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Exit of Our Master-Key: A Tribute to Tijanni Yusuf

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It is exactly one week since I lost a bosom friend of immeasurable value and affection. My relationship with the late Mallam Tijjani Yusuf has transcended friendship. It metamorphosed from mere friendship into brotherhood. Oga Tijjani as I used to call him (he also used to call me Oga PS) was a confidant and a true brother that fits the common adage of fraternity where you can easily introduce and refer to such an individual in whom you are pleased as “my brother of different Parenthood”.

I first met Oga Tijjani some three decades ago. I had reported to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Area I Garki as the Personal Assistant/Legal Counsel to the late Alhaji Abubakar Habu Hashidu the then Honourable Minister of Water Resources, later Honourable Minister of Agriculture, Water Resources and Rural Development, until 1993 when the Transition Council was formed and we vacated office.

Oga Tijjani was then the Personal Assistant to the Director-General Dr. Alex Kadiri.

It was easy for me to settle down to work through the instrumentality of Oga Tijjani’s readiness to put me through using his humble nature and humane attitude of being a brother’s keeper at all times. He immediately taught me the rudiments of the job of a Personal Assistant, including the expectations therefrom the survival techniques and the intrigues therein. 

I later on came to appreciate the essence of his tutelage after surviving on the throne, until my Principal vacated office as the Minister in 1993. As an Aide/Civil Servant, initially on Secondment from the Bauchi State Civil Service I walked the tightropes of working and operating as a Federal Civil Servant; mediating my relationship with all the top management staff of the Ministry as well as Heads of Parastatals of the Ministry and their operators which resulted in a cordial relationship that outlived our sojourn while it lasted. All thanks to Oga Tijjani’s tutorials and guidance.

I left Oga Tijjani in the Ministry after the end of my Principal’s tour in January, 1993 back to my State of Bauchi to resume my office as Senior State Counsel and subsequently transferred to the Presidency in May, 1993 as Assistant Chief Legal Officer/Legal Adviser in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). 

I was privileged to serve in that exalted office as Legal Adviser to: Late Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, Late Alhaji Mustapha Umara, Late Alhaji Aminu Saleh, Late Alhaji Gidado Idris and Chief Ufot Ekaette all former SGF and statesmen of repute. May the souls of those who departed among them rest in Aljannat Firdaus. It was fulfilling that I was able to deploy some of the lessons learnt from Oga Tijjani to serve these Principals and working amicably with colleagues alike. All the while we were holding on together with Oga Tijjani.

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My new schedules after May, 1993 kept me close to the Villa as save the last two the earlier three SGFs had office in the Villa. 

The daily shuttle we embarked upon made us quasi Villa staff, and obviously became abreast with the day to day happenings in the Villa. Again by share coincidence and providence Oga Tijjani was posted to the office of the First Lady in 1994 so we got reunited at work place thus rekindling our personal bond and unison which had since gone beyond common friendship but family ties. 

My formal deployment and permanent relocation to the Villa in 2007 as State House Counsel was the icing on the cake for the consolidation of my bond with Oga Tijjani. It then became a brotherhood made in heaven, as we got connected twenty-four hours seven days a week and so were our two families.

My schedules as State House Counsel were purely legal though sometimes blended with tasks that are policy in nature and given by Mr President and or the Vice directly or through the Chief of Staff. 

I was privileged to offer second legal opinion at all times in close consultation with the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation (HAGF), who is the Chief Law Officer of the Federation. There were instances where I had my differences with the HAGF and sometimes Honourable Ministers whose Policy proposals and advice we scrutinized on instructions. Knowing that expressing so might not go down well with them and I needed to employ tact and respect in conveying my views to them before returning my submission to my principals, I found an interlocutor in Oga Tijjani. 

Though not “a learned friend”, I would after explain my dilemma and apprehension and to Oga Tijjani he would in his characteristic manner make good suggestions on approaches that would ultimately helped to douse tensions. Very wise man, self –effacing but full of experience of life.

We have had our rituals of communal eating since I formally moved into the Villa. Initially we would congregate in Kabiru Jibir’s office in the mornings for tea immediately after each morning’s briefing with the Chief of Staff (COS). Kabiru was then a Special Assistant in the office of COS. Lunch was usually served in my office and we sometimes had Imam Abdulwaheed join us in the eating congregation. 

