By Ibrahim Sanyi-Sanyi
“Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.”
P. J. O’Rourke must have suffered terribly from consequence of rogue leadership, a kind of nasty experience which had obviously inspired his deep thoughts on the linkages between stupidity, ignorance, avarice and lust for power from people in authority and the rudimentary social ills that beleaguered the society.
The Kano of present, bears all the characteristics of the kind of society contemplated by P. J. O’Rourke. The bland CEO (despite his academic qualifications) neither exudes the basic intellect required to govern the diverse peoples of the Center of Commerce nor radiates the charisma necessary to garner acceptance from the citizens.
He carried on, like the classic certificate-flaunting, title-crazy and marionette-inclined lots who lack the cosmopolitan character and interpersonal skills required to accommodate conflicting interests and manage diversity.
There’s also the manifestation of avarice of primitive mass accumulation of wealth – the Gandollar videos is fresh reference for direct bribe taking from contractors awarded public infrastructure jobs.
That’s not all! Despite these deficit in quality leadership, the old dude is surrounded by motley bunch of ignorant, semi-literate, mediocre and thuggish minders, goons and aides who lack the basic understanding of right and wrong, our laws and conventions.
These guys don’t have the knowledge and skills to compete for decent jobs in the market hence they outdo one another in doing anything bad under the sun to ensure their principal stays in power so as to safeguard their access to his largesse and perpetual leeching on our commonwealth.
Where greedy leadership meets ignorant advisers, enablers and helpers; stupidity becomes the order of governance. That’s dangerous! particularly when it comes to the delicate art of exercising political power. The immediate casualty here is morality which takes flight as the contrast between right and wrong blurs; experimentation with crimes hitherto seen as taboo are explored and a trajectory of manipulations and outright subversion of democratic norms and disruption of fragile scale of social cohesion becomes manifest.
Eventually, thugs oiled by deep public coffers and proceeds of corruption from kickbacks, takeover machinery of politics and governance. Ignoramuses take charge of political campaign with do-or-die abandon; freely issuing threats of fixing the outcome of governorship elections come-what-may with impunity. They subsequently deployed crude manipulation tactics, intimidation and violence – under the cover provided by security operatives and the conspiracy of election officers – never before seen in the democratic history of Kano to subvert the will of the people and impose a majorly despised and unpopular candidate.
They pulled off that electoral heist with relative success – at least in the meantime – exploiting the vulnerability of the opposition and determined voters that anchored their trust on the impartiality of the Commissioner of Police who was adjudged to be upright, fair and just in the discharge of his responsibilities. The swindled voters drew restraint in the face of outright provocation, gloating and recklessness for the love of peaceful Kano and posterity of its commerce.
But then, impunity is a sponge monster which balloons by sucking up more moisture to become the demonic colossus. The greedy and ignoramuses got emboldened with their temporary successes; they have mistaken people’s preference to thread the narrow legal path to seek redress to cowardice and have resolved to push the frontier of their subterfuge and of course their stupidity to the next level.
The fine intellectual and outspoken philosopher and Reformer King was their target simply because they hate his guts, nay fear his signature erudition, eloquence and uncommon courage to speak his mind on topical issues of good governance, quality leadership and social justice which has always been the fulcrum of his intellectual energy and argument and would remain so despite the discomfort exhibited by mediocre, incompetent and corrupt characters who presently occupy our corridors of power.