The Oasis Reporters
November 25, 2018
It has just recently come to light to some of us that a meeting of the Southern Kaduna Political Summit was held on 17 November, 2018 in Kafanchan, the regional headquarters of the Southern Kaduna people.
I am only privileged like many others to have chanced on the communique issued after the summit on social media and at first, I held my breath wondering how such an important summit could have been held without wide publicity for maximum attendance. I do honestly applaud the ingenuity and foresight of those behind this great idea.
Some of us are just getting to learn in the first instance that there is a body identifying itself as “Southern Kaduna Political Summit Group” and even as I write many of us bona fide sons and daughters of Southern Kaduna resident outside of our villages are yet unaware about how this body came to existence and who and who make up its leadership. To the extent that the group is out to advance the interest of the Southern Kaduna people, all of us without exception do have an interest and perhaps some input into the discourses. Many of us could have attended and perhaps made some contributions but in the absence of invitations we have to contend with the communique.
Whilst it is better late than never, a few of us are of the view that this summit should have held much earlier than now because we are already as it were, neck deep into the political processes for some of the contents of the communique to be fully digested. The purpose of the summit according to the communique was to ” appraise the socio-political and economic realities of our people and the State” while the major aim of the meeting was to seek for ways and means of ensuring that Southern Kaduna supports ONLY candidates that the interest of our people and the overall well being of the State in the next gubernatorial and presidential elections “.
I am of the view that this fantastic idea is coming rather late in the day because the political start line has already been crossed. Had this summit/meeting been held much earlier, perhaps it would have succeeded in aligning our Southern Kaduna people politically.
The question then arises, do the Southern Kaduna people actually require to be aligned to support some candidates or political platforms?
The few political elites from Southern Kaduna in the past if history teaches anything at all, have only succeeded in arranging our people to act political scripts given to them by those elites in positioning themselves for political offices. If anything at all, the politically more astute sons and daughters of Southern Kaduna ought to be concerned more about the processes of politically educating our people so that they can as individuals, make informed choices. I do not see how marooning out people on some political island serves their political interest. At best the totality of their efforts ends up feathering some individual’s nests.
The idea or thinking behind the continued corralling of our people within the fences of either individuals or political platforms is an absurdity to democracy in my humble view.
The politics of Southern Kaduna has suffered so many infractions because some self seekers desire to be viewed from favourable lenses of the puppeteers. It is with this viewpoints that the political party apparatchiks serially manipulate the processes from which delegates distil thus throwing up characters as delegates who must be told who they must cast their ballot for. If we are quick to criticize our democracy as not working, we must first undertake an assessment of the roles we have been playing in the process. This summit/meeting supposedly drew people from the different ethnic nationalities within Southern Kaduna and I truly hope it did. An all important summit/meeting of this magnitude and importance needed to have invited both the good, the bad, and the ugly to the extent that they were ready to attend so that their wisdom or foolishness could be listened to. In the end, the team of rapporteurs would produce a document which speaks the minds of the Southern Kaduna people.
Some other bodies such as Southern Kaduna People’s Union, SOKAPU and the Southern Kaduna Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN do have a role to play in the political education processes but their roles must end there. They have no business telling anyone what political party or candidate to vote for. This is the only way they can maintain their neutrality and relevance.
Presenting our people in one political basket will not again in my humble view benefit us in anyway, worse still, if the arrangement fails, our people are sure to become the weeping boys as happened during the 2015 general elections. The fallout of that misadventures in 2015 technically has provided the munitions and logistics with which the El Rufai dictatorship has been fighting the people of Southern Kaduna.
If the rapporteurs adequately captured all that was discussed at the summit/meeting, what was put out as the resolutions to my mind do not contain much substance. Resolution number 2 which has to do with El Rufai’s Muslim, Muslim ticket very clearly portray the Malam as a serial liar. His earlier position was that he could do without the votes from Southern Kaduna. The very act of picking his running mate from the Zone does mean he is actually seeking votes but through the backdoor. El Rufai is such a divisive character that he has no restraint over what comes forth from his mouth. I did write a post earlier in which I noted that he is paying only lip service to being religious on the grounds that religion is supposed to regulate both our conduct and or behaviour. In the case of Nasir Ahmad El Rufai, I can emphatically say that religion or its associated values has failed to make an impact on him. If anything at all, the resolution did not bring up anything new by way of an affirmative action plan for the Southern Kaduna people against the deprivation and neglect which our people have been subjected to over the years. I thought that the usual practice of political betrayal which has become the hallmark of Southern Kaduna politics should have received a mention as well as how to counter it.
For a fact nobody will take us serious when the political players from this Zone are always ready to scramble for any POLITICAL BONE thrown at them. It is so sad that our political players are so contented with the so little that is thrown at them which is why they are always taken for granted. We must as a matter of urgency take steps to recover lost grounds.
Finally, the admonishment of the legendary Mahatma Gandhi in a speech at a reception organized to welcome him home from South Africa said or words to the effect that he was happy to be back home and that he had carefully listened to the speeches made by the politicians but that none came near to addressing the plight of the millions of ordinary Indians who were toiling on a daily basis under the sun to make a living. He concluded by saying that none of the beautiful speeches would impact the lives of the ordinary Indian. In much the same manner let the totality of the political efforts of the Southern Kaduna politicians be directed towards improving the lot of our people not ourselves.
Written by Col. Gora Dauda (rtd).
He writes from Kaduna, north west Nigeria.