Governor Masari: A Man Living In A Reality Of His Own Making – By Malam Naini Musa
In an interview with TVC, the esteemed governor of Katsina, Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari had this to say “I think APC is still the strongest, most reliable and dependable party in Nigeria today. (And) I don’t think Buhari has failed us. I think he has tolerated us.” He went on to describe how tolerant our civilian president has been to the many rubbish thrown at him. As reported by Katsina Post, the governor even said that that the popularity of a party can only be tested during elections. He went on to say that their party, APC, has been revalidated by the number of new members joining.
The governor is right on one thing, APC has always had that appeal. We all saw how magnetic it was since its inception. It had no problem attracting the biggest fishes. Governors, legislators, former ministers, a former vice president, and of course the man leading the charge, General Muhammadu Buhari. It had the appeal. They built so much momentum that they were able hook even the then speaker of House of Representative, Aminu Tambuwal. It was nothing short of breathtaking. We knew then that the 2015 election was theirs to loose and they did not disappoint. It still carries some of that appeal today, except for different reason. It is no longer a party of hope, the hope has already materialized and we are experiencing its effect.
When he talked about the tolerance of the president on the many rubbish thrown at him daily, I do agree that the president has displayed unparalleled sportsmanship in dealing with insults, allegations and outright abuse. He hardly ever utters a word in his own defense. He, like his late chief of staff have handled themselves in a manner that can only be found in stoic scriptures. In a world where people worry about anything and everything, Buhari and his late right hand man wore a stick skin and took on everything. It is probably one of the only endearing qualities of the president that is uncontested today.
Haven said all the above, I believe the governor is living in a world of his own imagination. Anybody with a beating heart and a functioning brain would be aghast at these utterances. Let us begin with the claim that the president has not failed. You can think all day but there is no phrase more befitting of describing this delusion like “Wonders shall never end”. In the governor’s world, what parameters should be used to measure success and failure? I think the voters promised security, combatting corruption and improvement in livelihood would really like to know.
Before Buhari, the governor’s own state, Katsina state, was relatively peaceful. Today it is a bandit stronghold suffering daily raids. How that can be counted as success is lost to me. Just last year, the governor famously sobbed in front of devastatedly attacked civilians for his inability to protect them. Maybe this slumber state of dreaming he has transitioned into has erased his memory of this event. And then there is the anti-corruption war. Oh the anti-corruption war! After 5 years of brouhaha, the president was alerted that his anti-corruption Czar, Mr Magu, is allegedly a double agent working for the devil. This is especially embarrassing since there was a report saying he was that but the president plowed through and kept him. Had the president trusted the 2015 report, we would have avoided employing him in the first place. Now that is not success, is it?
In terms of improving the quality of lives, I will leave the inflation, Naira devaluations, decay in infrastructure, threat to lives and properties, rise in tribalism and disunity, and many other factors to answer that for us. Well I think from the many allegations by the whistle blower, Mahdi Shehu, If found to be true, I will not be surprised as to why the governor is blind to the economic pandemic Nigerians are suffering. Katsina in particular is one of the many places bereft of this development. For a state that has experience growth in infrastructure, education and healthcare, I think the tenure of the gentleman has been nothing short of anti-climax. It can only be likened to a man who after walking many kilometers decides to all of a sudden have as his plan for progress; walk as fast as he could backwards.
As a citizen of katsina, for as long as I am politically conscious, I have disliked my governments but appreciated our progress compared to some states. 2015 was the year that ushered in a party I liked to govern my state. How wrong I was. The present government has been an utter failure. I feel like the comments he made are regrettable and insulting. While many people are still nursing the pain of death and loss under a government that has failed to shield them from these ailments, to call the leadership a success is an attack on our common sense. We are not animals in the jungle that shake-off attacks from predators as normal, we are humans. Humans that enjoyed peace, stability and some progress before you demagogues came along.
Many people will safely agree that if it is to be agreed that success has been achieved in anything it would be with regards to how bad you have fractured our lives. Our economy, livelihoods, safety and even our sleep has suffered under your watch. No entity in this country embodies this absolute failure like the government of Katsina state. For the governor to talk honorably about his party and his insistence that the president is a success story is appalling. Frankly it is an insult to the citizens of katsina that continue to suffer under his watch, including young people who had suffered abduction and stalling of their education. Or maybe in their mediocrity and incompetence, that is the best they can do. That is surely a possibility.
Mallam Naini Musa
Mallam Naini Musa is a writer and a social critic.