“I lost my husband four weeks ago to Boko Haram.” That used to be the message sent to me final week on WhatsApp by Angela, as I feeble to name her. Terse as it used to be, it bore the shattering influence of a two-tonnes bomb. Its broad declare and the doom it left in its trails deposited shrapnel of despondency in my coronary heart. Its influence used to be deafening as it hit my ear lobe like a thunderbolt. How does this young, widowed girl, barely a yr frail in marriage, a First Class graduate of Law and prison qualified, elevate the broad, unkind destiny of shedding her husband this upfront and within the form of gruesome yet avoidable formulation? Angela is 8-months pregnant. How does the family of this 34-yr frail man, who had correct been killed within the top of his existence, contend with this sudden loss?
Angela and I had been classmates at the University of Ibadan. I met her all over my latter-day undergraduate sojourn that ended four years ago. Lustrous and well brought up, I became her mentor, helping her to navigate the landmine-stuffed process of betrothals and marriage. Any of her suitors handed by my thin-comb scrutiny. Proper the identical means his passage used to be announced to me on Whatsapp final week, his entrance into my mentee’s existence used to be announced by Whatsapp moreover. She had sent photos of her nuptials one gleaming morning. After I enquired why she let me off the loop, her rationalization used to be that the family wanted a restful, unannounced betrothal. So, who used to be he? I requested. A soldier. Scandalous news, I believed. Nonetheless when she mentioned he had been transferred to Yobe, the warfront, I mentally began his obsequies moral there and then. Because we spoke by the bid of phone, I shut her off the visage of dejection I wore. Why can also simply peaceable anybody marry a Nigerian soldier as we screech when soldiering had turn out to be the Yoruba god of iron, Ogun, mentioned to be pleased bathing itself with blood? My pessimism used to be borne out of the remembrance of my cling younger brother who used to be equally posted to the warfront and who obtained killed now not long after.
The above story used to be what I instructed an target audience that comprised worn governor of Oyo Suppose, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, ex-Senate President, Adolphus Wabara; ex-Oyo Suppose Chief Make a resolution, Bolajoko Adeniji and quite rather a lot of different others final Tuesday in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo Suppose. Governors Kayode Fayemi and Seyi Makinde of Ekiti and Oyo States had then barely taken their exits from the hall to gain other pressing pronounce capabilities. Fayemi had delivered the Babatunde Oduyoye annual lecture entitled Safety and national cohesion in this primary times and my project used to be to examine and search data from his submission.
Incisive, deep and profound, Fayemi didn’t disappoint his target audience as a tutorial. He waxed lyrical and professorial about the substantial stature of the difficulty of insecurity within the land. Admire a bandana, it is doubtless you’ll most seemingly well look his doctoral degree in War Reports woven spherical his head. There is wrestle within the land; he confirmed, citing Prussian Accepted and navy theorist, Carl Philipp Gottfried von Clausewitz, whose very finest contribution to the conclusion of wrestle is the infusion of the reliable or the psychological and the political into consideration of wrestle. Clausewitz had written the classic, On War.
For these that belief wrestle used to be a tea occasion, the War pupil governor painted wrestle in a upsetting, crimson shade canvass. When there is wrestle, the falcon can now not hear the falconer – apologies to William Butler Yeats and his Second Coming. In wrestle moreover, famished fogeys favor which of their childhood is fit for dinner. From the kinetics to the human ingredients of wrestle combating, Fayemi dissected the malady that has seized Nigeria’s jugular. Alternatively, as I instructed the target audience later on, as profound as the lecture used to be, it used to be lean on the “delivered” and deliverables. As a important participant within the Muhammadu Buhari government and Chairman of the Governors’ Dialogue board, the target audience expected to be taught by Fayemi how the federal government in energy had made their lives more stable within the final six years. The target audience, myself inclusive, couldn’t look any, regardless that Fayemi struggled by that barren land. He spoke like non-people within the Nigerian political theatre and analysts like me and the 2 moderators of the match – Edmund Obilo and Rolake Bello – ruin in our weekly interventions.
