One of the great and mighty commissions upon a Vice President is that he is called to carry the can. Yes, his is a well-garlanded office. There are ostrich feathers, purple bubbles, oak tables and gold-plated pens to suggest a highflyer status, but beneath all the shine and gestures is something very quotidian. A Vice President is often a dustman. The oga at the top messes up, verbal poo-poo, incontinence, etc., and the innocent VP washes up on hire. His brief is to take claim, to rub himself in shit or appear to have. So, inasmuch as the VP is hired as a spare tyre, his job order includes being a flunkey, a well-remunerated flunkey. His is to roll in mud when his principal mires up the earth and, even worse, to affirm that the mud he waddles in is as golden as the walls of Paradise. In fact, his is to claim that Paradise is made of mud. Boy, things happen.
And this fact of the VP as janitor is as ancient as Barbados. Take General Yakubu Gowon and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, for instance. Gowon, who, by the way, was a dictator, a blood-loving tyrant, hired Awolowo. Awolowo’s designation is in today’s speak was Gowon’s VP, Operations.
Gowon, full of the tyrant’s guile and deceit, allowed Awolowo to self-address himself as the Vice Chairman of the Federal Executive Council. Vice to a dictator and tyrant? Boy, even the elect can be gamed. Awolowo never knew Gowon was up to a game, was gaming Nigeria. Nigeria was never a mission for Gowon and he says so. To know, just listen to him well. Nigeria for Gowon was a power game. And it was a “one chance’’ to reap Nigeria for himself and the North. Little else explains the state Nigeria is in now. Gowonism brought Nigeria to its knees.
But is the Gowon-Awolowo farce about to have an encore? A new helmsman, General Muhammadu Buhari (retired), President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, has hired another Awolowo. But first, let us recall this: As Gowon got more deadly, he began to plot the final solution and genocide upon the Igbo. He started to hire daredevil Muslim Egyptian pilots with special brief to bomb and strafe Igbo civilian population to extinction, and so on, the self-same Gowon said nothing, was just immersed in his genocidal plots against others, it was Awolowo, pitiably, that was on hire or self-appointed himself to be a spokesman for genocide. Awolowo, in an infamous quip, had to justify one of the most bestial acts in human history. Apparently that was on behalf of his oga at the top. Both the Bible (see Lamentations 4:9, for instance) and all civilised history, ancient (see Thucydides, for instance) and modern (see the UN protocols, for instance), are against starvation as a war tool. But Gowon designed and/or approved of it and Awolowo took open-sore joy in canvassing it.
Alluding to sex, love and undernourished logic, Awolowo endorsed the evil of starvation as a tool of Gowonism. Today, and in error, many think Awolowo is the greater man of evil. No, it is Gowon. Gowon, it is well to repeat, may, like Attila the Hun, be a great husband to this wife, a great father to his children but, as history and facts go, he is one of the most heinous men who ever had and exercised power. He annulled an agreement, precipitated a genocidal war on that annulment. And today Gowon goes about pretending to innocence, even to having a Christian heart?
We have gone this far to alert the VP on the banana peels of history. And, incidentally, Awolowo is a marital relation of his, we are told.
So, is the VP on all fours when he is quoted as saying “Our energies and resources shouldn’t be spent again on the debate about division. Our manifest destiny is to be a great nation, not to be a nation where we are talking about division. We must focus our time, our energies and our resources on being that great nation that God has called us to be.”? (ThisDay, 04-09-17)
Things, of course, have context. Of the matter the Ohanaeze has this: “The Buhari administration, as shown in the new managers … tilting clearly in favour of the North with South-east totally ignored as has always been the case since Buhari administration came to office.
“As long as President Buhari continues to live out his (will to) favour those who voted 97 per cent for him against those who voted 5 per cent for him, so long will … unrest in our polity subsist.
