It’s eighteen years since Bola Ige, Afenifere chieftain and former governor of the previous Oyo State, departed this extensive, wild world of warfare, courtesy of some yet-to-be recognized assassins. Ige was the Minister of Justice and Lawyer-Common of the Federation on the time of his loss of life on December 23, 2001.
Near 20 years after the gory incident, Solemilia Court docket, No 8, Akinlabi Sanda Shut, Bodija in Ibadan, Oyo State, the place this foremost nationalist breathed his final on that fateful Sunday night, nonetheless wears a mournful look, save for some few-and-far-between actions out and in of the compound. Credible sources revealed that the room, the place the previous presidential aspirant was killed, stays below lock and key, within the household’s hope that, at some point, future will change its thoughts and the uncleansed sacrilege of its patriarch’s homicide will likely be resolved within the curiosity of justice.
Cicero captured the temper of our predicament when he wrote: “the hope of escaping with impunity is the greatest incentive to vice.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau additionally dreaded its evil within the human society when he posited that “as soon as it is possible to disobey with impunity, disobedience is legitimate …” Sure, we all know that Bola Ige is useless and has since been buried! Nonetheless, blame the portentous naughtiness, hypocritical propensity and a bourgeoning legitimacy of impunity for offering the substances for our incapacity to seek out his killers and apply sanctions. And there’s no different option to remedy impunity than a draconian assault; for, if we don’t get that side of justice proper, we are going to solely be taking pictures at nighttime; and at imaginary targets!
Dele Giwa (1986)! Alfred Rewane (1995)! Bagauda Kaltho (1996)! Kudirat Abiola (1996)! MKO Abiola (1998)! Barnabas Igwe and Abigail, his spouse (2002)! Marshall Harry (2003)! Aminosari Dikibo (2004)! Hassan Olajoku (2005)! Ayodeji Daramola (2006)! Funsho Williams (2006)! Dipo Dina (2010)! Olaitan Oyerinde (2012)! Funke Olakunri (2019)! As a sport or a commerce, Nigeria is in harmful instances and all eyes can see it! Extra to the shock of Nigerians, expensive nation has couched euphemistic names for reckless killings within the land; and it’s as if the gods are offended! In Katsina, Governor Aminu Masari is now on the forefront of negotiations with bandits for “peace to return to” President Muhammadu Buhari’s house state. Curiously, different states are quick catching the bug! Elsewhere in Kaduna State, Christian Affiliation of Nigeria (CAN) paid greater than “N300m as ransom” inside two years “to free over-500” of its members from the abductors’ den; and it’s as if God has left the Church. And, in what might be described as half cup of a lot greater issues on this poignant portrait of vainness and falseness, the same old band of 4 hundred prophets proceed to hold round Ahab and Jehoshaphat, even, because the kings march on Syria!
For a reality, societal cohesion comes because of the interconnectedness of little-yet-important ties. Nonetheless, at any time when these ties are ruptured, the results are all the time grave. That safety is a worldwide drawback is a good and normal argument! However, the place a canine kills a lion, the society must beware! Amidst what seems to be like faint guarantees of restoration from these elected and paid to guard us, Leah Sharibu has added to the variety of Nigerians losing away in Boko Haram’s custody even because the police hierarchy now allegedly pays ransom to kidnappers in alternate for freedom for its seized officers, But, it doesn’t seem as if the individuals are able to do one thing concrete about this tragic manifestation of the statelessness of the Nigerian state. As a substitute, everyone retains going about his or her day by day actions as if nothing is amiss!
Very lately, Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka wrote a letter to the Nationwide Meeting on the controversial Hate Speech Invoice at present earlier than the Purple Chamber. Within the letter, Soyinka requested, rhetorically, if it’s “now cool to kill” Nigerians. Going by the contents of the letter, it’s apparent that the 85-year-old elder statesman was annoyed. Therefore, he needed to know if it’s now regular to show Nigeria right into a sequence of accidents. Nicely, if that is now the way in which to go, then, Ige’s assassination is a warning to the wealthy and the highly effective that they need to stay awake and shut their two eyes as a result of they will die anytime; and nothing will occur! Once more, the implication is that, even, if the president is murdered in his sleep, it’ll even be seen as regular!
In Jane Mayer’s view, “nothing predicts future behavior as much as past impunity.” Whereas conceding that some authorities efforts are noble, reality stays that the foundational construction of these efforts in Nigeria are on a shaky and porous floor. In contrast to different climes, the place individuals are certain of getting justice when murder is dedicated, our ‘Rule of Law’ is in obvious distinction to justice! Little surprise: as some individuals are making an attempt to make the nation proud, others are working at bringing it down. Take for example a state like Osun, the place the federal government is crying out that individuals ought to come and do enterprise within the state. For God’s sake, how do you count on folks, who might be killed and nothing could be executed, to return and make investments their fame and fortune in an unsafe nation? And what method of the ‘Rule of Law’ is it that has not been in a position to fish out the culprits within the assassination of ‘Uncle Bola’, eighteen years after?
Again to the problems surrounding our state of affairs, Ige has been killed and there’s nothing we will do about it once more! However then, his grotesque homicide, which additionally led to the sudden loss of life of Atinuke, his spouse; and destabilized his household, is a tragic trajectory that gained’t go away, regardless of how laborious we attempt to cowl the smoke. As a matter of reality, this nation will neither know peace nor press the pedal of acceleration in the direction of improvement and progress till the stress and the pressure of this illness are addressed. In the event that they like, let the birds of passage proceed to row on a ship of pretence with their hole and sequined glint as if nothing occurred at ‘Solemilia Court’ on December 23, 2001!
Once more, who killed Bola Ige? Or, is it one more within the sequence of ‘eni to ku, tie lo gbe’ murders?
O ma se o!
Might the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, proceed to relaxation the souls of all of the devoted departed!
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria.([email protected])