The Nigerian wars – Boko Haram within the Northeast, banditry within the Northwest, IPOB within the Southeast and kidnapping, moreover as sporadic violence within the Southwest – own printed how deeply divided Nigeria is this day. Proper as feeble African Yoruba feeble rationalization of the folks’s cosmology the least bit times implicates the Tortoise, Alabahun in nearly about all societal infractions, it is doubtless you’ll most seemingly now not divorce the 1914 colonial error from Nigeria’s show cloak venture. Lord Fredrick Lugard welded peoples with assorted cultures, worldviews and ways of existence alongside side magisterial impunity and I daresay, audacity. Whereas the First Republic sought to mitigate the crises precipitated Nigeria in 1914 by its educate of federalism, the 1966 coup drew Nigeria support into the nitty-gritty of the 1914 errors. This it did by its unitarization of a federal Nigeria. This has been the equation ever since, extra worsened since 2015 by a Nigerian leadership that is divisive, incurably ethnic-centered and which has it sounds as if lost the steering wheel of governance.
On the present time, the wars repeat all that is contaminated with Nigeria. Nigerians repeat, or better peaceable, look the wars within the prism of our divisiveness, alongside the feeble lines of ethnic, cultural, non secular and regional cleavages. At its inception, whereas Boko Haram used to be considered from the prism of Muslims versus Christians, others perceived it as a sponsored conspiracy to decapitate the Muslim North, whereas, in all places in the Goodluck Jonathan regime, it used to be a Northern wrestle to discredit the predominant president of Nigeria from the South-South geopolitical zone.
Now, the wars own assumed stronger and more unsafe ethnic cleavages, revealing the incontrovertible fact that the 1914 Lord Lugard mis-joinder of Nigerian nations can also very well be a existence-long albatross. They repeat how and why Nigeria is now not a single nation, has never been and may maybe most seemingly never be. In the wars, it is doubtless you’ll most seemingly look why Nigeria is now not collectively and why anybody who labels Nigeria a nation and assumes that her farcical cohesion used to be now not negotiable is dwelling in a fool’s paradise. Angela’s soldier husband and quite rather a lot of different others are killed by insurgents and buried silently by their families, with out the skedaddle within the park of the arena. Victims’ families weep in their closets and lick their wounds silently. And the entirety goes on as if nothing ever took position. That used to be why when, in July, 2019, the extremely influential Wall Avenue Journal (WSJ) alleged that a thousand troopers had been secretly buried in Borno Suppose’s Maimalari barracks by the Nigerian Military, the allegation raised plenty of hell, with the Military labeling WSJ an instrument of deceit. In mourning their fallen soldier deceased, southern families marvel why their childhood had to be killed in a “Northern wrestle.”
Identical took position a few years ago in Aagba shut to Osogbo, Osun Suppose. A policeman from that pronounce had been posted to Zamfara, the hotbed of banditry and obtained killed in change of gunfire. He used to be hit on the facet of his head. His 80-yr frail ex-Headmaster father and 78-yr frail mother had been distraught and inconsolable. The police he served and died for may maybe most seemingly only present N100,000 out of the N200,000 bill to remark his corpse support to Osun, leaving his family scampering spherical to present the rest. As if in a blood oath just like the Scyths, feeble Iranian folks of horse-utilizing nomadic pastoralists, who dominated the Pontic-Caspian all over Classical Antiquity, for whom a get of oath used to be dripping their blood into a glass cup which used to be later combined with wine and inebriated by the oath-takers, husband and wife swore, upon the killing of their son, never to near support outside of their home. The fallen police officer’s father never did, till he joined him a few months later. His wife peaceable sits inner their Aagba home, swearing never to leave the darkness brought upon her by Nigeria to own a look at sunlight. Nigeria had taken away her sunlight, her son, she wails.
