Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Nigeria: The saints, the sadists, the selfish and the siddon look- Bala Ibrahim


According to Nicholas Murray Butler, the one time President of Columbia University in New York, there are three types of People in the world: Those Who Make Things Happen, Those Who Watch Things Happen, and Those Who Wonder What Happened.

“The vast population of this earth, and indeed nations themselves, may readily be divided into these groups. There are the few who make things happen, the many more who watch things happen, and the overwhelming majority who have no notion of what happens. Every human being is born into this third and largest group; it is for himself, his environment and his education to determine whether he shall rise to the second group or even to the first”.

Although Butler made the above assertion in 1931, twenty nine years before Nigeria’s independence, methinks when he was making that postulation, he had Nigerians in mind.

In Nigeria, there is a group of people who hail and passionately pray for leaders to succeed, whether or not they have a hand in bringing them to power. These are the clear-headed, whom, because of the purity of their sense of reasoning, I see as the saints.

Another group is made of people that never see any good in whatever is done by someone else, particularly those in the position of power. They take pleasure in insulting and inflicting pain on others, for the sole purpose of humiliation. I call this group the sadists.

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Another group comprises of people that are permanently influenced by personal feelings, almost always selfishly. Never giving consideration to the yearnings of others. These are the selfish. And in the fourth group are the siddon look, whom in the language of late Bola Ige, are characterized by the “let’s see how it goes” syndrome.

Nigeria is abundantly endowed with all, and President Muhammadu Buhari is today living in the laboratory, where he is either cheered, blamed or blackmailed, depending on which group is at work.

A friend sent a video clip of a lady I know, in terribly depressive and excessive disorder mood, using self-indulgent feelings of fake sadness to buy undeserved attention for her self, and violent vilification for President Muhammadu Buhari. She was nostalgically emotional, claiming to have gotten the reverse of what they expected from President Muhammadu Buhari, a man she said she VOTED for. I put voted in capitals because I know it’s not true.

The edited version of my response to my friend is:

“The theatrics would have worked better if they had engaged a sane person, and not …………., the drug addict. She is actually acting under the influence of drugs, which is her known pastime. And for your information, ……….. and her mother did not vote for Buhari. They didn’t. The only person I think, in the family, that probably voted for Buhari is ……, the wife of……… So this stage-managed, excessively dramatic behavior against Buhari is too fake to fly. At least in the eyes of those of us that know her”.

This underscores the position of Nigeria, where you have the saints, the sadists, the selfish and the siddon look.

A brother also called to enquire whether I’ve listened to the BBC interview with Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, the former governor of Kano state. I said no. Again someone called with the same question and I answered same. So I became curious.

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Luckily, I read a translated version on the social media, where he was quoted saying, “In a country like Nigeria, with the army and the air force; and in this century there’d be some folks that are not literate in both Western and Arabic education, and yet they have the audacity and temerity to seize some part of Nigeria and they’re not dealt with and are being watched without taking any decisive action. What is happening?”

If truly His Excellency Engr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso said this, then I think the greatest challenge of our time is not insurgency, but the failure to understand and appreciate the meaning of history.

It may be recalled that Kwankwaso served as defence minister under Olusegun Obasanjo,(2003–2007), as well as the governor of Kano for the second time from 2011 to 2015.

It may also be recalled that Boko Haram was founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002 in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno. He established a religious complex and school that attracted poor Muslims, the very poor folks Kwankwaso is referring to as, “not literate in both Western and Arabic education”.

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Since Kwankwaso was a minister of defence between 2003 and 2007, a year after the establishment of the sect, it means Boko Haram must have had it’s tutelage under his watch and guard, as minister of defence.

Also, since Kwankwaso was a governor between 2011 and 2015, the most potent period of the insurgency, it means he was in power when they were exercising eminence in the commission of atrocities.

But what did he do? He cocooned himself to the fortified four walls of the Government House, as every activity then, official or unofficial, was compulsorily conducted inside the government house, because of the fear of Boko Haram.

Because of the failure to understand and appreciate history, the blame is placed on President Muhammadu Buhari.

This is indeed Nigeria, where you have the saints, the sadists, the selfish and the siddon look.

Sometimes in June this year, Abubakar Shekau, the dreaded head of Boko Haram was announced dead, reportedly killed in a gun dwell between rival factions. Whether killed by the bullets of a rival faction or that of the Nigerian military, the bottom line is that he was killed under Buhari

Not long after, Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor, announced that the Nigerian army has killed the man who took over from Shekau, Abu Musab al-Barnawi. This is also under Buhari.

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When you look at where we came from, when bombs were blowing up on hourly basis in our cities, military and police formations were targeted and destroyed at ease, alongside where we are now, with the terrorists subdued to the level of being incapable of spectacular attacks, but targeting civilians in soft and relatively unprotected areas, no reasonable mind would not say nothing is being done in the fight.

But because Nigeria is a country where you have the saints, the sadists, the selfish and the siddon look, some want Buhari to act like GOD, and say to peace, “Kun faya kun”. Or Be, and it is.

There is a video circulating in the social media, of a man looking haggard and unkempt, but comprehensively cogent, clear, logical, and convincing in his submissions. From the audio, the man appears to be living somewhere in Benue state. He looked mad on the surface, but very sane in submissions and his economic sense of reasoning is almost always factually sound.

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He looks like someone that is simply sitting and watching, but to me, the man is beyond siddon look.

He is my own saint, and my own version of the sanity in Nigeria’s insanity.

Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja

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