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There was always an early evening snack in the office of Late Lawal Abdulganiyu where we were joined by Mallam Lawal Daura (then with PC4) and Mr. Olojede of the office of COS. At such an informal setting we learnt so much from each other and you can bet the less talkative among us was Oga Tijjani. Speaking/Talking less but once spoken his contributions were sharp while his ideas deep, tested and enduring. 

This congenial setting and tradition continued till his last days. Breakfast and Lunch sessions continued in my office until 2015 when lunch was moved centrally to the office of Mallam Abba Kyari (COS), our Boss, who made it semi-mandatory for all of us, including his Assistants to eat jointly as a family. The COS always chaired the eating sessions as the head of the table. Allah Sarki! Today who will sit next to me as you are gone?

My tour of tour as the Permanent Secretary, State House achieved the modest successes so far recorded with the much support, boost and encouragement I received from you my departed Brother. 

Onshore or offshore my absence was never felt in the discharge of my functions. Without prejudice to the statutory role been played by my Directors and Colleagues alike, Oga Tijjani was always there as my “Deputy”. Because of our closeness it was easier for him to take urgent decisions and actions on my behalf that often required no ratification. 

He knew me so deeply and appreciated my psyche that he acted in my absence and on my behalf that I could have no cause but concur, since I would have found nothing unsavoury in his action/decision. 

My boss the COS would always not worry with my absence when it comes to executing an instruction so long as Oga Tijjani is on ground. So also the State Chief of Protocol, SSAP Domestic, SA Housekeeping, Director Maintenance, Commander Guards Brigade and all other Principal officers who relate with me in the course of discharging their functions. Reaching me whenever I shut down and no matter where I am and unreachable become easy if you can reach Oga Tijjani. 

I make bold to say, that included members of my nuleus family, they too rely on his “fishing” traits to find me. That was how close we were. He had my spouse’s phone number as well as those of my other family members and he had unfettered access and so am I to his immediate family that look up to me as a father figure.

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If there was one person that could change my decision outrightly and I could not say no to, that person was Oga Tijjani. There were instances that I would remain stubbornly opposed to a decision in and out of the office but he will reverse it, sometimes without informing me and I would do nothing but accept as he would always give me good reasons for doing so especially where or when we were unable to meet for an explanation before execution.

Allahu Akbar! Such is life. Today Oga Tijjani is no more and indeed I have lost a worthy companion that was honest, sincere and trustworthy undeniably reliable to me and my course. He stood by me in thick and thin and took so many bullets on my behalf some of which I never and would never ever have known. He counseled me and allowed me to drink from his fountain of wisdom as any elder would do to his junior brother. 

I learnt perseverance, patience, commitment and hard work from Oga Tijjani and most of all I learnt peaceful co-existence, fairness and fear of God as a vehicle to meaningful life from you my dear Brother of inestimably sterling character.

But the loss of Oga Tijjani is not just a personal one. Villa will really miss his diligence and commitment when it comes to event planning for which he was the Master-Key. Unfortunately, the essence of his retentionafter retirement, as part of our succession plan would appear dimned by his sudden exit. But we take solace in the fact that the foundation he had laid through his personal character and meticulous approach to matters would reamin enduring with his subordinate officers and staff alike.

My ardent supporter, admirer and genuine friend, I will miss you very dearly but will be comforted by the fact that as you lived a descent life and helped humanity till the end and true to the teachings of your faith. 

This was evidenced by the mammoth crowd that attended your Janaza. May Allah gives us your admirers, your associates and members of your larger family the fortitude to bear such enormous loss. 

Till we meet to part no more in Aljannat Firdaus in shaa Allah. Adieu Oga Tijjani.

Your loving brother till eternity, Jalal .A. Arabi, OON, fwc

OPINION

Tinubu’s Blind Ambition Provoking Civil War

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By SKC Ogbonnia 

The blind ambition of Bola Ahmed Tinubu to rule Nigeria at all costs is on course to provoke a civil war. But this war will not be fought between the Yoruba and the Igbo, as Tinubu would wish; it is a civil war between the Nigerian masses and the corrupt oligarchy that he represents.

Keenly aware that he is neither physically fit nor morally sound to mount a presidential campaign, let alone govern Nigeria, Mr Tinubu is already attempting to win by hook or crook.

Barely less than one week after grabbing the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC), he is already fanning the embers of war. Very glaring is a recent incident in which armed thugs were sent to disrupt the traders of Alaba International Market, Ojo, Lagos State, who went the extra mile to shut their shops in order to obtain their Permanent Voters Cards (PVC).
Any serious inquiry into the mayhem would reveal a page from Tinubu’s patented plot to control the Lagos State electorate by terror.

