Wonder shall never end. This new regime which started on the 29th of May 2023 is like a big functional and ever busy cinema in which movie producers compete to have their movies shown. It is interesting that those of us who are not fans of entertainment produced in the Nigerian film and movie industry—due to its immoral content—have found a new way of entertaining ourselves. Regular viewers of what plays out on the Nigerian political scene would not struggle to conclude that Nigeria has become a big movie theatre. We expect good governance but we end up having excellent movies. While a part of me enjoys these unending movies, another part of me bleeds in pain. It bleeds because our actions and inactions have caused great harms to us and shall probably cause greater harms to the next generation if remedies are not urgently and meticulously applied.
We address every consequential issue from the prism of ethnicity and religion. If we do not play the ethno-religious card, we resort to nepotism—favouring one’s friends and relatives shamelessly with no regards for ethics and common sense. That was why a lawmaker which sex toy shopping (not law-making) projected to national prominence created a movie scene when he claimed to have won Common Entrance Examination while in primary three (3) just to defend a minister whose credentials have some discrepancies that reek of forgery or perjury.
We find again another minister who, instead of answering questions posed to her, “emotionally” burst into tears like a baby that was denied suckling. The uncommon Senate President, to avoid bursting into comradely emotional tears, asked her to take a bow and go. There are many excellent movies for anyone willing to watch in Nigerian big cinema which we officially call Nigerian government. The most recent show is the ongoing attacks and counter attacks between a sheikh and a satanic minister. Yes, a sheikh and Satan are not supposed to be on the same page. This is understandable. They are supposed to be avowed enemies. Many have queued behind the Sheikh to defend him. Not a few concerned Nigerians are also shooting missiles against attackers of the Minister. Some of us are just watching to see who blinks first. It may even end in a situation of “no victor”, “no vanquished.”
Let me clarify some points. Ministership of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is not the monopoly of any region or adherents of any religion. Accordingly, Nyesome Wike is perfectly qualified to be FCT minister from the legal point. I can see an exhibition of ethnic and religious bigotry in the assertion of some who question the appropriateness of Wike ministerial appointment to minister the FCT—being a Christian from the South. These people, due to bigotry, pretend not to be informed that FCT is not a state in the political sense that someone (specifically) from somewhere (predictably) has to be elected to govern. A President, to be specific, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (PBAT) has the constitutional right to appoint anyone from any religion or region as FCT minister.
Next is if truly the FCT Minister is satanic. I cannot say yes or no for I am not very sure. I will explain why shortly. Meanwhile, I would have defended the controversial Sheikh Gumi if he had called Wike a madman. But to claim Wike is satanic needs some further clarifications from Gumi.
What does he mean by “satanic”? Another interesting question is: why has Gumi’s “satanization” of Wike generated much noise. Obviously because Gumi is a Muslim and a, if not most, controversial cleric. Last month precisely, Pedro Obaseki, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, described Wike as Satan’s Lieutenant. I am trying to see the difference between Wike as “Satan’s second in command” and Wike as “satanic.” Why Gumi’s characterization of Wike generates much backlashes (but not Pedro’s) is the reason why I think the former should have respected himself as a sheikh. He should not have spoken the way politicians do.
While it is Gumi’s constitutional right to express an imagined fear and concern about Wike receiving the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria in his office, I find it difficult to arrive at the conclusion that, by virtue of that visitation, Abuja will become an extension of Tel Aviv where anyone with beard will be killed. This is serious! What kind of thinking is this? What I even find more disgusting and more problematic is that he uttered these words on the pulpit in the mosque during Friday service in his capacity as a Khatib (preacher). If he had uttered those words in his capacity as a Nigerian opinion leader who is against APC and its divisive Muslim-Muslim ticket, that might be less problematic. Good to know that Arewa Group and a group of Northern elders have dissociated themselves from those ill-thought utterances. I expect Northern clerics to dissociate themselves from such vitriol. Gumi speaks for himself; not for the clerics or Nigerian Muslims. Those utterances are not healthy for the wellbeing of the country.
Now back to Wike. I am not very sure if he is satanic or Satan’s second in command. What I am very sure of is that there is a relationship between Wike and Satan. Is the relationship friendly or antagonistic? This is yet another question. Some years ago, six years precisely, Wike twitted that “APC is the house of Satan. They have brought so much problem to Nigeria. Nigerian has never been this divided.” Now, Wike is a Minister in the house of Satan. I guess it is the reason why he has not decamped to APC from the house of “Angels” (PDP). If he had decamped, Gumi’s and Pedro’s assertions that he is satanic and Satan’s Lieutenant respectively would have been justifiable.
What is more, Nyesome Wike readily declares anyone Devil, Lucifer, and Satan at a slight political provocation. In her Thursday column in Punch Newspaper, Abimbola Adelakun, discussing the “Satan” in Abuja, gave a chronicle of Wike and his penchant for satanic characterization of opponents. She wrote “What Wike’s defenders missed is that there is perhaps no other politician who has banalised identifying Satan in political exchanges better than Wike himself.” Apparently, Wike seems to be inseparable from the word “Satan” or “satanic.” If Gumi had stopped at calling Wike satanic, perhaps many who criticised him would have defended him, or at least soft-pedalled their criticisms, but he (Gumi) went overboard to make some alarming claims as if he is an alarmist.
I will conclude that if Wike is said to be satanic, he is only being paid in his coin. I advise those defending him to use their time usefully. There is no point defending Wike. Though I know Wike no send (he does not care), yet I urge him to tell Nigerians if he is truly satanic—Satan Lieutenant—or not. We should know once and for all. Surely, he is a madman. He said so and I believe him. And of course, who am I to know him better than himself.
My dear Honourable FCT Minister, it does not even matter whether your traducers call you satanic or Satan’s Lieutenant. What matters is your ability and the strong will to transform Abuja such that we shall all be proud of it and of you. I understand there are calls for your sack. But if you remain the FCT Minister, ignore your enemies and the satanic especially now that your boss (PBAT)’s victory at the poll has been endorsed by the Supreme Court. If you pay attention to the shenanigans of your enemies, they will distract you from the good projects you plan to “madly” execute in Abuja. If you succeed as I wish you success, you will make yourself fanimorous to many of us. I wish to find you fanimorous soon.