No Bobo! No Zobo!! (Part II: Merchants of Salvation)
By Toyin Falola
“For the love of money is the root of all evil” seems not to apply to a “man of God” who collects five offerings in one service and uses his eyes to scan who has given bountifully or not. Is it that the root of the tree that grows evil is cut off from money collected in the church? Or is it just another bobo to lure more Naira into the pockets of these merchants of salvation?
But before we delve into these contemporary bobos, are we sure that modern religions in Nigeria were not the results of different bobos and zobos in the first instance? Our people were not without religions before they were introduced to Islam and Christianity. “Power pass power,” so goes a street proverb expressed in pidgin language. Several of the practices of the traditional African religions were regarded by the missionaries of the new religions as pagan worship and, as such, evil. The Nigerian gods and goddesses collected palm oil and hens to deliver salvation. The Christian God wants a nice car and a house to save you from sin. The goat of the Babalawo is now replaced with ten percent of your monthly income. A once-and-for-all single payment to the Babalawo has now been replaced by a weekly payment of offerings and seeds. The Babalawo lives a life of wants, and the Pastor and the Imam enjoy opulence. The Satan of the Bible and the Shaitan of the Quran are conquerors who need constant money to be assuaged and pacified. Esu, mislabeled as Satan, is a god of forgiveness: his only demand is not to wish or plan evil against your fellow humans. Esu continues to live in heaven, but Azazil, also known as Iblis, the devil, was expelled from there and sent to the world, where he became the father of calamities, still sucking blood and collecting sacrifices. You have replaced a benevolent Mistress with a wicked Master. It sounds like a paradox of the highest order!
While scholars have repeatedly pointed out how bobo-laden the assertions on African religions are, there is a need to go on an imaginative voyage. Imagine that African civilization was properly advanced and taken to Europe before major civilizations were there. Imagine it was Africa that took the rest of the world into slavery, colonized countries, and spread African cultures and traditions as the standard definition of the modern world and globalization. After establishing these imaginative influences, imagine that the African Traditional Religions were spread across those areas through their respective missionary endeavors and trade. Without the bobo, who will be the pagans of today? Muslims, Christians, or still traditional worshipers? Whichever your answer, I leave you to ponder while we address contemporary bobos and zobos in Nigerian religious settings.
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Religion in Nigeria forms a basic determinant of the Nigerian social construct and creates an ethical system to define people’s moral convictions. This makes religious heads powerful and influential in people’s lives, representing the vanguard of moral standards. The result is a repository of trust and respect for religious heads from everyone, for the former “see and hear” God, His Spirit and angels, and Satan and his demons faster than others. The trust and respect that are automatically attributable to them in Nigeria have made many religious leaders “men of their guts” rather than “men of God,” what Fela Anikulapo-Kuti lampooned as “Imam na enjoyment, Pope na miliky.” They dish out bobos to make you believe their lies and serve full cups of zobos to mitigate the effects of failed predictions and make you do more.
A Pastor can climb the Olumo Rock in Abeokuta, which I have done several times. On declimbing, the Pastor brings messages from God and the Angels, words that must turn into cash to enrich him. A stream at Ibadan becomes the sea Moses crossed to deliver the Israelites from the hands of the Pharaoh. An assassination attempt that killed seven members of a church leader became a message presented as the power of Pastor Sule-Zazu to escape death by his Bible and not by the power of the bulletproof car made possible by the Whiteman. Our lovely Pastor Sule-Zazu was clever enough to give the Bibles to the seven dead disciples while keeping the bulletproof car to himself, his wife and his children.
Did you get the message?
Bobo and zobo found their way into churches, mosques, and shrines through mischievous and disingenuous channels, including lies and evil acts of religious leaders. Owing to the country’s economic situation, it is understandable that people seek solutions after many failed attempts at attaining minimal survival. These “men and women of God” try to provide explanations even if they are non-existent. They make their bobos and zobos through patterns, sequence, and logic from people’s lives, the nation’s general problems, and the likelihood of events. The Yoruba would say, “It’s the wise one who professes the Ifa for us.” They also add a small amount of the words of the Most High, twisting the Bible, Quran, or Ese Ifa to bolster their assertions. The followers or “clients” gullibly gulp these zobos because, one way or the other, they are connected to their lives.
