Who Needs ARGATHUSIA?- The Nigerian Security Vantage Point

The word AGATHUSIA is of Greek origin coined from ‘agathus and thusia’. Cumulatively, AGATHUSIA means “altruistic suicide or Benevolent suicide” i.e the taking of one’s own life for the benefit of others or for a greater good.

A quintessential example, is a bankrupt father, taking his own life so his children can have access to his insurance. Another chilling example is the 1967 novel tittles “Logan Run” which depicts a future society in which everyone gladly agreed to commit suicide at age twenty one(21), thus allowing youths to fully enjoy their youth whilst not letting numbers or old age stress the planet’s limited resources.

However, the phrase “who needs AGATHUSIA”, stems from the title of an essay written by BERTRAND ZOBRIST , a renowned rationalist and a transhumanism scientist, who believed that human population was apprehensively getting to it zenith and if drastic measures are not taken to reduce human population, the human specie will not survive another century, owing to the fact that our natural resources is fast going into extinction as particularly highlighted spectacularly in the novel/movie INFERNO by DAN BROWN . Bertrand Zobrist in his essay (in the Novel/Movie) lambasted the W.H.O’s Director General Elizabeth Sinskey, for not paying attention to human population but rather devoting her time to the discovery of medicines(cure) to save humanity.

In the above work of fiction, the title of Zobrist’s essay “Who needs AGATHUSIA” deductively, was for Elizabeth Sinskey (the W.H.O’s fictional DG) who had been in office for over a decade, to commit suicide for those with a much more pragmatic and ‘rational’ mindset, with the belief that the world’s population is undoubtedly a threat to human existence, may assume her position for the benefit of all humanity.

In Nigeria today, it is no longer a secret that human life is under tremendous treat, due to extreme police brutality as well as incessant terrorist attacks from various such organizations like the Boko Haram sect et al. It is pertinent therefore to pinpoint, that one of the core function of Government is to protect lives and properties of its citizens as succinctly encapsulated in Section 14 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be maintained now more than ever. Any Government that can not live up to this fundamental responsibility, needs AGATHUSIA, for the greater good of Nigerians.

I chose to title this piece “Who Needs AGATHUSIA” not because I want those at the helm of affairs, especially at the security sector to commit suicide but for them to resign and give chance for others to bring the desired change as regards the constant treat to human life and properties.

Not too long ago, 43 rice farmers were murdered in cold blood by the B’H sect without any effort from the Nigerian Army to repel the macabre attack. What was the crime of those famers to warrant such dastard treatment?. Is it not evident enough that the Chief of Army Staff and all security chiefs have failed in their function to protect life and properties and also to protect citizens from internal attack aimed at bringing their existence to an abrupt end?.

On one hand its been more than a week since the news of the attack, yet no effort has been made by the Nigerian Government, to bring the culprits to book. On the other hand, one would think that by now the Chief of Army staff (Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai), and all players in the security sector, would have all gotten their sack letters delivered to them by the Nigerian Presidency in fulfilment of his Constitutional duties as cupiously enshrined in Section 14(2)(b) CFRN but reverse is the case. More appalling, is the failure of Mr. President who under oath, sworn to protect lives and properties, resorts to playing the blame game, instead of doing the needful as earlier opined above.

Furthermore, it has become apparent, that Mr. President, together with his Chief of Army Staff and security chiefs needs AGATHUSIA (meaning they should resign in this context) since they’ve failed, in precisely the most paramount job they have which is the protection of the lives of those they are bound to serve by virtue of the social contract as well as the applicable laws. The Federal Government has perpetually remained in denial of not wanting to accept the fact that it has failed to protect the lives of citizens, who did nothing wrong but carry out their farming activities, to ensure that there’s enough food for our consumption.

Though denial is a critical part of the human coping mechanism. Without it, we could all wake up terrified every morning about all the ways we could die. Instead our minds blocks out all existential fears by focusing on stresses we can handle. Which is exactly what the government is doing by telling us that they’ve given their all to the Nigerian Army in the fight against insurgency, rather than accepting their failure.

Dear Mr. President.

Life is what we make of it and a good leader is one who’s remembered for his deeds after his term in office. And therefore Mr. President, Nigerians are tired of the blame game you’re playing with your media appointees. Nigerians need results not justification for your abysmal failure to protect lives and properties. Mr. President, it won’t be outlandish if you’re remembered as the President that fought insurgency to a stand still and as such we implore you to be more pragmatic and result oriented in your approach towards ending insurgency.

Iraq was able to defeat ISIS by partnering with the US, Iran, Kerdish Pershmerga Amy and the Shia Militia groups. Thus, from
the potpourri of ideas and theoretical framework at FG disposal alongside other hodgepodge, it has become imperative for the Federal government of Nigeria, led by President Muhammadu Buhari to partner with neighboring Countries like Chad, Niger Republic and Benin Republic in ensuring that insurgency is extinguished from the shores of our Country Nigeria, like Iraq did with US, Iran, Kurdish Pershmerga Army and the Shia militia groups.

Its saddening as even the blind and the deaf can testify that the issue of insecurity has been debated more than 200 times in the National Assembly with recommendations made to Mr. President, yet nothing to show for it. It is my candid advice to Mr President to please make use of the invitation by the House of Representatives as an avenue to address the Nation on the way forward.

We might not be there yet as a Country but certainly we will get there. Finally i’m using this medium as a clarion call for Mr. President to do the needful by sacking all security chiefs, including the Chief of Army Staff as recommended by the National Assembly and the Nigeria Governors Forum. And like Bertrand Zobrist to Elizabeth Sinskey, I’m calling on the Chief of Army Staff and all Security Chiefs, to be generous enough to tender their resignation letters as a votive offering , for the benefit of Nigerians.


Blessing E. Etaghene is a law student of the University of Benin, Edo state, Nigeria and a speaker at the LIFIN webinar. He is an avid legal researcher and author.

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