Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Religious Stupidity And Other Such (Newspaper) Utterances

In one of the opening scenes of The Rock, one of my all-time favourite movies, Nicholas Cage’s character, Dr. Stanley Goodspeed takes a day off work, sits down at home with a guitar and contemplates the justification of raising -- not to talk of having -- children in such an evil world.

You can’t blame him really for having such “un-African” thoughts. A short while ago, he just frantically defused a chemical weapon that almost claimed not just his life but those of his colleagues as well. The bomb in question came disguised as, of all things, a baby doll.

Recently, while going through The Guardian Newspapers of Tuesday, February 24th, I have thought these same thoughts. Is this the kind of Nigerian society I would like to raise my future kids to see?

Violence Escalates In Bauchi, CAN seeks emergency ruleAdmittedly, I had no previous idea that there was on-going sectarian violence in Bauchi State not to mention the fact that it went on for 2 days before making the papers. Equally annoying (to me at least) was also the fact that there was no official Federal Government pronouncement on the issue. It was as if what was going on in Bauchi wasn’t happening at all.

Once again, commonsense became a non-existent commodity as my dear brothers and sisters went on rampage killing, maiming and destroying the toil and sweat of their fellow common men all in the name of religion and a church’s parking space during a Friday Jumat service.

My fellow country-people, where are our senses? When will we learn that the only ones we hurt when we carry out murder and arson in the name of the Almighty are we ourselves? Time after time, the leaders of different religious sects come out publicly to tell us that none of their tenets endorse such incessant cycles of violence and yet none can explain to us how come they are incapable of restraining their followers from taking the laws into their own hands.

When you burn your pensioner neighbour’s house built at the expense of the sweat of his 35 years of meritorious service or you kill the akara seller’s 25-year old son all in the name of exacting revenge for your Creator whose Commandments explicitly forbid the very act, I can then only wonder as to the wisdom of these our counterfeit religiosities or the sanity of we its followers.

Equally frightening was CAN’s proposed bill to the National Assembly that Nigerians aged 21 and above be granted the legality of obtaining weapons for defense against violent attacks by miscreants. My people, in these days when my dear country is unsure of who defines a miscreant or what constitutes self-defense, does it make any sense to further give insanity a license?

It is shocking, says PDP
The shock in question in this instance arising from the fact that the political party lost its governorship seat in Ondo State to Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in an Appeal Court judgment. Normally, I am not one to trade issues on politics but a statement credited to PDP’s national publicity Secretary, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali, does make for interesting reading. While commenting on the issue, Alkali has this to say, and I quote:

“While our faith in the judiciary remains unwavering, we are deeply concerned with the trend of judgments, some of which breed unnecessary tension and instability. It is our belief that the uncertainties that characterize some of these judgments do not augur well for the sustenance of our democracy.”

Correct me if I’m wrong but is Prof. Alkali implying that the judiciary ought to rule in favour of a governorship aspirant whose party was accused of corrupt electoral practices just so as to avoid breeding “unnecessary tension and instability” as Alkali puts it?

Between me and Prof. Alkali, one of us seems to be getting our Law Logic 101 mixed-up because I fail to see how an Appeal Court overturning a fraudulent decision to favour the people’s choice in Ondo and other states with disputed election results “doesn’t augur well for the sustenance of democracy”.

Is Alkali thus suggesting that by allowing governors who rig elections to hold on to illegal mandates, our fledgling nascent democracy (a term I dislike) is further nurtured and strengthened? One would have thought that the imposition of a corrupt governorship candidate is the very thing that “breeds unnecessary tension” and definitely does not “augur well for the sustenance of democracy”.

I think it’s high time PDP and all other political parties as well realize that it isn’t the number of governorship seats they win that matter but how well their elected governors represent the interests of the common man they all swore to serve and protect on their Swearing-In days. And how transparent the process that got them there was in the first place…

Akpabio seeks capital punishment for kidnappers
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio stated during the child dedication of his Special Assistant on Projects Monitoring that plans are underway by his state government to send a bill that makes kidnapping punishable by death for passage into law.

