By Sam Eleanya
In 2015, thanks to unrelenting efforts by Bishop Matthew Kukah, Father Christmas has delivered a new segment in Nigeria’s social entrepreneurial industry. It is Dialoguepreneurs: a class of person skilled at eking out international brand, wealth, followership and relevance promoting lawlessness while reaping ‘dialogue’.
You want to be a mega dialoguepreneur? Then see if any of the following applies to you:
1. Have I stolen so much from my nation’s commonwealth as to literally make the mind f the public woozy trying to comprehend the figures? Have I used the ill-gotten cache to hobble the wellbeing of millions of children, women, fellow citizens and generations unborn while making myself so powerful especially in my capacity to hire Senior Advocates of Nigeria on one side to defend me while on the other one orchestrate social upheaval leading inexorably to loss of lives, at least, in the hundreds? In addition, am I amoral enough as to brutally orchestrate just that social upheaval leading to killing of multiple people if am resisted by the State? Then, I am a candidate for dialogue: aka immunity and amnesty from prosecution – and possibly a State sanctioned payment securing a lifestyle of affluence. And? Bishop Kukah is my patron saint.
2. Have I brainwashed enough men and women with hatred spiced with half-baked political rhetoric to take up arms against the nation, kith and kin and communities. Have I demonstrated my capacity for diabolical violence in fact by habitually sacrificing a few tens of my supporters to press that point home by pitting them against over-zealous wings of a Security system in transition knowing death was a reasonable outcome on each occasion? Then, I am a candidate for dialogue: aka immunity and amnesty from prosecution – and possibly a State sanctioned payment securing a lifestyle of affluence. And? Bishop Kukah is my patron saint.
3. Am I traditional ruler – a metaphor for a class of citizens who operate outside of the law of the land by claiming to be the embodiment/repository of museum ‘mores, heritage and traditions’ of long dead ancestors totally perverted and in their genuine forms inconsistent with the currency of the present national, state and local order and socio-economic objectives? Have I parlayed tolerance of still confused citizens not really sure of what to do with me into building a coterie of loyalists who enjoy immunity from the law under the banner of traditional rites, traditional entitlements, traditional festivals, traditional titles and traditional practices regarding the land, properties and right to movement of others? Then, I am a candidate for dialogue: aka immunity and amnesty from prosecution – and possibly a State sanctioned payment securing a lifestyle of affluence. And? Bishop Kukah is my patron saint.
4. And am I a religionpreneur who has deftly cornered and ‘owned’ a few choice rhetoric of a religion founder long dead or in Heaven? Have I found a way to inject a mind-twisting zing into those rhetoric which can zap to death the brain-cells of my ‘followers’ rendering them irreligiously militant in the carrying out of my decrees at whatever adverse cost to others – especially – and to themselves if unavoidable? Have I found a way to secure a large following unchallenged? Then, I am a candidate for dialogue: aka immunity and amnesty from prosecution – and possibly a State sanctioned payment securing a lifestyle of affluence. And? Bishop Kukah is my patron saint.
5. Am I any of those? Or better more than one of those – or a patron of several of those while being a leader of one of them? Then I am above the law: its judicial wing and coercive force. And Father Kukah has my back and has got me covered with his enormous national and international clout down to the Holy See-and-Believe.
“My position…is straightforward. I am not in any way saying that [they are] innocent but in order to avoid upheavals and tension, the government should settle through engagement. One of the parties has to trade something for something else. We are not in a military regime. Dialogue is the solution.” Says Bishop Matthew Kukah.
When you are a Dialoguepreneur, it does not matter if all I have to trade is criminality: it only matters that Bishop Matthew Kukah is my Patron Saint. And that the buyer is Government.
Sam Eleanya, poet, author and policy strategist writes in from Lagos.
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