By Yakubu BK Ahmed
Opposition in any democratic set up is indispensable in the realisation of the aims and objectives of democratic governance.
Checks and balances have always been a part and parcel of the process of ensuring justice, fairness, and accountability in a presidential system of democracy all over the world.
Tiers of government exist and are intended to provide the safeguards to check excesses, ensure accountability and facilitate growth, economic prosperity and equitable distribution of wealth.
In our own case in Nigeria, the National Assembly at the federal level and the Houses of Assembly at the state level were provided for and given the mandate to perform oversights, among other functions, in order to safeguard democracy, protect the poor, ensure accountability and be a partner in the evolution of a new prosperous nation.
Again, opposition political parties are put in place in order to play very key roles in putting governments in power on their toes, exert pressure on them and keep them within the boundaries and limits of their responsibility.
Our unfortunate situation in Kebbi
In our dear state of Kebbi, neither the House of Assembly nor the opposition political parties have been of any use as far as credible and constructive criticisms and opposition are concerned. They have, for reasons best known to them, abdicated from their constitutionally guaranteed responsibilities.
The House of Assembly is a mere rubber stamp and an appendage of the executive, the opposition political parties especially the PDP are, at best, comatose, the labor unions, apolitical pressure groups and private individuals have all surprisingly gone mute.
As a result of these very lamentable and unfortunate scenarios, Kebbi has always been, all through our history of recent past, been saddled with very self centred, greedy and fraudulent set of leaders who, in the absence of any meaningful opposition, have misruled and misgoverned the state to the point that today Kebbi is adjudged as the most backward state while Birnin Kebbi is widely referred to as Nigeria’s most underdeveloped state capital.
While the history of this neglect dated back from the beginning of the creation of Kebbi state in 1991, this platform #kebbi_must_develop-likeminds is concerned about the present because what happened in the past is something no one can retrieve to correct. Our present is something we have at hand and can therefore do something about. Our past is a lesson to learn from in order to mold a future of opportunities and development.
#kebbi_must_develop-likeminds is a collection of Kebbi state indigenes who are concerned about missed opportunities to put Kebbi at par with its peer states, corruption in high places, misapplication of resources, impunity in governance, arrogance of leadership, discrimination in the allocation of projects across the state, apparent capital flight occasioned by excluding Kebbi state indigenous from contract execution, misinformation to hoodwink the people and poor execution of jobs among many other observable shortcomings.
We intend to open this platform up so that every Kebbi son and daughter who feels as concerned as we are, can avail himself, join up and play a part in the overall objective of developing our State. The idea is for us who feel strongly about it, to play those key opposition roles that are indispensable in any democracy but which have been thrown to the dogs by institutions charged with them so that we can also play our part in making Kebbi great.
Of course, we shall, in the course of executing these mandates step on toes and ruffle feathers not because it will, in reality reach to that point but simply because some of our leaders are blatantly sensitive and wary of citizenship inquisition.
For a very long time, Kebbi has been bereft of meaningful opposition or organised opposition and so, leaders have become used to “cin karensu ba babbaka.” We are therefore likely to be misunderstood by those in power and the motley of their “attack dogs.”
For the avoidance of doubt, ours is a clarion call to duty. We are all Kebbi state indigenes playing our diverse but common roles in our respective and chosen ways to develop our state. We do not claim to love Kebbi better than anybody, but at the same time we do not see any other person’s role as superior to ours.
We are a “collective” paddling the canoe in different directions but headed for the same destination. We assure the government of Kebbi state in general and our Governor Senator Atiku Bagudu in particular that no individual is the object of our campaign.
We shall criticise and in doing so, we would not be cowed, but we will do it constructively, meaningfully and objectively. As an open group, some people may vent their anger harshly or even disproportionately, but leadership “juji or bola ce.” Leadership comes with responsibilities and as they say, the best of leaders is the one that is large hearted and broadminded.
At the end of it, our role will prove to be more useful and decisive to the government that the bunkum of the “crumbpickers.” We shall tell you those facts the bootlickers would naturally hide from you. When you are presented with both sides of the coin, your ultimate decision will be informed.
#kebbi_must_develop-likeminds will be structured into four zones in the state and it will be based on our emirate zonal system.
At the centre, there will be an Interim State Coordinator with a state executive council offices and at each zone to be based in Birnin Kebbi for Gwandu Emirate, Argungu for Argungu Emirate, Yauri for Yauri Emirate and Zuru for Zuru Emirate, there will be a Zonal Coordinator to be assisted by officers to be pooled from across each zone.
This group is open to all likeminded people of Kebbi state. It is a non profit, non governmental and non discriminatory bi-partisan political pressure group out to prod and pressure government within the ambit of the law in order to fast track and up the ante of development of Kebbi state. Kebbi has been left behind and we have some catching up to do. Join us for your voice to be heard and for it to be counted. #kebbi_must_develop-likeminds.
(Interim State Coordinator)