Boycotting the Killers’ Bloody Beef In Kumuyi’s Cow Country, By Festus Adedayo
As rational beings, let us lift the veil and go beyond the veneer of Buhari’s June 12 day as Democracy Day. When you now situate this side by side Kumuyi’s doggerel, you will see that all that Nigerian leaders and their episcopal accomplices want is a cowed country or a country of cows.
As one of the two guest lecturers at a June 12 election commemorative anniversary and celebration of the unique proclamation of the day as Democracy Day in Nigeria by President Muhammadu Buhari, held in Ibadan, Oyo State last week, I walked out of my wont: I showered effusive praises on Buhari for this unique feat. Conversely, I literally asked that hot coal be poured on ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for his disdain and hatred of M.K.O Abiola, his classmate at Baptist Boys High School, Abeokuta. I asked psychologists and political scientists to help posterity by downloading and connecting the missing tissues of Obasanjo’s disdain for M.K.O before the Otta farmer breathes his last, lest, at his passage, Nigeria still wallows in guesswork as to the real reason why Obasanjo never honoured M.K.O. In my amateurish psychoanalysis, I have on occasions diagnosed Obasanjo as a modern day African witch. This witch, which traditional Africa believes that, for her to eat her favourite cuisine of the human heart, callously burrows her blood-thirsty teeth through the victim’s kidneys and devours the victim’s liver from his bile-duct, has no place in her heart for mercy. The African witch’s pot of soup is rich in the flesh and entrails of her children, benefactors and close confidants.
Take a study of Obasanjo from the moment he glided into the limelight. Like the witch, he devours those who are close to him and takes delight in being their pall-bearers. Look at Major Kaduna Nzeogwu, his friend and classmate, whose father reportedly used to ask Obasanjo to advise him to get married. Unascertained and perhaps unascertainable rumour claims that Obasanjo, privy to Nzeogwu’s plan to strike in the first coup of January 1966, leaked the plan to the federal forces. Again, when Colonel Bukar Suka Dimka and Major General Iliya Bisalla struck and killed General Murtala Muhammed in 1976, Obasanjo escaped the hail of their bullets by a whisker. A frightened Obasanjo, like a coyote with its tails tucked into its furs, ran to the home of Ilesa-born millionaire, S.B. Bakare, where he holed up till the coup was quelled and he was named the head of state. Bakare was one of the first victims of Obasanjo’s three-year head of state-ship.
Then, look at his first wife, Remi, who stood by him through the thick and thin of rookie soldiering. One day Obasanjo went to Remi’s house and removed the roof over her head. And this: while in prison on Sani Abacha’s trumped-up treason charges and the goggled General expired mysteriously, General Ibrahim Babangida, Chief S.M. Afolabi and others gathered to nominate him for Nigeria’s presidency in 1999. Did anyone read Babangida’s evocative letter to Globacom’s The Bull, Mike Adenuga, a couple of years ago? I will paraphrase the letter, and it went: “Mike, they fought, sought to intimidate and harangue you to implicate me without you bulging.” Who was the ‘they’? It was Obasanjo who harassed, demonised and even got Adenuga to scamper out of Nigeria to live abroad like a fugitive because he would not yield himself as the crucifix to hang the self-styled military president. Obasanjo had, as Queen Herodias demanded that her daughter, Salome should ask King Herod for the head of John the Baptist, wanted IBB’s head on a platter and needed Adenuga to be his Salome. An account of Obasanjo’s macabre craving can be found in the Awujale of Ijebuland’s autobiography.
S.M. Afolabi, Obasanjo’s senior in the secondary school, who risked his name to support OBJ’s presidential candidacy, at a time when Obasanjo was a pariah in Yorubaland, became personally parceled inside a coffin. Again, check the list of the first set of governors Obasanjo sent Nuhu Ribadu, the first chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), after in 2007, they were his boys who fought Atiku Abubakar to the hilt for attempting to disgrace Obasanjo out of power. Ask Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, one of Obasanjo’s most trusted friends while in power. It was said that Fasawe used to enter the president’s bedroom. Obasanjo eventually smoked his head at the fireplace. There are a thousand and one other victims of our own Witch of Endor.
