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Unsafe Schools Mean Failed State



Unsafe Schools Mean Failed State

Emmanuel Onwubiko

I read somewhere in the print media a story attributed to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) whereby he blamed the pervasive public sector corruption for the unprecedented insecurity in Nigeria.
I think he said the correct thing except he never thoroughly weighed in on the larger picture of the consequential effects of corruption on societal well-being.

Perhaps, the only person who actually saw the future of Nigeria and captured it in one of the tiniest books to have been authored by such an iconic globally ranked author was professor Chinua Achebe in his “The Trouble with Nigeria” written in the eighties. What Achebe wrote as the fundamental societal issues that may trigger the collapse of national security as far back as the 1980s are the exact problems that have threatened the continuous existence of Nigeria as a sovereign entity one amongst which is the pervasive state of insecurity.

The nature of the failure of security in Nigeria has evolved catastrophically to such a dangerous dimension that school children no longer feel safe to go to school to learn because of the terrorism that has escalated especially in Northern Nigeria whereby school children in their hundreds are kidnapped by terrorists and detained in the thick, lawless and unsafe forests in Zamfara, Katsina, Kaduna, Niger States for months and the central government has shown non-challant attitude to rescue these children and to bring the terrorists to trial.

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Worse still the federal government is working around the insane policy of releasing and reintegrating the terrorists who have destroyed schools and kidnapped school children. This can only happen in a country whereby governance has collapsed. This was what Achebe projected in his prophetic book tilled “The Trouble with Nigeria.”

I have decided to use few citations from that book to demonstrate my conviction that the failure of government to protect Nigerian school children is emblematic of a failed nation state.

Achebe wrote thus: “Social injustice and the cult of mediocrity: The major objection to the practice of tribalism is that it exposes the citizen to unfair treatment and social injustice. Less advertized but no less damaging to social morality is the advantage which tribalism may confer on mediocrity. But that is not all. Let us take a hypothetical case where two candidates A and B apply to fill a very important and strategic position. A has the right qualification of competence and character but is of the ‘wrong ‘tribe, while B, less qualified, belongs to the ‘right’ tribe, and so gets the job. A goes away embittered. B throws a party and then messes up the job. The greatest sufferer is the nation itself which has to contain the legitimate grievance of a wronged citizen; accommodate the incompetence of a favoured citizen and, more important and of greater scope, endure a general decline of morale and subversion of efficiency caused by an erratic system of performance and reward.”

Achebe wrote also that: “Social injustice is therefore not only a matter of morality but also of sheer efficiency and effectiveness. ‘We will buy, hire or steal technology,’ said one of our ministers. He did not seem to realize that technology was not an assemblage of artefacts stacked conveniently for ease of lifting, but a particular attitude of mind. And it probably never occurred to him that the people from whom he proposed to steal got where they are because they will never hire a man to perform an important task unless he is the best they can find. Nigeria, on the other hand, is a country where it would be difficult to point to one important job held by the most competent person we have. I stand to be corrected!”

Achebe proceeded to assert that: “We have displayed a consistent inclination since we assumed management of our own affairs to opt for mediocrity and compromise, to pick a third and fourth eleven to play for us. And the result: we have always failed and will always fail to make it to the world league. Until, that is, we put merit back on the national agenda.”

He then pointed out that in recent years (as it then was) an editorial in New Nigerian could write mockingly about “God-knows-what-merit.” Ironically it is our new “intellectual” elite who today debunk merit for immediate sectional advantage, just as some “nationalist” leaders in the 1950s forsook nationalism in favour of the quick returns of tribalism. But whereas tribalism might win enough votes to install a reactionary jingoist in a tribal ghetto, the cult of mediocrity will bring the wheels of modernization grinding to a halt throughout the land, he stressed.

Achebe then summed up the consequences of corruption and mediocrity as follows: “Look at our collapsing public utilities, our inefficient and wasteful parastatals and state-owned companies. If you want electricity, you buy your own generator; if you want water, you sink your own bore-hole; if you want to travel, you set up your own airline. One day soon, said a friend of
mine, you will have to build your own post office to send your letters.” (The Trouble With Nigeria, By Chinua Achebe ).