A sham selling point in Tinubu’s march to the APC nomination is the assumption that he dictates who wins and who loses in the Nigeria’s most populous State of Lagos. But, as an APC chieftain and the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, noted in a recent speech, Tinubu has been able to lord himself over the good people of the State due to low voter turnout. “Here in Lagos, you have over six million registered voters, only about a million voted (in 2019 general elections); five million did not vote.”

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This low voter turnout is rooted in Tinubu’s lack of popularity among the masses. To that end, he has always deployed all manners of terror to suppress the votes of his opponents. Like the attack on the Igbo traders at Alaba International Market, armed thugs were also used to unleash terror on the voters in many parts of Lagos State with heavy Igbo populations during the 2019 elections.

Tinubu’s penchant to incite the Yoruba against the Igbo is well chronicled. Recall the murder of Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Afenifere leader, Reuben Fasoranti, by Fulani Herdsmen. In attempt to appease the Fulani, whom he believes would crown him president, Tinubu quickly exonerated the herdsmen without any iota of evidence. Instead, he stoked the name of Chukwudi Onuamadike, popularly known as Evans, a notorious kidnapper, to suggest that heinous crimes in Nigeria owe their origin to Igboland.

Follow the above with the callous attempt by Remi, the wife of Tinubu, to instigate hatred against the Igbo living in Lagos. In one instance, she was caught on camera on a campaign trail spewing the following snide: “Igbo, we no dey trust una again!”

One must not forget the case of Tinubu’s close ally, the Lagos State commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who peddled the false allegation that the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a predominantly Igbo group, was planning to wreak havoc in Lagos. Further, Tinubu cannot feign ignorance of the origin of another false claim by state authorities that the IPOB was behind the burning of the palace of Oba of Lagos and other public infrastructure during the #EndSARS protest in the year 2020.

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In each of these instances, however, the Yoruba masses and their true leaders have been bold to denounce Tinubu’s evil machinations. They have resolved to stand side by side with their Igbo counterparts for the common good.

The Nigerian masses are becoming wiser. They are beginning to recognise that the powerful corrupt cabal, where Ahmed Bola Tinubu is a high chief, has no sympathy for what the ordinary man or woman is going through — be it Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Ijaw, Tiv, etc. They must resist the temptation to shed each other’s blood, by fighting the Tinubu war. The only war the masses ought to fight, and must fight, is against the corrupt elite. The purpose is to reclaim our country. The year is 2023. The ammunition is the PVC!

SKC Ogbonnia, a 2019 APC Presidential Aspirant, writes from Houston, Texas.

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OPINION

Time to Rethink Nigerian Politics and Party Nomination Processes

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By Dakuku Peterside

After a long voyage, all the political parties have concluded their special conventions and primaries, and they now have presidential flag bearers representing the parties at the polls next year. The past two weeks have been a protracted season of tension, permutations, and intrigues. The dramas that brought the two presidential candidates to victory were captivating and pulsating.

There were no apparent upsets as the two presidential candidates from the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are political heavyweights and they represent the culmination of what Nigerian politics has been in the past two decades.

The symbolisms of both of their candidature are not lost on us – the triumph of the political godfathers, the super rich and high-powered stakeholders in our political firmament. Whether their candidacy is what Nigerians expected or not, whether the process of choosing them was “dollarised” or not, whether their ages would be a factor in their efficiency on the presidential job or not, one of them would likely become the president come May 2023, barring any miracle.

The theatre of presidential politics offers us the rare opportunity to reflect on our politics, our stunted development, and the future of our country. Like most Nigerians, I have conducted a post-mortem on the presidential primaries of the two major political parties in Nigeria, borne out of my critical and sober reflection on all the political theatricals, actions and inactions of significant actors and institutions involved in the primaries. I want to share my five takeaways from the special conventions of the two major political parties.

First, I believe that Nigerians were interested in the primaries because they wanted the parties to choose a candidate who deeply understands the myriad of Nigerian problems and can articulate solutions to them, whilst galvanising all Nigerians to realise our collective aspirations as a people. Most people were disappointed because the primaries did not adequately showcase any candidate, so that Nigerians could start making sense of who he is and what he represents. The profiles, service records, programmes and manifesto speeches of the aspirants did not count for much for the delegates who decided the presidential nominations.

These attributes mattered to the public but not to delegates in their worlds. It was all about schemes, scams, and personal interests. A negligible number of delegates voted on the basis of their conviction about the competence and service record of the aspirants. Throughout the consultation and nomination processes, except for an insignificant number of aspirants, no one spoke about how to solve our most pressing socio-economic problems in Nigeria.

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Second, the primaries were auctions of some sort. What was at stake was who would be the highest bidder for an estate worth more than $411 billion – the size of the Nigerian economy in 2019-2020. The leading aspirants, going by what transpired at both conventions, were ready to offer a paltry $100 million for this piece of estate, making it the cheapest auction ever conducted anywhere in the world. If we go by the stories of some delegates who alleged that some aspirants offered them between $5,000 and $20,000 each, a quick calculation will give you a vivid idea of the bid of leading aspirants in both political parties. Similar things happened on a smaller scale in the fringe parties.

A lot has been said and written about the “dollarisation” of the presidential nomination processes. It beggers belief that the presidency is for sale to the highest bidder at this stage of our political development. We discussed within and outside the venue of the primaries (on social media, traditional media, and the public sphere) about offering dollars as inducement to delegates to vote for a candidate, as if it is a normal thing to do.

This action is a crime and, if proven, should have severe consequences for both the givers and the receivers. But not in Nigeria, where anything goes. Where is our collective conscience and morality? How do we want to be taken seriously as a country by other nations when the most important political office in the country is bought or sold to the highest bidder? How do we expect good leadership from a foundation of corruption and crass hedonism? Why must we be mercantile about our national leadership and development?

Third, these primaries showcased elitism and elite dominance of the political system and structures. Major stakeholders, including the delegates, are of the elite class or their cronies, and they were there to do the bidding of the privileged class. It was a gathering of the political elite to struggle to control state power. We noticed different factions jostling for control. The gang of the governors was prominent in both the PDP and APC primaries. Governors who control fiefdoms were directly or indirectly in control of delegates from their states, barring a few renegades who refused to be directed by the governors and voted either on the basis of personal conviction or the dictates of the candidates that had paid in dollars.

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In these primaries, we saw the political elite’s insensitivity, manipulation and greed displayed in gargantuan proportions, and even state governors were not exempted. The level of personal greed was embarrassing, and there was no room for principles or conviction. Only a handful in the elite political class could restrain their greed, even for money they do not need.

Fourth, loyalty, morality and friendship are meaningless in Nigerian politics. The only thing that matters is shifting interests. We saw politicians who had been long-time allies work at cross-purposes and those who had conversely been at each other’s throats for ages collaborate for personal gains and unfounded promises. Alliances and counter-alliances were formed and broken. Politicians slaughtered personal relationships at the altar of political expediencies. Primordial sentiments and attachments led to friends and counterparts betraying each other.

At long last, we saw ethnic feelings dictating the choices made by some without considering what is best for Nigeria and the public that the delegates were representing. Advocates of zoning felt hard done and cried wolf in both primaries, although the Northern Governors Forum of the APC, in a heroic act, displayed unusual patriotism when the group insisted on the presidential ticket of the party going South. It may take time for the wounds created during these primaries to heal, and it may take time to rebuild trust and harmony among party members who felt betrayed and used by the system.

Fifth, delegates did not vote for aspirants based on the issues of interest to the people they were supposed to represent. The welfare, interest and progress of the ordinary persons did not matter. Everything was purely a transactional enterprise. Most Nigerians watching the primaries from home felt betrayed by the lack of sincerity of some aspirants who, at the last minute and when it mattered the most for them to sell their presidential aspirations to Nigerians, jettisoned the aspiration altogether and “en mass”, in some instances, engaged in the endorsement of other aspirants, thereby changing the equation of the selection process.

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These primaries illustrate the dire state of our politics and the need for a review of the whole democratic process. The monetisation and dollarisation of our politics leave a sour taste in the mouth of every democratic person. Although we have faulted the process, only time will tell whether the products of these processes will deliver Nigeria from this state of quagmire, and raise the hopes and aspirations of many hopeless Nigerians who have given up on the country. The candidates of the two major political parties, who are wealthy political juggernauts, have been part of the orthodoxy, have planned for the presidency for many years, and have fought hard to clinch the tickets of their parties. We sincerely hope they have the elixir to Nigeria’s problems.

At the end of my review, these past conventions or presidential nomination processes revealed everything wrong with our politics – the weak ideological foundation of the parties, the attitude of our people to a democratic culture, the influence of poverty or the lack of economic empowerment on political choices, the absence of citizenship rights and responsibilities in our politics, the vanishing moral values and desperation of the elite to hang on to power as the only means of survival and wealth in an economy that is very hard to create wealth privately within.

