There is no way the Governor Samuel Ortom administration in Benue State would not interpret this as an attack on it. But Intervention has nothing against ‘the defender of the Benue Valley’. Intervention is only fascinated by the creativity of the writer and the logical inference he drew by asking at the end of his listing: With these and many more hanging promises of the present Benue State Government, why won’t Benue guber election be Inconclusive????. Intervention is, above all, keen on whether the writer has not simply challenged Nigerians to go ahead and compile the ‘Inconclusiveness’ profile of all other governments in Nigeria with a view to weaponizing such a profile.
The point is the question General Babangida aka IBB posed in 1991. He wanted to know how it happened that the economy had not collapsed in spite of everything. Were IBB to be reposting that question today, it is likely to be: how come this society has not collapsed? The modernist chords such as elite consensus that have held other societies together cannot be seen at work in Nigeria. So, Nigeria is a magic work, the sort of magic this creativity below signifies.
But how long can this magic hold if the nation is not calmed down, secured and guaranteed in rhetoric but also in action? As it is today, it makes sense to say that Nigeria has quietly slipped into a classic example of the ‘Risk Society’. Nigeria is not an industrial society and it is open to debate whether the claims of ‘Risk Society’ applies to her. But what can critical observers say about a country caught in the nightmares of blood and fire in Southern Kaduna, extending across to the plains of Zamfara, Sokoto and Katsina states; in the tragicomedy of inconclusive elections; in a shrill reminder of a dysfunctional society in collapsed building every now and then and the pains of Prof Pius Adesanmi’s dramatic departure, all in a week’s work. Each and every of these is an indicator of the ‘Risk Society’.
It is true Nigeria has nothing to do with the Ethiopian airliner that crashed but ‘Risk Society’ thesis does not have a state-centric conception of the space of risk. And even if it does, what about the unending phenomenon of collapsed buildings, this time killing children? And nothing would happen about it beyond the governor’s quick presence at the scene. That is another clear evidence of risk society crisis in Nigeria – the normalization of the idea that it is great leadership for the governor or the president to be seen empathizing with victims of a disaster that, by the rule book of governance, ought to have been anticipated, detected and prevented through surveillance. That is the first rule of governance, not a flawed show called governor’s quick dash when there is no guarantee that there won’t be another collapsed building, perhaps worse than the previous one tomorrow. Its observers say it is incredible how Nigeria and Nigerians quickly and successfully hold up and celebrate excuses for incompetence and mindlessness without self-criticism. As such, the country is endlessly picking up pieces from man-made rather than natural disasters.
Nigeria’s spaces of violence such as Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Yobe and Borno states have been so for the past few years and everything is how the authorities are on top of it. What is wrong with admitting the nature and magnitude of the violence? No, it doesn’t fall into the logic of power in Nigeria. Right now, nobody knows what the violence is all about officially. The president said they are renegade fighters from Libya. Kaduna State governor says they are unforgiving herdsmen from outer space. Middle Belt nationalists say they are Fulani militia on an Islamisation mission. Modernizers say they are a modernity decentering force in motion. But, peace and security are still derivates of power. How then would power or government of the day not be implicated in rebellions that have taken longer than months?
To make matters worse, there has been added the phenomenon of inconclusive elections. So widespread too that it is another indicator of Nigeria as a risk society – stuff embedded in the logic of a society but with implications that words cannot capture enough. Come to think of it! When might an election be inconclusive, on whose terms and where? Is it not the contested nature of the plausible reply to this question that manifest in the naming of INEC – the election management body itself as Inconclusive National Electoral Commission? Given that words have meaning, is no one frightened by this linguistics?
Meanwhile, this is the Inconclusiveness profiling of the Benue State Government. The writer calls it “Benue’s Array of Inconclusiveness” and it goes as follows:
- Salary Payment- Inconclusive
- Cargo Airport- Inconclusive
- Makurdi GSM village- Inconclusive
- Revitalization of Taraku Mills- Inconclusive
- Paris Club refunds- Inconclusive
- Bailout fund- Inconclusive
- Wannune Tomato Company- Inconclusive
- Igumale Cement Company- Inconclusive
- Mbatiav Cement Company- Inconclusive
- Implementation of Anti Open Grazing Law- Inconclusive
- Promotion of Teachers- Inconclusive
- Renovation of 740 Schools- Inconclusive
- Pensions & Gratuities- Inconclusive
- Benue Tractor Assembly Plant- Inconclusive
- Bank of Industry 5 Billion Naira Loan- Inconclusive
- Payment of Bursary Allowance to Students- Inconclusive
- School Fees of Tertiary Institutions in Benue- Inconclusive
- Gbajimba Road- Inconclusive
- Completion of Taraku- Naka- Agagbe Road- Inconclusive
- Relocation of Wurukum Market- Inconclusive
- Rehabilitation of Township Roads- Inconclusive
- Reticulation of Water in Makurdi Town- Inconclusive
- Renovation of Schools of Nursing & Midwifery, Makurdi- Inconclusive
- Repair of Makurdi Street Lights- Inconclusive
- Verification of Benue Wage Bill- Inconclusive
- Reinstatement of Sacked Staff- Inconclusive
- Payment of Furniture Allowance to Appointees- Inconclusive
- Settlement of Che Rex & Other Former Governor’s Aides- Inconclusive
- Rehabilitation of Otukpo Burnt Bricks Company- Inconclusive
- 107 Billion Naira Suswam & G-52 Probe- Inconclusive
- Wooing of Chinese Investors- Inconclusive
- Securing of 40 Billion Naira Bond to Clear Salaries- Inconclusive