Public Commentary as a Responsibility By Babayola Toungo
Adamawa state has forever remained in the news for mostly the wrong reasons almost throughout this dispensation beginning from 1999. It has been one political crisis or the other beginning with the quarrel between Atiku Abubakar, the then Vice President and his then boss Olusegun Obasanjo. The state has also shown signs of stunted growth syndrome in relation to its peers. These two phenomenon cannot be separated – perpetual quarrel between its elites and the stunted growth bedevilling the state. And the ordinary man on the street bears the brunt.
While the state and the people are in the process of being pulled out of the quagmire they find themselves in, some others are stoking the embers of discontent and disunity in order to deny the poor the benefit of enjoying the relative peace and tranquillity that followed the exit of the immediate past administration. The stock-in-trade of these people is the fabrication and dissemination of rumours meant to endanger disenchantment against the current government. Such merchants of embitterment lack conscience and only worship lucre.
While the nascent administration under the leadership of Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri is trying to find its feet and re-energise a state that has been under life support all this while and prepare the people for the forthcoming elections by breathing live into hitherto institutions that has gone dead, these narcissists are busy distracting the government from its avowed goal. Some of the rumours you hear are so pedantic and churlish that they bear no repetition. I was shocked to read a post on Facebook by a person I have tremendous respect for saying he “heard” that the government is considering the removal of his highness, the Lamido Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Aliyu Mustafa. Without considering the incendiary nature of such a rumour he went ahead and posted it on such a volatile platform.
I wondered what the author was aiming to achieve if not to ignite unnecessary tension and mutual distrust between the government and the highly revered traditional ruler. The reason given by the writer is the Lamido’s call for a one hundred percept resource control at the on-going national conference. I think the Lamido’s call was in tandem with the wishes of the conveners of the conference and should therefore be lauded and not be used against him, if it be true. Such issues are not to be trivialised on social media because they touch raw nerves in some quarters. But if the intention is to generate the aforestated objective of creating a strained relationship between the government and the traditional institution, then it is sad coming from such an experienced and exposed journalist.
The traditional institution is not to be taken lightly in any society and by whomsoever because they are repositories of our cultures and values. And by convention, in Adamawa State you cannot go higher than the Lamido in the Adamawa Traditional Council. Taking the name of the governor and the Lamido in vain is therefore the height of mischief.
A lot of rumours are flying around with the specific aim of painting the current government in bad light. Views from politicians, operatives of the past administration and others who lost out in the present arrangement are hell bent on giving the government a bad name just to hang it. As indigenes of the state with roots and stakes in how the state fared, we should be mindful of our utterances, particularly those of us who are privileged to have access to the Internet. We inadvertently shape the mind of our readers – whether we dish out bile or honey. I do not have any problem with writing anything factual, but we shouldn’t reduce ourselves to the level of those hate mongers who makes the social media their avenue of divisive comments.
As much as one may dislike his Excellency, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, he it is that God has thrust the mantle of leadership of the state on his shoulders. The load he is carrying right now is enough to make the shoulders of Atlas wilt without many of us adding to those he inherited. Much as some of us may find it difficult to accept the fact that Fintiri is in charge, it may be easier for us to accept that the old order is no more. Fabricating dangerous stories in order to draw attention to self is doing great disservice to the already traumatised people of Adamawa. We should as much as possible be circumspect in our utterances.
The Fintiri government is barely a month old, yet we expect them to perform miracles that for seven years couldn’t be performed. Trying to distract the government because our personal expectations are at stake is wrong and destructive. May God save us from the tongues of the wicked.
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