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Keep Off: Fascists in charge

You may soon need an APC membership card to renew your travel documents next time you show up at any of the Naija consulates outside the country. Nes Lebu Brigade is working hard to make sure that becomes the norm if not the law. Those who think they have a right to take umbrage with the way things are running in Naija, should stay away from home and from governance. Should they persist, they are free to beg for asylum, grovel for refugee status or do whatever, just stay away if you’ve ever uttered a word against the way APC is running the show!

It is my understanding that last week, Lara Wise, a consummate journalistic amazon was being pressured to give up her new appointment at The Dome. If you check her resume, Wise has paid her dues to her profession and earned her laurels. Perhaps her sin is working for hostile media!

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Two weeks ago, Festus Adedayo, who described himself as a virulent critic of bad governance was enjoying a blissful dilemma determining whether to suspend a prospective law career or take up appointment as media aide to the new senate leadership. Lawan, the man who appointed him relieved him of his headache after heckling by the Nes Lebu Brigade aka APC Youths.

Their argument was that some of the appointees who did not believe in party agenda should not be called upon to help implement it. It is a fascist excuse to block professionals who may have better ideas from helping to deliver a people-oriented system of governance. We’re talking about personal aides here, not policy makers.

All over the world, critics and opposition figures are recruited to balance the thoughts and governance process. A group of yes-men in governance is a recipe for disaster. However, it is becoming evident that to survive in Naija of 2019, you must be loyal to the prevailing mediocrity and bury independent or progressive thinking. If this is the modus operandi/vivendi of governance in the Nes Lebu, all is lost.

Weeks ago, Abdullahi Ganduje, the presiding saint in Kano State began to dismantle the perceived hotbed of opposition by balkanizing the Kano Emirate because he is unhappy with the Amr who is a consummate critic. He, whose corruption investigation was suspended after intervention, initiated one against the monarch. Even the blind knows where Ganduje is going with his persecution. While that was going on, he used state machinery to send humorist Mohammed Yusuf to jail for his satiric songs on his antics.

In local circles, that tantamount to Walaization of dissent after IG Wala, another critic was sent to jail for failing to proof allegations against a pro-government official. If the person ‘libeled’ had been an opposition figure, government would have granted access to documents to help him proof his case or engineered a favourable judicial ruling.

A discarded trend is creeping back into our polity. Legends have it that in the old Kano, NEPU supporters like the late Abubakar Rimi and Sule Lamido were sent to jail because the powers that be ordered the police and judicial officers to keep them away until they felt safe with their freedom. In 2019, this thunder is the new aradu or amadioha. Gradually, fascism is taking roots and we are watching in silence. If critics are prevented from rendering advice, where lies the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are? It would then not be far when it would be criminal to criticize the shitstem while hoping to survive within it.

Critics could disappear for any reason. Already, the operational climate is hard for private media houses. Some are being shut down, others are being heckled and queried for inviting critics into their programmes. Public advertising, the only source of extra cash in a system that does not subsidize or grant tax-exemption status to media houses have been curtailed for the independent media.

A cabinet of yes-men running the state according to their whims while denying critics of space would sink our country into its lowest form of democratic dictatorship. This should not be allowed to prevail. It would not be surprising the way things are going, if the Nes Lebu Brigade starts compiling the names of perceived critics and/or their relatives in government for termination.

In a government headed by Muhammadu Buhari, who, as military dictator organized the kidnap of a politician on a foreign soil, nothing is improbable. It would not be out of place if he issued a secret order to consular officers not to renew the travel documents of foreign-based critics. Those who stray into the nation’s ports could then be hounded into jail on trumped up charges without trial. These are dangerous times and all citizens should act to prevent this new level of fascism.

This country belongs to all who were born within or to it. We all love our country even if we hate the antics of our clueless leaders. Nobody who is willing to serve and qualified to serve should be ostracized on the basis that they have been critical either now or in the past. Criticism is not synonymous with sedition. Rightly applied, it is patriotism at its best.

NOMINATE AFRICAN OF THE YEAR 2019

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