OPINION: Kwara Satire Today By: Muhammad Kameel

A blind man may lead people who see, in as much as they can caution him. But when they watch themselves being lead astray, that is the biggest atrocity.

About four years ago, towards the rounding-off of Governor Ahmad’s first tenure, Mr Yomi Ogunsola, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Investment, Promotion and Strategy told the press that the Ilorin metropolis water reticulation project would cost 7.2 billion naira. He also told the News Agency of Nigeria, (NAN) that the state had spent more that 5.2 billion naira on the project, which as he emphasized then, had reached 98 per cent completion stage. Of course, this gave birth to rejoice among people in various communities as everyone hoped that the opprobrious saga of water scarcity would end soon. 

Now, it is almost the end of Governor Ahmad’s second tenure and on this issue of water, if we will not deceive ourselves as usual, we have always landed where we fly. The said water reticulation that was reported to have reached 98 per cent completion stage four years ago has not been completed till today. Rather, Governor Ahmad has come again about two weeks ago to tell the press that the project is divided into three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary stages. According to him, only the primary stage has been completed “but all hands are on deck to ensure the completion of the project” before the end of his second tenure. So who is lying? Anyway, the question here is, as the Yoruba people say: “Bi aba f’ogun odun pile were, ojowo gaan ni ao to ja’ja?”. In simple translation, this means “If we spend twenty years to prepare for madness, then which day will we enter market place?”

Without any gainsaying, nothing is more baneful to us in Kwara State than our propagandistic politics that has continued to deprive us rational development since about two and a half decades now. Sometimes when I hear adverts on the radio saying: “Kwara, it’s good here”, I often ask myself what really is good in Kwara? Is it the continuous increase in school fees in our state-owned tertiary institutions, or the workers’ salaries that are delayed till elections approach— meanwhile the state allocation has never stopped, there were two times bailout disbursements from the Federal Government, there were two times Paris Club fund disbursements, the internally generated revenue, (IGR) is also there among others? It is a sorry state that the effect of all this money in our state remain elusive in the “make-believes” on the media. Truth be told, Kwara people should not continue to join the visionless diplomats in chewing the seeds of foolishness on the internet and other media while real issues are being swept under the carpet. Let someone tell the perpetrators that people are not stupid. No matter how much they think they divert their minds from real issues affecting them, conscious will always remain in them and they cannot change their minds.

It is pitiable that the common kwarans are the ones at the receiving ends of all these atrocities. Majority of our youth are now roaming from streets to streets— they are either fine beggars or political thugs. Of course they too have their sense beneath their feet, it is not all their fault too. Those who went to school have nothing to show for it and the money that is supposed to circulate in the state economy and encourage small and medium businesses are hoarded, stolen and kept in the bank accounts of the cabal. And what government calls empowerment is “dis-empowerment” in the real sense of it— empowering able-bodied youth with wheel barrows, trays, shovels… To do what? I don’t know if somebody also thinks that the one hundred million naira that the government claimed they spent on iftar package for people during Ramadan could have actually been meticulously used to empower some youth. It is not necessary that empowerment scheme benefit everyone at once. Assuming this money is divided into… say, five hundred thousand naira. That is twenty! Let that be used to empower twenty serious youths and see what they use their five hundred thousand naira each to do after a while. Well, maybe common sense is not common in our governance.

Patheiically, we know the truth but bypass it. “If you can’t beat them, join them” goes the saying— no wonder, a P. A.; a man from among us, a man “from the hood” was alleged to have given guns to killers of scores and no one is talking about that. He was even reported to have driven one of the cars used in the deadly operation. We rather join them in rant, meanwhile the accused do not deny empowering the agents of doom. A ah! Eè sì bèrù Olóhun! If it did not affect you, it affected someone somewhere. Well, I am not pointing at anyone, I just hope we can have some sense.

Ní kúkúrú, we need to learn not to avoid the truth. until we can differentite what we want from what some people think we want, until we know our real enemies, our brothers and children too could be given guns to kill us. And that would be biggest atrocity.

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