It is safe at this point to say that Nigeria, in some sense at least, can be likened to a sinking ship. It is indeed a fair estimation of the situation. Either that, or we need to start subjecting public officials to some sort of psychiatric evaluation. For the second time in as many days, I have found myself tearing at my hair in shock and disbelief, due to the strange acts and public behaviours/utterances of some of our so-called public officials.
A slightly more pessimistic friend than myself has opined that as a nation, we are all collectively mad, as reflected by the quality of our leaders. I am yet to find a logical counter to his postulation. And perhaps I will not indeed attempt to counter him, beleaguered as I am by the latest round of mishappenings and mis-utterances ascribed to one of the nation’s public officials.
It is no news to anyone with a smartphone and data, or at least the ability to read and understand, or at least ask questions intelligently enough to get them answered, that in the last two weeks or so, our country has been rocked by a spate of needless killings and accidents that have had even the most hardhearted questioning the stance of the government on the sanctity of human life and the need for a government, any government, to have the safety of the lives and properties of its citizens as its number one priority.
At this point, I find it needlessly grievous to rehash the various policy breakdowns and failures that led to the petrol tanker accident that claimed several lives last week. All the laws and policies that regulated the movement of loaded tankers carrying petroleum products, and restricted their times of movement so as to forestall (okay, reduce) the possibility of accidental explosions and accidents, which were put in place by the Fashola administration, have all been relaxed, by the current administration, in a move that had me wondering, since continuity would have made a great deal of sense. But that is not why we are here, right now, across this virtual table, having this discussion.
So why are we here?
We are here because of Femi Adesina.
So what has he done this time?
On an AIT television programme, the special adviser to El Presidente on Media and Publicity has gone to the Media to shame himself in Public. In what he calls an advice to those who are against the ranching and cattle colony programmes of his administration, he says that farmers will be better off living with the ranches and cattle colonies than dying. In his words: “Ancestral attachment? What ancestral attachment?
You can only be talking of an ancestral attachment when you are alive. If you are dead, how does any ancestral attachment matter? What will the land be used for if those who own it are dead at the end of the day? ”
This is disappointing in more ways than I can process. If femi adesina had been a counsellor or a commissioner, I wouldn’t have minded leading a crowd on a protest calling for his head. If he were a minister, said the minister of communication, I would have said he should be relieved of his appointment for being a colossal embarrassment to the government that put him in place.
But here is why it is worrisome: Femi is a special adviser to someone who is easily Nigeria’s worst leader in history. With a human rights record that is steadily advancing towards that of any despot of your choice, literally, it is indeed worrisome.
The government, at its best, has failed woefully to guarantee the safety and security of the lives and property of its citizenry. Look at Benue, look at plateau, and tell me what right Fulani herdsmen had to go there and lay waste to the place, then place it side by side with the threats concealed as advice that Mr Adesina is giving.
These are the signs we are being shown, clear as day and available for all who care to look, that we are in the grip of a government that has no value or respect for human life. Or at least, the non-Fulani lives.
Pray, Nigeria, pray. Pray to be delivered from Baba Bubu in 2019. It will not be funny.