Ganiu Olamilekan Cole

Ganiu Olamilekan Cole Send by : Abdul-ganiu.Olamilekan Cole
WAS THERE A MISTAKE IN 1914?
SIR: There seems to disquiet in the land as professional politicians trade irksome language, spitting venom across the Niger. For those of us without the ambit of politics, it seems weird and abominable that words are not placed on the weighing scale bef...ore they are dished out for public consumption.


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Though, we are aware that "rocking the boat" is the past time of politicians all over the world and that asking a politician to stay perpetually taciturn is like trying to stop a chameleon from changing its colour but, national leaders, especially those who occupy sensitive positions are not expected to throw etiquette to the wind when handling fragile national issues that could precipitate anarchy and pitch one section of the country against the other.
After all, a Yoruba proverb "ko ni buru ki baba ni o di owo omo ohun l'orun", literally meaning "no matter the vicissitudes of life, the father should not invoke the spirit of his dead son". The import of this proverb is that leaders should stay put in the position of leaders and not slide down to the level of followers. The following reported cases are necessary to give credence to the aforementioned position.
Irrespective of the temperament of President Olusegun Obasanjo, the pointless and uncouth vituperations of Vice-President, Abubakar Atiku against the administration within which he is currently serving shows the level of irresponsibility and the abyss to which politicians have descended in this country. Unless one browse through the pages of world history, it may not be possible to allocate ordinal scale to Atiku in the Guinness Book of Records for his unspeakable conduct in the public but it is a shame that it has taken him seven out of eight years to realise the inadequacies of his own government. Moreover, a man of his bearing should know that freedom comes with great responsibility without which chaos and hullabaloo will reign.
Governor Kure's innocent words against the people of the South-South could best be described as the ranting of an overworked mind but the damage it is capable of engendering should be of concern to all those who have a dint of love for this country. Though, he has since eaten the humble pie but like a Yoruba proverb says "when a knife cuts your hand and you throw it away, the damage has already been done."
Examples abound of politicians in the above cited categories in the media everyday. It seems the eardrum is today filled with melodies of impending war in 2007, particularly in connection with the zoning of the number one seat. The questions that are begging for answer: What type of leadership is required for a nation whose people carry the tag of "word class paupers"? Should the criteria for choosing a president be based on accident of birth or competence and management dexterity? Should a section of the country that has produced almost all its leaders who have shown gross administrative incompetence continue to hold the nation to ransom?
Nigerian leaders should realise that world development is on the super highway and any nation that decides to voyage on the service lane through unnecessary bickering, avoidable social disorder, power struggle, greed, avarice through selfish, self centred political manoeuvres and other vices that slow down the ascension of a nation on the world developmental ladder will sentence its progenies to everlasting socio-economic bondage that could lead them to being led by the nozzle by the offspring of those countries that are wise enough to seize the opportunities offered by the development in today's world.
Nigeria has lost a lot of grounds since her independence in 1960 and it is time to wake up from our deep slumber to do stock taking and through it evolve a blueprint for the future. Otherwise, we should agree that a mistake was made in 1914 and jointly without bloodletting redraw the map of Nigeria.
Rasheed Ojikutu,
University of Lagos

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