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« Science and Technology of Thinking and Behavior: Focus on Paranoia (Part 2) | Main | My Very First Niece: Adieu Chidera Alexandria Nnaji »

December 22, 2005

“This Animal Called Man”

by Peter Opara --- The above is the title of a book by Olusegun Obasanjo. I read papers, articles and books on Nigeria, and have written some myself – articles and books on Nigeria. I, however, have not read any books by Obasanjo, including the one with the title above said to have been written soon after his escape from the depth of desolation.

Now, strike that off; I read Obasanjo’s “Nzeogwu”, wherein he shared with readers, rather generously, his friendship with the late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu.

Reading “Nzeogwu” by Obasanjo was a journey of regrets for the sole reason that it took this bosom friend of Major Nzeogwu, Obasanjo, 20 years – 1966-1986 - to write to tell Nigerians and the world in this book, that the coup in which his bosom friend Nzeogwu was a key participant was not an Igbo coup.

I have not read “My Command” – the other book by Obasanjo, in which it is said, he celebrated himself and his “war exploits” – British Harold Wilson’s war exploits, that is. Yet at a reading of my 1996 book – Understanding the Nigerian Nation Tribes – why they boil - a gentleman not favorably disposed towards me, stemming from what he had heard was contained in my book, accused me of “plagiarism”.

According to the gentleman, my book “sounded” like Obasanjo’s “My Command” - some passages in my book, he meant. Trust me, I stayed on this gentleman for evidence. He had none.

Once, soon after his plagiarism allegation, Osinubi, towards whom I bear neither ill will nor animosity, took to his heels upon sighting me approaching him for, you guessed it - evidence.

Now - “This Animal Called Man”, an ironic book that says more than any can say about the author.

No doubt, Obasanjo had time to ponder and meditate on the title of this book and its content, so as to effectively convey to readers from experience, acts and facts of “man’s inhumanity to man” and man’s indignity to man – the gist of the book, as I understand it.

Obasanjo is certainly qualified to educate his readers about both sides of the divide – the receiving end of man’s inhumanity to man and the giving end of man’s inhumanity to man and man’s indignity to man.

Obasanjo is also in position to educate readers, if he were to do a sequel to his “This Animal Called Man” – on how sweet or how bitter are acts of man’s inhumanity to man and man’s indignity to man. Obasanjo is indeed qualified to educate on how sweet or how bitter are acts sadism and sadomasochism.

Long prior to reporting to a desolate prison cell, reportedly morose and disoriented, Obasanjo had in the 70s during his first reign, sanctioned a Robin Island….say Alcatraz type prison for “criminals”.

Obasanjo’s corollary prison to the Alcatraz was also surrounded by water. The difference though was that Obasanjo’s Alcatraz was surrounded by water infested by poisonous reptiles that struck at any moving object, especially objects with flesh. The water was infested with snakes. While some escaped New York’s Alcatraz alive, escaping Obasanjo’s Alcatraz was a duel with poisonous snakes – man’s inhumanity to man.

It was during the same 70s reign that Obasanjo demolished Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s abode, and in the process, threw Fela’s mother, the celebrated Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti out the window, resulting in a disability that eventually led to her death – man’s inhumanity to man…woman.

Obasanjo had the destruction of Fela’s abode and the incapacitation of Fela’s mother investigated. When the investigation was over, he blamed the incident on “Unknown Soldiers” – man’s indignity to man.

“Unknown Soldiers”, such a reference rings a bell today. Highway robbers are often unknown, just as are soldiers that beat, shoot and burn people and property.

When Dikibo was assassinated, Obasanjo appeared on national television and announced that armed robbers were the perpetrators. That meant that “unknown” persons killed Dikibo – man’s indignity to man.

Fast forward to recent times – 1999 to present and consider activities in Nigeria that are directly connected to Obasanjo and his reign, even not including the resurrection and dredging up of rather dormant sundry inter ethnic animosities that have led to persistent inter ethnic conflagrations since 1999.

Check these out - Obasanjo liquidated Odi; Obasanjo liquidated Zaki Biam; Obasanjo incinerated Anambara; Obasanjo has laid constant siege on and around Igbo land – with sss, police, soldiers and thugs cultured and nurtured in Aso Rock – man’s inhumanity to man.

