By Femi Fani- Kayode
As a consequence of the events of the last few days I am constrained to say that the Nigerian opposition, represented by the followers of Atiku Abubakar (Atikulators) and the followers of Peter Obi (Obidients), have lost control of their senses. They need to get a grip before it is too late. They are attempting to start something that they cannot finish and that they cannot possibly fathom the end of. They are beating the drums of war and are indulging in a level of irresponsible and downright dangerous behaviour that has NEVER been witnessed before in the annals of the history of our politics.
As a consequence of their unbridled desperation things are getting very hot and they are pushing us towards an Armageddon-like melt down and the road to Kigali. Be rest assured that had it not been for impartiality, strong resolve, persistent interventions and sheer professionalism of our intelligence agencies and particularly the DSS who have worked day and night to keep the peace and stop us from tearing each other apart, we would have trod that disasterous path and met a bitter end long ago.
The signals are not good and, unless they exercise restraint, reflect sobriety and change course quickly, it is clear that our nation will soon find itself in a cataclysmic and monumental struggle between the forces of light and darkness, the likes of which have never been seen before.
Permit me to offer some free and unsolicited advice to them and to those that are stoking their insufferable and rabid arrogance, intransigence and belligerence from behind the scenes.That advice is as follows: Peace is priceless and unity is a fundamental pre-requisite to progress and prosperity: you must learn to cherish them both. That you have lost today does not mean you will lose forever.
I counsel you to calm down, purge yourself of hate, sheath your sword of war, drop your gameplan, desist from displaying madness, bend the knee and bow to your President-elect, refrain from weaponising falsehood, act within the law and, if you must, make your protestations quietly in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility and there will be no problems.Go to court, if you must, and state your case with respect, dignity and decorum and I assure you that, no matter the outcome, there will be NO issues. That is what democracy and the rule of law is all about. You win some and you lose some. That is the reasonable, rational and responsible attitude and disposition that you should cultivate, display, engender and reflect. That is the path to peace.
Our only “crime” was to win an election yet because you cannot bear the fact that you lost you want to pull the whole house down and burn everyone in it. Let this serve as a timely warning. We cannot be a punching bag for the opposition forever and soon we will react. Trust me when I tell you that if there is any foul play in this matter or any conspiracy to thwart the people’s will we will make this nation ungovernable. There can be no more cheating, no more subterfuge, no more games and no more dastardly tricks. We have seen enough of that over the last 63 years of our national existence.
We speak for the silent and peaceful majority and, unlike the opposition, we cut across all regional, ethnic and religious lines. We do not represent just one faith or just one tribe. We represent all faiths and all tribes and our supporters can be found everywhere in this country. We are the hope and promise of a better future shrouded in glory, unity, peace, strength and prosperity for our nation.
There are millions of us all over this country and when we say that we will stand on Bola Tinubu’s mandate and defend it, we mean it. We are not joking and we are not playing games. We have prepared for it, we have the means to do so and we WILL do so. I implore you in the name of God not to mistake our relative silence, calm disposition, magnanimity and attempt to reach out in peace as weakness, stupidity or an indication of fear or guilt. I urge you not to “cry havoc and let loose the dogs of war.” I counsel you not to ‘wake our sleeping sword lightly”.
The bottom line is as follows. Annul Asiwaju’s election and we will annul your brain.Those that kindle fire shall be consumed by it. Those that invoke the spirit of war shall be destroyed by it. Those that wish to truncuate our democracy shall be crushed by it. And those that seek peace, unity, justice, progress and fair play shall find it.
The people have spoken. God has approved it. If you want to steal our mandate you will have to run over every single one of us and be ready to spend the next twenty to thirty years in a massive regional conflagration and major conflict.
This is NOT our prayer and no sane person wants war. There are some things that are worth fighting and, if necessary, dying for and democracy, fair play, truth, the rule of law, righteousness and justice are amongst them. Let that sink and let peace reign. A word is enough for the wise.
• Fani-Kayode is former Minister of Aviation