By Mohammed El-Nasir, Al-Amin (BA, Zaria, MA, Ibadan, PhD in view)
My reflection this week is on the pretentious silence of Kwarans in their commitment to plausible failures or successes, and generic greater goods.
Let me begin by giving gratitude to God Almighty, who in His Earnest Selfless Protection has been up and doing for the people of Kwara State in every mannerism. I again, would like to commend the never changing attitude of the people of Kwara State for their imminent patience and understanding, which they have been used to over the years. Though, they say silence speaks louder than voice. My dear compatriots, this is just another neocolonial statement rather these days, action speaks louder than voice.
How can we be silenced over issues like illiteracy, political dogmatism, religious hypocrisy, maiming and killing, cultism and ritualism, unsavory youthful backwardness and societal deficiency, kidnapping, banditry, herdsmen clash and still see ourselves as Human? This, in no way is portraying us as human of integrity but a people suffering from innate delinquency with plain insecurity in a country with supposedly governed with constitutional rules. ‘The Wretched of the Earth’, Frantz Fanon asserts that “Every generation must out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill or betray it”. This presupposes that every generation must confront its own problems and tackle them headlong. To achieve this then requires a level of commitment as well as contributing our very own quota to the development of our dear nation and humanity at large.
What then is commitment and what are we committing? Commitment entails the practice of definite action with defined gesture towards achieving the set result. These are inclusive of developmental goals or a strike in support of or in opposition to issues or agenda which are capable to abscond the pride of the state or human race. Our commitment should therefore be channeled towards achieving a national glory and grassroots emancipation through the mobilization of all resources required to attain the principles of the campaigns for progressive and change agenda, in the view of the present regime of the national government.
Kwarans cannot in no short period of time forget the efforts of the past heroes, for their sincere love and appreciation, untainted. During the days of Abubakar Olusola Saraki, and Mohammed Alabi Lawal, both the young and old never stopped chewing their onerous commitments and dedications, in the bid to oil everyone’s mouths with the spoils of government purposes and responsibilities. This is why today; their legacies keep resoundingly alarming like a church bell.
This, in my own view, is as a result of the inextricability of self determination as an engagement, of membership of a society, as social facilitators whereas, the state being the platform in conformity with the leadership and the expectations of societal development. This is a form of crucible followership cum leadership engagement. In other words, it is societal stabilities that propels, shapes and dictates the dynamics of the affairs of state and human socio-communual space.
All over the world, and time immemorial, according to Nwadike John-Paul, “commitment has always been an inherent trail in man and has been an abiding force for the achievement of particular interest or goal. This is because man has always attempted to be determined to reach a definite goals or a point in social space with success, in most cases.” In political climates, committed leaders such as Fidel Castro of Cuba, Col. Thomas Sankara, of Burkina Faso, Patrice Lumumba of Congo, Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Martin Luther King Jnr. and Malcom X, the duo of America, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Nnamidi Azikwe of Eastern Nigeria, Ahmadu Bello of Northern Nigeria , Obafemi Awolowo of Western Nigeria, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and Olusola Saraki, the duo of Nigeria’s Middle belt, Aminu Kano of Talakawas of Nigeria to mention but few.
These people had or have in one way or the other, dedicated and committed their entire wholeness to the course of building a society of their dreams, filled with purpose. Theirs were either full of success or failures in their respective nations and at various times. They had rose against the perceived injustice, disequilibrium or oppression stirring in the face of the amalgamated Nation they found themselves. Hence their insurrections, whether peaceful or violent could be tailored into what Nwadike, refer to as “counter-hegemonic commitment” to the true course of the people and human emancipation for liberation.
Due to the unfolding delicate nature of the Nigerian nation, it may be difficult to have a wholesome national interest for this type of commitment because of the ethnic veils which many tribal and religious bigots are bound to allude such nationalistic engagement, now falsely refer as resource control, restructuring, disbannedment, sourvereign nationality and many evil nascent terminologies filling the space of our polity. Can you imagine? In fact it’s best time we woke f rom this slumber, and get involved in building a nation of our own dreams.
Let me zero this talk to Kwara State, the State of Harmony, my dear state, because such stratification is the only plausible means of achieving national cohesion in and for good governance by encouraging every individuals to spring up from their individual sleep beds or mats before we are consumed by the evil proposal of those merely looking for opportunity to remain relevant in view of their lost to hold on to power or control of our national treasury. Kwara must work for good, that should be the aspiration of everyone whether you are progressives or conservatives.
