The ability of rational thought is not an all-comers game; it requires stretching the mind beyond the reaches of general precepts and the usual perceptions that anchor lesser minds on mundane issues such as materialism, ethnicity or the neurotic preoccupation with the preposterous and idiotic matter of searching for the face of the Unknowable through the jaded and ossified creeds of institutional religion; the transcendent mind is neither Jew, Buddhist, Traditionalist, Christian nor Moslem. Transcendence of the mind, in this regard, implies the ability to see beyond the tiny little pictures and philosophies that constitute divisive hedgerows in humanity; the transcendent mind sees and savors the essence of the larger picture. In management and administration, transcendence requires embracing the concept of formalistic impersonality and being conscious of halo effect. In political leadership, transcendence calls for objectivity, sensitivity and decisiveness devoid of sentiments, sectionalism and all the other isms that create divisions and cause disaffection and conflict in human society. This piece focuses on the decisions and actions of two governors (one from the South and the other from the North), the averments of a consultant physician of Fulani extraction and a foremost Traditional Ruler from the North.
In very unequivocal terms, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State declined to provide land for RUGA arguing that the land he has is earmarked for agriculture. Couching his position in comical cynicism, Wike offered to give the Federal Government access to the seawaters of Rivers State for them to pipe water to RUGA settlements in the North just as they piped oil and gas there; this is an obvious reaction to the violence and insecurity perpetrated by herdsmen in the State in recent times and an eloquent expression of the resolve to protect Rivers people; that it was not a campaign speech demonstrated its patriotic root. In what seems a volte-face from the patriotism expressed in regard the RUGA uproar, Governor Wike appointed HRH Justice Sidi Bage Mohammed 1, JSC Rtd CON, Emir of Lafian Barebari and Chairman Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, as Chancellor of Rivers State University. While the first decision painted a picture of vanguard of the people of Rivers State, the nationalist in Wike crystalized from the later decision; taken together, the two decisions clearly indicate a desire to maintain the corporate existence of Nigeria as a nation without compromising the interest and safety of Rivers people; they attest to the objectivity of Governor Wike and transcendence above interparty, interreligious and ethnocentric bickering.
On Nija.com Legit (July 16, 2019), Jerrywright Ukwu reports that Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello of Kogi State broke a twenty-eight year old jinx by building a chapel in Government House, Lokoja; said Governor Bello: “Religion is a matter of faith, of belief, not evidence, and if we do not have respect for the beliefs of others, it’s to our detriment, since a lack of respect diminishes us as human beings. So, I am shocked as to why my predecessors never bothered to build a chapel for Christians even when there is a mosque here.” Stating that “Religion is a matter of faith, of belief, not evidence” indicates that Governor Bello realizes that religion is imaginary and based on conjectural anecdotes and narratives. Again, to have said that “if we do not have respect for the beliefs of others, it’s to our detriment, since a lack of respect diminishes us as human beings” indicates that Bello is a Moslem in the true sense of Islam being a religion of peace; this means that he is beyond the fanaticism of extremism as instigated by some radical Moslem clerics. These eloquently speak to the transcendence of his mind, which reflects the desire for harmony in humanity.
Reacting to the RUGA palaver, Dr. Nura Alkali, a Fulani and consultant physician at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, opined that “only the blind will insist on living a 17th Century life in 2018. Fifty years ago, humans conquered space to land on the moon. Others decoded DNA, which advanced the science of animal breeding to levels never before imagined in history. But we still have people pursuing an impossible nomadic lifestyle to raise cattle.” This is a lamentation of a way of life that belongs in the distant past of Nigeria.
Reacting to the economically debilitating and pervading social insecurity and the biting undercurrents of ethnocentrism in Nigeria, HRH Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Emir of Kano and a Fulani, wrote thus: “After the First World War (WWI), the victors treated Germany with the same contempt Nigeria is treating Igbo. Two decades [after the WWI], there was a Second World War (WWII), far costlier than the first. Germany was again defeated, but this time, they won a more honorable peace. Our present political leaders have no sense of history. There is a new Igbo man, who was not born in 1966 and neither knows nor cares about Nzeogwu and Ojukwu. There are Igbo men on the streets who were never Biafrans. They were born Nigerian; are Nigerians but suffer because of actions of earlier generations. They will soon decide that it is better to fight their own war, and maybe find an honorable peace, than to remain in this contemptible state in perpetuity. The Northern Bourgeoisie and the Yoruba Bourgeoisie have exacted their pound of flesh from the Igbo. For one Sardauna, one Tafawa Balewa, one Akintola and one Okotie-Eboh, hundreds of thousands have died and suffered. If this issue is not addressed immediately, no conference will solve Nigeria’s problems.” This clearly indicates fervent patriotism, strong sense of history and the realization of the fact that history has the uncanny capacity of being repeated by those who fail to learn its lessons. Sanusi’s averment transcends the wrangling amongst the major ethnic groups and myriad of minority groups across the Nigerian ethno-cultural space, where virulent ethnocentric vituperations and disintegrative nationalism are the order of the day and constitute the new norm.
