We legitimised violence in the Niger Delta, we said they had valid grievances. No culprit was brought to book, save for a man jailed by the South Africans (spuriously?) on our behalf. We neither addressed the infrastructural failures in the region (the ostensible root of the disturbances), nor gave judicial redress to victims of the Niger Delta violence. No. We gave them contracts, amnesty and piles of cash. We signed the protection of our waterways over to them. And we moved on.
Since then, Tompolo has shown us who is the boss in the Delta. The C-in-C in the Delta certainly is not Dr. Jonathan. When Tompolo warns us not to tread, where he warns us not to walk, we dare not. Bros, tuale!
Boko Haram was deemed in the eyes of many, to be a minor skirmish somewhere so far off from “us”, that we ignored it. Borno. Adamawa. Yobe. We might as well be honest, they are already excised from the C-in-C in Abuja. Gombe is under assault, same as Kano, Bauchi… yet we keep quiet. Some condemn, then move on. Others mindlessly cheer – “it’s the Northerners, let them kill themselves.”
The US slowly withdrew her support, citing corruption; but our oga-with-a-bowler-hat told us “ordinary stealing, they call it corruption.” Some, more brilliant than myself, even hastened to defend this assertion, after all, stealing is not corruption.
Each successive government has sought to destroy the civil, legal and military structures that serve to define statehood in this age. All on the altar of self-serving avarice. But we egg them on… the military trampling condescendingly on bloody civilians; the ethnic jingoist heralding his incompetent kinsman, the benighted religious bigot rooting for his favourite charlatan. This is how we have come to define nationhood.
When are we going to wake up and realise we have all but lost our country? When are we going to realise what is at stake goes beyond religious affiliations, ethnic interests and village pissing contests?
We are on a long journey to nowhere.