By Mohammed Adamu
WHEN lenity and cruelty play for a kingdom, they say, it is the gentler gamester that is the soonest winner. A nation that regales in wanton lawlessness cannot hope for salvation even from the bounty of her own gratuity. Because when the law will do no right, it has to be lawful also that the law itself should bar no wrong. People affrighted by wrong doers are bound to take the law into their hands when the law that should affright all, will not take their hands into its sanctuary. And so when a nation foolishly makes a ‘scarecrow’ of its laws, letting it stay mute in statute when it should be up and brute in action, the birds of prey that the dummy should scare, may soon make it their idle perch and not their terror. When evil deeds have their permissive pass and not their strict punishment, to everyone then, his own statute.
Every ‘why’ they say has a ‘wherefore’. But not this one ‘why’ that appears to hang above our troubled skies, like the sword of Damocles. Not this thick, black, pregnant cloud above us it seems, that threatens to engender an apocalyptic storm of no known proportion. Why oh why? Why all these murders, massacres and slaughters? Why these acts of black night, these abominable, heinous deeds? Why these complots of mischief, this brother against brother? These villainies ruthful to hear yet piteously committed? Why are we such ‘godly’ people, but dressed always in the habiliments of war? Why must we, perpetually be on each others’ jugular? The more pity, they say that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.
We murder while we smile. Yet we frame our faces to each mournful occasion –wetting our cheeks always with artificial tears. Many there are among us who are so villainous they can deceive more easily than even Ulysses could. By the way Ulysses was the Greek legend who sold to Troy the dummy of the Trojan Horse, -to win a crucial war for the fatherland. Alas the Ulyssess of our own nation are dissembling bigots always in plots to harm their fatherland. Those of us who lay the most claim to the patent of patriotism, are the same who array their cunnings to deny the nation a Trojan victory, preferring instead, to put her through an imminent Athenian defeat. They make our old gaping wounds gush forth anew with blood like the Golgotha of old. These dissembling ‘patriots’ are bent on drowning the nation in the surreal flood of her own tears.
Enemies of state, a tiny vocal minority, obdurate at heart, malevolent in intent, motivated only by personal political gains, are now up in arms against one and all. We are assailed on the one hand by deviants engaged daily in high crimes and misdemeanor, and on the other, by traitors bent on making capital out of everyday criminality.
Tribes and tongues now take the law into their hands, because the law being lame in action not in statute, resolves to do no right. The army of venal politicians, making the law their perch and not their terror, now freely stoke the fire of mischief. The factionalised and sectionalised public is reduced to schismatic mutual self-loathing –debating always what ‘grievous wrong’ shamelessly to defend or what ‘noble right’ wickedly to debase. And the question inevitably has to be asked: ‘is this at last the sullen presage of our nation’s final decay?’ -that we are now condemned foolishly to array our might even against the sinews of our own existence; or that we are now irretrievably sold to making a shameful bloody conquest of ourselves! Tut, tut! The more pity that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.
Our so called men of God happily now are prophets of a new calling –of gloom and of doom. They speak no longer of peace because they have themselves become the harsh and boisterous tongue of woe. Woe betides every subject that they lay their evil tongues on! They will neither leave vengeance to God nor will they allow forgiveness season the relationship among the faithful of God. Our so called men of God have now turned the ‘word’ to ‘sword’, their ink to blood, their pens to piercing lances and their mouths to loud trumpets and beagle of war.
Our politicians, glorified elders and all, when they speak, they do so with malice and with deep incision. They pretend always to apply moral medicines even to mortifying mischief. The multiplying villainies of our leaders know no bounds! They are adept only with words that are razors to our wounded hearts. They measure the heat of their livers with the bitterness of their gals. They are glad to make thorns thrive where roses should bloom. Inevitably, even penny-wisely, pounds-foolishly, they help to mine the polity endangering one and all! The more pity, that fools may not speak wisely what wise men do foolishly.
To be or not to be
If we persist in taking no heed, then the blood of innocents shall continue to manure the ground; and future ages will continue to groan for our present inaction. We have a choice to make: to parley or to fight. To jaw-jaw or to war-war. To be or not to be: that is the question: whether it is nobler in the circumstance, to suffer the slings and arrow of mutual anger or together to take up arms against the mutiny of hate mongers; it is a consideration devoutly to be weighed. To parley, to fight? Or better to parley. We must not allow our grief minister unto our reason -as it is evident now it does- making us seek always to heal the inveterate canker of one wound by making many. Our fault must not be our folly. We must not afford always to find out ‘right’ with ‘wrong’. Because two wrongs, as every Jack should know, will not make a right! How can we afford to have vengeance in our hearts, death in our hands, blood and revenge hammering in our heads? Whither our Christian virtue of ‘turning the other cheek’? Whither the Islamic morale of ‘forgiving at the peak of our anger’?