As I alluded at the beginning, the Chairman, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, identified corruption as the most potent factor responsible for national security challenges in the country today.

Owasanoye stated this while delivering a goodwill message at the opening ceremony of a capacity building workshop for the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, which has as its theme, “The role of the legislature in the fight against corruption,” organized by a German foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in partnership with the House Committee on Anti-Corruption.

He noted that proper legislature, appropriation, oversight, and scrutiny of public accounts would have prevented the drift into the kind of insecurity that presently engulfs the nation.

Hear him: “Through legislation, appropriation, investigation, oversight, and the scrutiny of public accounts, the legislature implements a very crucial fundamental objective in fighting corruption of power and also by doing so, it prevents the drift into the kind of insecurity that we have found ourselves in.

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“Corruption is Nigeria’s greatest challenge and a singular push factor of national security challenges, the expansion of poverty, the reduction of life expectancy, the high mortality rate we suffer, and the deteriorated livelihood experienced by our citizens.” He added that graft has also diminished the promotion and standing of democratic institutions and national accountability which has promoted the creation of unnecessary projects, and the funding of such, thus diminishing the funding of the necessary projects and to see them to completion.

Owasanoye emphasized that the role of the legislature ultimately is to ensure that “we do not go in that direction but to keep us on the path of restitution by promotion of good governance through their legislative process.

“Now the big question and the elephant in the room is how well has the legislature played this role over the years? There is a perception out there that the legislature is rather reactive, trying to put out fires rather than preventing the fires from going out and sometimes dramatic in its approach to oversight functions.”

According to him, “the legislature is increasingly stepping up approach in recent times. This is a good thing even though some people say it is disruptive of work and uncomfortable but it is important to the value of the money that has been appropriated by the National Assembly.

“The legislation has the power to investigate, expose and prevent corruption at all levels of government. The authority to determine the spending of public funds is the most fundamental power of the legislature. However, this power does not extend to fixing their salaries and allowances.”

Reading through the well thought-out submissions of both professors aforementioned, it is evidently indubitable that the unprecedented collapse of security and the rampant violent attacks targeting school children by a range of armed non- state actors identified as Fulani militia, is caused by nepotism, corruption and a disregard for merit.

Most of the above causative agents are birthed by lack of patriotism on the part of the political would even seem that the Nigerian citizens abroad are as worried as we are locally regarding the deficit of patriotism amongst the ruling elites in Nigeria.

Onwubiko Emeka Cyprian, a Nigerian scholar who did post- graduate studies at the University of Putra, Malaysia penned down a very lovely work titled “Understanding the meaning of patriotism amongst post-graduate students in Malaysia.”

His scholarly submissions are of substantial helpful in understanding why President Muhammadu Buhari jetted out to the United Kingdom on personal medical tourism even when hundreds of Nigerian school children are languishing in the dens of terrorists whom the president only recognized as mere bandits.

A patriotic leader will ensure that the security of schools is not frequently breached and he won’t travel abroad when there are pending terror-related incidents in which children were plucked off violently from their schools and driven off deep into the lawless forests by terrorists and kept for months thereby putting the nation at the risk of being termed a failed state. Mind you, parents of these students are forced to pay huge ransoms, yet their kids are in the forests with terrorists.

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Emaka Onwubiko Cyprian wrote thus: “In light of the above looking at the sense of belonging as an emergent theme, it was built on the issues of connecting to homeland, feeling of identity with the homeland. It was interpreted that there was a connection between some of the informants who felt they have sense of belonging to their homeland and those who reported “feeling of lost and disconnection”. Majority (6 of 7) of the information addressed the importance of the sense of belonging. One of the informants expressed: “I am a Nigerian by heart, I was born in Nigeria and to me Nigeria is always going to be a home and nowhere else. After I finished my studies, I will go back and join hands in developing my homeland (…)” (Ekaete).

