t get punished. We celebrate them! Only the ones stupid enough to steal peanuts are hammered by the law and our society”. Little wonder our senators and political representatives convoking a sophisticated robbery operation in and off our parliament; paying themselves obscenely immoral sums to do a job that people in other climes get less to do.

In Bode George; in Tafa Balogun, and many other thieves of our land that escaped justice, Nigeria failed. Quite unlike the owl who got a shocking comeuppance, when he farted and asked his community to cheer his farting prowess. His community dressed down his shamelessness and told him raw truths that were as pungent as his farts. They told the owl in very clear terms that evil is not celebrated. Nigerians have on many occasions insulted their ancestors and told their posterity that evil is celebrated, if evil is wealthy enough to buy our consciences and silence like Andy Ubah.

By letting Bode George not only get away with his crime, but to celebrate it to spite our collective faces; Nigerians unwittingly created the kind of society, which Augustine of Hippo had in mind, when he cried out in agonizing frustration: “What is a society without justice but a band of robbers”?

So, coming back to Shakespeare; many Nigerians are focusing on Abiola, not because of the injustice of it all. But because he was a rich and star politician, who lost the power struggle in circumstances, which many have risen to condemn, and justify depending on the side of the divide that one, finds himself. But many Nigerians have never spared a thought for the families of the innocent victims of the coups and government overthrows that Abiola helped finance on behalf of his C.I.A handlers in Nigeria. Or the innocent victims of the monumental thefts of Nigerian resources, engineered by Abiola and his cohorts during the ITT saga.

Abiola was a star. And the galaxies must attend his concerns. The poor and the princes will forever live in parallel universes as the riots in London are now showing. This is a fact that cut across climes and cultures, lands and nations. Shakespeare is forever right! But over and above his station and status, does Abiola deserve justice? If yes, would his memory ever get it in Nigeria in its present configuration?

4. Dead Men Have No right of Way???

In the late 80s, I grew up watching the NTA Enugu Channel 8 news with a newscaster that went by the name Chike Ubaka. There is always this interlude during the news, warning motorists to drive with care for life is dear. It went this way:

Dead men have no right of way,
Why must you throw your life away?
Drive with care,
For life is dear!

It is debatable whether dead men have no right of way. I don’t claim to have the answer to that puzzle. But I will hazard one.

Ambulances are normally used for rescuing people, who are in the danger of losing their lives. They are equipped with sirens and lights, which suspends the rights-of-way of every other road user, whenever it is on its rescue mission. That is what obtains in a civilized clime. Whenever the ambulance puts up its sirens, every other road user is oblige to yield his rights of way to the ambulance, in other to facilitate the rescue of someone in the danger of losing his life.

In Nigeria, the obverse obtains and has become tradition here. Ambulances are not used to rescue people, who are in the danger of losing their lives. They are used to ferry people, who have already lost theirs. One wonders what the hurry is, for someone who is already dead, as these ambulances literarily breathe down your neck with their speed and noise; on those pieces of Nigerian roads that are notorious for being as un-motorable as the out-backs of hell!

This is why one could see corpses having automobile accidents in Nigeria, like Fela sang: “Dead bodi geti Aksident”. The point is simply the ostentation and not the practical import of suspending traffic rules for a moment to rescue someone. Nigerians want to advertise their joys and pains as well. Everybody should yield his right of way to us, when we are crying or celebrating. This is equally why Nigerians routinely close down, and block public roads to celebrate their weddings, birthdays and so on. Every other road user must go find a diversion, so that a socially selfish Nigerian could satisfy the ostentation gene in him. And we are expected to swallow it with stoic calm.

To that end, in a radical re-interpretation of what Chike Ubaka would have us believe as kids, the Nigerian ambulance drivers and relatives of ‘dead bodies’ or ‘dead men’ have continued to prove to us that dead men have the right of way.

In the traffic context, dead men for me should never have a right of way over the living. But in the context of social justice everyone both the living and the dead of our society are supposed to have equal rights of way; with each taking his turn, with the guarantees that justice will be done him before the tribunes of justice.

Many are there who would contend that since MKO Abiola is dead, that he should no longer have the rights of way in our discourse. Those holding this view contend that we should let by-gones be by-gones, and search for ways of building up the country. Many others in this divide equally contend that Abiola did not deserve justice because he got what he sowed. Some of these people contend that Abiola was a rogue agent of the West. That his philanthropic reputation was a deep, convenient smokescreen and functional cover invented for him by the CIA, as their African front man, to gain access into the inner recesses of the power corridors of many African nations. And that the forces that created him was instrumental in his unraveling and demise, since he collapsed after a cup of tea served by an agent of the American state.

