The Oasis Reporters
August 28, 2018
The story is told of a certain man whose life was troubled by mice in his small house. The mice ate up or at least shared whatever foodstuff he brought into his house aside destroying other valuables. Whenever his friends visited, the mice will be dashing here and there in the most embarrassing manner.He went out one day to the market and saw on sale that small iron mouse trap which he snapped up paying the price without bargaining.
On getting home, he set the trap and placed it where the mice usually do their rat race. No sooner had he done this than he heard the sound of the trap triggering off. Upon checking where he had placed it, he saw that the trap had indeed done its job. He removed the dead mouse and reset the trap since the first bait was still not tempered with. Not long after the first mouse had become a victim, the second and many more were killed by the same trap which all failed to see or to understand the obvious danger the trap posed. All the mice were concerned about was the bait which they saw as food since they were hungry and needed food. If there were more than one mouse out in search of food, the moment one was caught by the trap, the sound of the trap going off will frighten away the others but they soon forgot and the others in similar circumstances would end up the same way.
I have just tried the same old small iron mouse trap in my kitchen and the result has been spectacular. The outcome and the efficacy of the mouse trap is evinced by it’s continued relevance everytime.
I grew up in my village and saw such a mouse trap in use and I have therefore bought one and am quite satisfied with its performance. If over the ages, mice had leant the danger which the mouse trap poses, they, long ago would have learnt to avoid them but they have not which is why this mouse trap is still in high demand. I must not forget to remind us that this trap is preferred to other means of eliminating mice such as deploying rat poison which can be very harmful to humans.
Arising from the above story, it is easy to dismiss mice as being foolish on account of the fact that they have been unable over time to appreciate the danger posed by mouse traps. Doing so will amount to being too quick to judgement because if humanity examines itself, the outcome will not be any different from the behaviour of the mice. Biology judges humans as perhaps the most intelligent of animals on account of their supposedly superior brains, but in truth we may not necessarily be better than the mice given the way humanity has been condemned to repeating over and over again the mistakes of our very existence.
Little wonder then that in contributing to this viewpoint, Albert Einstein defined MADNESS as doing the same thing all over again expecting different outcomes. Many questions would naturally arise from the above scenario, the most important being the extent to which humanity actually learns. If we were capable of learning from past mistakes, we ought to have learnt to avoid those things that led us to making the first mistakes. Could this not be justification enough for the conclusion that history repeats itself?
The ttuth be told, it is humanity that has always been guilty of repeating the mistakes of history much in the manner as mice which is why humanity has continued to pay a high price for doing the same thing all over again yet expecting different outcomes.
Leopold von Ranke, the late German born American anthropologist and father of “Source-based History ” admonished that ‘ He who overcomes is divine, some see their ruin right before their own eyes but walk into it anyway”.
Viewed in another way, history is in a way not any different from the mouse trap. It is either that we have short memories or that we forget too quickly.
Let us apply the significance of the mouse trap to contemporary politics in Nigeria. Recall that the PDP held on to power in this nation for 16 years uninterrupted and boasted to the world that the Party will be in power for at least 60 years but this was not to be because the great party ended after 16 years. PDP’s greatest undoing was the death of internal democracy, arbitrariness and impunity. Many within the ranks of the Party advocated for change and renewal but hawks entrenched within the Partty resisted the calls leading to defections that eventually led to the formation of a Party of so-called “Progresives” with the name, All Progressive Congress which went on to supplant the PDP from power in 2015.
It is becoming apparent that our politicians have not learnt much because in the first term of the APC being in power, deep cracks have developed and the same ailments that afflicted the PDP bringing it to ruin has gotten yet another victim in the APC. It is true after all that what goes around does come around.as the APC is a terminal patient in its own hospital. Political migrants are always on the move evinced by the deluge from the APC to mainly the PDP and other smaller political parties. It is so tragic that the APC which flaunted a manifesto of CHANGE to win power immediately retracted its tentacles into a conservative cocoon doing the same thing all over again but expecting different results.
In many a way, Kaduna State is a quintessential example of the national malaise. The dictatorship in Kaduna State has only succeeded in taking the State back in time. Instead of making progress in line with the dubious manifesto of Making Kaduna Great Again, our dear State is in all respects terminally ill. Nothing is working, the Civil Service of this State which was the most vibrant is but a shadow of itself.
The educational system is in tatters as thousands of teachers were summarily sacked on the orders of the dictator. The sack aside, there are not enough classrooms to house the pupils. Where there are classrooms, the pupils sit on bare floor to receive lessons. The most horrible blunder is that thousands of teachers were sacked while fewer were recruited many of them inexperienced.
Just pray that it does not rain heavily as you enter Kaduna, the State capital because you will wonder if you did not miss your way to either Rivers, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom or Lagos States because it is flooded streets that will be your first welcome. The streets of Kaduna are punctuated by gaping potholes making driving such an unpleasant experience. Drainages are blocked, a sequel to an earlier equally dubious and fraudulent contract awarded to build or construct water drainages. After the excavation, work was abandoned to date resulting in the flooded streets becoming a common sight whenever it rains.
Due to poor leadership style, the once boisterous Sir Kashim Ibrahim House has become almost like a huge cemetery where the majority players have become undertakers. The dictatorship has auctioned off virtually all landed properties inherited from previous governments to friends and cronies. If there is anything for which the people of Kaduna State will remember the impish dictator for, it will be for all the wrong reasons. The sobriquet, “Mai Rusau” meaning in Hausa, “the demolisher” has found very decent accommodation in this man.
The dictator is not a happy man now and has not been since he lost his case in attempting to secure a $350 mllion World Bank loan. He is currently in a paranoid state, blaming and insulting everyone he thinks played a role in frustrating the loan. The best thing to have happened to the hapless, frustrated and despondent people of Kaduna State is that the dubious loan was not approved.
As 2019 is around the corner, go register and obtain a voter’s card to join the army of voters who will issue the quit notice to the vultures and sundry criminals who have brought our Kaduna State to ruin.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
Chairman of R-APC Party in Kaduna State.