Prof. Taofiq Adesina AbdulAzeez
Imam, University of Abuja
Department of English,
University of Abuja
A Lecture Delivered to the Annual Hijrah Awareness Lecture Organised by the Muslim Community, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ogun State Command on the 6th of Muharram, 1439 (26th September 2017) at the NSCDC College of Security Management Auditorium, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Oguna State
I am excited to be with you for two reasons. First, it is an opportunity to come home. Second, it is refreshing to interact with one of the nation’s security outfits on the crucial subject of security. My approach to this is sociolinguistic with specific focus on conceptual and contextual analyses. I have briefly defined the relevant concept of: security, restructuring, politics, terrorism and ethno-religious jingoism within the context of historical usage and manoeuvring.
Operational Definition of Terms
Security: safety from attack, harm and damage. A feeling of confidence or safety or a situation in which you can feel confident and safe.
Restructuring: organising something such as company in a different way so that it will operate better= REORGANISE
Politics (1) the ideas and activities involved in getting POWER in a country or over a particular area of the world.
(6) The use, by someone, of particular ideas to try to get what they want.
4a. Terrorism: the use of violence to achieve POLITICAL aims.
4b. Violence: (1) violent behaviour= (1) involving the use of physical force with a deliberate intention of causing damage to property, injury or death to people
(3) painful and difficult to control (4) showing very strong and angry emotions or opinions
5. Ethno-religious Jingoism: ordinarily, jingoism means the belief that other countries are not as good as your own and that your government should never trust them.
Terminologies used to express jingoism include the following:
Sovereign national conference
(and now) Restructuring.
Marginalisation is the most meaningless of all these terminologies just as: education, success, performance, hunger, injustice, Islamisation and God have become meaningless except and especially as used by politicians.
THE STRONGEST POINT HERE IS THAT THESE ARE POLITICISED WORDS USED BY POLITICIANS TO UNLEASH TERROR ON ORDINARY CITIZENS- SECURITY AGENCIES, ETHNO-RELIGIOUS GROUPS AND THE SUFFERING MASSES.
Insecurity And Restructuring in the Political History of Nigeria
Colonialism or colonisation produced its own terrorism in the protest following dethronement, banishment, and eventual murder of Sultan Attahiru in the north; Ijebu war in the South-West and Aba riot in the South East.
Independence produced series of terror acts and reactions leading to threat of secession by the North and stampeded by Nnamdi Azikiwe. Nigeria was a three region structure then.
First coup and genocide of mostly Northern and few South-West politicians by officers largely of Igbo extraction generated reaction as counter coup that brought the north back to power.
Protest and clamour for Power Shift resulted into the first ACTUAL CIVIL WAR in 1967. This is the seed of alleged MARGINALISATION.
Pro-democracy groupings and terror acts leading to the 1975 coup. Restructuring began with a Twelve States Structure.
Power Shift and Terrorism as counter actions by southern elements leading to series of ethno-religious crises in the North of Nigeria. Examples include Maitatsine crises. This led to 1983 coup. Agitation had led to a 19-State Structure by this time.
Pro-democracy agitation and Kafanchan Riot among others leading to June 12 Crisis. Political agitation and manoeuvrings had compelled government of the day to please the politicians who wanted more shares and political space to obtain another Re-structuring and a 21-State structure was in place.
Power shift and marginalisation leading to installation of interim government in 1993.
Pro-democracy activities and civil society organisations’ actions leading to use of NADECO for every opposition and terrorist activity (including state terror) leading to Abacha’s death in 1998. At this point, Nigeria had been re-structured to a 36-State nation.
The use of Sovereign National Conference, restructuring and resource control as political jingoism and conflict catch-phrases leading to emergence of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999 and resulting in the convening of constitutional conference in 2006.
The use of HIDDEN AGENDA which started in 1991 continued and blossomed into Third Term Agenda and full blown use of resource control as political jingoism for power shift to the South-South and to avoid the use of restructuring and call for Sovereign National Conference since power should remain in the south. Restructuring temporarily lost its meaning use and popularity.
Re-newed call for Sovereign National Conference and restructuring during the brief regime of Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
THE BEGINNING OF BOKO HARAM
THE USE OF ZONING AND POWER SHIFT
Temporary ceasefire but renewed soon after Dr Goodluck Jonathan assumed full power after the 2011 election.
