...Redifining Journalism for Development

‘’Rarara’’ and Kebbi’s night of shame by Yakubu Ahmed BK


Can any Nigerian, in all honesty claim that he has not been sold dummies in the elections of 2015? Are we still oblivious that the Buhari hurricane has put forward people of questionable antecedents, who, ordinarily would not have gone anywhere near any elective political post all their lives? In Kebbi state and elsewhere in the country, most of those who chanted “APC Sak” in order to connote victory at all levels of the election in deference to Buhari’s popularity are gnashing their teeth over the unfortunate unfolding of events. The change mantra of the Buhari political campaign was to underline the need to change our attitude from the irresponsible way we do things in this country. The idea was to reorient ourselves to migrate from the corruption laden mindset of the past, to an era of transparency and good governance. But have we learnt any lesson at all? Are we doing things remarkably different from the irresponsible ways of the fast?
The key template for the gauging of our attitude to governance is the way our leaders handle and manage resources entrusted into their hands. The idea is that since the country has fallen into an era of cash squeeze and economic hardships, leaders at all levels should be circumspect and reasonable in the way they manage the scarce resources under their care. The pomposity and extravagance of the Jonathan-era must be discarded. In its place, the country should be mindful of the consequences of free spending since there are critical areas of development requiring lifelines to breadth life into them. It is therefore unfortunate for the Kebbi state government to have hosted the Kano-based Hausa political singer Rarara who appeared to have so captivated state government officials and APC politicians in the state, to the point of going crazy to dash cars and cash as if they were going out of fashion. Rarara was in Birnin Kebbi at the behest of the state government on the eve of elections into local government councils. At one of his concerts on Tuesday 11th of July, the guy was reported to have gone home with a total of 16 cars given to him by the new set of money bags in town. He was said to have performed twice again afterwards and the way these people fell over one another in order to show up, is to say the least very unbecoming. The scene could have been mistaken for a Jonathan-era house-warming party by the thieves of that time.
Ironically, this is in a state adjudged as one of the poorest in the country, a state where poverty walks on its feet, a state where thousands go to bed hungry, a state where thousands of farmers are looking for as low as N50,000 to hit it big in rice cultivation and a Kebbi where displaced returnees from the insurgency in the North East have neither been officially captured nor recognized by the statement. Kebbi is an agriculturally endowed state with very vast fadama topography. The state can provide the country with the rice it requires to feed the whole country. Although the state government has beaten its chest on the improvement it has brought on the rice production front, the truth is that the achievements were grossly exaggerated and highly politicized. The truth is that there are thousands of subsistence and one acre farmers who lacked the means to access funds to cultivate more in order to take more bags home and make more money to wriggle them out of poverty. Yet, we have a government that is so cruel, mindless and irresponsible to organize a money-throwing event where nitwits and church rats of yesterday were provided a platform to showcase the loot they have criminally amassed today while the poor people of the state watched in amazement. It is also worth saying that we have witnessed similar show of insensitivity by the same apostles of change, who on coming to power, organized similar gatherings of musicians where similar show of shame was exhibited. Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna state was guilty of hosting something similar soon after coming to power.
This is a negation of the principle of the change mantra of the Buhari administration. Of course, the personalities that made up the change system were the same thieving rogues who plundered rhe resources of the country in their past engagement. As someone suggested, take away Buhari from the template, what will be left will be a colony of kleptomaniacs and plunderers. What a country!

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