Matawalle's Theory of Nonsense


M. A. Iliyasu


There are few things as scintillating as the situation when reason differs from expectation. And I am sure the scholarly components who investigate the dynamics of causal inference will agree with that assertion. Looking beneath the skin of social phenomenons to understand their essence so as to draw a profound analysis of their state and offer effective solutions on how to ward off the threats accompanying them is the major objective of any competent problem solver. Among which includes the position being held by Governor Matawalle.


Along the same pattern, we can all agree that crime is universally a relative term. To the law however, such is never the case. The line separating crime and innocence can't be more clear in any society being governed by a documented constitution. Therefore in any instance in which a group of individuals decide to share the state's monopoly of violence with themselves, what compell them to do so is a concern of the problem solvers looking to understand and eradicate it from the roots. To the law, they're perpetrators who must face the wrath of justice.


That being said, I believe Governor Matawalle has gone too far as to declare the savage bandits infiltrating the northern region unworthy of being called a crime. The uttering, which screams absurd romanticism, is below the standard of a public pace-setting governor of a functioning state that's guided by rules and regulations. For in his case, its the expectation that differs from reason. And such shall not be tolerated in an environment on the brink of anarchy evident from the struggles with law enforcement.


Deducing from Matawalle's logic, what defines a criminal is his tendency to violate the law unprovoked. And some of the bandits, like he mentioned, have not been flying their trades without reason. Abject poverty and the injustice perpetrated upon them and their families by the vigilante groups are, among others, what provoked them into taking arms. And for that reason they should escape any definition befitting of a criminal enterprise. To him, what they deserve is a listening ear that'll hear their grievances and and to relieve the poverty-stricken reasons that compelled them into engaging violence.


The underwhelming assertion paves way for possible upraisal where victims of persecution pick up arms against the law, having known that they'll get free sympathy from the romantic governor. The state of Nigeria, with respect to Matawalle's theory, would have been an arena of more than hundred million poor citizenry who face persecution everyday picking up arms against the law. For in doing so, the grievances beneath the actions shall be entitled to an impunity. Which speaks volumes on the clear misunderstanding between what's expected of a governor and that of an emotional poet looking to portray a gothic character in a way it'll become very dear to the readers. Its indifferent to Turi Guilliano's mother justifying his terror and wickedness towards the law because he was wrongly persecuted by the Italian police (Read: The Sicilian). Which, with due respect, is a myopic nonsense.


Matawalle thought he was Mario Puzo who could justify the actions of bandits who have given up their innocence for the satisfaction of vendetta, mainly because he developed the reception to understand the reason behind. That there's a truth in his findings remains undoubtful. But its relevance in the sight of justice is what the governor is clearly mistaking.


With an attitude and reception towards law breakers like that, Northern Nigeria's journey into anarchy will not only travel far but also find a permanent environment of insanity to settle in. With more people in the position of power granting the predators the sympathy of the prey, more group of people will become willing to borrow the state's monopoly of violence for the satisfaction of their vendetta. Which will bring the Northern society closer to Mario Puzzo's Sicily where all hope towards the law is lost with nothing remaining but a triangle of violence between bandits, their fellow bandits and the government in Rome. While the Dukes and ministers, who hold power similar to Matawalle's, granting them a listening ear and justification attempts in the parliament, despite being equally threatened by their actions, mainly because they may be deeply rooted inside their family, friends and blood-line lineage. That doesn't befit the opinion of any individual that agree with the rules of polite society. Talkless of a governor.


On the other hand, while the law can't allow the pitiful reason that compelled such people into turning bandits to get in the way of justice towards prosecuting them like the criminals they're, the leadership style in the region can do better to hinder other groups from following in such unfortunate footsteps. The actions of the vigilante groups must be watched with keen eye to extract barbarism, wickedness and extrajudicial justice out of their security campaign. The breathtaking poverty must be relieved while the willful savages who take it upon themselves to negotiate the sovereignty of Nigeria as an independent state must be brought to justice.


Lastly, governor Matawalle and any individual who shares similar pattern of thinking should become able to understand the sensitive differences between reality and fiction. Because in their laughable attempt to introduce the former into the latter, they risk mixing reason with nonsense. The supremacy of rule of law, in whichever circumstance, is nonnegotiable. Crime can be relative but not in a constitutional society. And where politely governed society is concerned, a spade is called by its rightful name. 


MA Iliasu comments on culture and political economy. He writes from the ancient metropolis of Kano. And can be reached through his email: