My Take On The Amaechi “N5 Million” Noise – Gimba Kakanda
What I don’t get is this: a politician recognised the contribution of younger Nigerians who have become the moral conscience and notable critics of our political trends, and dependable analysts of our never-ending dramas, thus considered them worthy to be invited to his place to discuss his government and personality, exposing himself and his wounds, to them. And this has turned into a scandal?
Somebody mailed to ask whether I would’ve honoured such invitation, and my response was a reassuring “yes!”
I was once a co-organiser of such event, an event that has become an annual delight in my state. There’s nothing wrong with hosting critics, academics, writers, ‘pop intellectuals’ of any art and discipline, whatnots, when the intent is made public. What matters is, the outcome of such intellectual sparring should be adopted for the redemptions of a marked cause!
And if a government or an organisation seeks me out, having recognised my art and acts, it has to take care of my bills throughout the duration of the event: transportation, feeding, accommodation and even honorarium. It’s not a waste of taxpayers’ money, it’s a validation of an artist’s intellectual labour. This law of nature can only be violated when the host is an Orphanage!
When Governor Babangida who, as lawmaker had disparaged Wole Soyinka, hosted the laureate in Minna for his annual colloquium, the latter was paid. Generously. With taxpayers’ money, of course. And does that mean that our dear laureate has stopped being a critic of my governor and things in which he has interest? Think!
Though the report that N5 million was given to those who attended Governor Amaechi’s birthday is untrue, the host surely didn’t expect his guests to pay for their flights and accommodations and feeding. If my service is required by a government or an organisation, I must not spend a dime in honouring such invitation. My ancestors didn’t die for this!
via Gimba Kakanda’s Facebook page, views expressed are solely the author’s
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