By Umar Farouk
Power brokers and political gladiators begin to fracture the peace and unity of Jigawa State and polarise its youths for their personal interests and idiosyncrasies. This challenge is further compounded by a misguided view of amalgamation by some segments of Jigawa as more of a historicized occurrence without any barefaced or hidden advantage to the state; a mindset that further promoted deliberate demonstration of impunity, as well as superiority by one group or zone against the other.
But to dramatize this superiority complex, the point people did forget is that never should one be so foolish to believe that you are stirring admiration by flaunting the qualities that raised you above others. By making them aware of their inferior positions, you are only sowing the seed of bitterness and envy that will hunt you back in ways you might not imagine.
Regardless of what others may say, it has plundered the socio-economic affairs of the nation to a sorry state; an occurrence that stems from an unknown leadership style described by analysts as neither ‘system nor method based’ without anything exemplary or impressive. While this appalling situation unfolds in our political space, the global leadership stage is littered with telling evidence about leaders that have demonstrated leadership sagacity and professional ingenuity that our leaders have refused to replicate their resourcefulness on our shores.
Having discovered the challenge threatening the continued existence of Jigawa State, it becomes imperative to say that whatever might be the failure, we must as a state begin to return to where we came from and what we were known for. But whatever measure we may want to use in tackling this challenge can only succeed if it probably puts in place steps that will guarantee leadership restructuring.
Catalyzing the process of building the Jigawa of our dreams that is laced with good leadership will among other demands require sincere and selfless leadership, a politically and economically restructured polity brought by the consciousness that can unleash the social, economic and political transformation of the state while rejecting the present system that has bred, inefficiency, a primitive capital accumulation that socially excluded the vast majority of our people.
Above all, to completely put things right, the state government must recognize our position, for Jigawa to be a society of equal citizens where opportunities are equal, a personal contribution is recognized and rewarded on merit regardless of town, zone or political affiliations.
The best hope we have is to use the 2023 general elections to stop politicians that cannot draw a distinction between politics and leadership. And in its place, enthrone leaders that will align their aspirations with the people and compel leaders to stick to their campaign mandates, preventing them from reneging when elected into power.
Yes, politics and politicking are about the quest for power. Indeed, one of the major attributes of politics is the acquisition and devolution of power. In a democracy, one of the recognized processes of getting representation and power is through an election. The purpose of an election is to get power. Thus, any person or party desirous of electoral victory must carry the electorates along by effective stakeholders’ engagement which includes consultations, program exposition; interest aggregation and consensus building which among other things is for the purpose of ensuring equity and allaying fears of oppression and domination.
No doubt, the issue of power devolution has been a very knotty issue in Jigawa state politics. Similarly, zoning as a tool for power-sharing has been a very contentious one. The major advocates of zoning or rotational leadership are the people from Hedejia Emirate Zone. Thus, the canvassing for power shift should demonstrate and implement it in their zone.
For me, the concept of zoning or power rotation may sound mossy, and it may not be ideal for our situation fraught with fear of domination, distrust, apathy and immaturity.
Democracy is about people, their representation and not power-sharing. It may have many variants depending on the people, their culture, history and political ideology.
Clearly, adopting zoning practice may not eliminate the monolithic over-centralized system that brings tyranny, mediocrity, impunity and a winner-takes-all mentality among other things. Carrying everybody along will reduce apathy – something that has been identified as the bane of our local politics. I must advise that as a matter of necessity, we should eschew the if-not-my-zone-nobody-else-should-lead mentality and work for the success of Jigawa State.
Our people must shun disunity, disorganization, sentiment and politicians who once they get into office would bring unprecedented hardship, chaos and hopelessness. As I believe, we all want, hope and pray for one thing – a state where peace, stability, fairness, equity and love shall reign supreme.
May Almighty Allah Bless Jigawa state, ameen.
Umar writes from Jigawa, he can be reached via 08081058283.