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Nigeria’s tilt at windmills

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By Kene Obiezu
Both Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho whatever their motives, found in the theatre of the absurd that Nigeria has become, the perfect stage for their aspirations both personal and communal. Like visionaries and prophets, they were able to reach into the hearts of their people and amplify cries of historic injustice that were muffled for ages.
In Nnamdi Kanu`s case, the ghosts of the Nigerian Civil War which ended decades ago were invoked to ghoulishly evoke the historic injustices which even the most cynical of the Igbos believe have been their lot since Nigeria the war ended.
For Sunday Igboho, the wounds of his people fresh and bleeding in a country whose breakup now seems to be only a matter of time have been the driving force.
The government`s response has been predictable and portentous: shoot the messenger. It explains Nnamdi Kanu`s arrest and stealthy extradition to Nigeria. It explains the current legal battle going on in the Benin Republic over Nigeria`s government’s desperate attempts to extradite Sunday Igboho.
Nigerians have been left to scratch their heads and even bloody their fingers over whether there is a better way and manner than the options the government has chosen to address agitations and quell insecurity. At the juncture, the Nigerian government appears to be the awkwardly incompetent surgeon who takes the scalpel to gouge out the eyes instead of to excise a tumor.
It is no secret that Nigerians groan. Under the bootheels of rampaging criminals who have mastered the eternally dark arts of razing down villages, ravaging lives and livelihoods, and ravishing women and girls, Nigerians lament the pain that has become their portion in this increasingly precarious platter that the country has become.
It is no rocket science that Nigeria`s young, whom by reason of age and ideas, should be the pallbearers of its scandalous, blood-stained past, and torchbearers of a better future have been left to lament the jarring disintegration and denaturing of the country they were taught to love from the womb.
Yet, the vultures continue to gather with gluttonous glee and telling temerity. Drawn by the dark, fetid smoke of burning houses, bodies, and farms, those responsible for the country`s woes see only visions of the trophies they can yet take.
The government may have found the actions of Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu gravely exceptionable but it is beyond argument that desperate times require desperate measures. Nigeria is going through unprecedented times. What fuels the child`s piercing screams through the night is no ordinary ant bite. It is the sting of a scorpion.
Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho may be the faces of the agitations rumbling in the bowels of the country like an earthquake. But they are just only that. They are only amplifiers of the angry voices of countless Nigerians irreducibly demanding that things must change in the country.
The government and Nigerians will be better served to dissect their message, digesting same, and abiding same. To heckle and harass the messengers is to fatally miss the point. It is to miss an opportunity to bind up instead of break up.
Obiezu wrote from Abuja.
Source: The Guardian

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