OPEN LETTER TO GOVERNOR IBRAHIM SHEKARAU OF KANO STATE
Please, permit me to begin this letter with prayers. In the name of God, the All Compassionate, the All Merciful. O’ God: We have a firm trust in You. We resign ourselves to the inescapable fact that everything that is decreed will happen and will follow its unalterable course. Our Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is putting the final touches on his leadership trust at the state level. In spite of the fact that his political detractors are plotting falsehood again as they did in 2007, we still remain patient because patience is the most effective method adopted by the pious predecessors. Of course, we have an unbending belief in the phrase,’ Without showing forbearance, what will we accomplish? And why should we be a willful party to our own destruction?’ Knowing full well that the hour of difficulty is followed by ease.
Your Excellency, these prayers become necessary in view of your trials and tribulations, which are normal of an industrious leader of the people as your humble self. Life, you know, is full of disappointment and at times disillusionment. We offered the same prayers in 2007 when your adversaries and detractors created deliberate heavy buildups, gang ups and confusion against your second coming for no just cause but mere avarice. In spite of these road blocks, you won and are now at the verge of completing the second but final tenure as governor of the most populous state.
According to Bernard Fovion, "a political career pursued regardless of God is one of the shortest cuts to ruin, misery, disappointment and bitterness that rankle to the end of days" First, I wish to once again congratulate you on your recent conferment of award as the "Wazirin Raya Kasar Nupe" by Etsu Nupe. This award added another feather to your milestone and myriad of successes and has also put your detractors into another big shame. All these are not your making but that of God, the knower of hidden and unhidden things.
Generally, human beings are very complicated and funny to lead. They are full of contradictions, deceit, greed and hypocrisies. They tell you yes, when they mean no and say no when they mean yes. In one of the Shakespeare novels, "the Hamlet", we learn that "our friends are our enemies." This is why it should not surprise you that some of the people you believe and trust turn disappointments, scorpions and rebels. To the best of our knowledge, you have never truncated Nigerian democracy in whatever form. You have always accommodated every segment of Nigerians in your state administration in spite of what some people would have preferred. You are a nationalist in your ideas and ideals. You are the only northern Muslim governor that honoured the invitation to a Christian Evangelical gathering in your capacity as Governor of Kano State, not minding your religious differences. You went there to preach peace and unity for Nigeria and Nigerians. Again, you are the only governor in the north whose administration established anti-corruption agency while others engage in business as usual.
Your Excellency, the purpose of this letter is to draw your kind attention to some important aspects of your political career. I also write to tell you that no matter what anti-progressive elements would say, for now, you are very qualified and competent enough to win and lead this country out of her rotten wood as from May 2011. Did you see how our supposed honourable men and women turned the national assembly into boxing ring? What happens if custodians of law and order become lawless? Anarchy will definitely set in. Thus your qualification and competence to lead this nation stemmed from your patriotism to the cause of the country, which you have variously displayed since you assumed office as governor some seven years ago.
Your Excellency, people are so wonderful and unpredictable that they only remember the last thing that happens to them. Your Excellency, such people will be throwing 'missiles and banisters' just to weaken your rising political wings. They are going to claim holier than thou as if they have not been in this world to witness the wonderful achievements you have recorded for the past seven years in Kano. In this type of situation, there is no need for political manifestoes, points-agenda and holistic approach to issues by them. All they require is campaigns of calumny, media hype and all sorts of manipulations to achieve their vaulting ambition through short-cuts. Your Excellency, as you enter the last lap of your governorship tenure, you must psychologically prepare your mind to hear and see all sorts of things from your adversaries. It is going to be like 2007 when you sought to continue with your good work and it is going to be so in view of the clarion calls for you to contest in the 2011 presidential poll. You should not bother about all these at all because what some people play are politricks and not politics.
