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Femi Fani-Kayode: June 12, Democracy Day and Nigeria’s dance of death

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Today is June 12th, our nation’s Democracy Day and I have some home truths to tell.

The struggle for June 12th was indeed a noble, worthy, cataclysmic and monumental one. It was also something of a nightmare which littered our fields with many corpses and soaked the very foundation of our nation with blood, sweat and tears.

I can confirm that because I was deeply involved in it and for many years I, along with many others, fought for it’s actualisation.

Many were martyred, many were jailed, many were tortured and many were compelled to flee into exile.

Great essayists, keen minds and profound writers and thinkers like Professor Adebayo Williams, Professor Wole Soyinka, Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo, Justice Adewale Thompson and the great Chinwezu kept us going, fuelled our courage, stirred our passion, inspired our spirits and ignited souls with their powerful essays which we read eagerly and voraciously wherever we found ourselves in the world.

This was an intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological conflict and struggle and we threw everything that we had into it.

Chief MKO Abiola was our hero and leader. He was the symbol and rallying point of the struggle and both he and his wife Kudirat sacrificed their lives for it.

I commend the Buhari administration for naming June 12th as our nation’s Democracy Day and I believe that Abiola deserves it. Yet this noble gesture, as commendable as it is, may well be too little and too late.

I say this because the Nigeria of today is the Nigeria of Buhari and not the Nigeria of Abiola. And this presents us with a very different set of challenges which have resulted in a far greater existential threat to our country than the annulment of Abiola’s June 12th presidential mandate and his subsequent murder ever did.

Consider the following. In Buhari’s Nigeria the President is from the core Muslim north. The Senate President is from the core Muslim north. The Chief Justice of the Federation is from the core Muslim north.

Again in Buhari’s Nigeria every single security, intelligence, investigative, military and para-military agency in the country except for the Navy is headed by a northern Muslim.

This begs the question: do the southerners and indeed the Christians have any place or any meaningful stake in Buhari’s Nigeria?

Yet it does not stop there. In Buhari’s Nigeria the core north says “no” when we say stop the genocide. They say “no” when we say restructure. They say “no” when we say establish a federation. They say “no” when we say establish a confederation. They say “no” when we say stop the hegemony.

They say “no” when we say Nigeria is a secular state. They say “no” when we say stop the Fulanisation. They say “no” when we say stop the Islamisation. They say “no” when we say Nigeria belongs to us all.

They say “no” when we say the northern minorities can lead the nation. They say “no” when we say there are many in the south that can govern the country.

They say “no” when we say Nigeria is not an appendage of Saudi Arabia. They say “no” when we say we are equal regardless of tribe or faith.

They say “no” when we say free Leah Sharibu. They say “no” when we say we are not their slaves. They say “no” when we say we demand a referendum.

They say “no” when we say we want to leave the marriage and break the union. They say “no” when we say stop playing this dangerous music. They say “no” when we say stop indulging in this dance of death.

They say “no” to everything and to everyone that seeks to resolve our differences in a reasonable and peaceful manner.

And so it has been for the last 59 long and turbulent years of our existence as an independent state and sovereign nation.

Little did we know that in 1960 we had merely replaced our external British colonial masters with a new set of internal ones.

We locked ourselves into a strange and deceitful web and became enmeshed and entangled in a complex catalogue of self-induced and self-inflicted woes.

Today we are a people under occupation and our land has been desecrated by the precence of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of extremly violent, dangerous, well-armed, blood-lusting, blood-crazed and blood-frenzied terrorists and killer herdsmen who are just waiting for the signal from their masters before they unleash unimaginable horror, terror and hell on our people.

Must we wait until we are slaughtered like flies and buried in mass graves, like the Biafrans, the Bosnians, the Tutsis, the Jews, the Congolese, the Armenians, the Red Indians of North America, the Aborigines of Australia, the Incas and Aztecs of South America, the Ouigas of Mynmar, the Yazidis of Syria and Iraq and countless others, before our eyes open and we demand to leave this tinderbox?

