Chibok has since gone far from being just a troubled community, it has become the metaphor for who we are, the gleaming crest on our earth-brown cloak as a nation. Chibok is not the small village left defenseless on the fringes that Borno was thought to be, a barbecued goat left as a freewill offering at the village square for maddened gods, who return too often with the aplomb of blind bombs and uncaring swords. There is little left on the grill but we are sure the gods have unfettered access, Chibok is Bama, Damboa, Kawo, Maiduguri and every other part of this nation that has been turned into a killing field, specimen grounds to test the potency of Boko Haram’s murder pills. Rising piles of rubbles and billowing smoke, no help in sight, Chibok is Nigeria. Continue reading
I recently attended the African Students For Liberty Conference at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan where different distinguished personalities from across Africa, Europe and America interacted with the audience, who were mostly students on the principles of liberty, rights and good governance. Ayo Sogunro, author of The Wonderful Life of Senator Boniface and other Sorry Tales, a lawyer and philosopher facilitated a session on ‘The Fallacy of Democracy’ in which he focused on our current political arrangement in Nigeria and how it guarantees fundamental rights, or otherwise doesn’t. Ayo proceeded from a question on the validity of our belief in democracy as a people without understanding the underlying principles, taking into context our social and cultural history, and then the provisions of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
Ayo spoke on how the 1999 constitution seeks first to establish and secure the structures of government before it delves into fundamental rights, a thought pattern that has also been adopted by the subsequent operators of the constitution and the society at large. Continue reading