Another informant maintained that it is a burning desire and interest for her to always strive to show a sense of belonging to her homeland. Furthermore, she held the view that every patriotic citizen should be an ardent follower to her country, in terms of showing a sense of belonging. She said : “I love my country and that is where I belong. For me as a teacher in the school home, I am passionately eager to go home after my studies, that is Where I belong” (Fulani).

The warm affection from this other information could be captured when he said. “My blood has ‘nigerianess’ in it and it is what I am, I will never be a Nigerian because that is what I am and belong (….) (Bakassi).

Therefore, the majority of the informants reserved no doubts to insinuate that Nigeria will forever be home to them and that they always long to express their sense of belonging through loyalty to the country forever, as it has become an integral part of them.

On symbols of patriotism, the researcher wrote that: ” This sub-theme points to the national flag and anthem consciousness among the informants, these two symbols were deducted from the informants’ views that the feelings of awe and honour they have for these two symbols signify patriotism and to them both have crucial roles to play in shaping the attitude of the citizens in showing ardent patriotism to their homeland. It can be inferred according to the informant’s views that the national flag and the Nigerian national anthem do awake fervour and sentiments as a show of patriotism as they narrated in the interviews. And above all, the significance of these two symbols for the informants is tied to the fact that it unites all Nigerians into one chord, arousing a sense of loyalty even if they reside in far off lands.

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The informants’ responses implied that the national flag and the country’s national anthem have been part and parcel of them especially when they were younger. Virtually all the informants affirmed the idea of reverencing these two symbols, when they were back home and younger with the highest regard, loyal, love honour and patriotism to the country. In one of the informants’ words, she narrated her childhood experience and she felt that such experience has oriented her to respect these symbols of patriotism any day.

Another informant follows suits when he voiced the importance of these two symbols as illustrated below: “Well, we are taught that national anthem and flag are two important symbols that we must uphold, respect and be loyal, because both symbolize Nigeria as one and to show our patriotism to my country. We did sing the national anthem but back then in the nursery. primary and secondary schools, it was fun even when most of us can’t sing it correctly, the stanza was too nice, and we did use a flag to represent my school during Independence parade. As an adult that has left Nigeria for some time now, I don’t know if it is still the practice now, but l do feel these symbols are great, they instill in me thirst to be patriotic!” (Fulani).

The national flag is one thing that aroused my spirit when I was at home, even here when I watch football tournaments when my country participates. It reminds me of my strong bond and patriotism to my homeland just as the national
anthem does” (Abamade).

“I do feel that the flag and the national anthem have really impacted greatly in our consciousness, when I see the flag and sing the anthem they all remind me that I need to be patriotic” (Bakassi).

“It is interesting to note that hese symbols are reverence by Nigerians as expressed by the informants above. It was vividly clear that virtually all the informants’ strongly believe that these two symbols represent their country ideals and they all agreed they play a significant role in propagating patriotism message to all as they were taught when they were younger to respect it as part of patriotism.”

That much tells the story that even Nigerians schooling in foreign nations do have a nostalgic sense of patriotism. The same can’t be said of the political leaders who have deliberately misgoverned Nigeria and allowed school children to pass through the trauma of being kidnapped by armed non-state actors and these kids will be abandoned to their cruel fate.

Some measures can still be adopted to stave off these attacks on our schools. Below is a list of ideas that schools in America have implemented successfully to improve their safety and security measures:

1. Limit entryways to school buildings. Clearly mark the main entry to the school and post signs on other entries redirecting visitors to the main entry. Lock outside access doors. Check periodically to make sure the doors haven’t been tampered with or propped open. The periodic inspections should include windows too.

2. Monitor the school parking lot. If possible, have a parking lot monitor who oversees people entering and leaving the campus.

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3. Monitor and supervise student common areas such as hallways, cafeterias, and playgrounds. If possible, add video surveillance in these areas to record anything a monitoring person may miss.

