12th October, 2010
While we should be mourning the deceased victims of the Independence day bomb blastsÂ close to Eagle Square in the nationâ€™s capital, Abuja, some so-called elders are busyÂ beating the drums of war and fanning the embers of disunity in the wake of the tragicÂ incident.
Some northern political leaders, including Adamu Ciroma and Lawal Kaita, stirred theÂ hornetâ€™s nest when they called on President Goodluck Jonathan to resign because heÂ dissociated the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from the bombÂ blasts even though the Henry Okah faction of MEND had claimed responsibility for theÂ deadly blasts. The call by Ciroma and his combative kinsmen is heating up the polity asÂ Northern and Southern leaders have continued to spit fire and exchange brickbats on theÂ pages of newspapers.
Ironically, a group called Northern Political Summit took up the fight on behalf ofÂ Jonathan against Ciroma and his Northern Political Leaders Forum. The NorthernÂ pro-Jonathan group has warned Ciroma et al to desist from making inflammatory statementsÂ that could undermine the unity of this country. As if that was not enough warning, whatÂ Ciroma and co. said has attracted an equal measure of virulent and belligerent reactionÂ from the South-South, Jonathanâ€™s home base. The man who has taken over the beating of theÂ war drums is Asari Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta Peopleâ€™s Volunteer Force, NDPVF.Â Dokubo, who vent his spleen during a chat with a national newspaper, said the Niger DeltaÂ region is not afraid of going to war against anybody or group that confronts the peopleÂ of the region.
We are worried that anger and vitriolic attacks have trailed the bomb blasts even as theÂ incident has been politicised. Should the country go up in flames because of theÂ inordinate ambition of some political leaders? We wonder who the political gladiatorsÂ will preside over if the country disintegrates before they actualise their ambition.Â Although we do not subscribe to the doomsday prophecies of some clerics that Nigeria mayÂ soon cease to be one geographical entity because of political intolerance and otherÂ divisive tendencies championed by some conservative elite, the reckless manner in whichÂ the nationâ€™s leaders express their views on sensitive natioinal issues could undermineÂ the peace and stability of this country. They just have to exercise restraintÂ in the wayÂ they talk to avoid the backlash their utterances could cause. A handful of leaders whoÂ are seeking political power at all costs are threatening fire and brimstone as if it isÂ their birth right to rule this country.
If fifty years after independence we cannot speak with one voice on national issues orÂ issues that threaten national security, can we say we are united as a people? OurÂ so-called leaders are so hypocritical, myopic and self centred that they see everythingÂ from the prism of ethnicity or religion. They use these divisive tendencies to mask theirÂ parochial political and economic interests and use same to hoodwink their gullibleÂ followers. They have played the hackneyed ethnic and religious cards for the past fiftyÂ years yet this has not taken the nation anywhere. They are at the same vile game ofÂ deceit again. They should stop playing the spoilerâ€™s role so that we donâ€™t have cause toÂ contend with the upheaval that could be the consequences of their action. Leaders whoÂ have the interest of the people at heart will not descend to the level of threatening toÂ make the country ungovernable because ofÂ one flimsy reason or the other. Where will theyÂ run to or hide when they make the country ungovernable?