Victor Kwara Nicholas
Anyone with the modest grasp of politics would allude to the fact that its underpinnings are hinged on how best the society ought to be organized. As patriotic citizens, there are vices in our socio-political milieu that beg for interrogation thereby prescribing solutions. Throughout the centuries, democracy has been rated the best form of governance fitted for humans. However, southern Kaduna compatriots are neck-deep as key players in our political parlance since the return of democracy in 1999. This region has produced politicians whose antecedents suggest that their political ‘brouhaha’ has either attracted honour or shame to their résumé. Consequently, some are addressed as “honorable, dishonorable, distinguished high honourable or his ‘excellency” depending on their contributions or lack of it for the realization of a neo-Southern Kaduna. Skeptics about our emancipation struggle and how to cub the menace of betrayal from within see these efforts as dead on arrival on account of the activities of few dishonourables whose antecedents only proof that they are sign posts who have given us a glimpse of how hell is.
I get irked to the marrow any time I hear some people either addressed as “honourable” or when they address themselves as such, reason being that they feel it is an achievement or political credential that qualifies one to gain patronages from mandate-givers. Thus, these set of compatriots may not be aware that there are duties and moral obligations required of the bearers of such titles. The requirements of this piece are essentially and dutifully to interrogate the nexus between Southern Kaduna politicians and the obligations attached to their honourableness.
Who an honourable is:
Going down memory lane into the socio-political history from the ancient Greek era traceable to the 5th Century BC, Marcus Tullius Cicero (3rd/1/106) wrote a letter to his son Marcus who was studying in the Peripatetis school of Cratippus in Athens titled De Officiis: on duty, which was hinged on the obligations expected of his son in public service as he may find himself in the future, it characterized the ideals or code of conduct or public behavior which demanded him as a potential public servant and aspects of life that involved others. This letter assured Marcus that he owed others a duty in order to be qualified as an honourable. For Cicero, De Officiis consists of inter alia, “…the honourableness of man hinges on justice, kindness and liberality rooted in the assurance that one in his administrative office must make his first care to be that everyone shall have what belongs to him and that private citizens suffer no invasion of their property rights by act of state…avoid even the slightest suspicion of self-seeking for this is the highest statesmanship and soundest wisdom on the part of a good citizen, not to divide the interest of the citizen but unite all on the basis of impartial justice. Above all, they will use their best endeavour that everyone shall be protected in the possession of his property by the fair administration of the law and the poorer classes shall not be oppressed because of their hopelessness…” Worthy of note is the fact that official duty is restricted therefore it is fitting if honourable men should operate on moral duty because we ought to respond to people based on duty as bound by our moral disposition and that is what Cicero puts before all who answer the name “honourable”, thus, legal duties are suppressed by moral duties.
Southern Kaduna Politicians: x-raying their honourablenss
From the foregoing, we have alluded to the fact that our land has all kinds of honourables. Either self-appointed or on account of one’s occupation of an elected/appointed political post. Thus, using critical lenses into Cicero’s position on the discourse under review, a pragmatic application in our contemporary Southern Kaduna would give us a blueprint of the obligations and duties attached to the prefix under review. It is quite embarrassing and unfortunately scandalous that its application in our land is an aberration despite the legion of “honourables” we are “blessed” with as a people. Under the watchful eyes of some of these fortunate sons and daughters of our land, most Nenzites live in dearth and their definition of the world is “hell on earth”. Before these honourables, we have become serfs living in perpetual insecurity in our ancestral land because some of them have glued their mouths as they stand by our oppressors and aggressors. They are quiet in order not to “put sand in their garri” which intrinsically form the gamut of our socio-political woes, by implication, they are tacitly working against our common good.? It is said karma is a bitch! We have seen once hoourables who are more pauperized now than they were before joining politics, reason being that they behaved like the biblical rich man and Lazarus or the rich fool while having their field days in political offices.
While serving as our delegates, most of them are often economical with accountability, empathy and or sensitivity to us the mandate-givers, they only show up when they feel the need to renew their mandate, or make a show of shame or lack of it during festive periods or for condolences. Where are our honourables as southern Kaduna is faced with this genocide? Where are they when our IDPs camps are peopled by the Nenzites who live not sure of their next meal? The elected/appointed ones are bench warmers as they are blinded by the thirst for materialism, they form the league of the toxic wastes Southern Kaduna has ever giving birth to, reason being that they have either sealed their mouths for fear of losing their jobs or tacitly giving a nod as the “unknown known” Fulani gun men terrorize, kill our people and raze down communities. The only ‘honourable’ men I see in contemporary Southern Kaduna are all men of good will who have taken it upon themselves to speak up against this menace, most of them have sacrificed their resources to write about our plight and feature in the media houses in order to tell the world our situation, many youths are murdering their sleep in keeping vigil against potential attackers, and in the process, some have paid the supreme price.There are also others that have taken it upon themselves to take care of the victims, these for me are the real honourables whose patriotism I commend and recommend for national awards. How can an honourable, going by its ancient history and meaning fold his hands and keep quiet as his house is destroyed by other supposed humans for no justifiable cause or in the name of reprisal attack? These honourables should be asked whether or not they are our kinsmen. How can an honourable support a narrative that supports the compensation of our killers? Why will all honourables not support the voices that are saying no to the land expantionists?