Many southern families whose sons are killed within the wars within the North marvel why they’d to die in “Northern wars.” I dispute the identical is going down within the north. In 2011 when Auwal Shanono, 500 Stage Clinical Student of ABU, Zaria used to be trapped and killed within the NURTW imbroglio in Ibadan, I reckon that his family too will deserve to own puzzled why Shanono had to be killed in a Yoruba wrestle. In 2011, some Southern childhood corps people had been killed in Bauchi Suppose and later on, in Plateau Suppose and their fogeys, till this day, can also simply peaceable be narrating how their childhood had been sacrificed to the senseless “Northern wrestle,” now not the Nigerian wrestle. Whereas IPOB and its suspected allies raze at random and burn government properties within the Southeast, my hunch tells me that this government is now not overtly stricken because it feels that the Igbo created their very cling wrestle and are killing one one other. Right here is because Nigeria is a mere convenient story to loot and take away advantage monetarily. The truth is, Nigeria is non-existent as it is miles a false and abstract invent.
Thus, the cleavages within the narratives of the wars in Nigeria own conspired to repeat the underbelly of how divided Nigeria is and how only a restructured, successfully federal Nigeria can both stem the insecurity within the land or remark Nigeria support to the hump of sanity. Since Nigeria is now not a nation and no effort is made to procure this actuality, this can also simply moreover be foolhardy to position a query to a national peace and quiet from the shrapnel of enrage and concern scattered all by the land.
What looks to be the tinder that is stoking the Nigerian insecurity is the pervading atmosphere of social insecurity. Presumably thanks to the longstanding realizing of national security as security of the folks in government, consideration used to be paid less to the human facet of security. From the 1994 United Countries Recount Programme’s (UNDP)-Human Recount Document which outlined human security “as freedom from concern and freedom from need” and its 2-tier realizing of security, one amongst which is “security from such power threats as hunger, disease, and repression; and two, it means protection from sudden and hurtful disruptions within the patterns of day after day existence whether in properties, in jobs or in communities,” rulers own been urged to hear to the human factor of securing their folks, in preference to deploying kinetics and armaments to the rescue.
Governments after governments, since the militia hijack of energy in 1966, own been stricken by the now, at the detriment of the thereafter of Nigeria. Skyrocketing unemployment figures, substantial statistics of the hungry and the provoking dedication of hopeless folks in society own made violence a ardour. The Pause-SARS protests which shook Nigeria to its basement final yr, as ex-Governor Ladoja mentioned at the lecture, is a tip of the iceberg of the wrestle to near support, unless we restructure Nigeria in its judgment of correct and fallacious. When you add the enrage and hunger within the land to the plethora of injustices that is the familiar route that the present administration treads, no person can also simply peaceable want a soothsayer to expose us that the wrestle forward will be worse than these at hand.
Has rescue near the means of our University of Ibadan?
In April of this yr, I penned a chunk, which became serially discussed, on the University of Ibadan, entitled Who will rescue our University of Ibadan? In the piece, I collated the views of quite rather a lot of alumni and stakeholders of this premier university on the lunge in its affairs. I ruin now not must remind us of the very well off pedigree of tutorial excellence that UI, as it is miles fondly known as, wears or wore on its lapel. It’s far now not correct the oldest and the predominant university in Nigeria; it prides itself as the finest. From its institution in 1948, up till 1962 when it became a plump-fledged neutral university, a College of the University of London, UI never stopped scooping tutorial laurels.
Other than being, since 1948, a important incubation heart for knowledge and flagship of tutorial excellence, its rating amongst universities within the arena has been encouraging. As an instance, the 2021-2022 World University Rankings by the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) the save 19,788 establishments had been ranked, placed UI as 1167, with a secure of 69.3. UI has also literally been embarrassing the Council of Factual Training for years now attributable to its yearly snatching of laurels in excellence. As an instance, when it launched the 2021 Bar Final Ends up in July this yr, of the total of 5,770 students who sat for the exams and the 20 students who made first class, Bukola Fatimat Alada, a graduate of the University of Ibadan, emerged the total finest graduating student. In 2020, three out of the total of 5 First Class candidates of the Nigerian Law College got here from the university. In the 2019 August Bar Finals, UI produced the very finest dedication of 26 First Class students.
Alternatively, in 2020, UI used to be embroiled in leadership crises which stained this white apparel severely. From the sneaking of the virus of non secular cleavages within the narratives of the university’s romance with the hijab crisis in its secondary school, to the heinous sneaking in of ethnic cleavage, to the extent that Ibadan folks began to ask a UI VC “of our cling,” UI went to the dogs and support. Forward of now, UI had operated with the philosophy of an airplane in its leadership dedication. When you enter an airplane, you don’t inquire of whether the pilot is a Christian, Moslem, babalawo or South Africa’s Sangoma; whether he’s Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba or whatever. You inquire of for the finest pilot to pilot you to security.