And to all and sundry, it should be said: sheath thee thy swords. Because he that steeps his safety in blood shall find but bloody safety in return. Just as he who lives by the sword, shall die by the sword. For there is no sure foundation set on blood; no certain life achieved by others’ death. In a false quarrel there is no true valor. But in peace there is victory for all. For peace, they say is of the nature of a conquest; for then both parties nobly are subdued and no party loser. Pray, no more the thirsty entrance of this soil should daub her lips with her own children’s blood. No more should trenching war channel her fields, nor bruise her flowers with the armed hoofs of hostile rebellion.
And this to Buhari
BEWARE Mr. President so that you do not become the king that has wasted his rod on late offenders. Be sure always not to spare the instruments of chastisement; lest thy power, like to a fangless lion, is disdained and disregarded. Be great in act as we know you to be in thought. Be stirring with the times; be fire for fire! To gain the popular mood, you have to threaten the threatener and you must outface the brow of bragging horror. Mr. President, put on the dauntless spirit of resolution. Glister like the god of war when he intends himself to become the field of battle! Allow not our dreadful laws so loosely to be slighted or the dignity of our state so wantonly profaned. Break some bones! Chew some stones and make the haughty nuts run for cover!
As for your aides Mr. President, it has to be said, that although you should not do them the wrong to mistrust any, you must do yourself the right to trust none. And because your foes are deeply enrooted with your friends, it is inexorable that as you pluck to unfix an enemy, you must be prepared when you unfasten to shake a few friends. You must be ready to unfix and to shake, when you have to unfix and shake. Yes, advantage, as they say, is a better soldier than rashness. But even as you are right to be ‘slow and steady’, it is expedient that you ‘make haste’ to keep us merry. It may be great Mr. President that you do not have the scholar’s melancholy, but it is certainly out of place that you should not have the jauntiness of a soldier.
Musdapher: Adieu my lord the Chief Justice
I LOST a Principal, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, a former Chief Justice of the Federation, CJN. Justice Musdapher died in the early hours of Tuesday 23/01/18 in a London hospital after a protracted illness. He was 75. I should have the honour of posting a tribute next week in memory of his juristic accomplishment. May Aljannah Fiddaus be his final abode. And may we all who are bereaved of him, have the fortitude to bear this loss.
Re – 2017: ‘Diary of a Columnist’
Online:– “Awesome write-up”. –Idris Obadaki
Online:- “I have read your 2017: Diary of a Columnist. It is to me an anthology of the year 2017. The writings are compellingly incomparable. The richness of the language is superb. The lessons and cautions inlaid are compelling. I read again and again. Do other writers have faith in their pens like this? The titles that interest me more are ‘Wailers Versus Hailers’ for some coinages it brings forth: e. g. ‘wailers of necessity’, ‘wailers by choice’. How aptly have you qualified them! Then ‘Babachir, Cabal as Anti-Theory’ for its ability to debunk the lies of propaganda peddlers who are hell bent on a mission to blackmail the President’s administration.
Then ‘Teachers or Cheaters’. It has made strong the argument that a teacher should not be a cheater or be tolerated as such. Then there is ‘Jonathan @60: Less We Forget’. Jonathan’s administration will best be qualified by the word ‘misadventure’. Doffing my hat. This collection has swallowed all the ‘simple’ columns I read last year. I am speechless. There are things beyond the texture: experience, hard-acquired knowledge and foresight.”
Online:- “Thanks a lot for sharing this worth-reading-to-ponder piece. This has always been my understanding and opinion: that Nigeria’s greatest problem is the corruption and insincerity of individuals’ minds at the grassroots. May Allah save us”. –Yakubu Musa.
Online:- “There is always something to learn in all of your write-ups. Thank you.”
–Abubakar Alhaji Ahmed.
Online:– “I am an ardent reader of your posts… the style of your arguments and in-depth reasoning are commendable. I’d always read over and over again.”
–Muhammad Yakubu Na’ibi