4. Promote school-community partnerships to enhance safety measures for students beyond school property (police surveillance, Neighborhood Watch programmes). There are willing community organizations that can help.

5. Consider the presence of school resource officers, local police, and/or security guards.

6. Monitor school visitors. Require that visitors report to the main office, sign in, and wear visitor badges. All staff should be trained to report strangers not wearing a visitor badge to the school office. (

Nigeria must either safeguard the schools and our school children or the nation state would be assumed to have FAILED.

Onwubiko is the head of the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) and was a federal commissioner at the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria.


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Poisoning And Witchcraft Accusations In Africa



Witch Burning, Impunity And Abuses Linked to Witchcraft Beliefs In Benue State
Dr. Leo Igwe

By Leo Igwe

A recent incident in Malawi illustrates the link between witchcraft accusations and poisoning. A lot has been said about how allegations of witchcraft manifest in various African communities, but enough attention has not been paid to how these accusations lead to the poisoning of the accused. It has been reported that two women, Tilise Kapaya, 55, and Stelia Kapaya, 64, have died after being accused of witchcraft in Malawi. The two women were not beaten to death or lynched. They took some poisonous concoctions following the allegations. The two sisters took the harmful substance because they could not bear the shame and stigma of being accused. The Police Spokesperson, Jacob Khembo, said the women went to a funeral in a nearby village, and while at the event people accused them of witchcraft. Some attendees started calling them witches. In response to this disturbing and embarrassing development, Tilise and Steila went home and took some local concoctions believed could cleanse them of witchcraft. They started vomiting and died before they could get some medical help.

Witchcraft accusation is a form of death sentence. The accused are often attacked and killed. As this case has illustrated, the accused poison themselves or are poisoned. Alleged witches are forced to drink poisonous concoctions, which lead to their death or health damage. The belief is that this concoction removes, or disables witchcraft powers. The concoction supposedly cleanses suspected witchcraft. The taking of this substance is an exoneration process to establish the guilt and innocence of the accused. Some local medicine men or women administer the concoctions. The recipe for preparing these concoctions is known in many communities. As in this case, alleged witches do not wait to be given the concoctions, they prepare and take the substance themselves. 

In many cases, family members pressure the accused to take these substances, to cleanse themselves, to free and exonerate themselves. The belief is that if they took the concoction and died, then they were witches. The concoction could make them vomit, and the belief is that the vomiting helps expunge witchcraft particles and powers. Sometimes, the concoction makes suspected witches hallucinate and begin to make utterances often mistaken as confessions. Most often those forced to take this concoction are elderly women and men who can barely resist the process. Poor people in rural communities, widows, and aging persons living alone with limited social support are usually the target.

This form of witch-hunting is pervasive in the villages. It is difficult to know the number of alleged witches who poison themselves, or are poisoned each year. They would be in their tens of thousands because these poisonous concoctions form part of the witch-hunting accessories. In witch hunting, the motivation is to eliminate the suspected witches, to murder and get rid of them. Cases of alleged witches who were poisoned have been reported not only in Malawi but also in Nigeria, Liberia, and Gambia.

The Advocacy for Alleged Witches condemns the poisoning of these two women in Malawi and calls for an end to the process of administering concoctions to alleged witches anywhere in the region. There is no link between witchcraft imaginaries and these concoctions. The administration of these concoctions is rooted in superstition-based socializations. As is usually the case, these women could not have taken these health-damaging concoctions without the involvement of family members. The police should investigate and ensure that those implicated in the murder of these women are brought to justice. The government should sanction the community head in the Ntcheu district where this incident occurred. The authorities should punish any person, traditional healer, or witch hunter who recommends or administers any harmful substance to suspected witches.
Dr. Igwe directs the Advocacy for Alleged Witches.