UI has had 18 VCs, performing and substantive, 13 of which own been the latter. It ranged from VCs within the pre-colonial generation like Prof. Kenneth Mellanby, 1947 – 1953; Prof. J. T. Saunders, 1953 – 1956; Prof. John H. Parry, 1956 – 1960 and within the put up-colony, from Prof. Kenneth Onwuka Dike, 1960 – 1967; Prof. Thomas Adeoye Lambo, 1967 – 1971; Prof. H. Oritsejolomi-Thomas, 1972 – November 1975; Prof. Tekena N. Tamuno, December 1975 – November 1979; Prof. Samson O. Olayide, December 1979 – November 1983; Prof. L. Ayo Banjo, both as Appearing and substantive, November 30 1983 – November 30 1984 and December 01 1984- November 30 1991, amongst others, up till the present Appearing VC, Prof. Adebola Ekanola (Appearing) and final Thursday when Professor Kayode Adebowale emerged as its 13th VC.
The twin carriageway to Adebowale used to be odious, messy, repugnant and conspired to raze a Lilliput of UI’s broad stature. It showed that the robe had morphed into the city and swallowed the rascality famed with the streets. On the twin carriageway to Adebowale, lecturers played dirty politics, manifesting treacherous traits of Judas Iscariot and changing into indistinguishable from the sneaky, dodgy and sly traits of the men in babariga and agbada. Two cleavages or social classifications became the three-prong means to the bustle for the position of job of the VC. One used to be the Isaac Adewole/Abel Idowu Olayinka cleavage, the duo being ex-VCs of the university; moreover as the Christian/Muslim cleavage. The third used to be the Federal Govt which used to be supposed to be backing two of the candidates.
The above cleavages manifested within the University Council’s screening of the VC candidates which held at its Council Chambers, There, displays and questioning of the candidates by people of the Council took position. As the warmth of the process escalated, there used to be substantial concern that Abuja, represented by the Chairman of the Council, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, used to be in opposition to the eventual winner of the process, Adebowale. He used to be allegedly viciously marked down by the opposite two external panelists and Chairman Oyegun. A trademark of this used to be the ask being raised within the university about how Adebowale, who got here sixth when the Council people, which had substantial government imprimatur, sat to cloak the candidates but eventually got here first when the Preference Board that comprised the university’s Senate, superintended over the process? Final Thursday, nevertheless, discountenancing the Number One and Two picks of the school’s Council, the Senate Preference Board chose Professor Adebowale. Adebowale belongs to the Olayinka neighborhood. Along with his emergence, the Olayinka neighborhood has no query dealt a blow on the opposite neighborhood. It’s on chronicle that the unique VC went by hell within the hands of the opposite divide who attempted to soil his establish, moreover as the establish of the neighborhood within the support of him.
About two weeks ago, I was requested to moderate the university’s Town Corridor match held at the Trenchard Corridor. There, most of the VC candidates addressed the university community on their programme. Therein, I mentioned that UI used to be famed for possessing a regenerative spirit and capability to reconnect with the spirit of excellence of administrative icons of the previous 7-plus decades of its existence. It’s hoped that, with a substantive VC, stakeholders within the Ibadan project will celebrate and be proud as soon as again about this tutorial heritage. Unlike Nigeria the save the delusion is that the finest haven’t steadily long gone to the motive force’s seat, UI has produced directors who can incorrect the finest in Nigeria. Certainly, Nigeria has plenty to be taught from UI. Nigeria’s leadership is mentioned to be the Yoruba proverbial Igbo Odaju – the woodland of the heartless but the save hard but regenerative choices about society are made. Weaklings and effeminate persons now not steadily get there, with the exception of daring and steady folks. We hope and pray that Adebowale is inner that Igbo Odaju and can simply peaceable reinvigorate the University of Ibadan.
Festus Adedayo is an Ibadan-primarily based journalist.
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