New political era in Kwara state

Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed

Sir: Permit me to join people who have expressed appreciation to the Kwara State Police Command for its level headedness in not disrupting, rather protected peaceful rally by people hungry for politico-economic justices. When you meet people, workers who have not been paid for more than four months, you stop thinking that a particular Governor is trying, not even Governor Alhaji Dr. AbdulFatah Ahmed (I don’t know if he is an Arab), Kwara State, who is claiming to have sọ̀lúdẹ̀rọ̀ (made living in town easy). Life is extremely difficult for workers owed several months of unpaid salaries and emoluments; ditto many unpaid retirees. Many roads are terribly bad. Hence you expect a groundswell of opposition to Saraki/Emirate dynasty in coming elections, beginning with the impending local government elections, if they hold.

The expected elections may not hold if opposition political parties reject attempts to sideline opposition in some local governments, or if the opposition political parties sustain lack of confidence in the Chairman of the so-called Kwara State Independent Electoral Commission (KWASIEC), Alhaji Jerusalem Ajidagba, who is said to be an ally of the Saraki/Emirate dynasty. While many unpaid workers and retired people were crying, some representatives of Ilorin Emirate went round and saw that some women were dancing nude for some men in some hotel inner places. The Emirate later thanked the state government for its intervention, in helping to arrest the menace. Before that nude-dancing episode, the Emirate police had arrested some teachers and students in Kwara State College of Education for daring to include masquerade display in their annual cultural festival within the College.

That is typical of how Christian and Islamic imperialisms prevail and hold democracy to ransom in Nigeria, to the extent of enforcing religious intolerance in public schools. Even some federal universities’ administrators discriminate against African Traditional Religion, thereby promoting religious intolerance in the Ivory Tower. But politico-economic injustices/misappropriations are on their way to changing the status quo which will separate religion from politics, towards religio-political and socio-economic equalities.

People hitherto sitting on the fence can be seen getting up to be part of the struggle for change. Many are joining the chorus: Accountability to Kwarans, not to Saraki/Emirate dynasty. Hence I told associations of drivers and riders in Kwara state to join in ending oligarchy to enthrone democracy. When you come face to face with the humiliating conditions of unpaid people, even if you ate head of tortoise you cannot but be moved (that is a Yoruba idiomatic expression). You will see why certain expenditures by government of Saraki/Emirate dynasty are misplaced. Yet some politicians are still hoping to get elected in coming elections by merely paying homage to Saraki, Emir, and Maigida Ahmed. They haven’t seen the emerging trend and need for change from religio-political and economic imperialisms to democratic principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity (outlined in the French Revolution). People must rise to overshadow the elderly women assembled by Saraki/Emirate dynasty, holding vigil every weekend. People must rise, including you/me. Time is ripe for a new era of democracy and social accountability. Vote for candidates of the opposition political party whose leaders you trust, if you don’t know any candidate. Nationally, don’t join in opposition to rotation of key positions.

It is good for orderliness, peace, and stability. A well thought-out restructuring can reduce costs of governance, while we keep fighting for pro-people rulers, not house and shop demolishers, and not agents of Christian and Islamic imperialisms. Currently, Nigeria, generally speaking, is in the worse of hands.

Prof Oyeniran Abioje, wrote from University of Ilorin.



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