Until the process of selecting leadership in Nigeria encourages and accommodates the emergence of patriotic, objective and decisive people in public office, the nagging issue of rudderlessness and lackluster performance in the public sector will persist to the detriment of the Nigerian society. Here, it is a collective responsibility; both the leader and the led share in the phenomenon. As the saying goes “a people deserve the leadership they get.”
Osai is a lecturer in Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
SAN Wants Buhari To Unlock Lagos, Abuja, Today
Prominent legal practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to unlock Lagos and Abuja on Friday, April 3.
This was contained in a statement he issued yesterday.
Noting that the president did the right thing to safeguard the people over Coronavirus outbreak, the lawyer argued that the effect has been very catastrophic, especially for daily wage earners.
“No doubt the President meant and acted well, though a bit late, but it is not in doubt that the action of the President was the best in the circumstances of our present realities, even though it had no legal backing”, he said.
Adegboruwa stated that since the President announced the lockdown, there have been different interpretations and implementations, leading to abuses by security agents.
He said the economic hardship being faced by the people is horrendous and the so-called cash distribution has no real value to the people.
“As Lagos State has now declared 100 percent recovery rate, and it is the most affected State, there is need to review the lockdown, to ease the burden of the people,” the lawyer said.
Adegboruwa observed that measures already put in place before the lockdown were effective and should be retained without restriction of movement.
He called for reopening of banks and markets and free movement of people to allow them make a living for themselves and dependents.
The SAN stressed that Abuja being the capital of Nigeria and Lagos, the commercial hub of the country, cannot remain under lockdown beyond one week.
“I commend the President for the love demonstrated for the well-being of the people and urge him to end the lockdown from Friday, April 3, 2020”, he added.
Adegboruwa, however, hailed Lagos State Government for saving Nigeria through its proactive measures adopted by most other States.
He commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Health Commissioner and medical officials, for their efforts towards curtailing the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
Ortom, Deputy, Commissioner Submit To COVID-19 Test
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, his Deputy, Mr Benson Abounu and the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Mr David Olofu, yesterday, voluntarily submitted themselves for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) test.
In a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Terver Akase in Makurdi, they submitted their samples to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
The statement quotes Ortom as saying “the decision to submit samples for the test was the right thing to do”.
The governor, therefore, appealed to all Benue citizens to submit to the test and not wait for symptoms to manifest before going for it.
According to Ortom, doing so will help to contain the spread of the deadly virus in the state.
Ortom said:”There is no shame in seeking to know your COVID-19 status”.
He urged the people to cooperate with the COVID-19 Action Committee at the state and local government levels, while observing the preventive measures against the pandemic.
Ganduje, Wife Test Negative To COVID-19
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and his wife, Hafsat Ganduje have tested negative to Coronavirus.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Abba Anwar, made the disclosure in a statement yesterday in Kano.
We thank Almighty Allah for this result which shows negative. That is how He (Allah) wishes. All those whose results are positive, we will continue praying for their quick recovery from the illness, irrespective of race, nationality, ethnicity, social status, political or religious affiliationsý
“We also pray for Allah’s continued protection against COVID-19 in the state, the country and the world as a whole.
”While we pray for Divine intervention we must make sure that, we always listen to health professionals and work with professional advice,” the statement added.
He urged members of the public to wash their hands under running water with soap or hand sanitisers, keep clean environment and practise social distancing.
“Staying at home is safer, healthier and most appropriate. I also urge Nigerians to strictly abide by directives given by the Federal Government as another mechanism in containing the spread of the disease,” the statement explained.
The governor reiterated government commitment to sustain proactive measures and collaboration with relevant organisations, agencies and stakeholders to prevent spread of COVID-19.
“It is our responsibility to fight COVID-19 from all angle so as to have safer and healthier society”.
“We thank Almighty Allah that up to this time there is no reported case in Kano. May Allah save those from other states in the country and other affected nations of the world,” he prayed.
Ganduje added that state government had adopted effective measures to monitor and enforce compliance with boundary closure, warning that defaulters would be prosecuted.
The governor thanked the state Task Force Committee on COVID-19 and health workers for their unrelenting efforts against Coronavirus.
“Our thanks also goes to the Fund Raising Committee, under the Chairmanship of Prof. Muhammad Yahuza Bello, and Co-chaired by Alhaji Tajuddeedn Dantata and all those who assisted the government.
“Others are Alhaji Aminu Dantata, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Alhaji Abdussamad Rabi’u, Lee Group of Companies, United Bank for Africa (UBA), among other respectful individuals and organisations,” it added.
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