Notre Dame, Buhari and CAN on Benue/Taraba


I was going to send a protest letter to Sai Baba (in French) for his lateness in commenting on the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Unlike in Naija, when iconic buildings burn, corruption is not at its base. Our government is dynamically active to global disasters than it is to home tragedies. Forty-eight hours after the disaster, Sai Baba found his voice and commiserated with his son, Emmanuel Macron, on the monumental disaster.

It’s as it should be. We don’t want the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), issuing a statement reaffirming that plan to Islamise the country. It looks like Sai Baba was waiting to hear from the Saudis before adding his voice. The Saudis had been busy, adding the blood of Naija ‘drug pilgrims’ to their blood-soaked reputation. Abike Dabiri-Erewa confirmed that Naija blood has run on Riyadh’s Golgotha.

Shedding blood is a Saudi pastime and that makes Ms Dabiri-Erewa’s difficult job an unenviable one. Thank God, the award-winning ex-broadcaster is about to take a deserved leave. She and her colleagues have been asked to prepare their handover notes. Those to go include the bearded communications minister who admitted dodging the national draft but swear it is not haram.

As we prepare for the #NextLevel, we are given a clairvoyant view of what it would entail – suffering and groaning. The pump price of petroleum products would definitely go up to meet the new minimum wage. Enemies once called it subsidy, a word that heats up Sai Baba’s blood eliciting a promise to expose it’s nakedness and to fix it once and for all. Before the advent of #change, a litre of fuel sold at N87. In Sai Baba’s determination to fix Mr. Subsidy, it ballooned to N147 to the litre. Sai Baba knows oil like he knows his tasbih. Within three decades, he has been petroleum minister twice.

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In his 2015 dream unveiled, Buhari built a brand new refinery in each of Naija’s six geopolitical zones. Trouble is, he woke up realizing he can’t do anything consciously or unconsciously to damage our pristine environment. If you live in the remediated part of Ogoniland that was cleaned up by the Buhari administration, you will understand my drift.

I once dreamt seeing a piece of coal sink 150 metres down the rivers of Ogoniland. I saw trawlers fishing in commercial quantities after the success of the fastest presidential clean-up exercise in history. Tourism became so lucrative, bandits or militants traded their jumbo allowances to benefit from the trade. In that dream, oil-producing communities of the Niger-Delta forgot power cuts because they enjoy uninterrupted daylight, thanks to 24/7 gas flaring. Agencies queued to reintroduce aquatic and animal life that was once described to be on the verge of extinction.

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When I woke up, the Ogoni DNA had mutated in adaptation to survive benign spills. Our record of environmental consciousness made Sai Baba’s failure to fulfil any of his electoral promises look normal. Don’t blame the president; environmentally conscious landowners won’t trade off their heritage for pipelines.

Our uncommon sense sinnator had just seen his attempt at obliterating gas-powered vehicles from the Naija landmark defeated. This must have been the conspiracy of the likes of Dino Melaiye who keep mopping up antique cars just to disturb his neighbours and keep polluting the environment. I had palpable fear of what the success of that bill could have done to the fighting spirit of importers of tokunbo cars and the legalistic tenacity of Innoson Motors. This sinnator would have made Innoson take over the CBN and the irrational assembly. It would have turned Naija GOs into liars for promising their members a ride in 2019.

I have been swimming in the ocean of joy as a Naija citizen and paddy to several SaiBabarians as my president bewailed the mysterious fire at Notre Dame. Nothing has been said about the mystic fires that burnt at least two INEC offices while elections were on-going. As we journey to the #NextLevel of reality, the pump price of petroleum products would finally find its equilibrium with the new minimum wage.

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We don’t want to distract CAN from its natural pursuits. We want CAN to open its eyes to Tivs and Jukuns killing each other in Benue and Taraba. We want CAN to know that majority of Junkun and Tiv are predominantly Christians. We want CAN to take judicial notice that the governors of Benue and Taraba left their roofs burning, to holiday abroad. We want CAN to leave the politics of headship of NASS to elected legislators and their parties because CAN has not registered as a political party, nor does it have elected representatives in the two legislative chambers.

We want to hear CAN speak, not just when herdsmen are killing other people just to fit the narrative that Sai Baba plans to convert Yemi Osinbajo into an Alhaji. We want CAN to speak loudly when its members kill each other.

If CAN watches the move of the Holy Spirit, it may realise that victims of the Tiv-Jukun clashes are Gods children who deserve and desire to live. We’ll like to see CAN mediate between Tivs and Junkuns. Excuse me, when would Muhammadu Buhari acknowledge, that too many people have died in his country and say enough is enough?

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