One With Gov Is Majority: By Bala Muhammad
No, there is no typo error. You are correct: the saying used to be 'One with God is Majority.' Recently however, with the (mis)-conduct of the recent elementary ('primary' too decent a title) elections in many states of the Federation, it has come to pass that One with the Governor is Majority. To be selected a future President, Governor or anything, one had to win a 'Majority' of delegates at the sham primaries that took place recently all over the country where incumbents have reached maturity.
To be 'Majority', one did not have to be well qualified. One did not have to be competent. One did not have to be experienced, or even well-educated. What one needed to be was to be near enough to His Excellency. Near enough to matter.
It would help if one were the pliant and ever Yes-Siring Speaker of the State House of Assembly, or one were a reliable Secretary to the State Government (SSG) through whom the security vote was secured and distributed unaccountably, that not even the godfather could have access to it. Or perhaps one were a Chief of Staff at the Government House, who did the boss's wishes without question, allowing and denying access to the Mighty and Most Excellent Presence.
Another effective way to be 'Majority' is to be emotionally ensconced with a First Daughter or, if His Excellency doesn't have one at hand, a First Sister. She could be young or old, a spinster, a widow, a divorcee, or all. What would matter was how near Her Very Goodness was to His Very Excellency.
This is no democracy. This is feudalism. Actually, worse. It makes the so-called feudally undemocratic non-elective traditional institutions we so castigated (when we lived on the left side of ideas) look gloriously benevolent and munificent. If one's qualification to aspire to higher office included that one was in-lawed to Their Excellencies, then we have a problem. Some leaders really wish to play god by manipulating the mandate of the people they have been entrusted to govern.
These governors want to continue to rule us if not through Second and Third Terms then through 'inheritance', if not biologically then in-lawfully. Don't we all recall how King Hussein of Jordan, on the verge of death, returned to Amman, dethroned his long-anointed brother Hassan, put his own son Abdullah in his place, returned to his deathbed, and died?
This was tyranny. The Sufi Saint and Mystic Maulana Abdul Qadir Jilani, in his Fut'hul Ghaib, sermonised to even the good leaders: 'Do not strut proudly on account of your good deeds. Do not let pride waylay you. When you deem yourself holier than others, know that you have fallen into grave error because in your pride you believed yourself equal to God.'
In Sa'adi's Rose Garden we read the story of Nausherwan, Emperor of Ancient Persia (today's Iran and more), who once went hunting with his troops. They caught some animals which they killed and made ready for cooking. While the hunted meat was being roasted, someone remembered to send for salt from a nearby village. The emperor told him to pay for the salt. He did not want it to become the custom to grab even little things for free from the poor. He said that this would devastate the prosperity of the village.
The servant asked how much a small quantity of salt could cause such destruction. The emperor replied, 'All tyranny starts from a tiny beginning which no one notices. If a ruler tastes one fruit, free of charge, then his people eat up the trees to their very roots. If the king accepts five eggs for free, then his army fry and boil thousands.'
This was many centuries BC. Today, Two Millennia AD, our leaders are not only devouring five eggs from our villages, they are devouring millions of our rights through delegate selections in our primaries, to be surely followed by a rigged general election in the secondaries, then they will swear unchosen fellows in the tertiaries. Ali bn Abi Talib, Fourth Caliph of Islam, admonished Malik bn Ashtar whom he sent as Governor of Egypt, thus: 'Never think of raising yourself to such a false prestige that you can declare war against Allah because you cannot ward off His Wrath. Never say to yourself, 'I am their Lord, their ruler and all in all over them and that I must be obeyed submissively and humbly' because such a thought will unbalance your mind, will make you vain and arrogant, will weaken your faith in religion and will make you seek support of any power other than that of Allah.
'Take care never to think of bringing yourself at par with Allah, never to think of matching your power with Him and contesting His Glory and ever to pretend that you possess might and power like Him because the Mighty Lord will always humble pitiless tyrants and will degrade all pretenders of His Power and Might.
'Every tyrant and oppressor is an enemy of Allah unless he repents and gives up oppression. Remember that the displeasure of common men, the have-nots and the depressed persons more overbalances than the approval of important persons, while the displeasure of a few big people will be excused by the Lord if the general public and the masses of your subjects are happy with you.
'Usually these big personages are mentally the scum of the human society, they are the people who will be the worst drag upon you during your moments of peace and happiness, and the least useful to you during your hours of need and adversity, they hate justice the most, they will keep on demanding more and more out of the State resources and will seldom be satisfied with what they receive and will never be obliged for the favour shown to them if their demands are justifiably refused, they will never accept any reasonable excuse or any rational argument and when the time changes, you will never find them staunch, faithful and loyal.
'You should never overlook the fact that around the rulers there usually are certain privileged persons (relatives and friends). They may often try to take advantage of their status and may resort to selfishness, intrigues, fraud, corruption and oppression. If you find such people around you then do away with them (however closely connected they may be with you), immediately bring an end to the scandal and clear your surroundings of all such moral and spiritual filth.'
A wise man once said: 'Anger is only one word short of Danger.' Another wise person added: 'Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have.'
There is ANGER at these primaries, and there will be more ANGER at the secondaries. There will therefore be DANGER at the tertiaries. Nigerians have been deprived of hope, and hope was all that we had in the first place. We must prepare to ATIKUlate our responses! Very soon, we may start hearing phrases like: 'I Swear By Gov' (no typo here also, it used to be 'I Swear By God').