My Reflection: Kwarans, Why the pretense?, by Mohammed El-Nasir
NEWS DIGEST – 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 long standing patience and understanding, which has been consistent over the years. Though, they say, silence speaks louder than words. My dear compatriots, this is just another neocolonial statement, nowadays actions speaks louder than words.
How can we be silent over issues like illiteracy, political dogmatism, religious hypocrisy, maiming and killing, cultism and ritualism, unsavory youthful backwardness and societal deficiency, kidnapping, banditry, herdsmen clashes and still see ourselves as Humans? This in no way portrays us as humans of integrity, but a people suffering from innate delinquency with plain insecurity in a country supposedly governed by constitutional rules. In ‘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 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 to? 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 able to abscond the pride of the state or human race. Our commitment should therefore be channeled towards achieving a national glory and grass root emancipation, through the mobilization of all resources required to attain the principles of the campaigns for a progressive 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. During the days of Abubakar Olusola Saraki, and Mohammed Alabi Lawal, both the young and old never stopped chewing their onerous commitments and dedication in the bid to oil everyone’s mouths with the spoils of government purposes and responsibilities. This is why today, their legacies keep resounding alarmingly, like a church bell.
This, in my own view, shows that it is societal stability that propels, shapes and dictates the dynamics of the affairs of state and human socio-communal space.
All over the world, from 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 a particular interest or goal. This is because man has always attempted to be determined to reach a definite goal 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 a few. These people, 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 was either full of successes or failures in their respective nations, and at various times. They had arose 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 referred to as “counter-hegemonic commitment” to the true course of the people and human emancipation and 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 to the detriment of the nationalistic engagement, now falsely referred to as resource control, restructuring, disbandment, sourvereign nationality and many evil terminologies filling the space of our polity. Can you imagine? In fact it’s high time we woke from 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 and good governance by encouraging every individual to rise up from their individual beds or mats, before we are consumed by the evil proposal of those merely looking for opportunities to remain relevant in view of their loss, 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 progressive or conservative.
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 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 bottom of the Big Daddy’s refuse bin. Only recently did we have the Youths step up their respective responsibilities in speaking out for their basic rights, which has been overlooked for time immemorial. Even that has not been given a priority by the Government, other than the drafting and signing of memos, buying off some perceived youth leaders, who are themselves ready to sabotage the interest of a generation’s 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 version 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 people 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 forbearers.
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 indifferent in a pool of deadly miseries already cross racing our waist and threatening to reach the neck within the shortest 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 a people oriented society in my view, and to enrapture all and sundry in our collective desire 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 imminent death with no reward. This is not the time to wait for 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 on this construction site, where the next generation can firmly rest. We must all be active against the oncoming annihilation, which will be quickened by the continued and disturbing silence that will spare no one from 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 collective efforts, it is a reenactment of the Spirit of Ubuntu – 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 ignites ‘mass-mob-ness’ which will eventually destroy our past gains, and make no friends in us with blank futures. 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 elephants of illiteracy, underdevelopment, setbacks, poverty and so on, 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 woes 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 come 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, a unified movement, to attain the set objective and goal which is to secure Kwara State, our dream. Arise O’ compatriots, let us join hands now with our government in the stir-up to steer the wheel of the ship and away from the rock ahead.
The time is definitely now, this is my reflection on the timely development of our dear State, Kwara.
Mohammed El-Nasir Al-Amin, a poet, writes in from Ilorin, Kwara State.