I know your Excellency that going by the high level of your performances; they will certainly remain an indelible mark in the history of the state, no man born of woman and no matter how envious can quash the solid achievements into the dustbin of history. In spite of these admonishments however, I am personally concerned about the person, not the party that will take over from you in May next year. My concern is against the background of the high level of desperations from the people that want to take over from you. The road is so jam-packed that almost more than 50 people are scrambling to become your successors. This in itself is seriously heating the polity.
Although it is part of our nascent democracy for many people to seek participation in the art of governance, still, looking at the characters and characteristics of the candidates aspiring to take over your enviable seat, it calls for prayers and restrain, knowing full well that most of such governorship aspirants are after wealth distribution instead of wealth creation. Still, some among them want some pound of fresh as a mark of vengeance for a perceived wrong doing from imaginary foes.
But life is a stage where every one plays his part. We strongly believe that you have distinguishably, wonderfully and successfully played your part and God will, by His special grace, judge you by these marvelous performances. Never mind about the betrayals, the slanderers, the blackmailers and the media mercenaries that turn white to black. Yes, you should not be perturbed and ruffled by the green snakes under the green grasses. I say you should not be moved by the nefarious antics of friends in enemy gowns. This is because; we know pretty well that you mean no harm to any body in view of the fact that you have good messages, though with some bad messengers. All these are normal in life and nothing you and any one else can do about it. I know too that as a teacher, you are not unaware of the history of the first holy war. I mean the battle of Badr, when some people instead of protecting the Umah community, went for material benefits, thereby betraying the cause of the people. These are the Munafiqoons and God has assured them of their punishment. So, why should you be worried by people's betrayals and their antics?
One is always impressed by your comments on national issues, which heal wounds and restore people's confidence as one indivisible country. All these are enough indicators for your foes to hate and battle you hard. They would want you to tumble and stumble so that you may be ruffled. Because God has always been on your side, there is nothing they could do but to continue finding elusive faults. We notice with nostalgia that every attempt made by these foes to deliberately link you with falsehood brightens your integrity. Indeed, you are the leader that this country deserves, for the simple fact that as a good leader; you know the way, go the way and show the way. This is what has been responsible for your large followers and many awards and recognitions across the country.
Your Excellency, when I learnt some time ago that you were going to contest in the 2011 Presidential election, I was very glad that at last a true man of the people who has been widely recognized for his marvelous achievements as two term Governor of the most populous state will be joining the presidential race. Every man of the people in this country including those in the Diaspora knows that with credible, free and fair 2011 election, and if really the desperadoes allow vote count, none of the known contenders already on the ground will defeat you because Nigerians know who they are and what they stand to achieve. This does not matter the kind of party that would endorse you as her presidential flag bearer. According to Robert Baker, "poor government comes about when good citizens sit on their hand instead of standing on their feet." Your good followers across the country are going to stand on their feet to ensure that your votes count and it means that as the words of elders portend, "when a lamb decides to become a wolf, it should also be prepared to face the hunter's arrest."
Your true followers are not unmindful of the fake ones that are very close to you. We know them and their antics. We are aware how they have always tried to undermine the efforts of the good ones in order to achieve their vaulting ambition. People shall continue to pray against them, because such people are the government wreckers, capable of killing an entire nation. This is because, according to Dele Omotunde, "when power and knowledge clash or fail to reach agreement, politics and intrigues take over." Your good people shall guide against this through prayers and not through quarrels. Valour that is not tempered with wisdom is useless and even dangerous. Karl Marx warned politicians that in grip of political psychosis, reason and common sense should give way to instinct, passion and based emotion. The reason why we want to support you for the 2011 presidential contest is that already given by Emeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. He said, "Leadership is a serious business for serious minds. We do not want leaders who are erratic, whimsical and vindictive, because they lack the maturity required for leadership. This is why the good people of Nigeria want you to join and win the 2011 presidential race. As you prepare for the big task ahead, I wish you God's protection and guidance.
Saka Raji Audu writes from Kano and can be reached on his email: [email protected]