In spite of the long rap sheet, detailing the imperfections and criminal liaisons of Abiola; shouldn’t the death of everyman diminish each of us like John Donne contended in his XVIIIth Meditation? Shouldn’t the collective mandate allegedly conferred on him be basis enough to inquire why this son and many other sons and daughters of Nigeria have to lose their lives? Has letting bygones be bygones, ever gone to create a fair, just and functional society upon the un-propitiated ghosts of past and prevailing injustices?

5. Why Abiola may never get Justice!!!

Whether M.K.O Abiola was killed or not, the fact is that he died! That the traditional war general of the Yoruba nation could succumb to a cup of tea sounds incredible to many, although Socrates bowed to a cup of hemlock. That the Aare Ona Kakanfo-“a warrior expected to die in defense of his nation in order to prove himself in the eyes of both divine and mortal, as having being worthy of his title”- could expire in a prison constructed by felonious power, beats many an imagination.

But be that as it may, the man died! And the death of every man diminishes me!

Mirroring Shakespeare, Nigerians are once again falling over themselves in obsequious drooling over Abiola’s death; trying to understand why such a great man would be allowed to peter out his life in a dungeon of inglorious power. But fact remains that the answers to such puzzles would continue to elude us since we have fossilized in our willful ignorance and dangerous fatalisms. We forget that we would never understand the why, since we, as a collective have refused to inquire into, and understand why an Okeke, Kayode, or Musa would have to die in a Nigerian prison, awaiting trial for 13 years over the crime of not paying 20-naira bribe to a Policeman, who was hungry, and to satisfy his gastronomic emergency, went about fishing for suspects to frame in order to extort money from his relatives.

We would never find and bring those who murdered Abiola to justice, not only because in Abiola’s case, we are not only dealing with ordinary ‘flesh and blood’, but with principalities and powers of darkness in high places, and rich countries that profit from Nigeria’s permanent potentiality that is never translated to actuality. It may well be so. But how can we start untangling the web of complex deceits that led to Abiola’s death since we have no experience in investigating and availing justice and dignity to millions of poor Nigerians, who have no name, popularity or muscles of wealth to fight for themselves.

Where is justice for that kid whose grandfather and father paid taxes to the Nigerian government, but has to die because the hospital lacked drugs to treat a common ailment that has been eradicated in other countries? Where is justice for that victim of medical malpractice by a physician who cheated his way to a medical degree, in a dysfunctional Nigerian university, and got licensed to go and kill as many Nigerians as he can manage in his life time of being a career fake doctor? Where is justice for the school children, who on their way to join their parents for holiday have to die in a Sosoliso plane crash in Port Harcourt, thanks to our federal officials sleeping on duty and licensing aircrafts and flying coffins decommissioned in other countries due to old age, to be flying the Nigerian airspace, ferrying our kids, who are the future of our nation? How many Nigerian versions of Einstein did we lose on that day; incinerated on that runway in Port Harcourt? How many officials did we haul to face the law in its majesty? Those kids were barbecued to death by a culture of injustice that started way back before they were born.

Where is justice for those innocent victims of Boko Haram, who have to lose their lives and limbs to the violent orgies of orchestrated political and pseudo-religious monsters, which kill, rape, and plunder in God’s name?

Where is justice for the thousands of Nigerians who are forced to give up their lives daily on those death slabs we call Nigerian roads; whose dysfunctional states were thanks to the failure of Nigerian leadership to live up to its statutory functions?

Where is justice for those millions of Nigerian young people, who are compelled by terrible economic realities at home, to migrate and offer themselves as comfortable slaves to Europe and America because Nigeria has been mismanaged unto extinction by those who pay themselves billions of dollars as senators, governors and president to mismanage her?

Abiola will die in vain because no society sleeps with injustice and wakes up to felicity. Abiola will die in vain because Nigeria as a nation is an incestuous cannibal; a beast that abuses, rapes, and swallows her children.

Over and above the fact that Abiola, unlike Caesar’s wife, was not beyond reproach in his political dealings and calculations; he did not deserve to lose his life at the hands of his fellows for fighting for a mandate he got from the people. In fact, no man deserves to die at the hands of the other. Many would argue that Abiola got a recompense of what he sowed since he was a part of the Nigerian problem. He was a CIA agent who fronted for ITT to steal his country blind. Fela fearlessly labeled ITT-International thief-thief! But be that as it may, Abiola’s memory deserves justice. The heavens are screaming for it. But whether he gets it is another question.

Decency would recommend that the Nigerian State reverses itself and undertakes a serious soul searching and review such instances of monumental injustices that have plagued our nation. Without resolving the issues raised by social justice, Nigeria will forever remain a country sleeping away her potentials and progress. The best place to start is by reforming our Police and security forces and the criminal justice system. Granted that this is an Aegean stable that requires the cleansing waters of a revolution, but a revolution of attitude is the great revolution that Nigeria needs at the moment. We can start that in the way we educate our kids. Nigeria has lost the present. We are at the risk of losing the future.

 

*I wrote this intervention for Nigeriavillagesquare.com on August 20, 2011

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