Fri, 13/07/2012 - 2:04am | AHMAD B. KAITA Opinion Comment & Opinion
We are certainly living in interesting times. Our moral degeneration is attaining an alarming status. Ordinarily achievable things like “honour” that could only be achieved by hard work, have been turned into commodities that anybody can buy to massage his ego. Needless to say, this represents the lowest point of our communal existence.
We are completely confused about what legacies to bequeth upcoming generations. Sadly, we seem to have pitched our tents with legacies of lies. I do not begrudge anybody the chance to make some money using dubious means, but to do so trashing history as well as collective intelligence of a whole state, calls for concern and reservation. In the process of taking people for a ride, one always exposes himself to the danger of being turned into a mule.
Within the last few years, the Katsina State Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Shehu Shema has acquired numerous fictitious “honorary” awards both within and outside the country that he cannot readily remember.
From his “CFR” which incidentally, is what Patricia Etteh and Cecilia Ibru both publicly disgraced for pilfering with public funds, to a more confusing and unverifiable awards from some profit-oriented foreign universities, the list keeps growing.
Amazingly, with each round of a new acquired “honour,” the fortunes of the Katsina people plummet. Still these “honours” fail to provide simple drinkable water, still leaves schools empty of instructional materials, with hospitals still functioning as mere consultancy centres while the general economic well being of the people of Katsina has deteriorated to a point where there are rumours of people adding lizards to their list of menu.
With this, It is so weird that one would be excused for considering Governor Shema the single most contradicting element in Nigerian politics.
Nothing could describe this sorry situation more than a jamboree organised by some faceless group to bestow “honour” on Barrister Shema. Disguised as a book, “Legal Prisms - Directions In Nigeria Law And Practice, the bazaar is nothing more than the now accepted shameless mode of fund raising organised by 40 professionals to help their comrade by boosting his image, no doubt, in anticipation to his rumoured presidential ambition.
The group, apparently confused about the developmental strategy of Governor Shema since he assumed office, and insensitive to the global standard of assessment of achievements, which requires putting both the object of assessment alongside monies generated within a period, ended up exposing the lies that forms the policies of Shema’s stewardship of Katsina State.
Perhaps, the learned group never heard of the word prudence, or maybe it means nothing to them. But even so, coming from a group with claim to formal training to respect and sustain justice, equity and rule of law, to say the least, the jamboree was disheartening. Even more amazing was the desperation of the organisers to hoodwink a gullible public by half truths or even outright lies.
For a start, let’s begin with the wonderful revelation that Governor Shema met an empty land for the proposed site of the now Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, which according to them, Shema expended N15 billio to build from scratch. This is a blatant falsehood, with complete disregard to the honour and memory of a late statesman and gentleman, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
By the time of Yar’Adua’s ascension to the presidency, building of both the university and the Turai Yar’Adua maternal and childcare hospital have reached an advanced stage, such that no one in his right senses could afford to abandon it, especially not with most payments made to the construction firm handling the projects.
With regard to the university, it was on record that within seven months of its establishment and Yar’Adua’s exit as governor, he had released well over N4 billion to the construction firm. How that translates into an empty cleared field can best be explained by the successor regime of lies in place.
Unless, cutting simple tape, amidst fanfare is what define success of a project, then the people of Katsina don’t need anybody to tell them where that honour rightly belong. Neither twisted history, nor fiction can change that.
Mischief or selective amnesia are easy and effective tools to create false history, even then, I cannot comprehend how an institution established in September 2006 could remain an empty cleared field for seven good months waiting for Shema to come and develop.
Of course, seven months may be too short a time to many, but in the hands of a calculating and financially prudent Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, it can make a world of a difference, and in fact it does. Desperate search for glory, and availability of cheap merchants for such commercial glory would always respect the law of demand and supply, but that would never stop honour from reaching its proper destination.
If late Yar’Adua does not deserve anything from people who think the only way they can climb higher, is by bringing him lower, at least he deserves respect, now that he can’t speak for himself, if only we can be half as decent as required by our conscience.
In the end, it would not be out of place to remind the organisers of numerous “honoured” former leaders that came before Shema, leaders whose addresses changed from government houses to various jail houses, with fortunes changed from rubbing shoulders with the mighty in power, to rubbing shoulders with common criminals.
Honour, just like fate, have GPS of reaching its deserved destination. And just like fate, it cannot be influenced by pecuniary inducement.
—Hon.Kaita represents Kankia/Kusada/Ingawa Federal constituency in the House of Reps