By Pat Amobi Chukwuma
About two years ago, a promising young medical doctor known as Allwell was sitting comfortably at the back of his luxurious jeep driven by his driver. He was going for an important meeting of the Nigerian Medical Association Lagos branch at Victoria Island. At the second Mainland Bridge, he instructed his driver to stop. The driver obeyed promptly. Surprisingly, Dr Allwell opened the vehicle rear door and got down. Before his driver could know what was happening, he ran and jumped into the lagoon, fully dressed in his English suit. He was drowned instantly. His action contradicted his name Allwell. If all was well with him, then why did he commit suicide?
The Children's Day celebration was held nationwide on 27 May 2019. Something extraordinary happened at a certain Local Government Council during march-past by students and pupils from different schools. Unexpectedly, an old man of about eighty years with walking stick and a bag hung over his shoulder joined one of the primary school pupils from behind as they marched forward. All eyes were on him as he swung his left hand front and back like a wizard. He was half bent. He held his walking stick tightly with the right hand. The Chairman of the Local Government Council couldn't control his laughter as he was taking salute. After the pupils and the old man marched past, two policemen accosted the old man. He was taken by the side. One of the policemen asked him, “Old Papa, what is wrong? Why did you join the primary school children in the March Past? Are you a child? Today is children's Day and not Old Men's Day?” The old man replied, “Point of correction! I am not an old man as you see me. I have decided to begin life afresh as a child. Do not mind my physique.” The policeman asked, “Papa, are you well at all?” He replied, “Officer, I am 100% well. The contents of my bag will prove to you that I am well.” The two policemen searched his bag. The contents were very funny: baby pomade, baby powder, baby comb, baby milk, feeding bottle and pampers. One of the policemen laughed and asserted, “Papa, all is not well with you.” The rest of the story will be for another day.
One day, as I was taking my weekly evening walk, I saw a young man dressed in Senator's suit. He was coming opposite me, holding a big hammer in right hand. He was loudly talking to himself and pointing his finger up and down. I wanted to turn back and take to my heels. But when I remembered that I am man, I courageously stepped forward. Even though I was older than he, I greeted him, “Good evening Sir.” He looked fiercely at me and retorted, “Get away before I kill you here and now.” Since life has no duplicate, I gently ran away. After few poles away from him, I turned and stood still, looking at the distressed young man pitifully. I shook my head and said, “All is not well with this young man.” Suddenly he turned and saw me. He shouted, “So you are still looking at me!” He gave me a hot chase. I developed wings and disappeared into thin air. All was not well with him at all.
The series of suicide cases in this country nowadays is very alarming. It shows indeed that all is not well at all. There is anger and despair in the faces of Nigerians. Many young men are jobless. It is idleness that pushes our youths into criminality and banditry. Cultism is now on the increase everywhere. The old generation has refused to give chance for the teeming youths to participate in governance. The Not-Too-Young to rule Bill passed and signed into Law is viewed as a deceit. It is estimated that 12.3million children in Nigeria are out of school. Instead of the school feeding programme embarked upon by the Federal Government, the money for funding it should be used to give scholarship to indigent children. The federal and state governments should as a matter of urgency create jobs for the teeming jobless youths. If not done, something more sinister is coming.
Our country Nigeria is made of divergent tribes and languages. Nevertheless, we have three major languages, namely Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. English language, which was inherited from the Colonial Masters, is used for general communication. The Federal Government of Buhari is proposing making Fulfulde spoken by the Fulani people a major language also. We have already Radio Nigeria where the three major Nigerian languages (Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba) and English language are in use for communication. Why the establishment of Radio Fulani (Radio Herdsmen), where only Fulfulde will be used to communicate? Is there any hidden agenda behind it? The bloody herdsmen will surely use the Radio station to communicate to themselves and to plan how to terrorize and fulanize Nigeria. All is really not well.
The Federal Government has tacitly refused to declare the bloody Fulani Herdsmen a terrorist group. The terrorist herdsmen have caused a lot of havoc in the country. They kill, rape, destroy farms and burn houses nationwide. They also kidnap people here and there. Often they collect millions of ransom and kill their victims as well. Even it was rumoured that the Federal Government gave them a whooping sum of Hundred Billion Naira to appease them. Are they sacred cows? No wonder the former President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has accused President Buhari of the fulanization of Nigeria. Professor Wole Soyinka, retired General Theophilus Danjuma and other meaningful Nigerians have alluded to the fulanization agenda. This shows that all is not well at all.
