By Theo Adebowale
Space is a major issue in human relations. Two pupils in infant class try to demarcate and agree on boundary! Two neighbouring schools are instructing their pupils to recognise the bounds. So, has it been since the days of old. Despite natural means of demarcation, boundary disputes and land disputes are a major problem governments have to tackle at all levels across cultures and languages.
At the home front, the Boundary Adjustment Committee is a statutory body to placate restive citizens that often rise to enforce or demand their right. To placate, because very few breakthroughs can be attributed to such agencies in their years of existence. Again, in the absence of authentic records little hope resides, in their efforts. So, space, much as it is needed and desirable is hindered by several factors. Some citizens believe that the urban center is a safe haven being less visible, less identifiable and rather elusive. But the financial cost, pollution, criminality associated with the metropole make its less preferred by the day.
Those who beat a retreat, and go to the rural area, are face to face with a new set of discouragement. In many instances, they are a specimen of the oppressors, responsible for their misfortune. With the absence, inadequate and malfunctioning social and security infrastructure this has become unattractive and inappropriate.
The fundamental human rights, provide and guarantee citizens freedom of movements, associations, assembly and several others in order to make the citizens enjoy space which nature with modern civilization has generously supplied but which the enemy has vehemently limited. Come to think of it, freedom of movement goes beyond traveling from one city to another. Those that have the resources can move round the world for leisure or business. Then the terrorist, whose trade in stock is to waste lives and limbs. In some instances, these merchants of death had issues at home which they cannot handle and believe the international community should take sides with them. They are usually issues of power, space and resources. They externalize such issues and make the international space shrink. These are people who lack powerful traditional institutions. Sometime the only effective motivational influence they have is religious, albeit fundamentalist. They are willing to go beyond the terrestrial to defend a faith which they depend on another to translate to them, but they would not bother to confirm from their books. So between creation and civilization, the best they could achieve is to develop an intimate relationship with beasts and the wilderness regarding other business as infidels. But they are getting attracted to the ways of the worldly either to make them adopt their own model or to unfold a new political framework founded on banditry, kidnapping, ransom extortion and state sponsored terrorism. Even for a state that lost its territory physically and was taken into exile, and still maintained an intimidate cultural, historical and military affinity with the territory, recovering it after centuries was not a tea party.
Seizing the reins of power, gaining unmerited advantage in promotion, posting, financial and material benefits many not necessarily translate to victory in a subversive project of reordering political authority and socio-economic architecture of a modern state.
The holy book records the story of a tribe whose patriarch instructed not to live in cities. They were not to sleep or live in houses. Rather they are to live in boots and remain with their livestock. Total obedience to the ancient counsel would rather ensure their prosperity. It is not out of place to cautions that continual narrowing of human and global space would not augur well for mankind and those that are principally responsible for the act.
It is a known fact that land speculation was subtly introduced when emphasis was more on encouraging company, companionship and security. With the advent of modern civilization, rulers started evolving to identify original settlers and their guests. Whereas the Hausa were cautions enough to identify non-indigenes and camp them in Sabon Gari, just as they treat themselves in other lands, the other ethnic groups do not bother about such settlements. The Fulani separate themselves far into the wilderness ostensibly for the nature of their flocks and their attendant nomadic lifestyle. As they have acquired western education and military commissions, they believe it is an opportunity to repeat their state takeover in Democratic Republic of Congo. Ready to bring the lessons of DRC to bear, they are certain that it would be a successful operation. This sounds a credible interpretation of official policy of the Federal Government which continues to be evasive in matters of Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen, bandits and all manners of criminals, having a field day throughout the length and breadth of Nigeria. But this calls for wisdom because as government seems to encourage criminal elements to narrow the space, natural and economic tendencies are reducing the global space.
Our health institutions which have served more as a conduit pipe to bank accounts of individual politicians, is about all we have to face coronavirus and other health challenges. Army Generals, top politicians have been shut out of places of birth. Perhaps the story would have been different if there was no economic recession; there would have been a less risky option to adopt.
The space is shrinking. As it does, public officials should do less of self deceit bearing in mind that the modern system of government cannot be replaced by a strategy from the Arabian night regardless of a rickety constitution a minority had planted in anticipation of the dastardly act.