Fire CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, for Promoting Secession in Nigeria — Kperogi
Authorities in Nigeria have been urged to sack the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, over his unveiled ‘anti-national unity’ stance following his alleged physical assault on a security guard identified as 22-year-old Clement Sargwak on March 29.
After the incidence and the social media condemnations that followed it, the head of the press and public relations unit of the CCT, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, issued press release in which he referred to “BIAFRAN Boys” as causing the disturbance.
He wrote: “As the few policemen in the complex were apparently overwhelmed by the mobs, consisting of BIAFRAN boys throwing matches and shape object to his car, which led to deep cut and dislocation in one of his finger, causing damage to his car, smashing his windscreen.”
“At a point he attempted to leave the scene, these same miscreants, BIAFRAN boy ordered for the closure of the gate thereby assaulting him before the arrival of police team from Maitama police station.”
US-based Nigerian academic, Professor Farooq A. Kperogi, wrote on Saturday that the national unity that Nigerian leaders always proclaim would be meaningless if such a highly-placed law officer is allowed to get away with such a brazen divisive and secessionist reference.
“A good first step to demonstrate sincerity in the quest for national unity is to fire Danladi Umar for unwarrantedly stereotyping an entire ethnic group without evidence. If not, preachments about “national unity” will sound even more hollow than they’ve always been.
Most people know that “national unity” is only invoked as a rhetorical cudgel to squelch dissent. But Umar has presented an opportunity to show that it means more than that”, Kperogi wrote in his weekly column, Notes From Atlanta.
He said “there is now undoubtedly a mutually reinforcing cycle of recriminations, which needs to stop if we are as interested in national unity as our leaders perpetually proclaim to be.”
He analysed CCT’s press release thus: “Notice that the press statement, which Al-Hassan later told ICIR he wrote “on instruction” from Umar, spelled “BIAFRAN” in all caps and called the unnamed protesters against his barbarity “boys.” Calling men “boys” is often a linguistic marker of notions of their inferiority and subservience. So the expression “BIAFRAN boys” was designed to simultaneously provoke revulsion and disdain in certain demographic categories in the country.
“Sargwak, whom Umar physically assaulted, is a northern Christian from Plateau State. But the people who heckled and caught Umar’s violence against Sargwak were spontaneous, amorphous, anonymous, and multi-ethnic bystanders. Why did Umar invent the trope of “BIAFRAN boys” when it was practically impossible to determine the ethnic identities of the people who recorded and heckled him?
“Well, it was because Umar wanted sympathy even when he was the top dog who tormented an underdog. Although he is obviously cognitively stunted, he is smart enough to know that anti-Igbo hysteria unites a surprisingly large number of Nigerians.
“Fortunately, the tactic backfired precisely because the absurdity of its ethnic scapegoatism was too nakedly self-evident to be effective.”