A conversation with Chief Obafemi Awolowo

Chief, you are looking resplendent in your heavenly regalia. The aura around you is radiant and glorious. I am overwhelmed sir!

Smiling triumphantly, the avatar replies: “Well, thank you very much for your kind compliments. But my appearance should not surprise you. Jesus told the Apostles that in His Father’s house there are many mansions; were it not so, He would have told them. I am here with Hannah Idowu Dideolu, my priceless jewel of inestimable value. It has also been a joy inexpressible to be reunited with my precious arrows, Segun and Wole and my virtuous daughter Ayodele Olubusola.”

 

 Chief, why did you appear to me in a vision on the eve of your departure from this earthly plain on May 9, 1987? I was just a young lad in my twenties, newly married and recently appointed a Fellow of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru.  I had only seen you once when you were Chancellor of ABU Zaria. I was in awe of you. I had never seen such gravitas in a man. You spoke slowly, weighing every word that came out of your jurisconsult lips. A man of consummate self-command. I knew you were the one this country had been waiting for, despite the propaganda of your enemies. But I never was a part of the Awo cult. My faith forbids me to worship idols. But you have always been my model of what a leader and statesman should be. Why did you come to me Sir?

Wistfully, the venerable sage replies: “Obadiah, my son, you still have a long way to go. You need to know that only the deep calls on to the  deep. In the spiritual realm, human beings are magnetic electrical transmission stations. Those who radiate similar vibrations will find each other. Distance has no meaning in our intergalactic universe. Right from my abode in Ikenne, I picked your vibrations in Kuru. When the prophet Elijah was caught up by the chariots of fire, he had to hand-over his mantle. You see, the creator sent me to Nigeria on a mission to help the country fulfil her destiny as one of the greatest nations on the earth. Unfortunately, the enemies of our people thwarted me at every turn. My mission in politics was to create a life more abundant for all Nigerians. But it was not to be. That mission has been passed to people like you. I can only wish you well.”

 

 But I feel unworthy sir

“Well, you see, God is no respecter of persons. He can raise even donkeys to do his work if the workmen are unwilling.  I see that you are making some progress. But there is room for improvement.  Always remember that only the pure in heart shall see God. I also see that you are sometimes tormented by fear and self-doubt. Only those who conquer the fear of death can begin to truly live. Franklin Delano Roosevelt counselled us that the only thing to fear is fear itself. Without moral courage, you cannot achieve great things in life or in politics. I would also recommend to you my philosophy of mental magnitude. You must learn to be master of your brief”

 

Sir, Nigeria is dying. The drums of war have filled the air while vultures circle over an overcast sky. Is there any hope?

Looking visibly troubled, the Orisa began slowly, after a deep sigh: “Yes, we the departed sages have continued to watch the unfolding drama with alarm. Some people seem hell-bent on plunging the country into another civil war. No country has been known to survive two civil wars. The tragic Biafra conflict was a disaster enough in which more than two million souls perished. I was General Yakubu Gowon’s deputy while doubling as Finance Minister at the time. I know the spirit and high idealism that inspired our combat. We had to keep this country together because of our innate conviction about its higher destiny and calling among the nations. What is happening today, however, is unprecedented in the annals of our federal republic. The state has become a Leviathan that sucks the blood of its people. And they are using the murderous herdsmen to provoke a religious war. No country could endure that kind of trauma for long without something giving in.”

 

But, sir, how did we get to this sorry state of affairs?

“The root of the current crisis was planted decades ago. I would say as far back as 1960. The perfidious British bequeathed us a monstrous behemoth that was programmed to fail. And they handed over power to people that patently never believed in the very concept of Nigerian nationhood. They were planted there as agents of an informal empire. Many of our so-called leaders have actually been agents of foreign powers. It may surprise you to know that the real masterminds of the assassination of Murtala Mohammed were neither Dimka nor Bisalla. Murtala was killed by his inner circles on the orders of foreign powers. They came to power as renegades and they continued till this day as fifth columnists lording it over our benighted peoples. The Jihadist tendencies of these brigands have gained the upper hand and it is these people that want to drive our country into the abyss.”

 

Sir, who are the enemies of our people today?

“The enemies of Nigeria are both internal and external. The internal are the financiers and backers of Boko Haram and the herdsmen militias. They are to be found in government, the armed forces, security services and the private sector. Their aim is to reinvent our country in the image of the caliphate and to destroy the secular order that define our democratic federal constitutionalism. The 1999 constitution that they forged is an illegitimate contraption. It has neither moral nor political legitimacy because it never emanated from the collective will of “We, the people”. Let me also make it abundantly clear. Muslims are not our enemies. They are our brothers and sisters. They too have been victims of the genocidal violence visited on an unarmed and defenceless people. We must reach out to them and, together, build up a new coalition against the evil that struts the land like the old whore of Babylon. The foreign enemies of our country include international terrorist organisations such as the Islamic Brotherhood, Hezbollah, Al-Qaida, ISIS and others. They also include foreign powers such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. France is one of our deadliest foes. It thrives on being a parasite and scavenger of African misfortunes. They see Nigeria as the big elephant standing on their path of conquest and hegemony over our continent. And they are using our neighbouring countries as staging posts to send armed bandits to destroy our country. The USA is also not our friend. Their game plan under the strategic framework of the New American Century is to dismember large countries such as Russia, Iraq, Iran, DRC and Nigeria. These are countries with vast natural resources. The aim is to render them comatose so as to provide untrammelled access to their natural resources.  This military doctrine underpins both NATO thinking and strategic action. They will stop at nothing, including deployment of bacteriological warfare. The coming century is the Century of anti-Humanism and anti-Enlightenment. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed!”

 

So, sir, what can we do?

“You see, what you call your leader today is a holographic counterfeit that has become a hostage to fortune. Our best hope is to agree to a new constitution based on the will of all the people. Power should be devolved to the regions. We need no more than five regions: North, Middle Belt, West, East and South-South. We need a decentralised federation in which the regions have relative autonomy to develop according to their pace and temperament. And before we get to that stage, communities that face an existential threat must be allowed to put in place security arrangements to protect themselves. This is why I fully endorse Amotekun.  The killings going on in the Middle Belt and the rest of the country have reached genocidal proportions. Both municipal and international law give people who face a threat to their very survival the right – and duty – to defend themselves. It is also a sacrosanct principle of natural justice and universal ethics. I am a patriot and a nationalist at heart. But if the forces of reaction totally resist political reforms to redress the egregious inequities of our federalism, then we have no choice but to end the fraud entirely. In those circumstances, I would rather reluctantly grant my Yoruba the right to form their own Oduduwa Republic. Others who desire to leave the contraption must also be allowed to go. A forced marriage between unwilling parties has never worked in real life. It will not work in the 21st century. Forcing the couple to remain together by force is the surest path to tragedy.”

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