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LEADERSHIP IMPUNITY IN NIGERIA & A BUTTERFLY WHO THINKS THAT HE’S A BIRD

Note: First published on May 14, 2020. The “published” date on the tab is the date that it was uploaded on this new site. Though some issues in this piece may still be current (depending on…), this info is to avoid mistaking the piece as current news.

SubTopic: MY MAN WIKE TEACHES THE BUTTERFLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BUTTERFLY AND A BIRD

This is “No Bullshiting,” by Harry Agina.

According to mama, once upon a time in the flying creatures’ kingdom, a mad butterfly went to a palm wine party and got himself drunk, on top of the madness he already had. On his way home, the mad-&-drunk butterfly lost his way. He ventured into the territory of a big no-bullshitting bird. A debate ensued (that’s if you believe that birds and butterflies actually have conversations). And, if you don’t believe that my proverbial butterfly and bird talked, please go ask my mama who passed the proverbial story to me. The problem is that we need a seance to get mama up from the dead. And then, mama would probably tell us to wake up her forefathers to ask them, too; and so on, and on, back to the origin of the story. So, I suggest that we just go ahead and hear them:

THE BIRD:              Hey, Mr. Butterfly, what are you doing in this territory? It belongs to birds.

THE BUTTERFLY:   (Staggering and stuttering) Who are you calling butterfly, huh? I-a-a- am a bird, you fool.

THE BIRD:              You? A bird? Hahahahah!!!

THE BUTTERFLY:   (Staggers, trips and falls, and gets up) I can prove to you that I am a bird just like you, and I’m even better and stronger. I challenge you to a duel.

The butterfly instantly drew his sword, and, before the bird could say Jack-and-Jill, the butterfly already struck a blow with his sword. Suffice to say that the bird kicked the but of the butterfly to “Thy Kingdom Come,” and then roasted him for dinner. That was many, many years ago, and our African forefathers made a wise adage out of it. They coined the phrase:

“A butterfly who believes that he is a bird.”

Today’s butterfly in mama’s story is the youth leader of a Ward in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State in Nigeria. He is named Princewill Osaronwa Osaroejiji. And, the bird is the governor of the same state, Nyesom Wike, who is also the state-head of the PDP political party that made Princewill the Youth Leader of an ordinary Ward.

I emphasize my key words above to underscore my constant condemnation of impunity among Nigerian leaders at all levels of leadership. Any little power makes my typical Nigerian leader to believe that he/she is a god. In this case, judging by what I have heard so far, impunity has truly turned into madness when the Youth Leader of a tiny, ordinary Ward challenges the governor of his state to a duel. If just half of the acts that are attributed to the Ward Youth Leader are true, he must have been far beyond delusional, obviously. I mean, cocaine-level delusional, meeeeeeen!!! He completely forget his limits as an ordinary Ward Youth Leader. Like the proverbial butterfly, he apparently got drunk on some palm wine. Maybe he was on something much stronger, like cocaine, which gave him the impetus to challenge his political master to a duel.

The confrontation, and the debate that it has generated are currently trending. Naturally, there are arguments for and against Governor Wike, as well as arguments for and against the Youth Leader. Many of the debaters are emotional or prejudiced. Some prejudiced ones had already decided that Wike is evil, even before this particular incident occurred. Some biases, if any, are due to partisan politics. And, others insist that the Youth Leader is an incorrigible criminal. Some critics base their judgments on incomplete information. But, of course, I know not to talk like some people do without full info.

Before the demolition incident, Wike was my no-bullshitting hero, for his powerful leadership style, generally. I was particularly proud of his effective counter-covid-19 leadership. When I first heard the news of the demotion of hotels, my first reaction was that my hero-governor goofed just a little this time. I felt that he went too far. Then, I heard the other side of the story. It said that one of the two owners of the demolished hotels acted with utmost criminal impunity. And, importantly, there is actually a law to back Wike’s reaction to the hotelier’s impunity.

To the under-informed debaters and those without any information at all, I present this brief gist from my readings, and the video commentaries that I have watched, thus:

Governor Nyesom Wike issued a covid-19 Executive Emergency Lockdown Order (law), which stipulates among others, that all hotels must be temporarily shut down. The law is said to stipulate that any hotel that violates the lockdown “shall be demolished.” Two hotels violated the law, but only one is prominent in the news, because the second hotelier is not notorious as the Youth Leader. In fact, I read that the other hotelier was not promptly aware of the incident, because he had ordered his manager to shut down the hotel.