Some vital questions being asked are; Are there real positive thinkers in Kwara State? Has there ever been? And what happened afterwards? An attempt to answer these questions may lead to a myriad of diverse polemics. It is however safer to posit that commitment to building one’s society has rarely been a vibrant affair. In Kwara State, though some persons have, at some stages, raised concerned questions about governance in the state but it hasn’t gone beyond the writing of open letters even if it will end up in the anus of the Big Daddy’s refuse bin. Only of recent, we have the Youths stepping up their respective responsibilities in speaking out for their basic rights, which has been time immemorial overlooked. Even that has not been given a priority by the Government other than drafting and signing of memos, and buying off some perceived youth leaders, who are themselves ready to sabotage the interest of a generational genuine course.
Unlike the prime times of the Falanas, the Solarins and the Kutis, when individuals stood gallantly for what is “Perceived” right in their various thoughts and views on issues concerning the national questions in the days of the draconial reigns. Though, we have the Sarakis who can be pointed as a firebrand talakawas’ well wisher. Despite the fact that we have found ourselves in an unwholesome condition of political sincerity, understanding and oneness, all we have had in the recent past and penultimate election periods are factional agitators (chameleons) and ricetivists (heart robbers) in the words of Nwadike; who are only marking time on the collective annihilation of human race in the name of its rescue.
Kwara State rarely have in possession of upright disposition, who are all out for the general good of the downtrodden and the have-nots. In recent time, the manner of politicians we have are in summary the new media and social media ‘vuvuzelas’ and attack dogs of evil men in our hallow stools; of low characters in high places. The so called few at the top, are preyed upon with troubled inordinate ambition made possible through the assistance and understanding of their forebearers.
The way out is reorganization and reorientation of societal ethos and priorities. A reconstruction of our mentality to identify and follow the right paths, and be cautious of what to celebrate and what to jeer at. We cannot just continue to remain indifference in a pool of deadly miseries already cross racing our waist and threatening to reach the neck within the shortest of time to suffocate life out of us all. To swim against this tide therefore, is a divined call for support and commitment regarding the affairs of the state. It is an incitement to becoming people oriented society in my view, and to enrapture all and sundry in our collective overreaching emasculation to ensure the attainment of the State principled goals. An attempt to remain indifferent or cynical as usual is like one signing up to be caught up in the snare of an imminent death of no reward. This is not the time to wait for an individual progressive support, whose lone voice could be mowed down like an unwanted grass in a field.
The unyielding number of citizens’ commitments in the affairs of Kwara State is reaching alarming heights. It is now right for all hands to therefore be on deck to ward off the imposing ‘hawks’ off our collective sky. Yes, we must all be active in this construction site, where the next generation can firmly rest on. We must all be active on the oncoming annihilation, which will be quickened by this continued and disturbing silence that will spare no one except being doomed. The hypothesis of Fela Anikulapo, Bob Marley and the likes coincidentally, is embedded as recurrent chants to remind us of the need to fire up the zeal for activeness and unite under one canopy to put our heads together for a rapid result. This is a reminder for a collective efforts, it is a reenactment of the ‘Ubuntu spirit’, ‘I am because we are, and since we are, therefore, I am’.
It is factually possible to upturn any wrong doing with unity. We must prevent anything that likely ignite ‘mass-mob-ness’ that will eventually destroy our past gains and make no friend in us with blink future. Do not forget, we are not oppressed; we can help the government achieve its purpose by contributing our own quota. We can sacrifice a little personal comfort; turn a blind eye to the gimmicks of the past mistakes. Like the spiders, come together to craft cobwebs to enable us defeat the elephant of illiteracy, underdevelopment, setbacks, poverty and so on, to the sprawling knees and secure our tomorrow where peace and tranquility reign.
We should not forget the wise counsel of the prolific writer, Dan Brown, who is adamant that the darkest places in hell are reserved for those who remain silent in troubling times. Wole Soyinka equally adduced in momentum to the above assertion when he asserted that “The man dies in those who remain silent in the presence of evil”. Likewise Claude McKay in his poem, “If we must die”, also counsel for the need to speak up to avoid anonymous impoverishment and dearth. Man must speak up against evil, there is evil in every society, and we will, all by our own volition die, anonymous death through silence and then assemble ourselves in historical halls, where posterity will not indulge us. If we refuse to contribute our own quota as Kwarans and we cannot complain of the pending woos thereon. Let us unite all together like a bowl of salad to make a grand delicacy for the imminent future.
The wait is now over; the time has ripen for positive action to uphold our destiny rightly in our hands. Our glory is done in our collective unity, no progressive, no conservative but all in a unified movement, to attain the set objective, the goal to secure Kwara State, our dream. Arise O’ compatriots, let us join hand now with our government in the stir-up to restive the wheel of the ship and away from the rock ahead.
Time is definitely now, this is my reflection on the timely development of our dear State, Kwara.153