For instance, when one of the boboists, maybe zoboists, says to a 40-year-old man that there is a “woman” in his life, there is indeed a high possibility that he has a wife, a sister, or a mother. Your appearance or representation of yourself to these individuals determines the type of zobo and bobo that will be offered to you. A recent investigation by Fisayo Soyombo, “Prophets of their Pockets,” highlights several processes of spiritual bobos and zobos. Soyombo presented himself as a homosexual and dressed to create an impression. The prophecies aligned with these misrepresentations, even though none were true.
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Following these bobos and zobos are the usual prolific offerings, items, and other financial or physical commitments. It is the house of the Lord; how can you not obey the directives of the man of God? They rely on these established speculations to have their way with those needing spiritual guidance. On June 16, 2022, a Pastor, Ayodeji Olorunfemi, was reported to have allegedly scammed an 88-year-old Tawakalitu Ilumoka of N36.5 million. Ilumoka approached the Pastor to pray for the healing of her sick 64-year-old son, having faith in the Pastor whose prayer she believed had caused her to sell a piece of land for a large sum of 100 million Naira. The Pastor took advantage of this opportunity to dupe her, and her son died from the same sickness. This is the same bobo the supposed religious heads use to deceive people into raping young girls and women. There have been several reports of Babalawo, Alfa, and pastors sleeping with married women looking for the fruit of the womb to “clear the path” for their husbands and the baby. Children as young as five months are raped or injured in the name of deliverance and other spiritual activities. There is no end to the litany of woes inflicted by those “priests” in the name of religion, where the shepherd derives satisfaction not in leading but in eating the sheep and desecrating the “temple!”
When those who should be the moral guardians of society have become bobo Pastors or Imams, having a good conscience that prevents social vices becomes a herculean task. Unfortunately, religious centers have become the comfort zones for “children of the dark” as long as they have enough money to tender. Rather than using whatever is left of their bobos to prevent crimes, these spiritual heads use it to help and attract criminals like Yahoo boys. Internet fraudsters engage religious leaders as spiritual backups to progress from Yahoo-Yahoo to Yahoo Plus. They prepare soaps and do spiritual cleansing and head washing to attract fortune or enchant their victims. Ironically, what should be a forte of morality is fast becoming the pillar of immorality. To whom do the thieves, fraudsters, and kidnappers who find spiritual refuge pray? God, Allah, or Orunmila, who represents everything but evil? Every prayer or iṣẹ́ for a Yahoo boy is bobo, nothing less, nothing more.
Depicting some religious institutions as the backbones of societal vices will not exhaustively express the level of decadence in those institutions. Today, social vices live in churches, mosques, and shrines. Religious leaders who wear bobo appearances in the day to cause evil in the night have changed the face of religion in the country. On July 2, 2022, a pastor was reported to have been responsible for the kidnapping of 77 members in Akure. The Pastor allegedly confined 26 children and other adults in his church’s dungeon, hypnotized them, and boboed them into believing that Jesus Christ was coming in September 2022. This is November 2022, which proves that the Pastor is either delusional or serving some unexplainable zobos to the people in “the name of the lord.” The bobo men at the altar have also become frequent ritual killers, putting price tags on the souls they are supposed to convert.
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Nigerians have grown too religious to discern spiritual bobo from the truth; they easily idolize any cleric without pausing for critical thinking. This automatically attracts victims to these wolves in sheep’s clothing waiting to pounce on their next victims. The fear of religious heads is implanted in the minds of Nigerians from childhood, making divinity, no matter how and from whom it comes, more important than commonsense.
The background of this bobo loving attitude extends to tertiary institutions where there is supposed to be enlightenment. Students become “Brothers” and “Sisters,” falling into the traps of some “Papa,” “Mama,” “Ameer,” and “Ameera” who have carefully established their influence and control over the lives of fellow students. With their bobo lifestyle, fellow students, possibly from senior classes, run after them and take their bags with respect.
