(By Dolapo Aina)
“One possible lesson from Rwanda is that sectarian bloodletting is not a mass hysteria. It’s not an organic mania that sweeps over society like a plague. Instead, murderous sectarian violence is a top-down phenomenon produced within a specific political context. People don’t usually go off decapitating each other or committing mass murder just because they hate people in another group. These things happen because soul-dead political leaders are in a struggle for power and use ethnic violence as a tool in that struggle…… but the good news is that if you get the political elites behaving decently, you can avoid the worst.”
Continued from last Friday, 25-7-2014.
DENIALS of the harassment of the members of the #BringBackOurGirls aren’t a new thing but tweets of Ezekwesili on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 would reveal much: “Another day of violation of our fundamental human rights by the Nigeria Police. Locked out of the NASS where BBOG-AbujaFamily”. “We were on a SCHEDULED MEETING with NASS and the Nigeria Police seized our bus @ the Unity Fountain and locked us out @ the NASS gate”. “Locked out in the rain for over an hour, we persisted until the Nigeria Police was prevailed upon by Office of Senate President to let us in”. “I really hope the FG will TRUTHFULLY TELL US why they are determined to clamp down on us? Harmless citizens? What really is the matter”?
Leadership is not just a role one plays; it is a life one leads – Dr Myles Munroe
But the fiasco that transpired on Monday, July 21, 2014, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport in Abuja while Ezekwesili was about to board a British Airways flight to London, really depicts the kind of “Frank Spencers” with officialdom. Ezekwesili’s tweets would clarify much to the readers: “IS THIS A DEMOCRACY? I am being detained by the SSS @ Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. The SSS has REFUSED to GIVE MY PASSPORT TO ME. On my way to London this morning for my @BBCHARDtalk appearance billed for TOMORROW and the SSS has DETAINED me by WITHHOLDING my PASSPORT. SSS has RELEASED IT. Just barely made the BA flight. Last to board @ 7.55 for an 8.00 am flight that is now taxiing. IS THIS A DEMOCRACY? No ONE can SEIZE my DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS. I REFUSED to let the SSS GET AWAY with TRAMPLING on my CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT. Safe touchdown to @HeathrowAirport Praise God! Thanks also to @BritishAirways for waiting for me & then upgrading me on this flight. Thanks to ALL who SPOKE UP against the REPRESSIVE ACT of SSS against me this morning, YOU will ALWAYS find HELP in your time of need IJN. THEY CANNOT BREAK ME IJN. For as long as our #ChibokGirls are not RESCUED, I SHALL stay STANDING for their CAUSE with ALL people of GOODWILL. They are LYING. What would be OUR lot if not for the I~Report capability that SOCIAL MEDIA offers ALL INDIVIDUALS with access to it? SSS should check its records &present to PUBLIC. It will show that way b4 #ChibokGirls I’d been a FREQUENT TRAVELLER. Never BEFORE DETAINED. I advise the DG-SSS whom I knew as a gentleman officer when I was in Govt. to HONESTLY SCRUTINIZE his TEAM of 3 that WITHHELD my PASSPORT. I WAS DETAINED from boarding my flight. MY PASSPORT SEIZED from the departure desk. I asked 4 EXPLANATION & told “We ACT under INSTRUCTION” SSS PLAYING with WORDS by saying I was not “ARRESTED”. SSS READ my TWEETS in which I reported that I was DETAINED with my PASSPORT WITHHELD. PLEASE FOLKS, OUR FOCUS MUST ALWAYS be OUR #ChibokGirls. Please DEMAND: #BringBackOurGirls Now & Alive!! #BringBackOurGirls Now & Alive!!!”
On the issue of Boko Haram; an in-depth way of analysing and solving the issue can be found in a piece written by David Brooks in the New York Times of June 19, 2014 and titled: In the Land of Mass Graves, which he opined, referring to the genesis of Rwanda’s Genocide in 1994. He posited thus: “One possible lesson from Rwanda is that sectarian bloodletting is not a mass hysteria. It’s not an organic mania that sweeps over society like a plague. Instead, murderous sectarian violence is a top-down phenomenon produced within a specific political context. People don’t usually go off decapitating each other or committing mass murder just because they hate people in another group. These things happen because soul-dead political leaders are in a struggle for power and use ethnic violence as a tool in that struggle…… but the good news is that if you get the political elites behaving decently, you can avoid the worst.”
‘People become leaders when they make the decision not to sacrifice their principles on the altar of convenience or compromise’ – Munroe.
What this writer thinks goes thus; 2015 elections’ catalyst would be the Chibok Girls theme. If the Chibok Girls are rescued; it would be the best Public Relations strategy cum campaign President Jonathan’s PR team (Levick) would deploy for another term. And if President Jonathan decides not to run again (rescuing the girls and leaving on a high; leaving the scene on a blaze of Glory), without any iota of doubt, he would become an instant global statesman sought around the globe.
The Chibok Girls have to be rescued alive; for anything short of this is a complete disaster for the GEJ administration now (100 days after the abduction) and in 2015.
Mr. President, how do you want to play this? Or rather what is your desired outcome? Nigerians are watching and talking and only waiting for that decisive and appointed time. Like Malala told the BBC on July 14, 2014, “Nigerians mustn’t keep quiet but speak out.”
The YOUTHSPEAK Column which is published daily, on weekdays, on the back cover of THE GUARDIAN Newspaper, is powered by RISE NETWORKS, Nigeria’s Leading Youth and Education Development Social Enterprise, as a substantial advocacy platform available for ALL Nigerian Youth to engage Leadership at all levels, engage Society and contribute to National Discourse on diverse issues especially those that are peculiar to Nigeria.
Regarding submission of articles, we welcome writers’ contributions by way of well crafted, analytical and thought provoking opinion editorials that are concise, topical and non-defamatory! All Articles [which are not expected to be more than 1000 words] should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read the online Version of this same article plus past publications and to find out more about Youth Speak, please click www.risenetworks.org/youthspeak and join the ongoing National Conversations.
“Opinion pieces of this sort published on RISE Networks are those of the original authors and do not in anyway represent the thoughts, beliefs and ideas of RISE Networks.”