The whole charade and shenanigans of the political class and their desperation to grab power at all costs are linked to poverty and hopelessness in the land, as poor people pay little or no attention to issues. Most ordinary Nigerians suffer from physical and material deprivation, whilst our political elites are afflicted by moral and mental poverty, as seen in their attitudes and behaviours in the presidential nomination of the two major parties.

We cannot continue this way as a nation, and I hope subsequent primaries will see significant improvements in the identified areas. It is time to rethink our politics, party nomination process, the basis of our choices as individuals and the future of our country. Still, I congratulate the presidential candidates of all the parties for winning the slot of their parties.

I look forward to an issue-based campaign devoid of sleaze, mudslinging, ethnic and religious chauvinism, and campaign monetisation. We must get it right this time because we cannot afford to gamble with our collective destiny.

Dakuku Peterside is a policy and leadership expert. 

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FEATURES

The Spread of Mob Justice in Nigeria

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By Dakuku Peterside

There is an epidemic of mob justice in Nigeria today, and the frequency at which they occur shocks our shared sensibilities. The ubiquitous nature of jungle justice across all parts of Nigeria leaves any discerning mind to wonder how low we are falling as a nation. Every week, we are served on social media with images and videos of an angry mob killing and desecrating the bodies of citizens who are victims of this madness sweeping through our society.

It enrages any civilised mind that people will pull out their phones to record such atrocities and man’s inhumanity to man with glee and the effrontery of a witch in a horror movie scene.


Often, the images of the mob of young people excited and jubilant in the atrocity of lynching an innocent person hunts us and makes us wonder what the future of Nigeria will become with these types of young people in our midst.

Life almost has little or no value on our streets, and it seems no one is exempt from the cold hands of jungle justice if you are at the wrong place and at the wrong time. A mere accusation of blasphemy or a shout of “ole, ole, ole” may mark the end of the life of a Nigerian. Recent examples will demonstrate the prevalence and spread of mob justice in Nigeria.


Commercial motorcyclists lynched a sound engineer identified as David Imoh in the Lekki axis of Lagos state a few days ago. David and his friends were attacked by a mob of okada riders over a misunderstanding concerning a N100 balance. Some motorcyclists present at the scene joined their colleague to beat up David and two of his friends resulting in David’s demise and his two friends in hospital fighting for their lives. The mob of motorcyclists who, at the slightest provocation or altercation with any of their colleagues, meting out jungle justice is becoming a common phenomenon in our big cities.


In a similar incident, at least eight persons were killed during a clash between traders and commercial motorcyclists in the Dei-Dei market area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). A trailer killed the passenger of an “okada rider” due to reckless driving, and the traders in that area of Abuja set ablaze the motorcycle. The other okada riders formed a mob, killed and maimed many people, and burnt down houses and stores of many traders.
Nigerians recently woke up to the news of the gruesome killing and burning of a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Deborah, by a mob of her fellow students because they accused her of blasphemy. The whole scene was a wild orgy that negated any form of civilisation.

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The satisfaction derived from taking a life that was known to some of them could only come from psychopaths. The ensuing rioting and public disorder because of the arrest of the perpetrators of the act demonstrates the depth of the rot of acceptance of jungle justice in Sokoto and is worrisome because youths were the vanguards. The riots led to more killings, burning of houses and destruction of religious buildings.
Furthermore, a pastor was injured, and many houses were burnt by irate youths who went on the rampage over alleged blasphemy in the Katangan area of Warji Local Government Area of Bauchi State. Trouble started when some people circulated a message on social media that a Christian girl in the town allegedly engaged in the blasphemy of Islam.


Nigerians are disturbed about these incidents and are rightly so. The fundamental element of a democracy is to protect the life, property and liberty of the people, but today, in the most populous black nation of the world, the life and freedom of the people are almost worthless. Citizens take laws into their own hands, which results in the death of other citizens with no consequences. This resort to jungle justice by people is symptomatic of broader issues that plague our society. What are some of these issues?
First, there is a growing malaise of social angst, frustration and discontent with society and social systems in our country. People are losing faith in society and are easily provoked and resort to self- help even in criminal and social justice issues.