All “dishonourables” who seem to have sold the remaining parts of their souls and consciences to the powers that be for pittance have the moral obligation to right their wrongs by working towards ending this genocide and also lobbying for projects to correspond with what is seen in other parts of the state. For example, the River Wonderful in Matsirga can be a good tourist centre if a holiday resort is built there, this would not only create job opportunities to our widows who have used the bank of that river to fetch sand and sell in order to take care of their orphaned children, our youths from neighbouring villages may equally get employed to compliment their fishing career in the said river, this may be a morale boaster towards empowering our people.
Call to duty. ‘Aliens’ seem to often resolve their socio-political differences in their places of worship, or traditional leaders’ palaces in order to deal with us politically (perhaps they took the cue from Herod and Pilate who were sworn enemies but reconciled in order to deal with a common enemy-Jesus cf. the gospel of Luke 23:12). My prescription to our political quagmire is that there may be a forum of all Southern Kaduna partisan politicians and statesmen irrespective of their political party or ideological differences in order to chat the way forward.. Conversely, Southern Kaduna in the next fifty years would be in a sorry state, God forbid. Instructive too is the fact that the genocide forced on us ought to be a uniting factor than ever, by this, Southern Kaduna would be our neo-political party as a nation, our ethnic differences would then be used to shame our traducers, hence, an added advantage to easily shame our political opponents who have murdered sleep in order to divide and rule us in perpetuity and indeed, it is beyond the bounds of possibility albeit it depends on the response of our people for unity of purpose.
Who told us that the political disagreements between Shehu Sani and Nasiru el-Rufai are real? They are a hoax. Wait and see, an emir may just invite the duo in the palace and say “Shehu, you are doing well in the senate, just continue there in 2019 and allow your brother Nasiru here in kaduan to finish all that he started ‘ai ku ‘yan uwa ne’ and trust me, in the next election, he too would be instrumental as you would succeed him in the Kashim Ibrahim House in 2023”. This is in the event that Sani would vie for el-Rufai’s seat. That would be when and only when our eyes would be more opened as the mother of all genocides would be experienced because el-Rufai may continue compensating and or negotiating with the terrorists in keeping with his tweets on loan-payment of killing his kinsmen. Again, probably the biggest of all lopsidedness and marginalization would be on a high gear in the region, God forbid but we must do the needful now.
It is instructive from the foregoing that Cicero’s theory on the requirements, duties and responsibilities attached to the name and person of an “honourable”, is not essentially by name, it is rather by actions hinged on unshakable patriotism, unconditional empathy and true altruism for the provision of the basic goods of human flourishing. All honourables in Southern Kaduna must, as a matter of responsibility take urgent and necessary steps to not only think fast, but put her house in order irrespective of party differences and nip the roots of our socio-political misfortunes in the bud. Our honourables should also put a request in form of a bill for a grazing reserve for our pigs and dogs in Kaduna north. Put on your thinking cap.
It is the opinion of this piece to sting Southern Kaduna “honourables” to establish industries in the region in order to create more employment and succor to our people. We prescribe again that let it be a moral law in our land that before any southern Kaduna son/daughter would invest his/her resources outside the region, the said wealth should circulate within the hands of at least ten of one’s kin and let us see whether or not there would not be circulation of wealth in our land. Economic empowerment is key in every form of struggle. Skeptics may dismiss this clarion call and refer to it as catastrophic idealism feasible only in heaven but the emerging issues in the country should teach us lessons as a people. In a situation where our honourables are able to establish flour industry in Saminaka whose major crops of production is maize and in partnership with some foreign investors let us say the Chinese, the benefit would be win-win. Again, if a ginger processing company is sited around Ham land where ginger is highly cultivated, it will not also be a bad idea.
To corroborate the above, I went to Jos wild life park and saw how animals were fed with flesh of other animals not bones. “If animals can be given that luxury of food”, I told myself, “what more of our Southern Kaduna kinsmen who have been feeding on ‘bones’ for centuries?” The said industries, if sited would substitute the flesh given to the animals in the zoo.
From the foregoing, we have brought to the fore duties and obligations attached to the prefix “honourable” reason being that its proper meaning has been construed for over some time. Southern Kaduna as a nation has produced honourable men/women on account of occupying elective or appointed political offices, while some have tried in writing their names on the sand of history, others that are cold in that regard ought to wake up and tow the path of honour for the common good in a bid to create an egalitarian neo-southern Kaduna.