‘Do Not Die in Their Wars’, a new book outlining Nigeria’s contemporary political trajectories, was launched at the Freedom Park, Lagos, on Tuesday.
Written by a legal practitioner, Dele Farotimi, the gathering afforded guests and literary critics alike an avenue to deliberate on the happenstances in the Nigerian political scene.
Charles Abraham, who introduced the book to the audience, stated that reading the book comes with a range of mixed feelings and invokes deep thoughts in the mind of the reader.
He said the book is not antagonistic but, rather, highlights the problems faced as a nation and articulates visions that can transform the nation.
During his opening remarks, the author maintained that Nigeria’s problems have their root in the governing system which must be fixed before a journey of nationhood can begin.
Explaining the inspiration behind the book, Mr Farotimi said every Nigerian has a painful tale to tell about the situation of the country. He added that he wrote the book because Nigerians need to move beyond wailing and complaining to proffering solutions.
“We need to move beyond irrelevant issues and start dealing with the problems,” he said.
“There is a rise of populism and it is arrant populism that has led to the emergence of our current system. When you find people offering simple solutions to complex problems it is the first hallmark of populist nonsense.”
The system, the problem
He explained that in Nigeria, the real problem is the system and not the persons.
“If we bring 10 Obamas to succeed one another, without addressing the fundamental problems that have been created by the system, all we have successfully done is to draw attending away from the problem, push the problem a little down the line, then it will come again.”
He stressed that while people might admit that the system has failed, with the absence of an alternative, the system would reinvent under the pretence that it has changed.
“There is absolutely no difference from where we were in 2015 and where we are now, if only, the system has grown progressively worse.
“The system is corrupt on its own and it cannot produce anything beyond corruption. As long as our system remains untouched, our problems will not disappear.”
The author also stated that the Nigerian judiciary is not blind.
He noted, “If you are rich and being persecuted by the Nigerian space, it is simply because you have offended someone in power. If you are poor, your innocence will not do anything. The system requires a scapegoat. We need to move beyond irrelevant issues and start dealing with the problems.
“There is a rise of arrant populism and it has led to the emergence of our current system.
“When you find people offering simple solutions to complex problems, it is the first hallmark of populist nonsense.”
He further stressed that while the people might admit that the system had failed but with the absence of an alternative, the system would reinvent under the presence that it has changed.
While highlighting some of the problems confronting the country with regards to the legal system, the author stated that the Nigerian judiciary is not blind.
He said, “If you are rich and being persecuted by the Nigerian space, it is simply because you have offended someone in power. If you are poor, your innocence will not do anything of the system requires a scapegoat.”
While speaking at the launch, popular Nigerian Filmmaker, Femi Odugbemi, said one of the qualities we lack as a people is for our voices to be documented, because we lack documentation.
He noted, “It is a tragedy that we all consume so passionately, books and works about other places. A lot of us know the history of America, how it was founded, because people were able to document historically which the generation after them are still accessing.
“Youth in Nigeria don’t have interest in history because they don’t have history to read. They have no passion for the country because they have not seen people with passion.”
The book was further reviewed by Taiwo Akinlami, Irantiola David and other critics.