By Ali Fagba
Forgive me for the suspended expression! I looked for a way to get your attention but I couldn’t come up with a more noteworthy headline. And I’m not about to dampen your reading pleasure with some fancy words and expressions as you are possibly acquainted with in this part of the country.
This, like many of my random posts on Facebook, will be a free, credible, and communicative discussion. So, be sure to keep your dictionary away. You are not about to be impressed.
Saraki, while I used that name for an obvious reason, is — I apologize — not going to take a center stage of this loud reflection. But he will remain a symbol all through the dialogue.
The few years of his infamous ruling had managed to stamp out the word “statesman” from our dictionary as a state. I confess that I have not read a lot of constructive articles on the Kwara subject in recent years, but I come across quite a lot of Kwaran discussants on the social media space.
And one thing I can tell you is, “statesmanship” has dexterously been omitted from our dictionary and replaced with some superfluous expressions. We see APC and PDP stalwarts all the time, but not a single statesman, whether by the virtue of deeds or even their “media handlers” referring to them as that.
The jostling for “stalwart-hood” continues; each politician with a palpable recognition in the state is fighting to be referred to as stalwart, and none of them deem it necessary to say “Enough!” to the state’s wheel of politics that’s continuing to spiral out of control.
What we have is a cascade of wars — whom is more loyal to whom; who plays this politics of “shrewdness” better; who is booed; who is warmly welcomed; etcetera.
A few outward reformers with progressive dispositions we once thought would continue to serve as the conscience of the state have now had themselves beclouded by the heavy dust of political maneuvers and intra-party squabbles — they are likely going to disappear forever.
Let me declare that I see nothing untoward in an activist joining partisan politics. What I found mostly absurd is the foray of critical opposition voices not being able to gauge their own likelihood of success before abandoning their posts at the radio stations and vanishing into the political sujourn of no return.
Just think about that for a moment: a political — an erstwhile activist — who couldn’t anchor their next venture on a fair judgement of success or failure becoming a political leader: of what good could their policies be?
But we must shift at this point to the clients of this political disservice, that is, the citizens.
Standing at the receiving end of the warring interests and erupting greed for power and fame are the misled citizens whose response to matters are as predictable as the hands of clock. Masses — it sets my teeth to the edge to say — are easy to sway!
All it often take is a number of well-doctored negative or positive reports, as the case may be, repeatedly forward to them in the endless pools of WhatsApp groups and clandestine unregulated blogs. If they were shouting “Hosssana!” the last minute, they could cry “Crucify!” the next.
I feel compelled to say their collective sense of history is lagging. But masses anywhere have never been renowned for their good sense of history and critical assessment.
If they did! The scourge general Muhammadu Buhari wouldn’t gallivanting around in the Aso rock at the moment. Who else remembers the decree No. 2? What of the Orwellian order to close down all foreign accounts of the citizens? What of the trial-less arrests and detentions? What of the stern head of state who would not bother to pretend he plans for a return to Democracy? It happened anyway.
Now Saraki was recently seen being idolized at the Eid ground. What used to look like a mere gathering of the remnants of his beneficiaries now becoming mainstream, staring jeerily at the today’s government directly in the eyes, and the government couldn’t even hide its trepidation.
What will happen now? Will he come back? And will the present administration maintain its hold of the state? Watch out for the next episode of these treatises.
But my entire goal with this treatise — and not so treatise — is to fish for a statesman!
Is there one in the state lurking somewhere unrecognized? Or are we forever trapped in the bloody hands of power-greedy capitalists masquerading as leaders?
I will explain to you in the subsequent articles, and we can hunt for our statesman together — if you care to.