First, the Ward Youth Leader, Princewill Osaronwa Osaroejiji, violated the lockdown and opened for business. Next, he was served a warning to desist, but he did not heed the warning. Instead, story has it that he sent word back to the task force, “daring the state to try to demolish his hotel, and see if he would not bring down the state.” So, the state Covid-19 Task Force sealed the hotel. And my proverbial “butterfly” continued in his drunken stagger and delusion, and broke the seal around the premises. Then the Task Force confronted him to query the criminal impunity; and he and his thugs beat the hell out of the law officers, and shot one of them with an illegal gun. When information got to Governor Wike, her personally supervised the demolition of the erring hotels. The delusion is now over, and the butterfly has realized that he is not a bird after all. He is on the run from the real bird, Governor Wike, with 5 million naira (N5m) bounty on his head.

Now, let’s get to my impunity point. I will not even try to imagine what this ordinary Youth Leader of just a Ward would do if he ever rises to become the Ward Chairman. He would probably challenge the president of the country to a due if he should get higher, to Local Government Chairman. And, if he should become the State Governor, he would probably engage Nigeria in a war with neighbouring countries.

My latest information is that the butterfly’s gunshot victim has died in hospital. I have only read it on social media news. So, I can’t swear on it yet, considering the evil handiwork of Nigeria’s fake news creators these days. If this is true, that makes Princewill, the butterfly, a murderer.

Mind you, my information has it that Princewill is actually an ex-convict, that he had spent three years in prison. Another source says that he was not imprisoned yet, but he was a fugitive of the law when he became the Youth Leader. That’s the Nigerian Factor for you!!! In abundance of intelligent persons of integrity, an ex-convict (or fugitive) and alleged cultist/gangster was picked to lead the youths of a Ward. Guess why? Ahh, never mind guessing; I’ll give you my postulation, viz: As long as election-rigging remains in Nigeria, gangsters or cultists are very relevant to the politicians. It takes such type to organize thugs and guns to kill and maim, to rig elections. This is my primary reason to name Nigeria’s federal lawmakers the nation’s worst enemies. They refuse to give us rigging-free electoral reforms that will give us good leadership and stop all the killings that our politicians commit as they rig elections. The loot-makers, I mean, lawmakers know that most of them will be booted out as soon as Nigerians begin to choose their leader through votes that count.

Beyond Wike’s persuasive interview on TV where he addressed the matter, writings and video comments on the demolition incident abound, with overwhelming support to Wike. Many are from citizens of Eleme Local Government Area (the location of the incident) and the environs. Of course, there are persons that condemn Wike, too, but they are in tiny minority. Naturally, no leader scores 100% approval on any matter, especially in partisan politics. The important thing is that overwhelming number of comments express joy that Wike has just brought down one of the worst dens of criminals in Rivers State.

Some of Governor Wike’s critics insist that he acted highhandedly, others say that he violated Nigeria’s constitution. Yet, I have not seen anybody that effectively refutes the information that I have, which support Wike’s action. The State Emergency Executive Order clearly states that demolition is the penalty for any hotel that violates the lockdown law. So, he was not lawless.

Some critics insist that even if demolition is stipulated in Wike’s Executive Order, it is unconstitutional. My response is that if anybody finds faults in the constitutionality of the demolition law, then they should challenge it in court. The mad and criminal impunity that was exhibited by Princewill is not the way. And, the constitutionality critics should first check the provisions in the constitution on emergency Executive Orders. I have not read it yet, but I suspect that it most probably gives such power to the governor in the covid-19 order.

And, as for the matter of waste of wealth, which the demolition constitutes, I say that it is truly the only reservation that I have about that law. Waste is not good at all, and so, my recommendation would be that the erring hotels should be confiscated and put into state use. However, I bet you that Wike was thinking just like me about the Nigerian Factor. If Wike had confiscated, instead of demolished the hotels, the evil Nigerian Factor almost guarantees a reversal of the confiscation sooner than later. As soon as someone else becomes Rivers State governor in 2023, he or she would return the alleged cultist’s hotel to him. Oh yes, indeed!!! So, my no bullshitting hero governor decided to do the irreversible by demolishing the hotel…no bullshitting!!!

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