Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Old tales of June 12

MUCH must have been expected of Professor Humphrey Nwosu’s book for people to bemoan it being bereft of explosive information on the annulled June 12 presidential election of 15 years ago.
Prof. Nwosu is a political dramatist. His choice of June 12 for the launching of the book and his pre-launch press briefing theatrics were enough pointers that the man still loves to hear his own voice. Now he has the headlines he seemed to have missed badly. He would not really bother if the media condemn or commend him.

Why did he write a book that will cost him the sympathy Nigerians had for him? What illumination has he provided? What is the purpose of this book? Could it be just to add his voice to the puerile debate over the right date for Nigeria’s Democracy Day?

How could he ever suggest that Nigeria’s only military President, who sacked his ministers at will, and randomly pushed out decrees to steer the course of the transition was a weakling obeying the dictates of junior officers and a civilian attorney-general?

Many took Prof. Nwosu too serious to have paid any attention to parts of the prayer Dr. Felix Chukwuma, Anglican Bishop of Enugu Diocese, offered at the book launch: “Father, forgive us for our dishonesty on June 12. Forgive us for deceiving you; remove greed and dishonesty from our midst. Many things are still in darkness; show us the way to come out of darkness into your light. Remove fear and dishonesty from us. Help us to establish truthfulness and honesty.”

Perhaps, this prayer was not talking about June 12 alone, but it was apt for the type of games people have been playing with June 12. The first set of players used it to gain political offices, painting grim pictures of their roles in the struggle, as if the hundreds who died on the streets were less human.

Next were those who have paraded tales of their midnight risks to get the authorities to restore the dictates of the election. They too have had their day and have moved on to other things.

Bishop Chukwuma is right about our dishonesty on June 12. However, forgiveness flows from confession and admission of guilt. Without these, darkness grows, fear thrives and dishonesty multiplies.

June 12 has provided a surfeit of darkness, fear, and dishonesty. When we thought we had seen it all, Prof. Nwosu chose to exercise his right to be heard. Had he written on fears for his safety as the reason for the emptiness of his 392-page book, Nigerians would have admired his courage.

Since politics, political science and the strides to survival in these parts are cast with minimal parts, if any for God; it is tasking to establish honesty. June 12 show this.

Bishop Chukwuma wrongly posited that we deceived God. We cannot deceive God, not even in a matter of high-tension deceit like June 12 –– God knows about June 12. 2008