I asked my audience: between 1993 and now, has the quality of their lives been progressing…or retrogressing… to warrant us throwing the cymbals in celebration of June 12 today? Should a Nigeria which, in 1993, you could travel round, from Kaura Namoda to Jalingo…without molestation…be one that should evoke praise for a man who, in four years, has worsened the take for the country?
Having said all that, however, at the lecture, I submitted that we should critically examine the motive behind Buhari’s recent fascination with M.K.O Abiola and June 12. Apart from being one of the major beneficiaries of the Nigerian military top brass’ unconscionable annulment of the election as a de jure head of state, being the chairman of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), with its humongous budget and power, Buhari had never been ascribed a quotation in support of the June 12 struggle in 25 years. Underground sources even said he disdained M.K.O’s temerity for wanting to become Nigeria’s president. Never did Buhari say a word complimenting that unique democratic struggle and, today, further sources claim that Baba-Gana Kingibe, Al-Mustapha and many other villains of that struggle, are embedded round the seat of power like a boa constrictor enfolds itself round its impala prey. I told my audience that Nigerians should thus be wary of this illogical, unscientific affection for the June 12 course by Buhari, lest it be an affliction in disguise. I also submitted that, in the last couple of years, Buhari and Obasanjo’s disdain for each other has been colossal. Could the June 12 day proclamation be an attempt to finally kill whatever adulation Obasanjo’s kinsmen have for him? Also, it is on record that Buhari has never forgiven ‘Ibro’ – IBB – for snatching power from him in 1985, while slamming him in detention. IBB, we would recall, is perhaps the most brilliant, the most cerebral of the rulers of Nigeria thus far but who got a permanent scar that he will carry to his grave in the June 12 annulment. Could the Democracy Day be the final opportunity Buhari feels he has to pierce the dagger into Ibro’s navel?
Also, I asked my audience: between 1993 and now, has the quality of their lives been progressing or retrogressing for the worse to warrant us throwing the cymbals in celebration of June 12 today? Should a Nigeria which, in 1993, you could travel round, from Kaura Namoda to Jalingo, and from Jalingo to Nkalagu and down to Ilu Abo without molestation, but which today has become one in which you need a travel advisory before moving within a state or outside it, be one that should evoke praise for a man who, in four years, has worsened the take for the country? I concluded by telling my audience that, in my own estimation, aside its fascinating symbolism, we should weep, rather than celebrate, on June 12.
Herdsmen have turned virtually the whole of the country into bedlam. Sokoto and Zamfara are suffocating under the bloody rat-a-tat of their AK47 guns. The South-West is gasping under the blood-soaked jackboots of these emissaries of tears’ recolonisation of its territory. The other day, they invaded an Nsukka, Enugu State town, killing and maiming villagers with gusto. In Benue, we are yet to be told the actual statistics of the farmers they have murdered in cold blood. At first, it was claimed that the blockade of their cows’ grazing routes was the reason for their maniacal onslaught. Gradually, it is occurring to Nigeria that she had lived all these years with psychopaths from Fouta Djallon as neighbours whose core ideology is blood, tears and sorrow.
Key elements in Southern Nigeria have been scampering for the way out of this mid-day subjection of their land into a colony by alien aggressors. South-West governors recently met and proclaimed feeble remedies and antidotes to this onslaught. The truth is that none of those folks can raise a finger to help their tormented constituents. Raise a cudgel against the cow tenderer kith and kin of the C-in-C and risk artillery fire of underground scuds of the Aso Rock Villa? Unbeknown to those frantically scampering, seeking remedy to the cow lords’ malady in faraway Sokoto, the antidote to the issue of these bloody re-colonisers is right by their pocket, the sokoto. It is encapsulated in that war study theorem which states that you cannot continue to water the trough of your enemies’ frontiers and expect stoppage of artillery attack on your base. The South has been watering the trough of herdsmen’s frontiers by its stupid and illogical consumption of the herdsmen’s cow meat. This is what gives the constant rampaging of the South by the herdsmen a muscle of its own.
…the victims, from Sokoto to Zamfara, Benue, Nasarawa, to the whole of the South West, can effectively mimic Ojike in this quest to rout their tormentors. In doing this, they must first conduct a medical assessment of this destructive pastime of beef consumption that it had engaged in for centuries. How healthy is beef consumption?
