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Jos Genocide: This House Has Fallen

By Erasmus Ikhide
 Published December 9th, 2008

The reoccurrence of maiming, killing and roasting of hapless Nigerians by the belligerents PDP and the extremely untamed religious fanatics on the Jos Plateau, the capital City of the state at a time the cyber space is done ignominiously with a new United Nations’ UN, reports that the Nigerian state would crumble and rolls back on the pages of time by 2025 is far from consolatory. To wait for the crumbling of a contraption and the non-existent nationhood by 2015 or 2025 when there is a necessary 2011 elections year as the ultimate determinant that will make or break the nation is the postponement of evil of days. PDP characteristically has vowed – ask Mr. Vincent Ogbulafor, PDP national Chairman – to dip the nation in Imo River in his village suburb if PDP losses any elections between now and 60 years to come! And what happen if they loss elections in 2011?

Karl Maier, former Africa correspondent to the Independent had said it all in his book published in 2000 on Nigerian nation, entitled: ‘‘This House Has Fallen’’. He averred in the book that ‘‘the only long-term solution in Nigeria to the crises that arise in a multi-ethnic state is for the various parties, however many they may be, to sit down and negotiate how they want to govern themselves and how they want to share their resources, and to decide whether they want to ultimately live together. Until they begin that process of internal reconciliation, at best Nigeria will lurch from crisis to crisis. At worst it will fall apart.’’

All the factors that induced the writing of Maier’s book – Nigeria Civil War inclusive –are still there and have not change to warrant profound optimisms of a re-branding an ailing nation that has done its citizenry less proud of its fumbling existence. The Jos carnage is the bases on which we have to ex-ray how fairly or unfairly we have distended the most commonly agreed fundamental principles of communal living and democratic ethos on which modern societies are founded.

The wanton destruction of cars, houses, palaces of worship and the madding murdering of God’s own image and likeness is not merely evil, but the mindlessness of a nation that is on the wobbling clutches whose definite crash is imminent. Over the past century, ethnocentrism, political brigandage and rivalries and their dare consequences have been more significant causes of the multiple wars, collapse of empires, and rise of new powers. These were well enunciated in the UN reports that suggested that Nigeria will be a fail state by 2025, since all the factious indicators have pointedly complicated and undermined whatever little advancement we have made, if any, over the years.

Nigeria is a classical example of a nation envisioned in a hazy and inclement circumstance and nurtured in hopelessness. It lacks foundation and the entire substrata would not stand the test of time, except a wholesale surgery of the misdiagnosed system through dialog in the interests of democracy and national rebirth are set out for its redemption. Because rulers are hoisted and foisted on the people, with their blood as soothe balm for their petite cult and blood-tasting group, even a democracy, makes the misadventure of democratic Nigeria a pipe dream.

You can’t have democracy with individual ownership of political parties as is the case with Nigeria who dictates the rules of the game outside the peoples’ will on how they wanted to be governed. To me, this is not the moment to do grief counseling with the victims of Jos carnage; the state and the nation for the umpteenth time have been tinted darkly with the pervasive air of tragedy that invested the political space as a result of several mayhem and the perpetuators are never brought to book. While the horrified images of crisis and dead splashed across the television – both local and international – screen lasted, Jos Jonah Jang kept disputing the numbers of the about 500 victims who have lost their lives; roaring shot-on-sight order on the other hand to the army chief as if he is too daft to know that the trouble in the state was that the peoples’ votes didn’t count. And while the hot air of bloodletting was still hanging heavily all over the place the breadth of reprobate laid in his voice as reels out the shot-on-sight order.

You kept wondering time and again what the Nigerian dream has been each time the orgy of violence are unleashed on the poverty ridden people by the ruling class who also engage their services to carry out the slaying of fellow citizens for pittances. You kept wondering what the future holds for this nation and its people over which over blood has constantly been spilled for retention of ephemeral power by the hegemonic felons who have vowed to see the emancipation of Nigeria and Nigerians over their dead body?

The chief of these felons is Sam Egwu, the former governor of the sleepy Ebonyi State who got nominated for federal ministerial slot for his low performance index as governor and PDP rigger-in-chief by the more discredited Mr. Yar’Adua presidency. Egwu had had to confess to the Senate screening him for appointment when probing questions were asked about his uncanny quest to eliminate Anyim Pius Anyim the former occupier of the Senate Presidency chair he bowed to be cleared for the plumb job. He told the ‘distinguished’ Senators – three of whom are from Ebonyi State with wangled mandate – that there was what they called the Ebonyi formula which ensured that they won all the seats in Ebonyi State for the PDP, a scheme he laid claim to its existence.

He told the Senators that he personally took charge of the delivering of electoral materials in all the elections that had been conducted so far since 1999! If Prof. Maurice Iwu’s (In) dependent National Electoral Commission, INEC could willfully abdicate, albeit collaboratively, its constitutional responsibility entrenched in (sec 153 and the Third Schedule) and gave Sam Egwu an obscene privilege to subvert the peoples’ will could get away with it without getting honoured with permanent residency in the maximum prison is enough reason why Nigeria may never be healed of her self-inflicted woes.

Sam Egwu is yet to sufficiently wriggle himself out of allegation of financial improprieties, use of proxies to milk the state through dubious contracts, diversion of local government funds, foreign trips by members of his family at the state’s expense and whimsical approval of remunerations to himself. He is yet to distance himself from allegation of conversion of government vehicles to personal use, payments for un-rendered services, inflation of contract sums, spurious bank loans and administrative recklessness. These are the stuff with which rogue rulers are made in Nigeria and Africa .

That cannot be said of the former Republican Illinois Governor, George Ryan, United States, who is currently serving out a 6-year prison sentence after being convicted on racketeering and fraud charges; as was revealled by a decade-long investigation which began with the sale of driver’s licences for bribes and led to the conviction of dozens of people who worked for Ryan when he was secretary of state and governor.

It is save to say, at least, from the Jos genocide and many others that our militicians in democratic garbs deliberately erect social barriers on the parts of the youths of this nation in order to secure for themselves an army of Cano folders for use as thugs and fraudsters when their chances of power retention is in strait contention. Until this criminality is engaged frontally and punishable measures are taken against the perpetuators, Nigeria will almost always enmeshed itself in deeper messes that it may never be able to emerge from in one piece.

Erasmus Ikhide is the Director of Research and Communications, Constitutionalism and African Democratization, CAAD. 


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