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Self-esteem Of The Male Child, A Tool for Peaceful Marriage



The Futility Of A Marital Chase
Dr. Hope Nwawolo

By Hope Nwawolo

Self-esteem determines how much you value yourself and believe in your ability to succeed. If you feel confident in being yourself around others, then you likely have high self-esteem. Having high self-esteem is related to increased happiness, relationship satisfaction, and resilience in the face of adversity. Some men went through bullying in childhood or adolescence, grew into men with deflated self-esteem. 

In more recent times, the society is veering off the mindset of training only the girl child. This is because the disturbing experiences of ladies, who were trained to be submissive to their untrained husbands, have changed the dynamics of child training. Eyes have opened to realize that if you train your girl child to be an angel in marriage, she might end up with a male child who grew into a monster in the same marriage because he was not trained. 

Training has different dimensions and the common one being offered the male child is that of having a caring heart and respect for his wife in future. This is highly commendable but not all encompassing. One aspect of training that is silently being ignored is that of development of self-esteem in the male child.

Nowadays, the girl child is encouraged to look at herself as one who is wonderfully made and should not be trampled by anyone, particularly, the opposite sex. This is helping to build the confidence and self-esteem of many girls who can now stand their ground on who they want to be as they grow older. These girls grow into ladies with confidence, taking on different challenges they come across as they aspire to reach the zenith of their careers. Observably, many successful ladies are able to balance their careers with demands of the home, and succeed. Now, women have their voices and demand to be heard, instead of only being seen as it was the case in the past. 

Unfortunately this new trend seems to be breeding a counter reaction in some men. There is the growing tendency for these men to become uncomfortable in the face of the obvious confidence of their wives. Unknowingly, some of the men sabotage their marriages because they fail to value themselves as persons to match their wives’ self-esteem. This is the crux of the article, and for the need to inculcate high self-esteem in the male child to balance the training of the girl child, if and when they come together for marriage, instead of seeing her as a threat because of her self-esteem. 

Expectedly, a woman with dignity and high self-esteem, will stand out anywhere and anytime. This has nothing to do with pride and does not even give the woman the right to attempt to usurp authority from the man. In fact, such  a woman may go an extra mile to clothe herself with humility, particularly, in the presence of her husband, at home or functions. Unfortunately, many men cannot just manage the success of their wives. They would rather see them as threats. Some expect the women to be seen and not heard, forgetting that silence in dignity can attract attention from those around. Of course, men with high self-esteem, are proud to have such women as their wives.

Furthermore, it is unnecessary, particularly in the present economic hardship where the woman is almost sharing responsibilities with the man. For such a woman with financial independence, the man must be ready to witness some temper flings. And if the general admonition to women is that they should study the men and know when to talk to them, the man should also understand that the woman might be on the wrong side of her temper, due to pressure at home or work, sometimes, rather than seeing her when she is in a bad mood, as insulting him, because of his low self-esteem. 

A man with low-esteem, often finds it hard to believe that he is lovable or worthy of being respected, particularly, if he sees the woman as one who is independent to some extent and capable of taking care of herself, and sometimes, the children . Such mindset can suffocate a relationship, as it may become almost impossible to please him. Understandably, the behaviour may not even be reflective of his character but symptoms of an internal struggle, and can indeed be a cause for concern, if left unaddressed. Unfortunately, there are cases of such marriages that went sour.

However, this can be checked in adolescence or teenage years before it gets full-blown in adulthood, especially in marriage. It takes an intentional stance by parents to ensure regular self-expression by the male child, as a way of building his self-esteem to go through the rigours of life. He needs to understand that marriage should be that of partnership and not absolute subjugation of the woman, no matter her level in career and society. The man remains the head of the woman, and the home!

 Nwawolo, PhD, writes via   

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Mohbad: When Love And Light Are Not Enough



Dele Jegede In Conversation With Prince Yemisi Shyllon
Prof. Toyin Falola

By Toyin Falola

    I did not want to write about Mohbad until a student of the University of Babcock contacted me, asking me to lend my voice to it. The seventeen-year-old student emailed me in sentences that come with anguish and pain. I was moved by them. Nothing I write can restore the damaged emotions of this teenager, but I am glad to run this errand. The purpose of old age is to restore the broken fabric of society.

