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Car Gifts Or Greek Gifts To Royal Fathers As Measures In Political Desperation


The Oasis Reporters

May 23, 2018


Let us start with the good side of this story. The nine Traditional Rulers, recipients of the Peugeot cars from the government of Kaduna State are our royal fathers. They are deserving of such patronage from government given the role they play as the custodians and protectors of the culture, values and tradition of our people. If there are any institutions we hold dear to our hearts aside our religious institutions, they must be our traditional institutions.

From a historical standpoint, our traditional institutions predate our present form of government. Before Western styled form of governance arrived our shores, the traditional institutions combined all the 3 basic components of today’s governance~ the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature and they did a good job of it.

Until the adoption of this strange Presidential form of government there was in operation a Parliamentary form of government which recognized the role of the Traditional institution to the extent that a House of Chiefs was provided for. That has been history since the adoption of the present presidential form of government. The traditional institutions were relegated to the other side of town.
Even through the period of military dictatorship, the traditional institution was well respected. Almost all of that has changed as the institution essentially is subsisting on past glory. The change forced down the throats of the Traditional institution has compelled some of them to become politicians of some sort or put more aptly, they became willing tools in the hands of politicians.

So much damage has been inflicted on this institution that the thought of recovering lost grounds appears a herculean task. The car gifts to our Royal fathers is therefore a welcome development but between the car gifts or Greek gifts depending on how you view it and Respect, which has become such a scarce commodity between the characters ruining our State and the royal fathers I am sure that the Royal fathers would have preferred to have their Respect back, instead of the cars.

Let us now consider the other side of this strange tale. There is nowhere in this country that the traditional institution has been so thoroughly humiliated as in our Kaduna State. Since the return to democratic governance in 1999 it has not been this bad for the traditional institution as it has been now in my State. All of us in Kaduna State were insulted when the present government decided not to go along with arrangements which had worked prior by decreeing that there were too many Chiefdoms and Districts in the State. Many of the District Heads were sacked and a few Chiefdoms cancelled. Funny enough this was done when our State was in turmoil with killings going on all over the State. The sacking of the traditional rulers technically removed the influence the institution exerted on Security within their domains and the defenceless population was at the mercy of killer gangs who have been roaming about the empty spaces around us killing, maiming and burning down villages across this nation.

I recall an instance during which one respected traditional ruler was humiliated inside the Council Chamber when he paid a courtesy call on the emperor and politely requested that tertiary institutions earlier closed in Southern Kaduna be reopened. The emperor retorted in a very rude and humiliating manner concluding that the institutions were to remain closed until he was satisfied that peace had returned.
Another traditional ruler suffered the humiliation of arrest and detention on the orders of the emperor for reasons neither here nor there. It is said that a few other royal fathers have had to answer queries at one time or another.

The administration of a former governor
thought it justified to create additional Chiefdoms and by extension, additional districts. This development was in response to the needs of the people of the affected areas. The present government has reversed this, decreeing a return to status quo ante. The governance style in Kaduna State is very clearly an affront to the basic tenets of democracy and an abstraction in the 21st Century. It is like granting freedom to someone and reversing same for no justifiable reason.

There comes a time particularly in struggling democracies such as ours when the value of the vote is recognized by even parties who hitherto had been antagonistic to the electorate. It is obvious that we are almost there in Kaduna State. Virtually every aspect of governance in this State has brought tears, sorrows and blood to the people. Policy reversals have become a trademark of the present government of Kaduna State. The way things stand, the entire State Civil Service has been muddled up completely. There is virtually not a single civil servant who is sure of his/her career due to the spade of sackings. Worst of all, none of those sacked have been paid any severance allowances.

There has been this pattern of erratic behaviour in the governance processes in my State that makes any sane person struggle to justify what is going on. In one of such policy somersaults, primary school teachers viciously sacked for allegedly failing what the authority described as Primary Four test produced the desired results of classrooms without teachers. The bogus and empty promises to employ new teachers is ending up as a farce consequently, the same government is now going through the backdoor attempting to recruit some of the teachers earlier sacked. I thought that a more honourable way out of this mess would have been simply to recall those sacked teachers with the required training and teaching experience. There can be no shame in such a reversal.of policy. With only one year left before our votes terminate the tenancy of the current residents of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. I cannot see how the dictatorship can succeed in repairing the mess it has created. Come 29 May 2019, God willing, we shall not be requiring either Indian, Senegalese or any marabouts for the tasks of cleaning up or expurgating the demons that have been co-tenants of our seat of government in Kaduna. All we shall be doing is praying to the Creator to effect the clean-up and expurgation Himself

We are all agreed that the people of Kaduna State will no longer be needing the services of the current residents of Sir Kashim Ibrahim House. If the political barometer of the present government is still serviceable, they ought to have known that the party is over in which case they should by now be preparing the HANDING OVER NOTES. If the preponderance of views in the hearts and minds of our people is anything to go by, the conclusion is easily drawn that the people of Kaduna State are done with this government.

One cannot in the circumstance not help but muse over the thought that the car gifts to some 9 Second Class chiefs may well turn out to be GREEK GIFT. The royal fathers must know that it is not only them that have suffered humiliation from this government but the entire citizens of the State. Any Royal father who turns his back against his people because of a car gift will almost certainly find out rather too late that he is on his own. The currency of business in these perilous times remains our PVCs. If you do not have one already, it means you will not be partaking in that epic political battle that will lead to the overthrow of dictatorship in Kaduna State. It is not too late to register for the voters card as the registration is still ongoing.


Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
He writes from Kaduna, north west Nigeria.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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