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Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Politics. Show all posts

Sunday, April 26, 2020

COVID-19 - THE HARD TRUTHS FROM THESE TRYING TIMES



If someone were to tell me in December 2019 that there would be an occurrence in 2020 which would lead to a near collapse of the financial markets, nearly wipe out the global transportation and tourism industry, put almost all the nations of the world on self-imposed lockdown, I mean basically ground the entire world, I would have simply taken the person for a clown, and if they were to insist on keeping their position, I would have recommended a psychiatric evaluation. Such was the strength of my faith and belief in the social, mental, scientific, and technological evolution of humankind that I could not foresee all of us abandoning life as we know it and scampering for shelter far away from other humans as much as possible.

Let us face it, the world will never be the same again, even after we have been able to arrest the Covid-19 pandemic, but then, why should it remain the same? The current situation has brought to the fore the indispensability of many of the issues essential to the dignity and respect of humankind and how we have for a very long time paid lip-service to them, and that was when we were not outrightly denying their importance. Issues of affordable universal healthcare, social safety net, fit-for-purpose public infrastructure, public programmes planning and execution, and social integration as a whole have been totally neglected, and we can see in real time how nations and societies are paying the price for their laxity. The US is leading in Covid-19 death rates because their healthcare system is broken, and they have a leadership gulf at the very top; Nigeria is struggling to stem the tide because the health and social infrastructures are grossly inadequate and we cannot even effectively give financial palliatives to those who need them because we do not have genuine and verifiable data, and of course we have a leadership gulf at the very top too; and the Northern European Countries are handling the situation well because they have always been structured and they have social safety nets such that they didn’t need to change much to cope with the pandemic.

Brace yourself, even when the Pandemic is over, the fear will remain for a long time, the fear not just for ourselves, but for our kids, our siblings, our colleagues, for all our loved ones altogether. What will be gone though is the trust of social existence – partying, clubbing, even lounging in open spaces such as bars, beaches, and malls will no longer be trustworthy, and we might find ourselves going back to living like cavemen, coming out for sunlight once in a while. Of course, I kid, but when you consider the fact that we were already talking about going to live on Mars, and we already have shuttles which can make such trips multiple times like your normal airplane, you will understand that going back to not being able to gather in public or use public transportation to cover distances of a few kilometers is like a thousand-year regression. Brace yourself, wearing of face masks will be compulsory for months to come, at least wannabe ninjas will be happy at these.

Now back to the hard truths from this pandemic – we the masses have suffered the most and we will suffer more, unless we change our perception and approach to governance and leadership. When we abdicated our responsibilities and left leadership and governance to demagogues, charlatans, misfits and rogues, of course they cannot suddenly develop competence during a crisis, they can only respond to the limit of their abilities. We all have to be involved in choosing those who lead us, in determining those who chart the course for the present and the future, in keeping on their toes who we have surrendered our individuality and personal preferences to in exchange for the social contract of having the freedom to live and pursue happiness. We owe these duties to ourselves, and we will be doing ourselves a great disservice if we leave those processes to the misfits in the society. Most times, we delude ourselves with the fact that we can create enclaves with others who have broken free from the inhuman drudgery of daily struggle to make ends meet, and we have this false security once we go into our gated estates, but the reality as highlighted by the menace of “the One Million Gang” and “the Awawa Boys” during this lockdown is that no one is safe within the vicinity of heartless and hungry miscreants who have been armed by unscrupulous politicians. We are all in this together, and we have to fix it together.

As a parting shot, now that you know that everything is possible, it is now up to you to hold people around you accountable when they tell you it is not possible. Governments all over the world who said “Healthcare For All” is impossible are able to find funds to finance this Public Health Emergency; Governments who said “Guaranteed Monthly Incomes” are impossible are finding funds to provide Financial Palliatives to Businesses and Citizens; Preachers who said you must come to Churches and Mosques to prove your faith are now conducting ministrations online; Employers who would mandate you to suffer through hours of traffic on daily basis to  and fro the office are now encouraging you to work from home and use Zoom and Skype; lovers who told you they were always busy driving, in meetings, in open offices, and so on are now working from home, so what is their excuse for not keeping in touch now? Think about it. While thinking about it, continue to act safe and be safe. Together we will beat the pandemic.


Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash

Sunday, March 15, 2020

THE DANGEROUS NECESSITY OF SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER


Let's start this trying to tackle some misconception - did Ganduje have the power to dethrone Emir Sanusi? Yes, he does. Governors have the right to remove First Class Traditional Rulers, and for those Traditional Rulers who are “unlucky” to be below First Class, they are on the stool at the whim and caprices of the LGA Chairperson, and they could be removed by the Chairperson at any time. To quote Abubakar Rimi, a former Governor of Kano State, "A traditional ruler is a public officer holding a public office, who is being paid by public funds, and whose appointment is at the pleasure of the state governor and who can be dismissed, removed, interdicted, suspended, if he commits an offence” This can be summarized as Elected Officials give the "staff of office" to Traditional Rulers, they can as well collect them back when they wish. And of course, many kings have been deposed by the Government across our history, from the colonial days, all through our post-independence days – the British deposed and exiled Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin in 1899, the revered Obafemi Awolowo dethroned Alaafin Adeyemi in 1955 for differing on the grounds of political affiliation, Sir Ahmadu Bello dethroned Emir Sanusi in 1963 on the grounds of mismanagement, Abacha deposed Sultan Dasuki in 1996, because, well, it was Abacha.

Now to a rather pertinent question - should Ganduje had dethroned Emir Sanusi? Of course he shouldn't have, no Political Office Holder should trample on Traditional Institutions in such a manner, but of course, politicians see themselves as demigods, and backed by the Constitution, they go ahead and rubbish Traditional Rulers - cue in Ajimobi who elevated 20 Family Heads to the level of Olubadan in 2017, just to belittle the Olubadan Throne, a tactic Ganduje also deployed in Kano in 2019 by dividing the Kano Emirate into 5 equal parts, just to reduce the influence of Emir Sanusi. A little tidbit – Ajimobi and Ganduje are in-laws, Ajimobi’s Son got married to Ganduje’s Daughter in 2018. Just think about it. When we consider that as a people, we have lost sight of our culture and lost track of our history, what we should be doing is embarking on massive reorientation of our values and reclamation of our culture, and the best avenue to do that is through the traditional institutions. No system of significance in Nigeria reflects our culture or embodies our history, not education, not legal, not economic, and not political. For the Government to keep stripping bare traditional institutions proves that those we have handed the reins of leadership to basically have no idea about social reclamation, self-realization, and national reorientation. This is what happens when we conclude that politics is dirty and we leave it to the dregs of the society, we will be left with scoundrels running our present and reprobates deciding our children’s future.


For Sanusi, I first took note of him as the CBN Governor, and one quality you can always ascribe to him is "consistency". He has always been "a principled man who speaks truth to power", and his fracas with the Jonathan Administration was based on exactly the same issues as his problems with the Buhari Administration as spearheaded by Ganduje. His message has always centred on "decrying profligacy, preaching accountability, and advocating social changes", those messages have not changed, but obviously, the politicians are tired of hearing them. Whether Sanusi appeals to you or not, you cannot rationally say that he has not been consistent in his positions, flip-flopping is not a jibe you can throw at him. Let me categorically say I always agree with Sanusi's positions, and I love the fact that he shares them at every opportunity he has. That is what I believe people who have podiums and audiences should do, use your platforms to call out the ills in the society, it will come with some sacrifices, but there is no gain without pain. For those who faulted his decision to become the Emir in the first place, claiming he had was too educated, too intelligent, and with too much finesse to go and hide all that within the confines of a palace, we have to understand that it was a lifelong dream for him, and if we all try to understand the concept of "self-actualization", we will understand that it was what he had always considered as the peak of his achievements in life. After earning a Bachelor and a Masters Degrees, he actually went back to the University to get another Degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies, to prepare himself for when he ascends the throne of his fathers - his grandfather and great-grandfather were both Emirs in their lifetimes. Did he know the pitfalls that such a move will present to him? I believe a man of Sanusi’s intelligence would have known, but he might have underestimated the ruthlessness and haughtiness of Ganduje once the lifelong politician got into office.

Now that he is free of the heavy cloaks and the mountainous turbans, Sanusi can choose to join forces with International Organisations like most intellects edged out of public relevance by our sordid politics, or he can even choose to seek an elective office in Nigeria to try and change things from within, but he must continue to speak truth to power at home, because therein lies the freedom for Nigerians. The more people with means and intellect who challenge the devilish political hegemony, the more the politicians continue to reveal their sinister capabilities, the more the people realise that the politicians are worse than vultures and scavengers, and maybe, just maybe, that will push us into action and take the country back.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Instagram: @theaspiringsage

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