Today is not shaping up to be your average kind of Monday.
First, it is the 29th of May which makes it Democracy Day here in Nigeria and surely, a public holiday. How often does a Moliday happen? A Moliday is a term that exists in a dictionary that’s still being written.
But that’s not the only reason today feels different. I’ll tell you why.
As it is the tradition for the Head of State to deliver a speech on an auspicious day such as this, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (two-time Acting President and all-around cool guy) has not disappointed.
He delivered a speech early this morning and as I sat to digest his message of togetherness and the pursuit of a “Nigerian Dream”, it occurred to me -as an avid consumer of the news – that I may be consuming some shady material.
In his speech, Professor Osinbajo made allusions to people who may be employing their frustrations as justifications for “indulging in discrimination or hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind”. Fair enough right? And then he went on, in the same sequence (not a new sentence or as an afterthought) to throw in those “seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity…”
That’s when I thought: “Oh, no! He’s shading Nnamdi Kanu! Oh my God! Osinbajo just dropped a verbal bomb on Nnamdi Kanu!
Nnamdi Kanu who yesterday delivered his own heartfelt message saying: “It’s either Biafra or Death” may very well be the subject of “abnormality” that the Acting President is now referring to.
Nnamdi Kanu is the self-professed champion of Biafra who is standing trial for treason and some treasonable felonies before Nigerian courts in connection with his demands for the secession of some States in the South East and the South South of Nigeria under the umbrella of IPOB – the Indigenous people of Biafra. Nnamdi Kanu was released on stringent bail terms which include an instruction that he must not be in a gathering of more than 10 people at any one time last month. The leader of IPOB has however enjoyed a lot of press coverage since his release.
You know what? Let’s take it all in together:
“As we all daily preoccupy ourselves with pursuing the Nigerian dream, which is the desire to better Nigerians’ lives and circumstances vigorously and honestly, it is inevitable that grievances and frustrations will arise from time to time. This is normal. What is not normal, or acceptable, is employing these frustrations as justification for indulging in discrimination or hate speech or hateful conduct of any kind, or for seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity that has brought us all together as brothers and sisters and citizens.”
– Professor Osinbajo on Monday, 29th May.
Here is a clip of Nnamdi Kanu’s speech delivered at a Jewish Shabbat Rally which was released by Sahara TV:
“The choice is theirs [sic] how they want to play it. They must give us a date for a referendum. If they fail to do that, there will be no elections in Biafraland forever and ever… you say [Biafra] or nothing, I say Biafra or death.”
If the blatant threat of disturbing the holding of periodic elections in Nigeria is not what Professor Osinbajo was referring to as seeking to undermine by violent or other illegal means the very existence of the sovereign entity, it’s hard to say what else he was referring to.
Let us see how this will play out as the day draws on.
Creative mind. Enthusiast. Learner. Multipotentialite. And here, an assistant editor.