MC Oluomo and Xenophobia in the heart of Lagos

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In ‘Things Fall Apart’, Chinua Achebe presents Okonkwo, an Igbo man too tribal for his own good and unable to negotiate the pragmatics of change, to document the tragedy of the colonial experience.

A veteran of local wars, Okonkwo, the symbol of a fast disappearing establishment, cannot discern the times, and goes to war against the white man. 

Suicide ends up being his lucky option. 

This is the story that immediately comes to mind in relation to the assaults launched on non-Yorubas, and non-APC Yorubas during the March 18 governorship and State Assembly polls in Lagos State.

The attacks were preceded by the decree issued ahead of the election by MC Oluomo, the notorious Lagos motor park thug made famous by strongman antics in Oshodi, to the effect that “Igbos must stay indoors if they wouldn’t vote for APC”. 

Instead of going after him on grounds of inciting tribal violence, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Force Headquarters, Abuja, dismissed MC Oluomo’s threat as “a joke”.

Considering the Nigerian police was reduced to actually making excuses for him, it was no surprise then, that on election day, Oluomo’s gangs unleashed physical assaults on non-Yorubas and Yoruba’s alike. 

This is a move that apart from being unethical, is also very short-sighted. 

One can only wonder what the thoughts of Messrs. Rochas Okorocha, Rotimi Amaechi, and other Igbo stalwarts of the APC might be after watching this senseless violence. What kind of message is being sent to future APC members of Ibo extraction?

Musiliu Akinsanya, who is a primary school dropout, does not understand Political theory or governance. 

What he is familiar with is organized thuggery and extortion, and for this, he has been richly rewarded by his political godfather. 

There has never been a modern city in the world which parades hoodlums as the face of civilization, quite like Lagos.

If in 2023, a Nigerian cannot easily vote in the country’s most cosmopolitan city; then is this progress or regression?

Why would the onwatching youth want to go to school or stay away from crime when they see the kind of life Oluomo lives? 

In a society where lawlessness and widely goes unpunished, there are only terrible role models for the kids.

Oluomo’s sidekick, the character Koko Zaria, following his mentor’s lead accordingly followed suit to threaten violence against celebrities and prominent LP-supporting Yorubas like: Olusegun Obasanjo, Bode George, Dele Farotimi, Femi Falana. 

Okonkwo dies a wretched death, but he is at least an honourable man: the misfits who under the umbrella of the APC, maimed non-establishment voters across Lagos last Saturday, don’t have the haziest clue of the word. 

Naturally, none of these street lions was anywhere to be found when killer herders from foreign lands turned the length and breadth of Yorubaland.

Their only courage is in the alleyways 

These attacks are particularly saddening from a Lagosian’s perspective because they do not reflect what any people or tribe should be. 

The wars in Rwanda which cost so much lives, was mostly caused by ethnic profiling and supremacy brewed in the forge of verbal slurs.

Lagos and the Southwest is tethering on a very dangerous path of ethnic strife, and if not checked now, will eventually reap whatever harvest the future brings. 

But, if one believes illiteracy and brutish ignorance to be responsible for MC Oluomo’s thought process and actions, spare a thought for Bayo Onanuga.

Tinubu’s personal spokesman, the 65-year old is a 1980 second class upper graduate of the University of Lagos. 

A journalist, until politics overtook him, he was once Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria.

Mr Onanuga has distinguished himself with diatribes against anyone who opposes his principal Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He tweeted on the night of 18 March after the governorship election, “Let 2023 be the last time of Igbo interference in Lagos politics. Let there be no repeat in 2027″.

If an uneducated Oluomo is causing this much damage, what would an educated Onanuga do with the advantage of four years’ planning?

Perhaps, we can rely on the police to assure us of the harmless comedy of Onanuga. 

After all, what is good for the goose cannot be bad for the gander.

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