Bobo! Zobo!! Gullibility!!!
Do not get me wrong; I do not mean that the Spirit does not work on campus, but it does not erase common sense and would not ask you to sacrifice your primary goal in school to follow the bobo of another student who you might be doing better than. This social arrangement and orientation extend to other stages of life and workplaces, obscuring people’s reasonability and making them potential victims of spiritual fraud.
We must not forget how a man sits over thousands and millions of followers who work their sweats out, only for that man to enjoy the fruit of others’ labor. They say, “the Lord wants to bless the first 100 people that run to the altar to donate N100,000 each.” People who need solutions to different problems rush out to give away their money. What about the Alfa, who turns Nikkai and naming ceremonies into personal crowdfunding? Everyone pays for the childbirth thanksgiving—for each name given to the child, for the ceramic bowl the parents gave him to use, for every verse of the Quran he reads, for the good health of the parents, the child, and each guest, for every prayer said, for every song and everything possible that he wishes. When owo adua has not filled the bowl during a ceremony, the bobo-Alfa may decide not to proceed until everyone pays double. Trust me, there is nothing spiritual about these but clear-cut bobos and zobos!
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How about the billionaire pastors who have created mega businesses their members cannot afford, even though they are funded from church members’ offerings? The bobos of those “led by the spirit” to build high schools and tertiary institutions, whether for the benefit of humanity or the spirit and 90 percent of their members cannot afford the school fees, must not be excused. It may be hard to accept, but this is cold, diabolically calculated, and undiluted bobo and zobo. Importantly, the effect of spiritual bobos and zobos on society cannot be underestimated. The nation’s biggest challenge is insecurity, sometimes caused by individuals boboed into fanaticism who now terrorize the nation, including those who give bobo-laden spiritual justifications for social vices like ritual killings. This piece is not to question the credibility of religions in Nigeria but to point out how vulnerable their dogmatic adherents have been.
There is a need for the government and the umbrella bodies of the different religions in the nation to wake up to curb the dangerous bobolization and instrumentalization of religion in Nigeria. It has become critical to sensitize Nigerians to discern and be extra careful so they can stop being victims of their supposed spiritual fathers and mothers. Government, religious organizations, and the nation as a whole must come together to say:
No Bobo! No Zobo!
Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.
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Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge
By Tunji Olaopa
If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.
There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.
Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges
How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.
Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.
From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!
Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.
There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to weak implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.
Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.
The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.
All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.
The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration needs that fighting chance!
. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .
Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy
By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!
Orezime: A moral what?
Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?
Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?
Adamu: A moral burden, I said!
Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?
Gani: Or Mars?
Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!
Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.
Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!
Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.
Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.
Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.
Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.
Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!
Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!
Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!
Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?
Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?
Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.
Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.
Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?
Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!
Bankole: May we not travel that route!
Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.
Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.
Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.
Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.
Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.
Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.
Bankole: That’s ominous!
Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing. Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.
Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!
Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!
Emeka: Tough luck!
Professors On INEC’s Will (2)
By Tony Afejuku
On Thursday, 2 March, 2023, the Financial Times based in London, England published a blistering editorial on the February 25, 2023 Presidential election which up to now is the talk of everywhere beyond our shores. The said Financial Times editorial was entitled “Nigerians badly flawed election fails to set an example.” Indeed, it was a positively blistering presentation as any positively blistering presentation can be. Professor Olu Obafemi FNAL; NNOM drew the attention of the literati to the editorial that argued succinctly that “If Tinubu’s victory is challenged the courts should take a hard` look.” In his summation of the editorial Professor Olu Obafemi, who headed the debating literati, said he had nothing to add to the efficacious editorial but he would be happy – by my inference – to have the viewpoints of others. Thereafter the debate began. The arguments and counter-arguments began. Whose will was INEC propagating: Was it its will or the will of the cabal in the presidency or the will of the Nigerian people?