Aso Rock, Obasanjo’s abode is referred to as “nest of killers” by none other than the Laureate Wole Soyinka, for the reason that the rampant political assassinations in Nigeria are easily traceable to Aso Rock. Wole Soyinka was warned to “watch his back” by Obasanjo – man’s indignity to man.

Nigerian SSS that is beholden to Obasanjo, once sent the Igbo leader Ikemba Odumegwu-Ojukwu one-way ticket to Abuja, which Odumegwu-Ojukwu deemed one-way ticket to Obasanjo’s land of no return – man’s indignity to man.

Today, the author of “This Animal Called Man” – Obasanjo has been meting sundry indignities to every man, woman and child that comes his way. Obasanjo’s current prominent victim is Abubakar Atiku – his vice.

Atiku is now at the receiving end of Obasanjo’s inhumanity and indignity for the sole reason that they differ on some note worthy political issues – this time Obasanjo perpetuation in power.

Now, something I hate to do – placing the US side by side with Nigeria in a way to compare both. Once, nearly 30-years ago – comparing Nigeria with America was okay, but not any more for the british cage called Nigeria and its peoples have lost all pretences to an entity that means well for itself and its peoples. But here I go.

George Herbert Walker Bush competed against Ronald Wilson Reagan for the presidency in the Republican Party. Both men never saw eye to eye on issues. Bush is a liberal Republican. Reagan was a fiery conservative Republican. Bush at the time described Reagan’s economic plan as “voodoo economics”. When Reagan emerged winner of the Republican ticket, he chose Bush as his running mate, and upon winning the presidency the duo had the proverbial marriage made in heaven. In that marriage Bush exercised the essential mark of his heritage – loyalty, and the Reagan/Bush presidency lasted for all of eight years.

If “This Animal Called Man” existed around and about the White House, none saw it. Who can say the same about any seat of power in Africa? Aso Rock, nko?

In Africa animals abound in the form of man. In Nigeria in particular, Obasanjo cannot seem to mete enough indignity to Atiku; he cannot seem to show enough pepper to Atiku – as Nigerians say. Obasanjo cannot deal enough with Atiku – still as Nigerians say. Lest all forget, the “deal” and “pepper” meted to Atiku today have been the lot of all of the peoples of Nigerian nations under Obasanjo.

Yet what blatant indignity could be meted to a man of such high socio-political echelon, as to deny him a choice whatsoever of who his closest aide should be! This animal called man!

I do not know the man Atiku except from all I have read about him as beneficiary of the late Y’ardua political machine. I did not know Y’ardua either. But for all that can be said about and against Atiku, it seems to me that disloyalty is not one of them, at least going back to 1999 and about only a few months ago. The grouse among Atiku’s fellow northerners had been that hitherto, he had supported everything Obasanjo – his boss – which is to be expected.
And, as some surmise it, Atiku daring to make Obasanjo plead for his support, in his - Obasanjo second term run, Atiku is to endure man’s indignity to man – the mother of all abuse – that of no choice whatsoever of who seats next to him even in his official car!

All manner of thoughts have gone through my head upon acquainting myself with Atiku’s current travails under Obasanjo, as to choices left for Atiku, as a man imbued with some pride. Choices such as resigning, or simply having aliens invade Aso Rock and chase Obasanjo away! Would not peoples of Nigerian nations rejoice at such prospect?

Yet, would Obasanjo could look to the US, a country to which he trots every chance he gets and borrow a leaf different from that known and exhibited by “This Animal Called Man” often in Africa and let Atiku be, and by extension, let peoples of Nigerian nations be in peace and plenty as they have been endowed by the Almighty.

Let it be said that there could be no worse man’s inhumanity to man and man’s indignity to man that could be meted to peoples of Nigerian nations than Obasanjo staying one day longer in the office to which he 419ed himself nearly four years ago.

But who expects “This Animal Called Man” to listen?

Peter Opara is a communications consultant and author of Understanding the Nigerian Nation Tribes – Why they Boil.

Posted by Administrator at December 22, 2005 02:43 PM


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