By Muhammed Adamu
PROLOGUE: We will not die in that man’s company that fears his fellowship to die with us. This day, the 12th day of June, shall be our day of the ‘feast of Saint Crispian’. Our version of the martyrdom of the Saints of abnegation.

Late Chief MKO Abiola
Late Chief MKO Abiola

This is the day about which the supremest sacrifice was paid by ‘one’, so that the tree that is dear to us all –of our democracy- may thrive. He that shall witness this day from hence should, yearly, remind his neighbors and his friends; and say to them ‘this is the 12th day of June’, the day that the gods themselves, of ‘democracy’ hath made.

 Then will he strip his sleeves and show, if he has, the scars of struggle and say with pride ‘these wounds I had in defense of June 12’.

Or at the very least he should tell the story that he knows or the tale that he had been told, about this historic day, the ghost of which will know no rest, till it be appeased with the validation of its mandate and the recognition of its martyrdom.

Poisoned Chalice: On the 12th day of June, a mandate was given; by the ‘many’ to one worthy of the peoples’ trust. He was a ‘man of the people’; he was the ‘peoples’ man’ -the great MKO, my Principal, my liege and my mentor.

The ‘freest’, the ‘fairest’ election, in unison everyone had said. And the nation’s joy for once was to know no bounds. The ebbing pond of her geo-ethnic unity about, in ages, to brim, and –in fact- seeming to runneth over. States to states, region to region, zone by zone, all in league of amity –ready to chart a new dawn, where ‘though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood yet we would have stood’.

Pre-eminent  policeman

But just then came the off-key note which did jar the hymn of vaunted praise. The ‘freest’, ‘fairest’ election, soon cowardly annulled; and the innocent mandate holder cruelly put to jail. And as though that was not enough, on the 8th day of July after years in their gilded gaol, the great MKO was now felled at last. My Principal breathed his last right before the world’s pre-eminent policeman. Yes, he died right before the omni-hearing, eagle-eyed one, named Uncle Sam. But ‘Big Brother’ Sam, famed to ‘see’ beyond the limits of sight, and to ‘hear’ beyond the ken of all decibels, on this very day of infamy when my Principal was felled, he saw no evil he said, he heard no evil.

But all discerning minds had known, that between Uncle Sam and our own agents of State, a lot had been kept mum, a lot left unsaid: for how could a man who bravely had endured, for years in jail braving the harangues of operatives of State, suddenly die a couple of minutes to freedom’s gate? How could a prisoner hale and hearty just a while ago, soon lay dead after a hot, steamy cup of tea? How could his body after such suspicious death, from all its follicles soon be drenched, in profuse sweat like a petal wet in morning dew?

A poisoned chalice was the ‘justice’ that my Boss was finally served; for daring to ask that his mandate be preserved. MKO was murdered in mock-appeasement of the ghost of the jackbooted, bespectacled one; who earlier too they said, the hemlock had been fed, to even the score of eminent death, in mollification of contending tribes and tongues.

Traitors all: But this was the very top, the height, the crest or crest unto the crest, of murder’s arms; this was the bloodiest shame, the wildest savagery, the vilest stroke, that ever wall-eyed wrath or staring rage presented to the tears of soft remorse. All murders past, do stand excused, and this, so unmatchable, shall give a holiness, a purity, to the yet un-begotten sin of times; and prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, examplified by this heinous spectacle. The earth had not a hole to hide this heinous deed.

Great men, Shakespeare wrote “often die by vile bezonians: A Roman sworder and bandit to slave” he said “murdered sweet Tully; Brutus’ bastard hand stabbed Julius Caesar; savage islanders killed Pompey the great” and “Suffolk himself by pirates died”. My Principal the great MKO was felled by the army of his fatherland.

Socrates corrupted youth they had said; and by a compromised judicial system, the hemlock he too was fed. But my Principal without a proper charge, was baited to drink a poisoned tea. A thousand daggers they had hidden in their thoughts; which they had whetted to sharpness on their stony hearts. They smiled as they murdered, yet in mock-grief to occasion their faces were framed, wetting their cheeks even with phony tears.

Bogey of ‘May 29’

Soon the army of exigency had become the army of mischief. Avoiding  remembrance of ‘June 12’ or recognition given to the 8th of July. And they came up with a barren May 29 which they claim till date is our ‘Democracy Day’. Meaning that between the ‘fig’, the ‘olive’ and the tree of ‘vine’, they chose the accursed tree of Jesus that bore no fruits.

Essay of our new  democracy

They chose May 29 in spite of ‘June 12’, or the 8 of July. And the question again is asked: What hath this day deserved? What hath it done that it, in golden letters should be set among the high tides in the calendar? If the tree may be known by the fruit, as the fruit by the tree, June twelve is our ‘Democracy Day’.

All too soon the political anti-christ has taken over the altar of our sacrifice; undeserving beneficiaries of the struggle have become architects of the new dawn; those with scars to show are a mere parenthesis in the essay of our new democracy. All too soon night owls shriek where mountain larks should sing; and “more pity” as they say “that the eagle should be mewed while kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

But ‘with eager feeding’ they say, ‘food doth choke the feeder’; for many of the traitors of yesterday, the curtains have long been drowned; others today are home a-bed, frail and attended to by their own kind. The few that walk by still, like the owl by day, they are mocked and wondered at. And like MKO, they too shall be food soon, very soon, for the maggots. Because ‘kings and mighty potentates must die, for that is the end of human misery’.

Epilogue: When is our day of the feast of Saint Crispian? That day is not the 29th day of May! For none there is that day to strip his sleeves and show his scars, and say to the multitude: these wounds I had on May 29.  Our Day of the Feast of Saint Crispian is either the 12th of the month of June or the 8th day of July. Between these days an icon was made and unmade. Such a mighty rise, dogged by so treacherous a fall! But we grieve not because he died so that the essay of our new dawn may be made legible to read.

Lie still in thy mute grave my liege. Thy rest is nigh; thy repose will soon come. Thy tongue-less tomb will soon be laced with the waxen epitaph: ‘Here lies the President who, in Heaven before the angels, took his oath; and posthumously is now crowned the Third ‘Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.

Amen, and amen again!



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