By Jaye Gaskia
When the news of the suspension of Sanusi, the CBN governor started trickling in, what came to my mind immediately was the Anti-Nazi poem by the Rev Martin Niemoller at the time of the ascendancy and reign of Hitler and his Fascist movement.
As far as I know, this act is an illegal one, and completely violates the CBN Act. But what is more worrisome, and what I have shared elsewhere is how this act of the president represents a further reinforcement of the serial acts of impunity of this President and the regime over which he presides. The threat and danger for all of us and that this posses for the democratic process is that as far fetched as it may seem, this acts of presidential impunity is tending towards fascism and the abridgment of democracy. At this rate, we shall one day wake up to a presidential announcement dissolving or suspending the National Assembly [NASS]!
It is in this light, as a wake-up call to all of us, that I have first reproduced Niemoller's poem; and then next adapt it to reflect our own context.
The Original Poem:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.
- Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)
My Adaptation Of The Poem:
First they went after the Judiciary, and suspended the President of the Court of Appeal, but we did not do anything because we did not like Salami;
Then they went after [Occupy Nigeria] Activists, and crushed the January Uprising, but we did not do anything, because we are not activists, and do not like them anyway;
Then they went and turned Rivers State into a 'Police State', and we did not feel concerned, because Amaechi is a despicable person afterall;
Then they went for the jugular of the CBN, and 'suspended' the CBN Governor, but we wouldn't do anything, because Sanusi is a rabble rouser and we do not like him in anycase;
Perhaps next they will Dissolve the National Assembly [NASS] and suspend the Constitution; But by then it may have become to late for us to act!
[Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps, despite his ardent nationalism. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation: “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out...”]