The reason for this may be the constant and ongoing degradation of most Nigerians’ quality of life which leads to frustration, and they are ready to unleash their anger on anyone or anything that causes slight irritation to them. We have a huge youth population that is unemployed, or completely unproductive. These angry youths are the catalysts of such mob actions and enjoy the frenzy of destroying lives, property, and social institutions as if they have no stake in society. We have a generation of young people that we must be quick to make productive and help channel their energy to improving society rather than destroying it.


Second, our ethnic and religious fault lines are sharp and edgy. Increasingly, issues are dichotomised on ethnic or religious lines and based on the side of the divide one falls, one interprets and acts towards social and religious matters. Little wonder why when a case that demands complete condemnation of all Nigerians of various hues and cues arises, some shamelessly defend or even condone it based on their narrow ethnic or religious sentiments.

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No civilised society will allow, tolerate or accept jungle justice and mob action. Our “Nigerianness” needs to be worked on and improved. The Nigerian project since 1914 has seen a battle to create national cohesion and blur our ethnic and religious lines. Institutions like the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and Federal Character Commission, among others, have been working hard to make us Nigerians, to no avail.
The real danger of rising incidents of lynch mob is in the proven power of spontaneity. When the sudden eruption of mob violence feeds into existing ethnic and political divisions, they could engulf a wider spectrum and become a national security concern.


Third, Nigerians increasingly are losing trust in our law enforcement and criminal justice system, and are resorting to self-help to deal with what they perceive as a crime against society. Our law enforcement system is almost in shambles, and many are not relying on it any more, to enforce law and order.

The corruption in the system is palpable, and everyone knows that. Some Nigerians believe, albeit rightly or wrongly, that cases that go to the law enforcement agents may not receive proper prosecutorial attention or be bought or sold to the highest bidder. Until law enforcement officers pursue a zero-tolerance attitude in dealing with mob justice, this will continue to show an upward trend.
Our judicial system is slow, clumsy, and sometimes ineffective. Justice delayed is almost the same as justice denied. The time it takes to conclude cases is so long that sometimes the victims have forgotten about their ordeal before the court punishes offenders. Sometimes, the victims are unaware of when the offenders are punished.


Fourth, normalization of violence in our society has become a cultural resort. There is a growing insensitivity to acts of violence because of too much exposure to violent acts in our society. Terrorism, banditry, secessionism, “unknown gunmenism”, riots and social unrests, and high- and low-level criminality abound and are bombarded to our senses through social media, digital images, and traditional media that we are “unshockable”. The number of videos of gruesome killings, burning and destructions I have seen lately leaves me traumatised. Some are so disturbing that they hunt me for days after watching them. Most Nigerians are the same.
The unintended consequence of exposure to such gruesome authentic images of an orgy of mutilation and death is that society becomes narcotised to them, which lowers our sense of decency, humanity, and value of life. As a society, we must shun all images that cheapen the value of life, regardless of the intention of recording or sharing such images. We must not allow ourselves to continue to be inured by these images.

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It behoves us to improve the situation and reduce mob justice in our country. It is an anomaly that people provide tacit legitimacy to such “mob justice” under all sorts of excuses, and it reflects the larger malaise of loss of faith in law enforcement and the judicial systems. It is the truth that we have barely functional and fractured law enforcement and judicial system, where it takes years before one can hope to get justice. But does it mean we should encourage sidestepping of the system?

We must realise the gravity of the danger it poses to us as individuals and society. In some cases, innocent people may be targeted based on rumour, misinformation, or suspicion. Mob justice may spark an ethnoreligious conflict capable of inflicting indelible damage on our society if we do not curb it now.

As a people, we must remove the inertia in our judicial process and make the system practical for delivering justice as quickly as possible to restore public trust in the criminal justice system. This will eradicate the excuse of people’s impatience that leads to extra-judicial killings, which are illegal and a violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. We need a complete police reform to gain people’s trust in the law enforcement system in Nigeria. People who engage in mob justice must be arrested and prosecuted and punished by the law to serve as a deterrent to others. If people know that such actions may have no consequences and there are few records of perpetrators receiving due punishment for their actions, they are encouraged to carry on with impunity.


The rioting in Sokoto shows that some people do not see anything wrong in mob justice and do not see why any person should be punished for it. Our public enlightenment agencies must find ways of limiting the spread of gruesome images in all media, and our national orientation agency must educate the masses on the dangers of engaging in mob justice and the consequences of such actions. We must “save ourselves from ourselves” on this road to perdition.


Dakuku Peterside is a policy and leadership expert.

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Share Post Views: 39 FROM TAYESE Mike, Yenagoa Ikarama is a Community under Okordia Clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area...

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