YINKA ODUMAKIN Feb 9, 2020 – ‘Shege Ka Fasa’ and our clash of civilisations
Humans die. Countries die. The only difference is that while individuals can die suddenly, countries die gradually except that most inhabitants of a dying country don’t put the symptoms together because they are bogged down with daily survival. It is only after the country is dead that they would be recalling the signs they saw.
The sudden deaths of individuals do necessitate autopsy sometimes. It reminds me of a doctor who specialised in that and said he loves his job because his patients are the most cooperative as they don’t complain.
A lawyer, Mr Osvar Onwudiwe, shared the painful death of a friend with us a few days ago. The guy appeared healthy when he left the South-East for Lagos. As he arrived at the home of a friend he was visiting in Lagos, he asked the maid to get him drinking water. As the young girl left, his head rested on his chest and it was eternal bye. By the time an autopsy was carried out, his entire system was filled with sugar.
But peradventure Nigeria dies, there won’t be any need for autopsy as none was done when Yugoslavia died. American journalist, Brian Hall, took a tour of that country before it died and he wrote a book entitled “The Imposable Country: A Journey Through The Last Days of Yugoslavia”. The country collapsed before that book got off the press.
The death of Nigeria, if it happened, would be caused by unresolved clash of civilisations, the title of the immortal work of of the late American political scientist, Samuel Huntington.
There were series of intellectual fallacies at the end of the cold war era with postulations such as democracy and human rights becoming dominant issues around the world. Francis Fukuyama wrote “The End of History and the Last Man” which was a raving publication until his sober teacher, Samuel Huntington, came out with “The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking Of World Order” in which he postulated that the new world would be war-filled. But that it would not be between countries but of nationalities within countries. He said there would be cultural wars that would not flow from clash of classes or ideologies but flowing from people asking “who are we?”
Huntington has been proved right as the word “genocide” has been heard more frequently around the world in the period after the Cold War than at any other time in history.
Nigeria’s clash of civilisations predates Huntington as it was the foundation upon which Lugard constructed an “impossible country.”
Aside from the elite forming a consensus on how to steal, Nigeria has never been able to build consensus on any value. Even the motion for the country to become independent moved by the Action Group in 1953 and supported by NCNC but opposed by NPC led to killings in Kano, confirming Lugard’s description of Nigeria as a country of enemy-tribes.
From 1953 till now, it has been “no agreement today, no agreement tomorrow” as the music impresario. Fela Anikulapo-Kuti put on vinyl.
The latest manifestation of the clash of civilisations is the response of some northern thugs to Operation Amotekun won by the defiance of the West and its allies for progress across Nigeria against the internal colonialists in Abuja.
The North did not disappoint as the Coalition of Northern Groups on Wednesday unveiled a security outfit code-named Operation ‘Shege Ka Fasa.’ which means “I dare you”, a day before Northern security summit.
We know the lumpen youth are not daring the bandits who are natives but the assertive will of the governors and people of Oduduwa land on Amotekun with the thinking that their Federal Government will now come in and ban all regional security outfits .
But the intellect-challenged elements lack the initiative to know that there is a difference between a security network put up by state actors in the West and an initiative launched by thugs in the North.
And to show how low our compatriots can get, Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has been quiet on “Shege Ka Fasa”. The Kaduna police say they are not aware of the outfit and all the northern irredentists, old and young, who were shooting their mouths on Amotekun are now resting in peace satisfied that their boys have done it.
Only the Sultan of Sokoto has denounced the outfit. The Islamic leader blamed the elite in the region who hoped to score cheap political points by creating the “Operation Shege Ka Fasa.” The Sultan delivered the rebuke as he spoke at a Northern Security Meeting in Kaduna on Thursday. He said: “I saw it on the television and the media gave them attention.”
“Now, the elders allowed these youths to go forward. So, the elite are our problems; the elders are our problems. If the elders don’t take the lead, the youth will do whatever they like and think they are right. You have to caution these youths by giving them good leadership.
“Now, they have launched their own security outfit. I don’t know what they call it, ‘Shege Ka Fasa’, meaning what?
“So, I want to call on northern elders to caution them. Don’t allow these youths to take over leadership from you.
“You have to reach out to everybody no matter how low the person is. So, I think we need to take the bull by the horns and not allow the youth take over responsibility. I think we need to do that and much more.”
Only those ignorant of ‘taqqiya’ would not understand the Sultan. The butterfly that is dancing on the surface of the water has some drummers underneath. I can bet my last kobo that all the boys promoting this “initiative” cannot collectively buy one bus. We therefore have an idea of where the several buses and uniforms are coming from.
Just another signal that Nigeria as arranged cannot work. I can’t imagine for the life of me that those who launched Hisbah to promote religious laws in a secular country, who have Lafiya Dole and whose land incubates Miyetti Allah and Boko Haram that have taken the peace of the entire country can have the audacity to be promoting this nonsense just because those under the afflictions of their kiths want to protect themselves.
As fairness consists in giving the devil its due, let me speak some words for these northern youths.They are not inconsiderate. They are acting within the limited civilisation available to them which cannot appreciate the rights of other nationalities outside their own narrow hegemonic command and control outlook. They are detained by their cultural limitations and lack of exposure to better conduct. No values of coexistence have been imbued in them.
As a child of about 10, I watched my father building a house and telling the carpenters not to allow water from our roof to disturb the neighbours whenever it rains. He did not have to set up a class for me to know that life is not all about what I want. It had to address how my desires do not violate the rights of my neighbours.
Unfortunately, Nigeria has not been run in a way to make the best of it to impact on the rest. It has been the paradigm of dragging the best to the level of the rest and dregs. This is why federalism is the best structure for a country like ours as two cannot walk together except they agree.
A country that sets different benchmarks for “common entrance” and use geography as against competence to position people in public affairs would always be in this perpetual feud. And, in the final analysis, will die off!