Chongai Chronicles debuts as a review magazine depicting the achievements, struggles and aspirations of the Southern Kaduna people. It is anchored on citizen journalism, thereby availing a platform to tell the multifaceted stories of a region. Thus avoiding what Chimamanda Adichie in her TED talk entitles, The Danger of a Single Story. True, as she espoused, a single story creates a stereotype and the problem with stereotypes is not only that they are untrue, but they are incomplete and tend to compel a subjectve view of a narrative.
In this maiden edition, the arguments advanced by men of letters chart a better course between the icebergs of half truth and the sandbanks of alternative fact. The fine details herein are timely, not because they tell about Southern Kaduna but because they are works of art that enable one to enter into the political world and be deeply perceptive with burning issues. The writer’s vision becomes ours, and such a translation makes us realize the truth of George Orwell’s remark that: “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”
The dice has been thrown for the 2019 elections and as observed by one of our cerebral contributing writer, Prof. John Gambo Laah: “The common denominator of these political groups is that there is no synergy between the young and the old and also, there is no specific agenda for Southern Kaduna.” It is to the amusement of the reader that rhetorics factored therein goes beyond the usual blame trading. It sees beyond the tiny prism of party politics and ethnic demagoguery.
Mahmud Jega’s herders-farmers thesis and subsequent rejoinders are interesting discourses to catch up. By and large, humanity ought to prevail over ethnic and religious fragmentions. Our utmost concern at this juncture should be the protection of our common nature whilst forbidding the killing of our kind, regardless of tongue or creed.
Late Bishop Joseph Bagobiri had appealed that : ” Muslims and Christians and peoples of the various ethnic nationalities in Kaduna State should rise to the challenge of building one united state and country, different from the current distrust that has led and still leading into fatal consequences today.” Even as we go to press, it is painful to come in terms with the undeniable fact that our father, scholar and shining metaphor of the Southern Kaduna struggle is no more. Just as history connects the past and the present to the future, wisdom of elders in the mould of Bishop Bagobiri should be preserved for posterity. His Lordship’s trajectories is a source of inspiration that need not be lost because he is dead.
As we gear towards the 2019 General Elections, the Octavia liner comes handy so that we choose our leaders with wisdom and forethought. For to be led by a coward is to be controlled by all that the coward fears. To be led by a thief is to offer up your most precious treasures to be stolen. Likewise to be led by a tyrant is to sell yourself and those you love into slavery.