A sea of shimmering lights dotting the darkness of an evening sky is not a common sight anywhere in the world. In Lagos, Nigeria, it holds even more significance. It seems only a few months since a peaceful demonstration of young Nigerians was interrupted at the Lekki Tollgate in October 2020. As though the tragedy that would follow was scripted, solemn protesters who held out candlelights in their numbers in memory of fallen comrades were dispersed by live rounds and coercive military actions.

This time around, on the evening of September 21, 2023, the collegiate crowd, candle lights, and stars you saw were not to mourn the youths who had fallen to SARS’ brute force. This was the candlelight procession in honour of Ilerioluwa Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, a young Afrobeat singer in his prime whose death and the events leading up to it have been controversial.

But these two nights have more than one thing in common. Just like in 2020, the concerned fans of the late music artiste had chosen Muri Okunola as their rendezvous, a park along Ozumba Mbadiwe Avenue, Victoria Island, Lagos, which is only a few minutes from the venue of the 2020 #EndSARS demonstration. Also, the candlelight procession featured youths, some with their placards with the inscription: “JusticeforMohbad,” bringing back memories from that fateful night. Just like three years ago, the candlelight procession for Mohbad ended with police action, the police dispersing “unruly protesters” off the scene. At least, the singular observation that some ill-trained, trigger-happy policemen did not kill Mohbad brings some solace. Nevertheless, murder is murder regardless of who pulls the trigger is an aphorism that admits very few exceptions.

At this point, one would imagine how a solemn event like a candlelight procession could have transformed into a protest that would warrant a dispersal of the “unruly crowd” by men of the Nigeria Police. In the defence of the Police Force, dispersing the procession was in the interest of ensuring the safety of lives and properties. For one thing, an exodus of young people with dread, tattoos, exuding palpable deviance is enough danger to the lives and properties in the surrounding communities; talk more of a rampant exodus of youths bearing weapons of mass destruction like naked fire and placards.

This is why the police had to think up their best initiative to nip the danger in the bud—quench the fire, whether candle lights or flickers of agitation. This is not unusual, especially in a country like ours where the primary security company has an unyielding aversion to demonstrations and an uncanny penchant for forceful responses to demonstrations, no matter how peaceful. Pardon me for this segue; it was necessary.

But will the young, towering late musician ever get justice? Would the enemies, frenemies, and evil conspirators he talked about before his death be brought to book? If anything, Ilerioluwa would take solace in the candlelight procession organized to send his soul home to his maker, as this symbolizes what he stood for. Shortly after announcing his departure from his former record label, Marlian Music, Mohbad announced his label titled “Imolenization.” In the Yoruba language, Imole means light or illumination. So, despite having had his light snuffed out in his prime, his soul would journey to the heavens buoyed on by an array of lights and love.

To many young Nigerians, Mohbad was a leading voice on the street. His songs, K.P.K., Feel Good, Peace, and Ronaldo 

(,vid:wB9Vym8SWmU,st:0), are not merely hits but have become street anthems. For many whose lives revolved around the trenches and suburbs of Lagos, Mohbad was also an emblem of hope. Like most of his contemporaries, Mohbad’s discography showcases deviance, survival, internet fraud, high life, and the never-say-die hustling spirit of the average Nigerian youth.

Mohbad’s music career took a different turn when he joined his former record label, Marlian Music. On the back of the label’s popularity, Mohbad’s stock rose exponentially, even attaining stardom with two successful albums and an E.P. Without dwelling much on what may have gone wrong between the musical art and his label, it was clear that his departure was not well received. In most departures of this kind, bad blood and legal skirmishes are not uncommon.

