We have just kicked off a season, not of football but of writing to save the belly, a season where campaigns are done on and off prints, a season filled with both constructive and destructive opposition activities, a season the arrowhead of leadership seem to talk/write in delusion.
Needless to state the obvious, but one can’t lay too much emphasis on the fact that gorvenance is just about a perfect synonym to failure in Nigeria as a whole, but sadly enough even the opposition seem to be on the fastest route towards failure in every part of the country. As an individual who cherishes history even though most were from the words of the old, i think it would only be right for us to point out where we always get it wrong and why we may never get things right.
In 2003, i remember the scenario that played out in bits, as small as a child could be, first hand and first time experience would always be at a perfect position in their mind. An admiral had just conceded defeat from a gubanetorial poll and said “if it is what Allah wills’ and if it is what is best for our father land, so shall it be”. I had goosebumps all over my body, felt like a perfect ending to a movie which offcoss didn’t end there. Like many other people, we all had 1 or 2 issues with that administration, some of us the ‘elites’ even thought things could get worse with the young lad coming in, while some of us rallied behind him and gave him our utmost support. Which administration did better? At this point, it is a tale for the scholars. Fast forward till this very moment, the whole Nigeria has lost it, we probably never had it, those days could have just seemed to be what they were but not necessarily what it was.
I’m a Kwaran, proud son of the Emirate, and a religious follower of happenings in the state, i decided to put pen to paper after reading some of the frequent publications we see in the dailies that have turned the states political terrain into a boxing ring, but is that really where we deserve to be now? Not at all.
As i’m still yet to be inducted into any of our elders traditional assemblies, something that is unfortunately fast becoming extinct, have served for years as a medium where we really tell ourselves the truth eyeball to eyeball. One thing about leadership and follower-ship is a fact that it is a structure. A structure in the sense that the load imposed on the topmost column of a structure is transferred or rather eased through till the foundation base of the structure. There isn’t any iota of doubt that level of leadership across the length and breadth of the country is appalling, but Kwara may be described as even worse. Sorry if that sounds harsh, i wonder what leadership really is each time i read the daily replies of the aides of the present governor, they point out some lad as the architect of the new Kwara, new Kwara? They have the effrontery to consistently mention refurbishment or renovation as a project, servicing is a project?, they mention rehabilitation of several road, i would always love to help point out that a 7m or less bridge took 2 years to repair. Seem like a masterpiece, i see the highest level of mediocrity in the level of jobs in kwara, may i remind you all we have a cargo airport constructed by the architect of new kwara but hasn’t even had electricity in it in 4 years?, talkless of flying out the shonga products (if they so exist and are worth exporting). May i remind you all, one of the achievements of this administration is to pay youths ten thousand naira a month, put to that into real context, its just about 60 dollars, for a month? Absolutely decent. May i remind you all, this administration like the one before it and the one before the one before it gave out 100 taxis, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different result. May i remind you all, we have privatized our children’s destiny as well? Just about right.
The fact remains, its like that or just about better in about 60% of Nigerian states. It is far worse at the center, that is the reason why every right thinking Nigerian have developed this unprecedented sympathy for the (APC), we have all got certain issues with some members of this party, but like the elders say, (o san ki omo eni ku ju ki o sonu lo), we deserve better than someone who thinks leadership is just about personal interest, who else to blame than those who decided to individualize democracy rather than institutionalize it. The gentleman in the apex of the Kwaran government on paper and even the one in reality are just two out of the millions in kwara, in case you don’t get that, it is Kwaran to dictate and it is Nigerian to remain loyal to recklessness and carefreeness because any attempt to play otherwise is termed cowardice.
The beauty of democracy as seen in most country’s is the provision of alternative capitalism. Do we have that? Not even close. I look at a group of people mostly frustrated ones, albeit used to be party of a certain ‘anarchy’, and all of a sudden they want to champion a freedom movement. This is exactly the reason why the Kwaran elites are as useless as the traffic light in geri alimi roundabout during elections. (Thank God the leader and his boys have removed that anyway). You come up with a tale of kwara has the second lowest unemployment rate when 45% okada riders deserve better, the jobless ones have taken their talents to predicting other peoples future, landing themselves in A division like its our dead tarmac. Then comes the opposition with 9 leaders, 9 governors, 9 frustrated Nigerians, 9 former loyalist of their new enemy, 9 people on a platform to champion an attempt to salvage ilorin (sorry Kwara, it takes a lot of memory might to remember there are other places that are being governed) into a dilemma of leadership motivated by personal interest.
All that being said, lets paint a picture, do we really have a new Kwara? Either upon us or in the pipeline? I would leave everyone to ponder (if there really is anything to ponder about). The main problem is our attitude over things that matter a lot, this goes from the manner at which politics is being handled, the perception politicians give to the game, the carelessness of giving the wrong people the right responsibilities. I mean the usual tradition of making a vertinary doctor a commisioner of works, or making an accountant commisioner of efucation. I would never align with the school of though practised essentially at the center of governance that says head of institutions are managerial positions hence, itellectual knowledge of the proffesion is not essential, thats why we would countinue to have weak institutions and weaker administrations as there isn’t and will never be passion towards service delivery, little or no knowledge towards what they are charged to do. I mean some people complain the type of roads we have are not good enough to last a decade whereas the design code give monumental structures a design age of 150 years and normal structures between 50-75 years. We neglect youth development in terms of every area, most markaz, or western schools with so much history are today in conditions there founders could have never imagined. Sport isn’t any better, we all cheered to the recent victory by the young lads of st. Barnabas lgea in west Africa, i was like any-other person proud of those boys, but lets remind ourselves, the pitch in that school has no single grass in it neither does the goal post have nets around them, but yet against all odds, these lads weathered the storm just like the bunch of talents i run into daily across the length and breadth of the state capital. How are they being harnessed? Proper facilities in place? Not at all, we just keep investing in football clubs that may spend there entire duration of existence gulping billions, rather than being a source of revenue generation. The last but most glaring reason why we may never get things right is how we don’t take part to take charge. From not always turning out in the polls (credible or not), to doing the back-room politics of talking without actions, rally around people with geniue intentions and push them till they get there. Next point reminds me of someone i have decided to name ‘Mr.Rices’ or the newly re-instated leader of Ekiti politics, the common factor is there political tactics, a tradition in kwara being announced to the nation at large, one day hunger steady leading us to lifetime hunger, our eyes are being deemed or even totally blinded with ‘waso’, ‘semo’ ati ‘puff puff’. May we be able to say no to such inducements, as the polls are even closer to this years hajj, it’s going to be sabaka voting season for those who allow themselves to be used.
A sincere look into the oppostion, i’m afraid doesn’t guarantee us anything different from the usual. Needless to say how weak and utterly dependent on the trending federal might they are. They are not the ones that would make “it good here” rather, they would ply another route towards our already dreaded destination. Our attitude needs to change towards these things even though our myopic perspective is rapidly blurring our promising future. To most eligibles or rather worthy leaders that don’t bother about Nigerian politics because it is depressingly predictable and since they can meet there daily needs, the present dilemma our dear state is in does not absorb any emotional interest from them, this is fine as they can easily flee to Abuja, Lagos, Accra, Paris, Dubai et al., to enjoy as much as they desire, may i remind them all, some day they will be asked where they are from and there will be nothing left to point to?, they will someday be 6ft below the ground where erosion would be washing away there grave site?, we will all one day be questioned about our conduct in this present lifetime, how we turned our sleeves and looked on unbothered whilst God’s blessings is being mismanaged.
Ilorin, Gerin Alimi, Ilorin maisunjambi; on behalf of an emerging generation, we have missed the road sign, thanks to the leading generation, when will we embark on sensible leadership and constructive follower-ship (not where S.A’s and every ‘sarakite’ feels everything is right on empty stomach) we are threading a very dangerous path, one that could change our identity, an identity of peace and Harmony, identity of learned scholars and not prison imams, an identity of islamic knowledge, Qur’anic profficiency (shout to the young man who won the recitation competition recently in Saudi Arabia, may the blessings of our fathers, the shiekhs continue to be with you and other learned scholars that have decided to keep to the path of dignity). I pray we get it right come 2015, even-though everything seems otherwise, if we don’t get the right person to salvage us from this imminent ruin, may Allah (swt) guide whoever he wills to lead us unto the straight path in Sha Allah. Permit me to end this on a note of apology to whoever seem insulted by any of the statements made, it is made out of the highest level of sincerity and frustration together to motivate our wonderful elders to align us into a path where we can reach our potential.