• Friday, March 01, 2024
businessday logo


PMB, MNK & Pareto principle: My final word


When I started this series on Pareto principle two weeks ago, I assumed that everybody was acquainted with the issues at stake, except the only ‘stranger in Jerusalem’. Well, the other day, I met one of such strangers in Jerusalem; he did not know the meaning of MNK! I just hope that he knows what PMB stands for. So, today, I will start with what I should have done in the beginning; creating a ‘list of abbreviations’. PMB stands for our own dear President Muhammadu Buhari. Before 2015, he was GMB (General Muhammadu Buhari) until he repented of his dictatorial tendencies and became a new, improved converted and reformed democrat and then transmuted to PMB.

However, when a democrat does everything to restrict the civic-space, fragrantly flouts court orders or adopt a ‘pick-and-chose’ attitude to such orders, detests criticisms, emasculates the other arms of government and becomes a Kabyesi in a democracy, then one begins to wonder whether we actually need a democrat. But I eventually got it. He was ‘repainted’ as a democrat and because the painters did not even use a good paint, (there is fakery in everything, including presidential packaging) the colour wore off kia-kia and so the original colour remerged. MNK is Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, who was not much known until PMB catapulted him to stardom by refusing to let him and his fellow IPOBians sing , dance, fly flags and engage in ‘evangelisation’ with tracts. The government rather responded with live ammunition and nobody bothers about the thousands of Igbo youths murdered deliberately or accidentally since then. It is not convenient to remember them, including the 170 brutally murdered and carelessly dumped at Federal Medical Center Owerri in the guise of being UGM. Even the releases of their corpses were contentious. Lest I forget, IPOBians are members of IPOB and following PMB’s recent Arise-TV declaration, every Onye-Igbo is an IPOBian or a DOT-person.

Read Also: PMB, MNK and the Pareto Principle (2)

In the good old days, it was Igbo-phobia. But we had moved to IPOB-Phobia and then to DOT-Phobia, and that was how this weird practice of turning the Pareto principle upside-down started. We all know that the center of gravity in terms of insecurity, banditry and allied matters in Nigeria, the North. But when it comes to verbal warfare, propaganda, and extrajudicial show of force, all attention moves to Ndi Igbo and particularly IPOB. As one of my friends commented, Our government shoots flies with cannons in the east and pays ransom to known criminals and murderers in the north.

The bandits are known, the negotiators are known, those who contributed the money are known but the government does nothing

The more they try to suppress MNK and his agenda, the more popular he becomes. PMB has become so DOTphobic and IPOBphobic that Igbo-youths were arrested along the highway to Abuja because they were suspected to be going to witness Nnamdi Kanu’s trial. They were not armed; they were not riotous but they had to be oppressed, repressed and suppressed because they were suspected IPOBians. Before then, 3 Israeli documentarists, working on a film: ‘we were never lost’ with the ‘scope of study’ covering Kenya, Madagasccar, Uganda & Nigeria were arrested and detained for 3 weeks in Nigeria because they were suspected to be in contact with IPOB. But the bandits, like Ali Kachala, who shot down the Airforce Jet and wanted to capture the pilot so as to upgrade his CV are known and Gumi, who has become our Minister of Bandit Affairs, boldly interfaces with them, asks Central Bank of Nigeria to pay ransoms and requests that bandits be contracted to guard the forests and thus receive more money to acquire arms. The other day, 27/7 soldiers shut down the Timber and Building Material Market in Orlu, Imo State, telling the traders to stay away until the maturity of the Biafran dream. That was after the traders stayed away in Solidarity with MNK over his trial. Kanu was made to suffer for the failure of the DSS to produce him in court: the case was adjourned for 3 whole months. And just the other day, a young man who went to buy drugs for his grandmother went missing, only to be paraded on television as an UGM. Even native doctors and titled men are not spared arrests either as IPOBians or UGM or their sympathisers, just as Keneth Okoli was recently arrested for preparing charms for IPOB/UGM/ESN and Boniface Okeke arrested as IPOB/ESN sponsor. In all the years of Boko Haram, then Banditry et al, how many sponsors and charms-men have our eagle-eyed security men arrested?

Meanwhile, the case of Igboho continues in Benin Republic where the former Chief of Army Staff is pulling all sorts of buttons to achieve an outcome favourable to the PMB government. He was reported to have planned a repeat of the Kanu-Kenya scenario by hurriedly arranging a private jet to ferry Igboho back to Nigeria. But his plans were thwarted by the Beninois judicial system.

Read Also: PMB, MNK and the Pareto Principle (3)

As our security forces are busy searching for UGM and ESN, like one searching for a needle in a stash of hay, the untouchable bandits, herdsmen, kidnappers are holding sway up North. Kaduna State Governor has become so overwhelmed that he no longer runs his mouth. He has suspended school resumption indefinitely because of banditry and assorted security challenges. Those warehousing Bethel High School students have turned wholesalers and distributors, releasing them piecemeal while our assorted security men watch haplessly and helplessly. The Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Kaduna chapter, J.J. Hayab has declared that they are now under two governments: one by El-Rufai and one by bandits. Probably, they should send those over-active soldiers down south to teach these known northern bandits some lessons. Several travellers were recently kidnapped in the Gusau-Sokoto road and the only thing our security officials could say was that the number was not up to 50. There was this audacious case of bandits incorporated in Niger State, who punished the victims’ parents by raising the tithe from N25m to N30 because they paid to the wrong bandits, and then said that the N30m (second tranche) was short by N4.6m and then kidnapped the ransom bearer (negotiator), demanding 6 motorcycles and the ‘inconclusive’ N4.6m. The bandits are known, the negotiators are known, those who contributed the money are known but the government does nothing and rather chases after anything that moves down east.

The Katsina State government is even planning to convert Television viewing centers to Islamic centers because that is what bandits, the critical stakeholders, preferred. The National Security Summit (facilitated by the House of Reps) has just reported that $2.4m was paid as ransom for students in 5 incidents of mass-kidnap in North Central in 2020. And on 29/7/21 some unknown robbers attacked Nasarawa Ministry of Budget and Planning and carted away N100m, workers salary. I thought we are doing cashless? But that is by the way. The office is beside the Accountant General’s office where Police and NCDC officials were stationed!

It does not require nDR to show that banditry, killings and insecurity are concentrated in the North. It also does not require a white-garment MOG to show that the noise, propaganda and intimidatory aspects of our security operations are concentrated on MNK and the East. The other day, Igboho who had operated openly (but without violence) was attacked at midnight. When will they make it a Federal Character Affair by attacking Kachala and his ilk ? As for the other parts of the country, the government, especially the loquacious Lai and the blame-trading Shehu keep quiet. But all this did not start today. Just go check those involved in the so-called ‘Igbo Coup’ of 1966. It was the extant Igbophobia that transformed to Kanuphobia, IPOBphobia and then to Igbohophobia. If 100 security men had been killed, 90 were killed in the north. If 100 citizens have been kidnapped or murdered, 80 were killed in the north. But all the noise and propaganda are in the east. PMB, instead of obeying the Pareto principle of concentrating more attention to where the action is, does the opposite and expects results. This will surely not work. (List of abbreviations 2. nDR: Native Doctor; MOG: Man of God)

The kernel of this treatise has been supported by other Nigerians. Tunde Bakare has agreed with the rest who argued that ‘What has given rise to the agitations is lack of justice and equity. When there is justice and equity, agitations will die down. How can you be spending so much money on Igboho and Kanu? Igboho and Kanu are not Nigeria’s problems’. Abubakar Umar on the other hand regretted that the PMB government has rather ‘defended killers of Nigerians and threw citizens of Nigeria under the bus. (It is) Quite strange and disturbing that the FG was paying an undue attention to the threats of separatist movements in contrast to the daunting ones posed by bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the north’ and regretted ‘the inability of the government to put an end to insurgency, banditry and kidnapping’ while injustice, lack of equity and fairness pervade the land (Nigeria: A nation challenged. 7/7/21). Muiz Banire went further to proffer some solutions when he opined that ‘The sentiments against the Igbo have made many see their demands as ranting of some lunatics. They have forgotten that to still such voices of succession, we need to have restructured the country genuinely to carter for all interests and the present government is too docile and criminally conniving to save the fragile entity that is about to explode (Muiz Banire, 25/7/21)

Somebody just sent me No More War, the 2006 hit by Sonny Okosun where he crooned ‘we don’t want to fight wars no more’. I agree completely but we should run our affairs in such a way that the thought of war, not to think of war itself, will be far from our minds. And that is by enthroning equity, justice, rule of law, ensuring that everybody is given his dues and giving all of us stakes in the Nigerian project. Applying the ’Herodic’ strategy of whipping out all potential opposition or threats or invoking violence, cruelty and wickedness against the vulnerable will not work (For more on ‘Herodic’ spirit, see Okami, (2020) The light to my path. pp 31-40. Benin: Floreat Systems publications)

Sometimes ago in one unknown kingdom (everything is unknown nowadays), the subjects rebelled against the king, who then asked his nobles to come and watch him deal with the rebels. When he got there however, he showered them with kindness, understanding and gentleness to the extent that they ‘repented’ and became his most loyal followers. When the nobles asked what kind of destruction was this, he told them: ‘I have destroyed my enemies; I have made them my friends (Oyedepo, Daily Manna, 5/7/21). This is in tandem with the statement of Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War when he asked rhetorically: ‘Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends’? I recommend this efficacious strategy to our dear PMB, who in 2015 claimed that he belonged to nobody but belonged to everyone. However, as our people would say. onye ana-agwa o ga-ekwe? (will the advisee harken to the advice?). Afterall, a native doctor boasting about the efficacy of his drug should hold on until the patient agrees to gulp the medicine.

As I conclude, some thoughts on peace. Peace is good for personal and societal welfare but on March 18, 1956, Martin Luther King Jnr described peace as OBNOXIOUS if it meant accepting second class citizenship, keeping my mouth shut in the midst of injustice and evil, being complacently adjusted deadening status-quo and willingness to be exploited economically, dominated politically, humiliated and segregated. Surely, I, Ezechikwado Ik Muo, do not want this type of OBNOXIOUS peace!