Bindowo’s Government As Our Mirror, Babayola M. Toungo
“… the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Shakespeare
Another election cycle is upon us and my heart bleeds for my beloved Adamawa State. My heart bleeds because the politicians, particularly those in opposition to the current governor are fighting amongst themselves instead of forging a unified front against an incumbent who has held captive the people of Adamawa in a python-like grip of bad governance, thuggery, deception and general maladministration.
This time around in my tracking of Adamawa politics I am going to embark on a journey of soul searching, in a peregrination of some sort, a political principles search if you would prefer. This is because I am a stakeholder in the democratic process that has seen to the emergence of our present crop of political leaders. I am more a stakeholder, than others, that has seen to the emergence of APC political office holders at the States and national level beyond Adamawa State itself.
As such I am pained at what the party has become or what it has been reduced to, as a negation of our aspiration to build a virile and resilient political machinery that will be a complete departure from the practice that other political associations, most especially the PDP has engendered, in its 16 years of its (mis) governance. At least in my Adamawa State.
I am in pain that in one way or the other I have contributed to the emergence of Governors, Senators, Legislators and President Buhari as politicians of a class that will represent us and most especially bring a special difference from the Northern States because of our antecedents and leadership qualities that are now almost inherent in us – which has been found worthy of emulation by others within the 19 Northern States.
Alas, look at what is happening in Benue, Plateau, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano, Kwara and many other States that the media has decided to keep under silent wraps away from the prying eyes of the electorate. Is Yobe the only State where the political class will choose not to embark on an internecine political wrangling for political office – or specifically the office of the Governor?
It is within this context that we got saddled with a governor who lacks an understanding of governance, democracy and their importance. This lack of understanding may not be his fault and may not be deliberate but due to many causes, all of which may not be the governor’s doing.
It may be due to intellectual shallowness as many people allege; the apathy of the citizens and to the inherent failure of the opposition to articulate a choate position and their inability to connect with the people and wake them up from their indifference to governance and who governs them. Most of the electorate in Adamawa have been conditioned to expect nothing from life except what crumbs fall their way during every four-year electoral circle and expect nothing between one election cycle to the other.
Isn’t it time for us to pause and redefine our relationships with those who lead us and even our positions in our society? Of all the other professions, I believe politics is the most important because politicians decide how you live your life. It is not important because of the amount of money doled out to voters during election period; nor because of how ethnically based, hate-filled and shallow our politics have been turned to by carpetbaggers.
Politics is important because of the service its practitioners ought to render to their fellow citizens through qualitative, equitable, just, focused and upright leadership. Qualities that appear to be alien to the current occupants of our government house in Yola.
The government constantly reminds us of the work done on our dilapidated roads. It is quite laudable. I doff my hat to them for making the roads within Yola once more motorable – if you choose to forget the exorbitant amounts allegedly spent in rehabilitating them. But look at these newly minted streets and see the number of school-age children out of school; look at our hospitals (where you find any) and then you may begin to comprehend that you have been sold a dummy. Look at how far we have been left behind in all human development indices. Our system seems to have collapse and we may need an energetic, well-read and broad-minded candidate to move us into the 21st century. The task is enormous but is doable.
We, the electorates shouldn’t allow ourselves to be treated like hired lackeys of the politicians and must therefore be assertive in making sure the right people are voted into office.
To those of us able to read this piece either in a newspaper, on your laptops, notebooks or smartphones, let’s be the guardians of our state and this may perhaps be among the many functions God entrusted us with as citizens of Adamawa State. We have achieved much just by being citizens of this perennially potentially great state and we have erred often. But we should be willing, with all humility to make amends and make Adamawa great.
This is my way of apologizing to the people of Adamawa State.