By Sheriff Olanrewaju,
My state is a mosaic of Nigeria’s heterogeneity where the mutual exclusivity of the masses from the so-called dividends of democracy is taking a new turn. Apart from the fact that the people are subjected to utter penury by carefree ‘leaders’ who act as if possessed by the soul of Iblees, social contract has suddenly metamorphosed into social chaos – where taxation is now primarily for debt clearance, owing to the reality that the state has suddenly gone insolvent and public servants’ salaries can no longer be paid.
Hence, I won’t refrain from blaming the masses for failing to play a pivotal part to prevent the malaise in our society today. Kwara wouldn’t have been a catastrophic opposite of President Buhari’s campaign promises; where we have robotic clerics who, like parrots, would only defend the status quo; even when it is apparent that the people are denied basic amenities: thus giving the callous and somewhat emotionally-removed leaders the courage to stick to sharp practices.
It is only natural for the phlegmatic people of my state – as it is for some average Nigerians – to rue their appalling conditions and misadventures on fate; instead of calling the opportunistic politicians who have always taken them for a ride to question. Kwarans collective reactions in the aftermath of politicians and their egomaniac stalwarts’ abuse of power have proven that their present predicament is sadly informed by their carefree and feckless past; which is why it is always very easy for Kwarans to suffer and groan in silence. Thus, bashfully and unequivocally earning for themselves the rubric of the most gullible people of the age.
As ironical as it may seem, it is in my attitude to always praise the naive resilience of my Kwara civil servants in the face of arrant misrule; because of the obviously stifled freedom of speech. For government workers in the state, speaking out against the unfair treatment at their various places of work is considered idiotic, given that regardless of the probability of instant dismissal, their ruthless masters would stealthily take it up against the defenceless who dares to challenge the powers that be. This eventually paved way for sycophantic adulation borne out of the fear of being shunted off their present positions: whereas they fail to realize that cowardice does not delineate the bravery and sturdiness of their illustrious forebear.
It is, however, disheartening that Kwara state workers often appear convincingly pleased to be working with this present administration – but in reality, they are themselves bleeding with rage from the within, irrespective of the ‘It’s good here’ mantra they are covetously intimidated to chant: this is much more than an issue of being an avowed stalwart. It is an issue that revolves around threat, and fear of the unknown.
To the gullible, every baseless blabber of a buffoon is believed as brilliance; but one day, the truth will catch up with lies. Once upon a time, some co-workers wished that I work in the Office of Mrs Omolewa Ahmed, Wife of the Governor of Kwara State (as the Desk Officer, Education and the officer in charge of research and documentation respectively) and exhibit acts of cowardice: Cowardice in the face of character assassination by those closer to the First Lady; cowardice when questioned by rabble-rousing snitches; cowardice in the presence of Bible-thumpers during morning devotions in the office; cowardice when surrounded by men of the state security services; cowardice when taking into cognizance the presence of surveillance cameras; cowardice acts when my mind is enmeshed in thoughts about poverty. YES! I have acted as a coward each time I thought about all these; but I have fervently prayed that I should not be consumed by cowardice to the extent that I would act against my conscience and earn for myself the wrath of the Almighty Allah.
So let me sum it up this way, a bunch of opportunistic people with the hilt of the sword can assassinate and go unscathed; they can orchestrate cultists’ chaos and go unquestioned: as if cultism as a serious issue infecting our society today cannot be retraced to those who use and dump the recalcitrant youths. One thing that is certain is that those who seek to defy the righteous are sooner or later doomed to be struck by divine vengeance.
Sheriff Olanrewaju writes from Ilorin-South.
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