“There is no oil well anywhere in Northern Nigeria. Four of the five states in the South-east have proven oil resources … yet our people are not found fit to be adequately represented in a key corporate institution like the NNPC.’’ ThisDay, 04-09-17.
What exactly is the VP saying? Is it that even like with Gowon and Awolowo, we are excluded, we are scheduled to be mass-murdered, etc., we should not even speak of these things? We should focus on how he and his Gowonic masters will prove Nigeria a gift and a plan of god, his god? Well, the Yoruba have a proverb: If a freeborn is sent to deliver a message he should at least deliver it as a freeborn, not a slave. Our advice is this: The VP should proactively free himself from the traps Awolowo fell for. If he is called to read the speech of his principals, he should so do and in their words. Nothing in those should bear resemblance to his own speech pattern. That speech, though allegedly on behalf of Buhari, bears the imprimatur of the VP. A Buhari would say Allah not God, for instance. The VP must in his own game of teeth and tongue in one mouth, quote his oga as is. He should not interject the least of himself. We repeat, it is a game. Nigeria is not a mission.
It is well to remember how June 12 began. It began as the G2 excision and exclusion of Igbo. And in time it necessarily morphed into G1 hegemony. June 12 was because the Yoruba wing of the G2 allowed itself to ride the tiger. The greater point now is that the VP should not be facilitating June 13, even if involuntarily.
Historical and power reflections (1)
(1) It is perhaps right that we elucidate on a matter. There is nothing like vice chairman/president to a dictator. A dictator alone is majority. A VP is a civilisational tool. It draws from the logic of the roundtable. For dictatorship to stand, it must be in the abolishment of the very concept and tool of roundtables. So, if a dictator hires you as a vice president, tell him your pastor says he is fooling you. Tell him, you need to be truthful, be Christian, than be a fool, than be fooled.
(2) I was once out in Indonesia. I was trying the best I could to press for my destinies, even if it had to be out of stones … the stone press. And I ran into a Japanese guy. Mr. Daiki Hiroto, over tea, told me: The black man has no brains. He only has melanin. And I asked what that meant. He said, pointblank, the black man can’t share power even with himself. He doesn’t know how to be all-inclusive. He doesn’t know that genius is in and with the number included not those excluded. And the extent of that inclusion. All the wars in Africa are power distribution and aggregation-driven. It is a pity, he continued, the black man can only polish his skin, not sharpen his brain. He has no sense of tomorrow, or yesterday. All time for him is now, here.
Are you wondering, is it true that blacks have more melanin than they have brains? Please, ask the APC. I have nothing to say in these things. They are ruling over one out of every five black men on earth. By their numbers and gestures alone they should have the answers.
(3) And it is advisable those in power should not be getting agitated on Nigeria being split or not split. It is all a political decision. Political choices are not crimes. They are at best sins. And sins are adjudicated on by God not man, not judges, not commanders-in-chief. Man is free to sin on earth but not do crimes. Why? Sins become crimes only when we meet God. Only God can sanction sins, not man.
In fact, Nnamdi Kanu, who is being vilified by the ignorant, has a greater claim to statesmanship than any and all Nigerian coup-makers. Kanu is canvassing for his choices in the open. A coup-maker is worse than a thug, he comes like a thief in the night and hijacks the state. And as has severally happened, these coup-makers have also altered the political geography of Nigeria. And it means Nigerians can live with political geographies altered by thuggery and gunnery? So why the irascibility in questioning those who seek to alter the political geography of Nigeria by logic, by votes and in the open? Why the odium on Kanu? You don’t need to support or oppose him. But you must support his right to sin politically. And in moments like this we recall these wise words of one of the finest of our age.
“His freedom to speak protects my freedom to call him a bigot. His freedom guarantees mine.’’ (J.K. Rowling, on Donald Trump.)
Our advice: Don’t eviscerate Kanu. He is the guarantor of your freedom. Let him speak. If you have finer logic, canvass it against him. Don’t draw out your dagger, beastliness or barbarianism.