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On South West Leaders’ Visit To Lagos And The ‘Defend Our Land Rhetoric’ | Hammed Adejare


How the do-nothing Nigerian ruling oligarchs find easy unity anytime their slave-holding power on the people is effectively challenged is incredibly remarkable. Again, as usual, the responsibility suddenly falls on the youth to ‘defend our land.’

These same youths protested peacefully that our land be defended from wanton destruction by the profligate rulers, that our people, especially of the demography much-touted as the future, be protected from the murderous policing system. The power merchants at all levels did nothing substantial to calm strained nerves by responding with practical steps towards real change. Instead, they replied with the usual fake steps and expected their mumu followers to take it or go and ‘love’ themselves. When government thugs and other hoodlums sponsored by politicians desperate to curry favor from the FG began the open attacks on peaceful protesters, these leaders’ attention was sought but they turned the blind eye and the deaf ear.

These ‘powerful’ South West (SW) politicians and ‘leaders’ rarely, if ever, come out together to openly take on the federal government on the question of restructuring, despite that restructuring means systemic defense of ‘our land.’

These ‘leaders’ detest when peaceful and armless people of the SW protest in loud call for good governance. They all recently feigned ignorance to the long-standing culture of brutal harassment, extortion, robbery, and extra-judicial killings of many law-abiding young Nigerians. They don’t issue joint statements when the police brutally teargas, pepper-spray, and gun down protesters in defense of our land, because, of course, the protesters are just ‘irritants’, fomenting troubles just because ‘they envy people in power.’

Now, the call is on ‘our youths’ again to defend ‘our land.’ With what? Those in control of political power, and to an extent, the power of weaponry, are calling on helpless, armless, jobless, and hungry youths to take the defense position. I don’t know who these particular youths to whom this ‘call to action’ has been issued, but I am sure this is a classic case of abdication of responsibility on the part of these self-serving SW leaders whose only positive attempt at defending the people in recent time was the failed Amotekun project.

In that supposed SW leaders’ resolution address by Governor Akeredolu (who I actually hate to, at this period, admit I like especially for his recent stubborn stand on Amotekun), the ball to ask the real questions of who ordered the Lekki shooting, why and how the large-scale destruction of major assets succeeded unchallenged, and why the president refused to speak clearly of the most sacrilegious act of the Nigerian army on Nigerians at Lekki, is still fundamentally lacking.

Instead, the address only alludes to some vague idea of ‘there is a deliberate, organized attempt by some unknown mafias to attack and destroy the South West.’ I understand that this idea has become popular even among many SW media influencers, mainly of the age-grade of the so-called SW leaders and among whom are even people with direct or some indirect relationship with these leaders. If this is true, I’m wondering how the identities of this supposed organized gang of destroyers have remained a mystery, days after all the incidents, with all the power of intelligence that accrue to state and federal governments.

In the absence of the much-needed accountability on the part of these leaders, I’m inclined to believe that this allegation of a deliberate attempt to destroy the SW is in itself, an organized agenda. This, to me, is a plot to sway public thoughts from the real question of misgovernance and subsidiary problems of mass unemployment, poverty, hunger, anger and resultant mass discontent that have fueled the major destructions we see in the cities, aftermath of the unfortunate Lekki shooting. It is an attempt to ethnicize a national failure of government, and return us back to one of the major potent instruments that have been largely successfully deployed to maintain our perpetual enslavement in our own land.

Our leaders at all levels, but in the South West especially, have at hand the problem of accountable and responsible leadership to resolve. They need to prove first that when they engage other ethno-political blocs at the national level of governance, our interests as a people, not their interests as politicians, come first in their deals. When they sit to discuss at various state cabinet meetings on policies of government, our welfare, social safety net, and not their pockets and cronies’ should come first. If they fail at that, they can’t succeed at mobilizing us to fight, and probably die, for a tribal cause.

The youth of the SW already understands that many of our so-called leaders constitute the enemy within. We know our war and are already showing that we will only fight our own war. We will not die in the political war, if any, of the selfish leaders.

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