However, when bad blood brews into assaults and unending threats to life, and parties take laws into their hands rather than ply the legal route, the assailing party would be said to have crossed the line. As the elders would say, a fight is already set in motion when the handshake goes beyond the elbow. Mohbad, upon leaving Marlian Music in 2022, premised his departure on the failure of the label management to remit his music royalties and other entitlements. Months later, the late musician had severally released materials on how his ex-boss, Afeez Fashola, had been after his life. This leads to the question, what more would tilt the suspicion of the police towards a suspect than the declaration of a deceased person before his death?

The events surrounding the death of Mohbad raise many questions. First, could there be any connection between the frenemies he lamented and his death? Why was his burial hurried, even by his kin? Are the police doing a good job of arresting and interrogating prime and remote suspects? Was the government of Lagos right to have exhumed his remains to conduct an autopsy? Going by the Coroner’s System Law of Lagos State, “a report of death shall be made to the office of the Coroner and be subject to post-mortem examination where there is reasonable cause to believe that the cause of death was violent, unnatural, or suspicious”.

Matter-of-factly, even in this cruel world, the death of a 27-year-old is presumably unnatural except where the circumstances reveal otherwise. In Mohbad’s case, the circumstances seem to agree that a post-mortem examination is more than necessary. It becomes even more suspicious when the allegations of hostility, threats to his life, trespass on his person, and unending battles, as lamented by the late musician, are put into context.

Admittedly, the law books teach that suspicion and subjective opinion are not a sufficient basis for proof of facts. Hence, the need for empirical examination will further drive us to the point of certainty, at least for the sake of the deceased, whose life may have been cut short by unnatural forces. Maybe this would also provide context or answers as to why his burial was hurried.

When an unnatural or suspicious death occurs, the police ordinarily conduct a post-mortem examination, interrogate close associates, and scour through correspondence, recent contacts, and perceived enemies. This information becomes even more relevant if the deceased claims to have been bullied, threatened, or attacked.

Mohbad’s death has provoked commentaries and opinions from different quarters. While some have been more cautious in pointing fingers, others have thrown caution to the wind and have demanded the arrest of individuals like Afeez Fashola and Samuel Balogun. One salient issue that must be addressed before this momentum dies down is the need to redefine lost values in light of the infiltration of foreign values. In foreign climes like the United States, it is not unusual for bad blood of this kind to brew into assassinations. A case in mind is that of Tupac Shakur, who was murdered exactly 27 years ago in Nevada, United States 1996. Six months later, Christopher Wallace, Notorious B.I.G., was murdered similarly.

While Mohbad may not have died from gun violence, his death was no less violent, given the circumstances that culminated in his untimely demise. When viewed in light of his industry, we begin to see the impact of foreign elements in the Nigerian music world. A look through the boards shows artists with criminal histories ranging from assault, internet fraud, marijuana abuse, and sexual violence to homicide. It would seem that Nigerian pop artists have not only taken music inspiration from the West but have also taught their dark penchant for vices.

The cause of death might have been speculative, and the range of agitation could also have been built on unsubstantiated emotional outbursts on circumstantial evidence, a little bit shy of mathematical accuracy. Even at that, they have established the undisputed need to chase the issue to the root and also raised a disturbing concern that a lot has been overlooked in our complacency. Unfortunately, the police, in their usual brutes, have dispersed away such voices that would keep them on their toes like in the EndSARS period.

It begs the question that the current continuous show of love and a thousand sessions of candlelight will not fill the societal lacuna that might have occasioned his death or brought about the ugly incidences that built momentum before it. An enabling system has nourished the powers that have pressured Mohbad for months before his death and have continuously caused the demise of many of our fallen heroes, even if they are social stimulators like Mohbad.

To the young Babcock student, let me close as an elder: When someone else dies with similar circumstances, the same love and light will fall along with them. We have seen it continuously in recent history. We have seen brutality on helpless individuals and the government being continuously inconsiderate, but we have not seen an end to the circle. The love and lights are insufficient, but the nation has been too sleepy to fill the void they could not cover. May your fate be different, and may you live past 100 years. Amen. I will come to your campus and speak with you in person, sharing my story of survival as a teenager in the bush.

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