What to do? Let the victims begin a concerted campaign against cow meat and a boycott of the killers’ beef. In doing this, it will not be doing anything atypical. Arondizuogu, Imo State-born Mazi Mbonu Ojike (1914 – November 29, 1956) showed the world that we could make an ideological statement by boycotting what we have made part and parcel of our being. Ojike was vice president of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), an Nnamdi Azikiwe staunch acolyte, the deputy mayor of Lagos in 1951 and later the Eastern Regional minister of works in 1954 and the minister of finance in the same year. Between 1947 and 1948, Ojike was general manager and columnist with Azikiwe’s West African Pilot, and was renowned for his two columns, “Weekend Catechism” and “Something to Think About” with his scathing analyses of issues. Ojike was more famous for his sloganeering of boycotting the boycottables, whereby he pioneered the boycott of cloths, food, dress, religion and dances that had no indigenous inclination and, in the process of promoting his own variant of Africanisation, chose a persistency in the consumption of African-produced brands. In place of imported gins, Mbonu consumed palm-wine and abacha, sauced with ugba in place of salad, etc.
So, the victims, from Sokoto to Zamfara, Benue, Nasarawa, to the whole of the South West, can effectively mimic Ojike in this quest to rout their tormentors. In doing this, they must first conduct a medical assessment of this destructive pastime of beef consumption that it had engaged in for centuries. How healthy is beef consumption? Medics say that beef is one of the most dangerous food that man injects into his body. Its consumption has been linked to heart diseases, truncal obesity, low immunity and suchlike diseases. Do we know that the herdsmen themselves don’t eat the poison they want to kill the whole of humanity to protect? That is why they live longer, are healthier, thrive in bushes and when their wives give birth, have less obstetric complications, with babies that are smaller and are not delivered through caesarean operations. If the herdsmen can survive without eating their own beef, their victims too can. Like Ojike, local substitutes will readily come handy. Substitutes like bush meat, chicken, cat fish and the like. If this boycott succeeds and no one buys the killers’ cows, there will be no sale of cattle, no cattle colonies and no need for their patron to ban guns procurement by victims who want to protect themselves against rampaging herders. The boycott will ultimately prove to be a more lethal weapon against the tormentors than their AK47.
While writing this, I remembered the general superintendent of Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor William Kumuyi’s warning to Nigerians to stop criticising Buhari and other Nigerian leaders. This was contained in his June 2 sermon at the church’s headquarters in Gbagada, Lagos. Kumuyi’s reason for this admonition, according to him, is in conformity with the biblical admonition that God Himself appoints leaders and frowns at their stricture. Thank God that Nigerians didn’t allow this admonition to grow cold before they gave Kumuyi the back of their tongues. By the admonition, Kumuyi and his pastoral ilk merely wanted to continue flourishing their flock of morons and zombies, like the herders. For decades, this same Kumuyi decreed that his adherents should abstain from watching television, claiming it was the footstool of Satan. Today, it is this same television with which he conducts his global televangelism. You can draw an episcopal parallel to this obviously lax thought in the One Love Family head, Sat Guru Maharaji’s recent call on Buhari to make him minister of petroleum. What these spiritual leaders or herders crave is a community of idiots, pliable for their use. They are at home with the hopelessness of decades that governmental leaders inflict on the people because it is in the hopelessness that their flocks will increase, with more cash and a fleet of jets to cruise the whole wide world. Kumuyi should be told that that biblical admonition rests on the prong of leaders who were voted or selected by the people themselves. Nigerian leaders select themselves in their appointed conclaves and are not representatives of the people. Does he realise that the few developmental mileages Nigerians have got from their so-called leaders were got through agitations and protestations? Our leaders are, apology to writer Ifeoma Okoye, men without ears.
A common thread links the need for us to boycott cow meats with the need for Nigerians to, for a minute, act like rational beings and not a community of cows. As rational beings, let us lift the veil and go beyond the veneer of Buhari’s June 12 day as Democracy Day. When you now situate this side by side Kumuyi’s doggerel, you will see that all that Nigerian leaders and their episcopal accomplices want is a cowed country or a country of cows.
Festus Adedayo is an Ibadan-based journalist.