By the way, be it noted here and now that the Financial Times, though headquartered in London as already indicated, is owned by Japanese, by Nikkei, a Japanese holding company with “core editorial offices across Britain, the United States and continental Europe.” Why this point is necessary here will reveal itself in the debate I hereby tender to fit my creative and journalistic purpose. But you will notice that there is a shift in focus from the substance of the editorial to the question of anti-black or anti-African Western propaganda.
This is how Professor Ademola Da Sylva, FNAL puts it:
“The Western media are so powerful that they have their ways of turning non-Western genuine patriots and revolutionaries to look like some nameless demons all because they failed to toe servile line as underdogs! Idi Amin, for example, might not get it right in his choice of modus operandi, but he knew what he wanted for his Uganda people. His successful ejection of the British Asians was one of his policies that did not go down well with the hegemons because it devastated the British economy. So the Western media descended on him and painted him as a blood-sucking Dracula! Of course, there were Uganda compradors and cronies of multinationals from within who tried to undermine Amin’s revolution, too. Dedan Kimathi was also considered a “terrorist and a bandit” by the British imperialists; they got him arrested and hanged him, but we know he wasn’t a demon they tried to make us believe he was! Furthermore, no matter what we may think of Mugabe, the immediate past Zimbabwe President, he meant well for his country, he revoked the licences of large parcels of fertile lands, and also a large chunk of the lands from the White occupants and re-distributed the lands among the black peasants. That was ordinarily unthinkable in Africa by an African leader who wanted justice and equity for his people, but he did it and called the bluff of the West. Again, the Western media took over from there, painted a devil of him, and many Africans uncritically swallowed the gambit, too! The first accusation of the West against these patriotic leaders has always been that they were antidemocrats! Democracy is anti-African governance principles. It is the primary reasons why we never get it right, but it has always paid the West because it keeps Africa underdeveloped to the advantage of the West. The truth is: Why would you want to change a leadership that is up and doing, responsible and responsive, and doing very well, why? That principle foregrounds our sense of monarchy. A king remains on the throne for as long as his reign brings progress and security. Where a king fails, as in the cases of the indigenous Yoruba Obas, he is made to commit a voluntary suicide, and another Oba replaces him. Anyway, let me pause here.”
Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano’s stroke goes thus: “My view is that if humans have (or bear) an original sin, according to Christian eschatology, and if humans need to pray and carry out religious duties to be worthy of divine grace, and if secular education requires progressive edification of humans, and if humans are brutes unless they are inserted into a humane culture complete in all its sides (as Matthew Arnold has argued), and if the classical calculators looked forward not to human nature, with its brutal immersion in self-interest and wars and strife, and if humans have repeatedly to struggle to rise above their petty narrowness, then how can their voting behaviour or action be perfect, pristine or excellent? Those who expect a perfect electoral behaviour or outcome in a country brutalized by a savage economic policy and an insensitive and thieving cast of state officials, and the electors riven by religious and ethnic divisions are expecting a miracle. Yet at the local level, the electors did succeed in electing a new set of people to represent them. The problem with macro analysis is that it is positivism at its worst. At the micro level, the elections were expressive of the will of the people. In Kano State, for example, the newly formed NNPP swept the board with more than 18 out of the available 22 seats for the House of Reps and 2 out of the 3 Senate seats. Thousands turned out to vote. Finally, why should we believe anything the Western press says about us? Look at their reporting of the war in Ukraine. They keep saying, against the evidence and the facts, that Ukraine is winning the war with Russia, despite the former being slaughtered on the battlefield and having lost a staggering number of soldiers.
“Humour comes from the ridiculous and the ridiculous from the comical. Here is an example of a statement that is hilarious because it is ridiculous and ridiculous because it is comical: “Ladies and gentlemen, meet the newly elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Reverend Mullah Professor Mr. Mallam IBK of Madagascar!”
Do I have any doubt that our readers will find it hard and uneasy to follow the mind patterns and strokes of the debaters who are trying in their peculiar ways to say something tangibly tangible about our will as voters and INEC’s will as electoral umpire? Not at all!
To be continued.
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.
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BREAKING:Court Orders INEC to Paste, Transmit Results Electronically