By Tatalo Alamu
It is Mayday in Nigeria. It is just as well that General Buhari has finally roused himself to ask for help. The nature of that appeal for help is itself plainly controversial and steeped in ignorance of international protocol and procedure. But that should not detain us for now. Mayday is the ultimate distress signal; a situation of dire emergency which requires immediate attention. It is a phonetic mimic of the French expression “M’aidez”, which means “help me”.
As Nigeria continues to unravel, it is now clear that nothing short of a drastic resolution can save the day and arrest the spreading anomie. Despite the din of battles and the echoes of multiple hostilities across the nation, we contend that a congregation of cognoscenti, a gathering of wise people, can still save the day and avert total disaster. It is this gathering that must fashion how we will live together henceforth, or how we are to proceed on our separate ways.
Twenty one years after the Gideon Orkar eruption, Nigeria continues to flounder in a cesspit of political, economic and social inequities. The young major’s solution to the crisis was a peremptory dissolution of the nation. Orkar has now spawned many siblings and dangerously out of military cantonment and containment.
It is a measure of how much lower we have sunken in nation-building, state-validation and elite cohesion that Orkar’s final solution in all its ungainly and unwieldy severity now appears to many of our compatriots as the most attractive option. It is a depressing moment to be a forward-looking Nigerian. A Yugoslavian combo seems to be loading.
This morning in exploration of the possibilities of a meaningful dialogue, we turn over the column to a committed patriot and ardent fan of the column who recently turned seventy. There is a lot to agree with about these septuagenarian ruminations. But there are also one or two areas of critical divergence.
However, If there is any semblance of rationality still remaining in the country, it should not be difficult to agree that it is better to think our way out of problems than to shoot our way through them. Given the provocations of the past six years, it is difficult to blame those who have learnt to pray and to keep their gunpowder dry at the same time. Happy birthday once again to Dr John Abhuere.