Can anyone blame Prince Adekunle Odunmorayo when he said, “The demand for restructuring is cowardly, useless and unachievable. Damn any restructuring. We want out of this charade. We want a new nation: we want Oduduwa”.

The Prince, who is my kinsman and a proud son of Ile-Ife, has spoken the minds of millions.

Yet it does not stop there. Permit me to add the words of one of the greatest, most moderate, most conservative and most respected leaders of our nation who fought to keep Nigeria together during the civil war, who has dedicated his entire life to that cause and who has had the privilage of leading the country on at least two separate occassions.

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Crime

In Ekiti, unknown woman steals 2-month-old baby from mother

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An unknown woman has allegedly stolen a two-month old baby from his mother in Ado Ekiti capital city.

The incident occurred on Friday at the State Secretariat in Ado Ekiti metropolis.

Witnesses said the woman tricked the baby’s mother to follow her to the State Secretariat to collect some relief materials being given by government to flood victims.

“On getting there, she sent the mother to help her to procure recharge card but ran away with the baby before the arrival of the woman,” a source said.

Narrating her ordeal, the woman who was drenched in tears, explained that the abductor whom she suspected to be from the Eastern part of the country, had been patronizing her consistently at the Oja-Oba market, where she sells soup ingredients.

She said the woman informed her on Wednesday that she would take her to the State Secretariat where her husband works and that the husband would facilitate the relief materials for her.

The woman, who preferred to be anonymous, explained that the woman came to her shop with a list of possible beneficiaries and included her name making her to believe that she was being favoured.

According to her, “the woman who had become a regular customer had this morning invited me to the Secretariat and pretended to be waiting for someone, having entered one or two offices under the pretence of making some arrangements.

“She later took my baby and handset from me and asked me to go and buy recharge cards but before I came back, she had fled with my baby”, she stated.

The poor woman, who claimed she had lost a child recently before the delivery of the stolen boy, said the suspect collected her phone to prevent her from contacting the police for her immediate arrest after perpetrating the crime.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, DSP Caleb Ikechukwu, could not be reached to confirm the incident.

His mobile phone line was switched off when called.

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Ogun: Five persons roasted to death in auto crash

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No fewer than five persons have been killed in an accident involving a commercial bus in Ogun State on Friday, DAILY POST reports.

Eyewitness account has it that the bus had skidded off one side of the road, summersaulted and went up in flames, killing five persons.

The accident reportedly occurred at Onigaari axis of Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State.

The Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement (TRACE) corps confirmed the incident.

TRACE Spokesperson, Cdr Babatunde Akinbiyi, said the five victims were burnt beyond recognition.

Akinbiyi informed that the victims had been taken to Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH) morgue in Sagamu.

“We are still gathering information on victims rescued before our arrival.” he said.

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Crime

BREAKING: Taraba Guber: PDP defeats APC at tribunal

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The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Taraba State has dismissed the petition by Abubakar Danladi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the re-election of Governor Darius Ishaku of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last governorship election in the State.

The decision was taken by a three-man panel led by Justice M.O. Adewara.

In a unanimous decision, the court held that the petitioners failed to prove their claims that the election was marred by irregularities and substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act.

The court also held that since a Federal High Court in the state, gave a judgment on March 6, 2019, in the suit: FHC/JAL/CS/01/2019, disqualifying Danladi from contesting the election, he could not be said to be a candidate in the election.

Justice Adewara held that since the judgment was upheld up to the Supreme Court, it meant that APC had no valid candidate in the election, did not participate in the election and was not qualified, along with Danladi, to have presented a petition before the tribunal.

The court explained further that even if the petition was to be considered on the merits, the petition failed to lead to sufficient evidence to establish their claims that the governor was not validly elected by a majority of lawful votes.

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