The Death of Rage


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The Death of Rage




Michael O. Oluwagbemi



January 31, 2006



 “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”  Abraham Lincoln


Recently, I read a similarly titled article written by the numero uno of columnists in Nigeria, no other person but Reuben Abati. Abati represent to my generation what Tai Solarin and Babatunde Jose was to my father or what Uncle Bola was to me before the goons of PDP cut short his life that fateful day in the bloody city of Ibadan: the city of peculiar mess, the city of my birth. Abati’s article inspired me in more ways than one, but the inspiration amounted to an internal rage until this morning as I sit reading a collection of press reports as I often do from my country Nigeria.


Democracy and the rule of law was completely raped and violated by its custodians in Nigeria about a week or two ago. In our full glare, the President and his godfather resident in Ibadan concocted a plan to remove a governor from office short of every constitutional requirement and to the dismay of many the police which happens to be the instrument of force of the elites used to wrought evil on our country are fully in support. If this was madness enough, come and see madness round two.


The madness round two is what is going on in Ibadan right now. While the wannabe governor is parading himself around with the support of ass kissing civil servants and vain men of no reputation, the police are busy projecting an image of rascality and stupidity in the face of little or no serious public outcry. I am not mad at the police, far from it – I am mad at Nigerians!


Where is our rage? Where is our consternation? You think public releases and PR statement are enough? Please try Obasanjo! Where is full blown public protest to dislodge the mad man in Aso Rock and his buddies in Agodi? Did the revolution lose touch with Nigerians? Are we too lily livered people who were served independence on a platter of gold not to know what it means to defend democracy and the rule of law? Where is the mass movement that dislodged autocrat in Georgia and Ukraine in stench cold weather – yet in Nigeria in the mild tropical climate of January we can’t even stand up for a simple protest. We don’t need a green revolution or an orange or crimson one for that matter, we need a true public outrage for a public rape of what we fought for while the likes of Adedibu was dining with Abacha and campaigning for a life president position for the dark goggled general.


You know what I see? I see Adams Oshiomole demobilized. Saying he is in Abuja, the very symbol of elitism and the current madness going on in Nigeria instead of joining forces with the Lion of Egba himself, the most honorable Nigerian living in person of Professor Wole Soyinka. Where is Gani Fawenhinmi at the frontlines of this new war? Where are the men that I always looked up to as the last fortress in the fight for the common good? And Oshiomole will want us to go to the trenches with him the next time fuel price is increases? Over my dead body! May be I need to teach this intending governor of Edo state one or two lessons about labor relations: that labor exists at the collective desire of the immediate population, labor in Nigeria may as well be dead very soon like the United States counterpart, toothless bulldogs!


The damage has been done. Yes we now have a police with selective sense of judgment. While a Federal High Court have nullified the Public Order Act they hold on tenaciously onto it, the policemen in Ibadan are saying it is law after all. In Nigeria today, the police is more powerful than the judiciary it should answer to. Is it not high time we should look into transferring the power of ordering and controlling the police to the Chief Justice of the Federation? Why should Obasanjo have the luxury of using police for political purpose and the governors are denied the same benefit? Is this man wiser than all of us?


A foreigner friend of mine said it to my face recently that going to Nigeria, he discovered we are both unpatriotic and cowards! I could not reply him – what do you want me to say? That was the typical Nigerian in me. Unpatriotic? May be a lack of sense of belonging or responsibility. How many of you my readers can risk your life for Nigeria? At least not me – many saints gone unsung, many heroes cast down in their prime. It is the lack outrage that brought down the first, second and third republics and may be it is the shortness of this outrage that will extinguish the light of our present democracy.


While you go to bed tonight, remember the streets of Liberia. We are very close – we are close to Liberia than any country on the continent right now. Nigerians are just deceiving themselves by saying we don’t have a civil war going on. Pure deceit! In a country where workers are kidnapped as if they reside in the fronts of the Persian Gulf war , within the Sunni Triangle of Baghdad? Is that not the ultimate sign of a civil war going on today in the Niger delta? In a country where Governors are fallen left and right while blood of the innocent is shed in Oyo, Anambra, Plateau and Ekiti states like no man’s business? This is your world, this is Nigeria. This is war going on and yet we pretend as if we don’t know it – pretence in the world of politics is the death kneel to reason! In Nigeria we have lost both.


I use this opportunity to congratulate the Nigerian Police. They are the fathers of gangsters. After leading their political godfather Adedibu to destroy and loot the government house of the people of Oyo state, they are proving to be a veritable tool in protecting his illegalities perpetrated through his godson – Mr. Akala falsely referred to as the governor. Let them remember they didn’t require a public order act permission for them to stand a guard of honor for a disgraced governor in Bayelsa neither did they require such permits for the joyous parade of the return of the now fallen Governor General of the Ijaw nation. May be in  the not too distant time of revolution, the men in black will scamper to yank off their uniforms as we put the head of their leaders in guillotine reminiscence of the days of Louis the king in France, and as we shout : chop his head off, chop his head off! Our own Bastille is Ibadan and our Louis are those gluttonous pot bellied politician masquerading as leaders of my dear country. The countdown has begun.



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