Opinion: Katsina Elders, Please, We are Dying – By Baba Bala Katsina
The last we could remember this powerful group convene a meeting was when Masari and Shema engaged in a political drama. We saw some serious efforts made to reconcile them.
In our genuine hope, we thought, from that time on, the Forum will be convening every year to review, help, and, if needs be, encourage government to do something about our human capital problems.
We now expect this Forum to come public with our plea for action from Federal Government. The security situation in the state has deteriorated. The social system is collapsing right before our eyes. People have been losing their means of livelihoods to live in cities as Displaced Persons.
The cities’ economies are stretched even before this crisis started. Apart from unemployment, diseases, lack of portable water and low quality education, they suffer structural deficiencies to cater for the needs of the ‘refugees’. Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, is collapsing; while on the farm, people are getting killed. Taking these dislocated communities back into the rural economy will take time.
The overall economy, in fact, weak as it’s, will be difficult to fix in 10 years if this problem is left to linger. The time to speak is now.
Forget about what Nigeria would say if you go public about the security situation in the state. In this situation, we have to either choose life, death or Buhari; and life, it’s. The President needs to be reminded that this is what we deserve in return for our massive votes for the government.
To make your voice collective, audible and strong, you can draw membership from elders in religous, traditional and political establishments, retired civil servants, academia, trade unions and from any social group whose voice can be heard and respected. If you keep quiet while this killing is going on, people will be right to think of you as complacent.
The youth like Sadiq Bakori, to validate their darling theory of cultural hegemony, would conclude that you maintain silence because you’re either not directly affected by the problem or for it were the members of your class that are behind the wheel. If you can mobilize people to vote for him and congratulate him for winning second term and also troop to Daura whenever he comes for his personal business, it is now time to stand with the public.
And the irony of history is that; it consistantly revisits interpretations of past events. If today we blame only the elected political leadership in our writings and small talks; and profile our memory in such order, the upcoming generation, if not all, the students of history among them, will ask critical questions like, what did the Elders Forum did since it was reported to be active during Shema-Masari feud? What did the civil society organizations do? When the writers were privilege to have access to social media, a voice strong enough to compel govt do the right thing, what did they do with their subscriptions? This is what they called REVISIONISM in history. Don’t think that, because nobody cares to blame you today, history will be kind to you in documenting and giving meaning to this carnage in future.
We thank our Sarki for at least summoning courage to talk, but his voice is a lone voice. Our Governor shows concern and visits Villa more than once, but until the whole state stands and takes action, not just let Sarki and Governor do their best, this crisis will continue and it will consume all of us.
Allah rayan jahar Katsina.
Tsangayar Malan Dan Malan