Silent cry of marginalisation by the South-West and loud call for Sovereign National Conference and restructuring. This led to the national conference of 2014 convened by Goodluck Jonathan.
Meanwhile, power shift became the catch-phrase in the north, leading to 2015 elections.
Meanwhile, Boko Haram became a full blown jingoism used to mean any crime or violence in any part of the north and a new provocative name for Muslims.
Note the dramatic ‘ceasefire’ to Boko Haram activities within the six weeks of the postponement of the 2015 elections.
Note, also, the sudden re-emergence of Boko Haram in the north, militancy in the South-South (Avengers etc.), kidnapping in the South East, spreading to the South West, and now Northern Nigeria, where it was never heard of.
Note, also, the sudden emergence of Fulani herdsmen violence soon after a Fulani became Head of State.
Note the renewed call for restructuring which was a campaign promise of the ruling party but which was suspended until the renewed cry of marginalisation, injustice and secession from the South East.
Note the South East support for restructuring and other agitations initiated by the South West in calculated time.
Note (i) the apparent coincidences of violence associated with NADECO which produced a South-West presidency. (ii) the violence of MASSOB, MEND, and other South South and South East militants that produced South-South-South-East presidency and government from 2011-2015. (iii) the violence of Boko Haram which seemed to produce a North-West presidency. (iv) and another word for power shift-RESTRUCTURING- as a response to perceived ‘injustice’, ‘marginalisation’ and ‘bad governance’ and another political terminology for a call for another CONFERENCE where ‘THEY WILL SHARE WHATEVER IS SHARABLE AND TALK, AND BARK AND DISPERSE BEFORE ELECTION AND ELECTIONEERING CAMPAIGNS PROVIDE REQUISITE AMNESIA FOR ALL’.
There are possible terminologies after 2019 but that depends on the choice of Almighty Allah as enunciated in Quran 17:58.
If elections hold and Nigeria regains her temporary peace as usual and the stakeholders get what they want, we may be talking about ‘re-packaging’, ‘re-birth’, ‘rebranding’ etc. in 2020 and beyond.
Politicians are, at best, crafty and mischievous and, at worst, satanic. Their personal interests are always promoted to national interest, and any event of fallout among them become burning national issues that must GENERATE tension and overheat the polity. They use this to create FEAR usually mid-term of every regime or whenever they want a new arrangement.
Politicians contradict themselves in their language especially use of meaningless words. But our general pandemic ignorance and pecuniary lubricant due to our endemic poverty provide necessary impetus for them to mobilise US using the MEDIA to promote their interest and fight among ourselves.
When they fight military dictatorship and demand democracy, they engage in ultra-high military activities and use military terminologies and strategy to impose worse democratic dictatorship (tyranny of the minority on behalf of majority) on US.
Some of the military terminologies used are: campaign, rig, victory, contest, opponent, enemy, win, lose, battle.
The necessary violence through the use of thugs and thuggery is military and performance in governance is a meaningless word except as used by politicians to deceive, oppress and tyrannise the ignorant poor masses.
In my view, politics is politics whether colonial or military. Terrorism is the common factor in politics, and FEAR is the requisite ingredient which politicians used to force people into accepting their proposal for solution to the tension they deliberately create in order to make us cooperate with them by all means.
Insecurity is, therefore, deliberate ploy internally and externally sponsored and financed in any guise and by any group to create FEAR and raise hope. Restructuring is one of the meaningless solutions to this political wickedness and satanic oppression of the people and it is, therefore, nothing to be feared. NO POLITICIAN CAN AFFORD DISTINGERATION OF NIGERIA BECAUSE IT THEIR POT OF SOUP. THEY HAVE THE CAPACITY TO BRING DOWN TENSION BEFORE ELECTIONS BUT WE , ALSO, HAVE THE CAPACITY TO SAY NO TO ALWAYS BEING USED AGAINST OURSELVES. POLITICIANS HAVE NO TRIBE.THEY HAVE NO RELIGION.INDEED THEY REALLY HAVE NO PARTIES. THEY GAVE US ALL THESE TO USE AGAINST US.
THANK YOU FOR TOLERATING ME.