For many years now, the Boko Haram insurgency is a hard nut to crack in this country. The terrorists have sent millions of innocent Nigerians including soldiers to their untimely graves. The Federal Government claims that they have decimated the bloody sect. But the reality on ground shows that the terrorists are regrouping every day. Many of the Chibok girls they abducted have not been found till date. The Dapchi girls were said to be abducted and returned by the same Boko Haram terrorists without any resistance from the security forces. It was really very dramatic. They released all the abducted girls and kept the only Christian girl, Leah Sharibu, in their custody because she refused to renounce her faith. The Federal Government's promise to rescue her from hostage has not been fulfilled till today. Who knows if the innocent girl is still alive? All is not well in this country.
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) is demanding for the Sovereign State of Biafra. Nigeria and Biafra fought a-3 year genocidal war from 1966 to 1970. At the end, the then Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, declared that there was no victor and no vanquished. He put forward what is called the three Rs: Reconciliation, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation. Till today these have not been fulfilled. Most of the causes of the regrettable civil war are still in existence. Since the end of the civil war, the Igbo people have not been fully absorbed in the governance of Nigeria. This country is supposed to stand on a tripod. But today she is standing on a two-legged unbalanced tripod. No wonder IPOB is making her voice heard worldwide. The group has been outlawed by the Federal Government, even though it is non-violent. Dialogue is the better option. Why should the Federal Government not sit with the group in a round table to know and address their grievances?
In the South-South of Nigeria, the Niger Delta group is crying over marginalization. The Nation's source of wealth, which is oil, comes from the Region. Yet the Region is not developed as expected. Millions of the youths from there are unemployed. Hence they are threatening to declare the Sovereign State of Niger Delta. Instead of confrontation, the Federal Government should hear their voice and engage them in dialogue. Their grievances should be addressed appropriately. A baby does not cry in the midnight for nothing. Either it is sick or hungry. If the mother ignores the cry, she will not sleep at all.
The Federal Government led by President Buhari should obey the Rule of Law. All those granted bail by different legitimate courts of Law should be released. The Shiite sect of Islam in Nigeria has been protesting for the release of their leader, El-Zakzaky and his wife, who have been granted bail for more than two times. The former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, has also been granted bail, yet he is still languishing in custody. There are also others in such category held unlawfully behind the bar. The Federal Government should review her stand against such persons in order to give peace a chance.
Recently, Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja Archdiocese vehemently warned that our country Nigeria is on the brink of chaos. He said, “The truth is that our nation is not in a state for us to rejoice. The ranks of the poor are swelling by the day, hopeless and helpless, as they watch in frustration, the affluence of the very few cruising in a different world. Such wide socio-economic disparity has led to anger, tension, violence and outright criminality in the land. All is not well” (Dailysun Monday, May 27, 2019, page 6). He lamented the failure of our leaders to do the right things in the right way. He therefore advises: “In this new term of office, there is need for a drastic change of government system, if our nation is to be saved from imminent chaos. The sad fact is that many have already lost all hope in the future of this nation.
According to them, we are to get ready for the worst. Frightful conspiracy theories are making the rounds in the social media, shaping and twisting the attitudes and minds of many people. In this situation, the serious warnings from well-intentioned wise elders should not be ignored, less still denigrated without due respect” (Ibid). The prophet of God has spoken. Will the Buhari government listen?
To nip the gathering storm in the bud, there is urgent need to restructure our country Nigeria. Many have been clamouring for this Restructuring. The Federal Government must not ignore it. The Document of the 2014 Constitutional Conference should be brought from the archive where it was dumped since 2015. Nigerians spoke their minds for a True Federalism in the abandoned Document. It is time to apply it. But if the Federal Government is not satisfied with the outcome of the 2014 Constitutional Conference, then let the President call for a Sovereign National Conference without waste of time. Revolution is looming around the corner. Dialogue is much better than Bullet. May the Holy Spirit renew the face of Nigeria!