I have just one thing to say to this and it’s no different from what I said on the proposed self-defense bill: given our tendency for adjusting Dictionary definitions to suit our meanings, who then gets to define the meaning of the word kidnapping?

Not surprising in a nation whose Police is yet to give proper definitions to the terms: bail and rape. Or what should constitute your vehicle particulars…

Vision 2020 still a mirage, says governor
Yet another statement from a Governor, this time Anambra State’s Peter Obi who said this while delivering a lecture at NIPSS Kuru. Inasmuch as I agree with Obi’s utterances concerning the futility in the 2020 dream especially due to the lack of implementation of any of its policies, I find an excerpt from Gov. Obi’s lecture to be very revealing.

While comparing Ghana and Nigeria, Obi said that recently, there was a public outcry in Ghana over that country’s Speaker’s planned $16, 000 - funded, 3-weeks holiday which compelled the Speaker to return the money. Now here’s the interesting part:

Obi said, “If it were in Nigeria, nobody would raise any alarm. In fact, it was not even up to the amount of money Nigeria(n) public servants give to their girlfriends.

Kindly notice that the emphasis on part of the above quote is mine. I’m not so sure about the “raising an alarm” bit of it but I have no doubt in my mind that Obi should be familiar with the implications of the “girlfriend allowance” part of his statement seeing that as one of Nigeria’s topmost public servants, he also belongs to the group he just so self-righteously fingered…

In Conclusion...
While many may not share my views on the above, I do feel apprehensive about these examples of rudder-lessness we continuously display for our children to copy through our utterances and actions -- or the lack thereof. Are these highlighted statements above the issues I would want my kids to keep in mind whenever they sing that part of the national anthem where it says: “The labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain”?

Constantly I ask myself the same question they shall ask of us then: what “labours”? What are we doing now to make this country one which they can boast of and say they are “Proudly Nigerian” then?

On a lighter note, it wasn’t all Doomsday material in the papers. There were the Art pages partly focusing on the Society of Nigeria Artists’ elections beginning on page 116, a piece on the dignity of the courts written by Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN (no other) and two rather remarkable Letters to the Editor on page 20. Both concerned past military leaders but the more interesting one was Nkeiruka Abanna’s “Letter to Gen. Murtala Muhammed” which had this rather thought-provoking statement concerning the Nigerian Youth:

“The youth, whether learned or not have lost their psyche, evolving into criminals smarter than any security operatives, taking crime to the next level while mothers wonder if these criminals trying to out-do each other lived in their wombs for nine months”

One moot point the above statement did miss was that the mothers (surprisingly) still tie the lace and wear the gele these criminals buy, abi? Thought for another post…

Also of note was the Rotary Club of Lagos’ donation of free medical check-up to 500 people, the kick-off of Brazil’s Carnival by quote, dancers and drum bands marching behind topless, sequined beauties, unquote and the beginning of the Lenten period marked by Ash Wednesday.

And not forgetting my current area of specialization, the Vacancies…


Danny Bagucci said...

Guy, I tire for the Nigerian set up sef o!!!! The politicians (with a few obvious exceptions) are more interested in lining their pockets with the nations money and sharing same with girlfriends and Western Banks than actually governing the country.......

Trust you've been ding ok bro....Cheers man

Naughty Eyes said...

@ DB: Once again, I agree with you. What I'm asking now is: since we know that's what they are doing, what then are we doing too concerning it? Honestly, I'm getting fed up with just talking...
Other than that, I'm doing fine thank you!

Buttercup said...

eish..God, please do something!

i was at woomie's, she said ur blog just turned one..congrats oo..

my questions..

what prompted u guys to, uh, join forces?

did u meet on blogville?

are y'all in relationships at the moment?